Traditional pop

Traditional pop (also classic pop or pop standards) music consists of Western popular music that generally pre-dates the advent of rock and roll in the mid-1950s. The most popular and enduring songs from this style of music are known as pop standards or American standards. The works of these songwriters and composers are usually considered part of the canon known as the "Great American Songbook". More generally, the term "standard" can be applied to any popular song that has become very widely known within mainstream culture.

Traditional/classic pop music is generally regarded as having existed between the mid-1940s and mid-1950s. AllMusic defines traditional pop as "post-big band and pre-rock & roll pop music."[1] This definition is disputed by many scholars; however, as many of the most popular works of Cole Porter and those of George and Ira Gershwin pre-date World War II, while the works of Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern date to World War I.

Traditional pop music
Stylistic origins
Cultural originsEarly 20th century, United States
Typical instruments
Fusion genres
Pop music

History

Origins

Classic pop includes the song output of the Broadway, Tin Pan Alley, and Hollywood show tune writers from approximately World War I to the 1950s, such as Irving Berlin, Victor Herbert, Harry Warren, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein, Johnny Mercer, Dorothy Fields, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter and many others.

Mid-1940s to mid-1950s: height of popularity

The swing era made stars of many popular singers including the young Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Jo Stafford, Perry Como, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, and David Whitfield. Bing Crosby, the king of popular music at the time, was already established as the most popular singer in the world by the mid 40s. Two notable innovations were the addition of string sections and orchestral arrangements and more emphasis on the vocal performance.[2] The addition of lush strings can be heard in much of the popular music throughout the 1940s and 1950s. In the early 1950s as the dominance of swing gave way to the traditional pop music era, many of the vocalists associated with swing bands became even more popular, and were central figures in popular music.

Late 1950s to 1960s: decline

In the late 1950s, rock became a popular and prominent musical style. However, some pop singers who had been popular during the swing era or traditional pop music period were still big stars (i.e. Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore, Dean Martin, and Bing Crosby).

Some of these vocalists faded with traditional pop music, while many vocalists became involved in 1960s' vocal jazz and the rebirth of "swing music"; the swing music of the 1960s is sometimes referred to as easy listening and was, in essence, a revival of popularity of the "sweet" bands that had been popular during the swing era, but with more emphasis on the vocalist. Like the Swing Era, it too featured many songs of the Great American Songbook. Much of this music was made popular by Nelson Riddle and television-friendly singers like Rosemary Clooney, Dean Martin, and the cast of Your Hit Parade.

Many artists made their mark with pop standards, particularly vocal jazz and pop singers like Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra,[3] Doris Day, Dean Martin, Frankie Laine, Nat King Cole (originally known for his jazz piano virtuosity),[3] Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Johnny Mathis,[4] Bobby Darin,[5] Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, Sammy Davis, Jr., Andy Williams, Nancy Wilson, Jack Jones, Rita Reys, Steve Lawrence, Liza Minnelli and Cleo Laine. Traditional pop had not completely faded from the music scene, even as late as the mid-60's songs like The Days Of Wine And Roses and Moon River topping the charts and being popular with both teenagers and adults, and in 1959-1960 the hit songs "The Battle Of New Orleans {in 1814)" and "North To Alaska" by Johnny Horton were far more popular with teenagers than with adults.

In addition to the vocal jazz and/or 1960s swing music, many of these singers were involved in "less swinging," more traditional, vocal pop music during this period as well, namely Sinatra and Cole.

Advent of rock and roll

With the growing popularity of rock and roll in the 1950s, much of what baby boomers considered to be their parents' music, traditional pop, was pushed aside.[6] Popular music sung by such performers as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and their contemporaries was relegated in the 1960s and 1970s to television, where they remained very popular, Las Vegas club acts and elevator music. Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra continued to have many hit singles and albums until the late 60s, however.

In 1983 Linda Ronstadt, a popular female vocalist of the rock era,[7][8] elected to change direction.[9] She collaborated with legendary arranger-conductor Nelson Riddle and released a hugely successful album of standards from the 1940s and 1950s, What's New. It reached #3 on the Billboard pop chart, won a Grammy, and inspired Ronstadt to team up with Riddle for two more albums: 1984's Lush Life and 1986's For Sentimental Reasons.[10] The gamble paid off, as all three albums became hits, the international concert tours were a success and Riddle picked up a few more Grammys in the process. Ronstadt's determination to produce these albums exposed a new generation to the sounds of the pre-swing and swing eras.[11]

Since then, other rock/pop stars have occasionally found success recording traditional pop music, including Cyndi Lauper, Sheena Easton, Queen Latifah, Willie Nelson, Fiona Apple, Joan Osborne, Rita Coolidge, Rod Stewart, and Lady Gaga, all of whom have made forays into this once-shunned territory.

