Shining a light on under-appreciated or unknown American popular songwriters active from 1848 until 1955, William E. Studwell profiles three hundred and forty-four of them in evaluative historical essays. The essays provide biographical data, focus on the songs for which the songwriter is best known, then list the lesser-known songs in chronological order. Although most of the people included in the book will be new to readers, one section does focus on "Famous Persons Not Primarily Known for their Songwriting," including Benny Goodman and Dale Evans. Readers interested in a variety of song styles will find ample material to hold their interest-from barbershop quartet songs, patriotic songs, and college songs to jazz compositions, big band numbers, and country-westerns. Information detailed here for the first time will make this reference source significant not only for those interested in the profiled songwriters, but also as a repository of cultural information about our musical past.
William E. Studwell is a librarian and writer who has authored a number of books on various aspects of musical history, including The Classic Rock and Roll Reader, College Fight Songs, and Barbershops, Bullets, and Ballads. He has contributed over 340 articles to professional journals and has more than 460 radio, TV, and print media appearances to his credit.