Monday, March 2, 2015

The years 1914-1924

These 10 years were dominated by two things; the First World War and the beginning years of America's Prohibition. Initially, the sentiment in America was to stay out of the chaos erupting in Europe and elsewhere but with the sinking of American ships in the Atlantic the United States was drawn into the conflict in the spring of 1917. The songs of that time reflected first, the isolationist attitudes of the nation and then second, the switch to pro-war propaganda. The horrors of this War to End All Wars left the returning veterans shell-shocked, restless and bored. Rural Protestants and Social Progressives in both parties inadvertently solved their problems with the Volstead Act of 1919 making Alcoholic beverages illegal thus opening the flood gates of clandestine breweries, bootlegging, political corruption, speakeasies and the rise of the American Gangster.  This period also saw the rise of the the recording artist in pop celebrities such as Al Jolson, Ruth Etting and Eddie Cantor.

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