Western swing

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«"Western swing is nothing more than a group of talented country boys, unschooled in music, but playing the music they feel, beating a solid two-four rhythm to the harmonies that buzz around their brains. When it escapes in all its musical glory, my friend, you have Western swing."»

(Merle Travis)
Western swing
Origini stilistiche Western, blues, folk, swing, Dixieland, string band
Origini culturali anni 1920-1930; piccole città nel sudovest degli stati uniti
Strumenti tipici chitarra, voce, pianoforte, violino, basso, steel guitar, banjo, corno, chitarra, fisarmonica, tromba, sassofono, batteria
Generi derivati
rockabilly, rock and roll
Generi correlati
Texas swing
Scene regionali
scene regionali correlate
Categorie correlate

Gruppi musicali western swing · Musicisti western swing · Album western swing · EP western swing · Singoli western swing · Album video western swing

Il Western swing è un genere musicale assimilato alla musica country ("Country and Western"), originato tra gli anni '20 e '30 del 900 nelle regioni occidentali e meridionali degli Stati Uniti d'America (Texas, Oklahoma e regioni limitrofe), dalle string band[1][2] di musicisti bianchi che suonavano prevalentemente con strumenti a corde musica dancehall e country primordiale, evolvendo verso le nuove tendenze del jazz, dello swing e persino del blues più viscerale.

Osteggiato dai tradizionalisti del country, a causa delle evidenti influenze "nere", il Western swing ebbe un grande successo in Texas e negli stati del Midwest tra il 1935 e il 1950, cedendo il passo alla voga dell'Honky tonk e dell'Hillbilly-boogie, influenzando non poco la nascita del rock'n'roll "bianco" (basti notare che Elvis Presley e soprattutto Bill Haley, all'inizio delle rispettive carriere si muovevano appunto in ambito Western swing).

Non di rado i complessi Western swing si trasformavano in grosse formazioni simili alle big-band swing, includendo, con scandalo dei conservatori del country, strumenti poco ortodossi, batteria, pianoforte, fiati, chitarre elettriche e lap-steel, contribuendo lentamente alla loro accettazione nel moderno mainstream Country.

Origini ed evoluzione[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

Il pioniere per eccellenza di questo genere è il musicista country Bob Wills che, con i The Light Crust Doughboys prima e con i Texas Playboys poi, codificò ufficialmente il genere, tanto da essere in seguito conosciuto con il nome di King of Western Swing[3][4]. Altri musicisti importanti per la diffusione del genere furono Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies, Hank Penny Radio Cowboys e Spade Cooley and His Orchestra. Tra i gruppi di Western swing contemporanei di spicco, si ricordano gli Asleep at the Wheel, Brain Cloud e The Hot Club of Cowtown. Alcuni musicisti che hanno esordito nell'ambito western-swing, soprattutto chitarristi, sono divenuti reputati e talvolta famosi come musicisti jazz, ad esempio Charlie Christian e Herb Ellis. Di particolare rilievo nel western-swing è la chitarra lap-steel con uno stile distinto da quello dei pionieri hawaiiani (tra i virtuosi più notevoli : Bob Dunn, Leon McAuliffe, Earl "Joaquin" Murphey, Noel Boggs, Speedy West e Herbie Remington).

Note[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

  1. ^ Brink, Western Swing, p. 550: "In many ways, western swing music is a manifestation of the cultural forces that came together where the geographical isolation and harsh living conditions of the frontier met the electronic age. People still living in dugouts and sod houses on the Southern High Plains became a part of popular culture through the radio and the jukebox, mingling their musical talents and tastes with the new sounds introduced to them through the accessibility of phonographs and the airwaves."
  2. ^ Logsdon, "Folk Songs", p. 299: "In the 1920s Bob Wills, a fiddle player son of a cotton farmer in West Texas, started playing ranch-house dances. His desire to play dances eventually developed a dance genre known as western swing. While the music has elements of jazz and blues, it actually evolved from the specific merger of cowboy and farmer folk song and instrumentation."
  3. ^ Wolff, Country Music, "Big Balls In Cowtown: Western Swing From Fort Worth To Fresno", p. 29: If any single person deserves to be considered the 'father' of western swing, it must be Bob Wills."
  4. ^ West, "Trails And Footprints", p. 39: "Snyder [Texas] hosts the West Texas Western Swing Festival ('Come Fiddle Around in Snyder'), recognizing the regional origins of the father of western swing, Bob Wills, from Turkey (a bit more than a hundred miles due north in Hall County) ..."