In recent times, there appears to have been a union of rock n roll with traditional pop, as many current pop stars and musicians use rock and roll instrumentation but with arrangements and compositions in the spirit of predecessors from the earlier era. An example of this is vocalist Michael Bublé's interpretation of The Beatles' rock and roll hit "Can't Buy Me Love", performed in more traditional pop arrangement.

Revival

The appearance of the lounge subculture in the mid-1990s in the United States helped to enhance the revival and interest in the music, style, and performers of popular music before rock and roll. Many contemporary performers have worked in the style of classic pop and/or easy listening swing, including Harry Connick, Jr., Linda Ronstadt, Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, Stacey Kent, John Pizzarelli, Ray Reach, Nathan Hartono, Maude Maggart, and the Sam Willows, as well as those known as cabaret singers such as Andrea Marcovicci and Bobby Short.

Associated musicians

Male singers

Female singers

Male groups

Female groups

Mixed gender groups

See also

References

  1. ^ "Traditional Pop | Music Highlights". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854.
  3. ^ a b c d Gilliland, John (1969). "Smack Dab in the Middle on Route 66: A skinny dip in the easy listening mainstream" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries. Show 22.
  4. ^ a b Gilliland 1969, show 23.
  5. ^ Gilliland 1969, show 13.
  6. ^ Green, Jesse (June 2, 1996). "The Song Is Ended". The New York Times Magazine.
  7. ^ "Rolling Stone". Rock's Venus. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  8. ^ "Work's out fine, best female voice in rock and roll". The Daily News. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  9. ^ "The Linda Ronstadt Interview". Time. Retrieved April 9, 2007.
  10. ^ "Family Week". Linda Ronstadt: The Gamble Pays off Big. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006. Retrieved April 9, 2007.
  11. ^ "Jerry Jazz Musician". The Peter Levinson Interview. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  12. ^ Gilliland 1969, shows 15-16.
  13. ^ Gilliland 1969, show 17.
  14. ^ Gilliland 1969, show 6.
  15. ^ a b Gilliland 1969, show 2.
  16. ^ Gilliland 1969, show 55.
  17. ^ Gilliland 1969, show 11.

External links

A Wonderful World (Tony Bennett and k.d. lang album)

A Wonderful World is an album by Tony Bennett and k.d. lang released in 2002.

It later won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. In the U.S., the album achieved gold record status, and reached top 40 in the UK.

Bolton Swings Sinatra

Bolton Swings Sinatra is an album by Michael Bolton. Bolton records songs originally made notable by Frank Sinatra.

The album debuted at #51 and constitutes another minor and brief comeback for Bolton, with about 200,000 copies in the US and less than 300,000 copies worldwide.

Carmen McRae

Carmen Mercedes McRae (April 8, 1922 – November 10, 1994) was an American jazz singer. She is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century and is remembered for her behind-the-beat phrasing and ironic interpretation of lyrics. McRae was inspired by Billie Holiday, but she established her own voice. She recorded over sixty albums and performed worldwide.

Don Ho

Donald Tai Loy Ho (August 13, 1930 – April 14, 2007) was an American traditional pop musician, singer and entertainer. He is best known for the song "Tiny Bubbles" from the album of the same name.

Fallen Angels (Bob Dylan album)

Fallen Angels is the 37th studio album by Bob Dylan, released by Columbia Records on May 20, 2016.The album consists of cover versions of twelve classic American songs chosen by Dylan from a diverse array of writers such as Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Sammy Cahn and Carolyn Leigh. Much like the album's predecessor, Shadows in the Night, every song on the album, except for "Skylark", was once recorded by Frank Sinatra.The album has received generally favorable reviews from critics, with particular praise for Dylan's vocal performance, production quality, and the arrangements of his band. Fallen Angels received a nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, held in February 2017.

Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

The Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album is an award presented to recording artists at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".The award has been presented every year since 1992, though the award has had two name changes throughout its history. In 1992 the award was known as Best Traditional Pop Performance, from 1993 to 2000 the award was known as Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, and since 2001 it has been awarded as Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Apart from the first year it was presented, the award has been designated for "albums containing 51% or more playing time of vocal tracks", with "traditional" referring to the "composition, vocal styling, and the instrumental arrangement" of the body of music known as the Great American Songbook.The 1992 award was presented to Natalie Cole for the "spliced-together" duet of her and her father, Nat King Cole, performing his original recording of "Unforgettable". This is the only instance in which the traditional pop award was awarded for a song, as opposed to an album. Prior to 2001, the Grammy was presented to the performing artists only; since then the award has been given to the performing artists, the engineers/mixers, as well as the producers.

