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Dangerous RhythmWhy Movie Musicals Matter$
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Richard Barrios

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199973842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199973842.001.0001

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Everything’s Been Done Before

Everything’s Been Done Before

(p.15) Chapter 1 Everything’s Been Done Before
Dangerous Rhythm

Richard Barrios

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a frequently digressory capsule history of the musical, noting especially the history and heritage that it variously heeds and forgets. It puts emphasis on the overstated importance of The Jazz Singer (NOT the first musical) and the genuine importance of The Broadway Melody (the first real musical). It stresses the importance, in the musical’s history, of dance director Busby Berkeley and producer Arthur Freed. The chapter then looks at the 1950s decline due to television, the 1960s resurgence (roadshow film and The Sound of Music), and the long moratorium that extended from the early 1970s onward. Chicago, in 2002, marked a resurgence that, ultimately, did not last.

Keywords:   The Broadway Melody, The Jazz Singer, Arthur Freed, roadshow film

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