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Mass Media and the Jazz Age

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1 Mass Media and the Jazz Age
In the 1920s, the mass media provided information and entertainment as never before.

2 Beginnings of Hollywood in the 1920s
Hollywood’s Mulholland Drive is shown in this 1924 photo. The now-famous sign in the hills was erected to promote a real-estate development. Filmmakers were attracted to the quiet town because they were attracted to the large workforce located in nearby Los Angeles; by the variety of landscapes, from desert to snowy mountains; and by the sun they needed to light their films.

3 The Mass Media What’s that?

4 Mass Media is print, film, and broadcast methods of communicating information to large numbers of people Before the 1920s, the U.S. had been largely a collection of regional cultures. Most Americans simply did not know much about the rest of the country, talk with people in other regions, or even read the same news as other Americans! Films, nationwide news gathering, and the new industry of radio broadcasting produced the beginnings of a national culture Americans began to share the same information, read about the same events, and encounter the same ideas and fashions Few American women dressed in the flapper style or smoked and drank in public until the growth of mass media

5 Flapper In the 1920s, the word "flapper" described a young woman who rebelled against convention. Like jazz music, the gangster, and the speakeasy, the rebellious and fun-loving flapper was a product of 1920s  urban America. Most American women were not flappers, but the flapper's shocking behavior set a tone that helped many women explore Jazz Age freedoms without fear." ~ Chicago Historical Society

6 Movies Motion pictures introduced in the 1890s
By 1929, movie making became the 4th largest business in the country Theaters sold roughly 80 million tickets each week when the total population was roughly 125 million- roughly 2/3 of the population attended the theater each week! First sound film, The Jazz Singer, was released in included speech, singing, music, and sound effects. Referred to as “talkies”

7 Silent Film Star

8 Silent Film and Talkie Star

9 Newspapers During the 1920s, newspapers increased both in size and in circulation. Profits, not quality, drove most of the new newspaper chains that emerged and many, especially in the cities, published tabloids. Tabloid- a compact newspaper that relies on large headlines, few words, and many pictures to tell a story. The tabloids of the 1920s replaced serious news with entertainment that focused on fashion, sports, and sensational stories about crimes and scandals

10 Magazines Also rose in sales during the 1920s
Provided a variety of information in a form that most people could easily digest. Advertisers often ran full page ads to promote their products Favorites included: Saturday Evening Post Reader’s Digest Ladies’ Home Journal Time



13 Radio Barely existed before the 1920s
1920- Frank Conrad, an engineer with the Westinghouse Electric Company, set up a radio transmitter in his garage in Pittsburgh Began sending recorded music and baseball scores over the radio Became the first commercial radio station- KDKA By 1922, more than 500 stations were on the air To reach more people, networks such as the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) linked many individual stations together and each network played the same programming


15 The Explosion of African American Culture
The Jazz Age The Explosion of African American Culture

16 Introduction

17 Jazz Arrives Grew out of the African American music of the South, especially ragtime and blues Jazz- features improvisation, a process by which musicians make up music as they are playing it rather than relying completely on printed scores Syncopation- a type of off-beat rhythm Some Americans horrified by jazz- too suggestive of the free manners and morals of the age Eventually embraced by people of all walks of life

18 Jazz Clubs and Dance Halls
One of the most popular places was Harlem, a district on the northern end of the island of Manhattan Nearly all the great jazz musicians played in the Harlem clubs at one time or another National fad- the Charleston Embodied the Jazz Age- wild and reckless, full of kicks and twists and pivots Could be danced with a partner, in a group, or alone

19 Jazz Musicians

20 Benny Goodman “King of Swing”
His “big band” helped make jazz popular with white audiences His 1936 quartet, which included African American musicians Lionel Hampton and Teddy Wilson, was the first popular racially mixed jazz group.

