Side Man Historical Context

Warren Leight
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The play begins in 1985, long after rock and roll and other popular music had replaced the big orchestral bands of the early-to-mid twentieth century. As Stefan Kanfer notes in his review of the play for The New Leader, by the 1980s, this type of music, which relied on the brassy sound of trumpets, trombones, and other orchestral sounds, was largely "rendered obsolete by a combination of technology and lowered public taste." The play through Clifford's musings, takes the audience back to 1953, when this revolution in music, which started with rock and roll, is beginning to happen. Rock and roll had its roots in country music and rhythm and blues, and its first practitioners were African American vocal groups who incorporated gospel-style harmonies. However, in such a racially segregated culture, most large record companies, owned and operated by whites, initially shunned rock and roll as an African American fad...

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This section contains 622 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Side Man Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Side Man from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.