cabaret tax

Swing Era

The Swing Era was the period of time (1935–1946) when big band swing music was the most popular music in America. Though the music has been around since the late 1920s -early 1930s, being played by Black bands like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald,Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, & Fletcher Henderson, most historians believe that the Swing Era started with Benny Goodman's performance at the Palomar Ballroom on August 21, 1935, bringing the music to the rest of the country. Other musicians who would rise during this time include Jimmy Dorsey, his baby brother Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, & Goodman's future rival Artie Shaw. Several factors left to the demise of the swing era; the recording ban from August 1942 to November 1944 (The union that most jazz musicians belong to told its members not to record until the record companies agree to pay them each time their music is played on the radio), the earlier ban of ASCAP songs from radio stations, World War II which made it harder for bands to travel around as well as the "cabaret tax", which was as high as 20%, the change in music taste & the rise of bebop. Though Ellington & Basie were able to keep their bands together (the latter did briefly downsize his band; from 1950-1952), by the end of 1946, most of their competitors were forced to disband, bringing the swing era to a close.

Songs from the Swing Era

The Swing Era has left behind a lot of recordings that are now classics. Some of those are:

Other meanings

The general culture of the times between and during the Spanish Civil War and World War II was often called the swing era.

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