21 Quartet

22 Big Band

23 Louis Armstrong Wowed audiences with his brilliantly improvised trumpet solos Nicknamed “Satchmo” for Satchelmouth Because of Armstrong, long solos became key elements of jazz ensemble performances Also improvised with his voice, replacing words with nonsense syllables in a style known as “scat” singing

24 Louis Armstrong- Jeepers Creepers

25 Hot Five Ensemble

26 Edward Kennedy Ellington- “Duke” Ellington
Arranger, composer, and bandleader whose works are played widely to this day In 1923, Ellington and several other musicians moved to NYC and formed a band. This band, under various names and in one form or another, continued to play with Ellington until his death at age 75 Wrote at least a thousand pieces in his long career

27 “Duke”- Mood Indigo

28 George Gershwin Composer
Mixed jazz elements into more familiar sounding music Most famous for Rhapsody in Blue

29 Gershwin- Rhapsody in Blue
Basic form of this rhapsody came to Gershwin in a sudden rush of insight while riding a train “I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America– of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our blues, our metropolitan madness”

30 Jazz Painting and Literature

31 Painting Artists like Edward Hopper and Rockwell Kint Showed the nation's rougher side, from cities to coal mines, from the streets to the barrooms Georgia O’Keeffe painted natural objects such as flowers, animal bones, and landscapes

32 Rockwell Kent Workers of the World Unite, 1937 Wood engraving
While most famously a landscape painter and printmaker, Kent was also a political activist. Kent created prints for politically charged magazines and contributed illustrations for American literary classics including Moby Dick.

33 Edward Hopper Chop Suey, 1929 Oil on canvas

34 Georgia O’Keeffe Ram's Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills, 1935

35 Literature Sinclair Lewis- attacked American society with savage irony and became the first American to receive the Nobel prize for literature Eugene O’Neill- playwright who wove dark, poetic tragedies out of the material of everyday American life

36 Literature- The Lost Generation
American society in the 1920s troubled one group of important writers who rejected the quest for material possessions that seemed to occupy so many Americans. They scorned American popular culture as artless and uninspired They were so repelled by postwar society that they left the U.S. for Europe and found it more intellectually stimulating. Included writers such as Sherwood Anderson, E.E. Cummings, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein.

37 F. Scott Fitzgerald Some people believe he helped create the flapper culture with his novel This Side of Paradise The Great Gatsby focused on the wealthy, sophisticated Americans of the Jazz Age whom he found to be self-centered and shallow.

38 The Harlem Renaissance
African American Literary Awakening

39 James Weldon Johnson Executive secretary of the NAACP
Leading writer of the Harlem group His most famous work, God’s Trombones, is a collection of sermons in rhythmic verse modeled after the style of traditional black preaching

40 Dorothy West Tackled the dual themes of being black and being a woman

41 Langston Hughes Poet, short story writer, journalist, and playwright whose career stretched into the 1960s Spoke about the joys and difficulties of being human, being American, and being black

42 “I, Too” – Langston Hughes
I, too, sing America. I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong. Tomorrow, I'll be at the table When company comes. Nobody'll dare Say to me, "Eat in the kitchen," Then. Besides, They'll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed-- I, too, am America.

43 1. William Randolph Hearst Newspapers Louis Armstrong Mass media
How related?

44 1. Hollywood Newspapers were one type of mass media, and William Randolph Hearst was a publisher

45 2. Jazz Harlem Hollywood Duke Ellington How Related?

46 Hollywood Duke Ellington was one of the many fine jazz musicians to play the clubs of Harlem in the 1920s

47 3. Rhapsody in Blue Sinclair Lewis Main Street
Nobel Prize for Literature How Related?

48 Rhapsody in Blue Sinclair Lewis, author of the novel Main Street, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1930

49 4. Lost Generation Gertrude Stein Ernest Hemingway George Gershwin
How Related?

50 George Gershwin Ernest Hemingway was one of the group of expatriate writers known as the Lost Generation, a term coined by Gertrude Stein

51 5. NAACP Georgia O’Keeffe Harlem Renaissance James Weldon Johnson
How Related?

52 Georgia O’Keeffe James Weldon Johnson, a leading writer during the Harlem Renaissance, was also executive secretary of the NAACP

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