Bibliografia[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

  • Boyd, Jean Ann. Jazz of the Southwest: An Oral History of Western Swing. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0-292-70859-4
  • Boyd, Jean A. "Western Swing: Working-Class Southwestern Jazz of the 1930s and 1940s". Perspectives on American Music, 1900-1950 (ch. 7, pp. 193–214), edited by Michael Saffle. Routledge, 2000. ISBN 978-0-8153-2145-3
  • Brink, Pamela H. "Western Swing". Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, David J. Wishart (ed.), p. 550. University of Nebraska Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8032-4787-1
  • Carney, George O. "Country Music". Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, David J. Wishart (ed.), pp. 535–537. University of Nebraska Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8032-4787-1
  • Coffey, Kevin. Merl Lindsay and his Oklahoma Nite Riders; 1946-1952. (Krazy Kat KKCD 33, 2004) booklet.
  • Ginell, Cary. Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1994. ISBN 978-0-252-02041-4
  • Ginell, Cary; Kevin Coffey. Discography of Western Swing and Hot String Bands, 1928-1942. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-313-31116-1
  • Kienzle, Rich. Southwest Shuffle: Pioneers of Honky Tonk, Western Swing, and Country Jazz. New York: Routledge, 2003. ISBN 978-0-415-94102-0
  • Komorowski, Adam. Spade Cooley: Swingin' The Devil's Dream. (Proper PVCD 127, 2003) booklet.
  • Lange, Jeffrey J.Smile When You Call Me a Hillbilly: Country Music's Struggle for Respectability, 1939-1954. ISBN 978-0-8203-2623-8
  • Logsdon, Guy. "The Cowboy's Bawdy Music". The Cowboy: Six-Shooters, Songs, and Sex (pp. 127–138) edited by Charles W. Harris and Buck Rainey. University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8061-1341-8
  • Logsdon, Guy. "Folk Songs". Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, David J. Wishart (ed.), pp. 298–299. University of Nebraska Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8032-4787-1
  • Malone, Bill C.; Judith McCulloh (eds.) Stars of Country Music: Uncle Dave Macon to Johnny Rodriguez. University of Illinois Press, 1975. ISBN 978-0-252-00527-5
  • Marble, Manning; John McMillian; Nishani Frazier (eds.). Freedom on My Mind: The Columbia Documentary History of the African American Experience. Columbia University Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-231-10890-4
  • Price, Michael H. "Jazz Guitar and Western Swing". pp. 81–88 The Guitar in Jazz: An Anthology, James Sallis (ed.). University of Nebraska Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0-8032-4250-0
  • Saffle, Michael (2000), Perspectives on American Music, 1900-1950, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 978-0-8153-2145-3.
  • Townsend, Charles. San Antonio Rose: The Life and Music of Bob wills. University of Illinois Press, 1986. ISBN 978-0-252-01362-1
  • Wetlock, E. Clyde; Richard Drake Saunders (eds.). Music and dance in Texas, Oklahoma, and the Southwest. Hollywood, CA: Bureau of Musical Research, 1950.
  • Wills, Bob. 1949 interview from Honky Tonks, Hymns and the Blues. Part 2: "Raising the Roof", first broadcast by NPR July–September 2003. Written by Kathie Farnell, Margaret Moos Pick, Steve Rathe.
  • Wolff, Kurt; Orla Duane. Country Music: The Rough Guide. Rough Guides, 2000. ISBN 978-1-85828-534-4
  • Zolten, Jerry. Western Swingtime Music: A Cool Breeze in the American Desert. Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine. Volume 23/Number 2, 1974.

Voci correlate[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

Collegamenti esterni[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

Controllo di autoritàLCCN (ENsh86000090 · GND (DE4189737-7