Stairway to Paradise: Jews, Blacks, and the American Music Revolution (Hardcover)

Stairway to Paradise: Jews, Blacks, and the American Music Revolution By Ari Katorza Cover Image
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Stairway to Paradise reveals how American Jewish entrepreneurs, musicians, and performers influenced American popular music from the late nineteenth century till the mid-1960s. From blackface minstrelsy, ragtime, blues, jazz, and Broadway musicals, ending with folk and rock 'n' roll. The book follows the writers and artists' real and imaginative relationship with African-American culture's charisma. Stairway to Paradise discusses the artistic and occasionally ideological dialogue that these artists, writers, and entrepreneurs had with African-American artists and culture. Tracing Jewish immigration to the United States and the entry of Jews into the entertainment and cultural industry, the book allocates extensive space to the charged connection between music and politics as reflected in the Jewish-Black Alliance - both in the struggle for social justice and in the music field. It reveals Jewish success in the music industry and the unique and sometimes problematic relationships that characterized this process, as their dominance in this field became a source of blame for exploiting African-American artistic and human capital. Alongside this, the book shows how black-Jewish cooperation, and its fragile alliance, played a role in the hegemonic conflicts involving American culture during the 20th century. Unintentionally, it influenced the process of decline of the influence of the WASP elite during the 1960s. Stairway to Paradise fuses American history and musicology with cultural studies theories. This inter-disciplinary approach regarding race, class, and ethnicity offers an alternative view of more traditional notions regarding understanding American music's evolution. 

About the Author

Ari Katorza, The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, and Rimon school of Music, Israel.

Product Details
ISBN: 9783110723120
ISBN-10: 3110723123
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Publication Date: September 7th, 2021
Pages: 279
Language: English