The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Sounds from the Jazz Age

great gatsby by flickr user cdrummbks

Given that F. Scott Fitzgerald coined the term “Jazz Age,” it seemed appropriate to herald Jazz Appreciation Month with a look at the author’s definitive novel of the Roaring 20s, The Great Gatsby. As we note in our Big Read audio guide of the book, “the decade is remembered as one long and extravagant party. It was the era of jazz and rag-time, indulgence and easy money, flappers and bootleggers.” Fitzgerald used the written word to masterfully evoke the delicious decadence and tragic pitfalls of the time. But how to evoke it through sound? This was the challenge confronting our production team when they developed the soundtrack for our audio program. Below is the list of songs they chose, all of which were performed by Bix Beiderbecke in the versions featured on our guide. Think of it as our own Great Gatsby playlist.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” written by Eddie Green

Lila,” written by Archie Gottler, Charles Tobias, and Maceo Pinkard

Royal Garden Blues,” written by Clarence Williams and Spencer Williams

Our Bungalow of Dreams,” written by Tommie Malie, Charles Newman, and Joe Vergas

Click here for more about F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby.

 

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