Tin Pan Alley and its lasting musical influence: Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, and American Popular Music.
Tin Pan Alley’s influence cannot be summed up quickly or easily; this one block was the place where musical commerce combined with multicultural creative collaboration and changed the course of American music.
The composer W.C. Handy – known as “The Father Of The Blues” and the first African American publisher of his own material – worked on Tin Pan Alley. Irving Berlin and George Gershwin–both sons of Russian immigrants started on Tin Pan Alley, as well as the greats Fats Waller and Cole Porter.
Singers as diverse as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Jolson and Fred Astaire all sang music originating from Tin Pan Alley.Whenever you hear contemporary music, it is likely to be descended from Tin Pan Alley roots: The Beatles were influenced by Elvis Presley, who, in turn, was influenced by The Blues, the music of which was originally spread to America from Tin Pan Alley. And so on…The buildings left on the block of 28th Street known as Tin Pan Alley are the remnants of the origin of one of America's greatest cultural legacies. They deserve to stand as a testament to future generations of what great legacies can originate from one small corner of New York. An article published by the Songwriters
Hall of Fame (http://songwritershalloffame.org) best sums up the musical lineage of Tin Pan Alley. An excerpt:
“Never in the history of American popular music were so many genres centered in one area… Between 1900 and 1910, more than 1800 “rags” had been published on Tin Pan Alley, beginning with “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin. In 1912, W.C. Handy introduced popular music to the underground sound of the Blues. By 1917, a recording by a new musician, Louis Armstrong, took over Tin Pan Alley and the 1920s were dedicated to the playing and recording of Jazz. Theatre, which had remained the entertainment of choice, fused all preceding stage shows--minstrel, vaudeville, musical comedy, revues, burlesque, and variety--to create the spectacular Broadway production. By 1926, the first movie with sound came creating a new outlet for production music. Folk and Country Music was introduced to mainstream audiences in the mid-1930s. Big bands and swing music defined the 1930s and 40s, introducing new accompanying vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. In the early 40's, publishers imported Latin American sound from Brazil, Mexico and Cuba and English lyrics were adapted to foreign themes…
Six to Celebrate - Cultural Landmarks
Tin Pan Alley, Manhattan
The Historic Districts Council.
With HDC President