A significant element of the roaring twenties was the music. Controversial from the start, the Jazz Age took the music world by storm in the 1920s as it emerged from basement music in the deep South. Many of the early Jazz artists made their initial debut in the speakeasies (illicit establishment selling alcoholic beverages during prohibition), dance halls and cabarets of America. The spread of the Jazz craze was aided by the phonograph record which allowed people to listen to the latest hits from the comfort of their homes. With the emergence of new music came new dances, such ‘the Charleston’, and a new social atmosphere (more to come on dancing later).
Come you back to Mandalay
Where the old flotilla way;
Can’t you hear their paddles chunkin’
From Rangoon to Mandalay?
Do you recognize these lyrics?
If you guessed On the Road to Mandalay (composed by Oley Speaks), you are right! In Murder at Hartigan House (link) Ginger fondly recalls dancing with her late husband while Frank Croxton’s version of On the Road to Mandalay plays on the gramophone.
Here’s a recording of Frank Sinatra singing On the Road to Mandalay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFVuLn47iz0
Romantic, isn’t it?
Later on, Ginger hosts a soiree at Hartigan House for unwitting guests on the suspect list where she entertains them with recorded music by Paul Whiteman’s orchestra. Paul Whiteman, known as the “King of Jazz”, created one of the most popular bands of the era.
Listen to Paul Whiteman and his Orchestras’ 1924 performance of Why did I kiss that girl? here: https://www.youtube.com/watch
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