As of 2016, Tony Bennett holds the record for the most wins in this category, with thirteen (including one along with k.d. lang, one with Lady Gaga and one with Bill Charlap). Natalie Cole, Michael Bublé, and Willie Nelson are the only other recipients to receive the award more than once.

Johnny Mathis

John Royce "Johnny" Mathis (born September 30, 1935) is an American singer of popular music. Starting his career with singles of standard music, he became highly popular as an album artist, with several dozen of his albums achieving gold or platinum status and 73 making the Billboard charts to date. According to Guinness Music Chart historian Paul Gambacini, Johnny Mathis has sold well over 360 million records worldwide making Mathis the third biggest selling artist of the 20th century. Mathis has received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three separate recordings.

Although he is frequently described as a romantic singer, his discography includes traditional pop, Brazilian and Spanish music, soul, rhythm and blues, show tunes, Tin Pan Alley, soft rock, blues, country music, and even a few disco songs for his album Mathis Magic in 1979. Mathis has also recorded six albums of Christmas music. In a 1968 interview, Mathis cited Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby among his musical influences.

Kisses on the Bottom

Kisses on the Bottom is the fifteenth solo studio album by Paul McCartney consisting primarily of covers of traditional pop music and jazz. Released in February 2012 on Starbucks' Hear Music label, it was McCartney's first studio album since Memory Almost Full in 2007. The album was produced by Tommy LiPuma and includes just two original compositions by McCartney: "My Valentine" and "Only Our Hearts". The former features Eric Clapton on guitar, while the latter features Stevie Wonder on harmonica. Kisses on the Bottom peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and number 5 on the US Billboard 200, while also topping Billboard magazine's Jazz Albums chart.

In addition to the standard release, the album was made available in a "Deluxe" edition, which added the songs "Baby's Request" – written by McCartney and originally recorded by Wings for their 1979 album Back to the Egg – and another cover, "My One and Only Love". In November 2012, an expanded edition of Kisses on the Bottom, subtitled Complete Kisses, was released exclusively on the iTunes store. The latter release features the fourteen-track album with four bonus tracks, and the complete iTunes Live from Capitol Studios performance.

Liza Minnelli

Liza May Minnelli (born March 12, 1946) is an American actress and singer. Best known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Cabaret (1972), she is known for her energetic stage presence and her powerful mezzo-soprano singing voice. She is the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. She is of Italian and mixed European descent.

Seeking theatrical work, Minnelli moved to New York City in 1961, where she began her career as a musical theatre actress, nightclub performer and traditional pop music artist. She made her professional stage debut in the 1963 Off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward and won a Tony Award for starring in Flora the Red Menace in 1965, which marked the start of her lifelong collaboration with John Kander and Fred Ebb. They wrote, produced or directed many of Minnelli's future stage acts and TV shows and helped create her stage persona of a stylized survivalist, including her career-defining performances of anthems of survival ("New York, New York", "Cabaret" and "Maybe This Time"). Along with her roles on stage and screen, this persona and her style of performance added to Minnelli's status as an enduring gay icon.Critically lauded for her early non-musical screen performances—especially The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)—Minnelli rose to international stardom, starring in Cabaret and the Emmy Award-winning TV special Liza with a Z (1972). Most of her following films — including Lucky Lady (1975), New York, New York (1977), Rent-a-Cop (1988) and Stepping Out (1991)—were panned by the critics and bombed at the box office, and she had no more major movie hits except Arthur (1981). She returned to Broadway on a number of occasions, including The Act (1977), The Rink (1984) and Liza's at The Palace.... (2008), worked on various television formats and has predominantly focused on music hall and nightclub performances since the late 1970s. Her concert performances at Carnegie Hall in 1979 and 1987, and at Radio City Music Hall in 1991 and 1992 are recognized among her most successful. From 1988 to 1990, she toured with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in Frank, Liza & Sammy: The Ultimate Event.

Best known for her renditions of pop standards, Minnelli's early 1960s pop singles were produced to attract a young audience, and her albums from 1968 to 1977 contained much of the contemporary singer-songwriter material. In 1989, she ventured into the contemporary pop scene by collaborating with the Pet Shop Boys on the album Results. After a hiatus due to serious health problems, Minnelli returned to the concert stage in 2002 with Liza's Back and was an acclaimed guest star in the sitcom Arrested Development between 2003 and 2013. Since the 2010s, she has avoided huge concert tours in favor of small retrospective performances.

MTV Unplugged (Tony Bennett album)

MTV Unplugged is a live album by Tony Bennett that was released in 1994. Backed by the Ralph Sharon Trio, Bennett appeared on the TV show MTV Unplugged to showcase the Great American Songbook with guest appearances by Elvis Costello and k.d. lang.The album reached platinum record status in the United States and won Grammy Awards in 1995 for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance and Album of the Year.

Manilow Sings Sinatra

Manilow Sings Sinatra is an album by singer-songwriter Barry Manilow, released in 1998. The album was a compilation of himself singing songs originally made notable by Frank Sinatra, who had recently died at the time. The album also featured two new compositions, intended as tributes to Sinatra.

Perfectly Frank

Perfectly Frank is an album by Tony Bennett, released in 1992, recorded as a tribute to Frank Sinatra.

Part of Bennett's late-in-life comeback to commercial success, it achieved gold record status in the United States and in 1993 won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.

In 2006 it was reissued with the same contents as Perfectly Frank: An American Classic Celebrates 80, in conjunction with Bennett's 80th birthday.

Rosemary Clooney

Rosemary Clooney (May 23, 1928 – June 29, 2002) was an American singer and actress. She came to prominence in the early 1950s with the song "Come On-a My House", which was followed by other pop numbers such as "Botch-a-Me", "Mambo Italiano", "Tenderly", "Half as Much", "Hey There" and "This Ole House". She also had success as a jazz vocalist. Clooney's career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her White Christmas co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. She continued recording until her death in 2002.

Theme from New York, New York

"Theme from New York, New York" (or "New York, New York") is the theme song from the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York (1977), composed by John Kander, with lyrics by Fred Ebb. It was written for and performed in the film by Liza Minnelli. It remains one of the best-known songs about New York City. In 2004 it finished #31 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American Cinema.

Tony Bennett

Anthony Dominick Benedetto (born August 3, 1926), known professionally as Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop standards, big band, show tunes, and jazz. He is also a painter, having created works under the name Anthony Benedetto that are on permanent public display in several institutions. He is the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York.Born and raised in Astoria to an Italian-American family, Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as a U.S. Army infantryman in the European Theater. Afterward, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records and had his first number-one popular song with "Because of You" in 1951. Several top hits such as "Rags to Riches" followed in early 1953. He then refined his approach to encompass jazz singing. He reached an artistic peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". His career and his personal life experienced an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era.

Bennett staged a comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, putting out gold record albums again and expanding his reach to the MTV Generation while keeping his musical style intact. He remains a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer in the 2010s. He has won 19 Grammy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in 2001) and two Emmy Awards, and was named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree. Bennett has sold over 50 million records worldwide.

Triplicate (Bob Dylan album)

Triplicate is the 38th studio album by Bob Dylan, released by Columbia Records on March 31, 2017.Like Dylan's previous two studio albums, Triplicate features covers of classic American songs recorded live with his touring band and without the use of overdubs. The album is Dylan's first three-disc album, featuring thirty songs across its three discs, each individually titled and presented in a thematically-arranged 10-song sequence.Three songs from the album—"I Could Have Told You", "My One and Only Love", and "Stardust"—were released as digital singles, with only the first being made available in promotional CD format. All three were accompanied by videos of the songs being played on a vinyl record player.

As with his previous two albums of American pop standards, Triplicate received widespread critical acclaim. It was nominated at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Despite the favorable reviews, it peaked at number 37 on the Billboard 200 and number 17 on the UK Albums Chart.

Unforgettable... with Love

Unforgettable... with Love, also known as simply Unforgettable, is a 1991 album by American singer Natalie Cole. Released on June 11, 1991, the album focuses on covers of standards previously performed by her father, Nat King Cole. It was also her debut for Elektra Records, after being given her release from EMI Records.

Unforgettable (Merle Haggard album)

Unforgettable is the fifty-seventh studio album by American country singer and songwriter Merle Haggard, released in 2004.

Vicki Lawrence

Vicki Ann Lawrence (born Vicki Ann Axelrad; born March 26, 1949), sometimes credited as Vicki Lawrence Schultz, is an American actress, comedian, and pop music singer known for the many characters she originated on CBS's The Carol Burnett Show, where she appeared from 1967–78, for the entire series run. One such character was "The Family" matriarch Thelma Harper/Mama, the cold, unaffectionate mother of the neurotic, misfortunate, Eunice (Burnett) although Lawrence is 16 years younger than Burnett. Thelma Harper was the central character of the television situation comedy series Mama's Family on NBC and, later, in first-run syndication. She also starred in the Fox sitcom series The Cool Kids.

In 1973, she became a one-hit wonder on the U.S. chart with "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia". It reached number one on both the United States and Canada charts. Lawrence has multiple Emmy Award nominations, winning one in 1976.She is also a multiple Golden Globe nominee, all for The Carol Burnett Show. Lawrence has made numerous post-Mama's Family guest TV show appearances in her famed Thelma Harper/Mama role.

On February 5, 2013, Lawrence appeared as the character in a special sketch for Betty White's 2nd Annual 90th Birthday. In addition, she regularly hosts an untelevised stage show, titled Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show.

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