Describe one way in which American Culture has had increasing influence on Britain between the 1930's and the 1980's

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Amie Lenkowiec 10H

Describe one way in which American Culture has had increasing influence on Britain between the 1930’s and the 1980’s

        One way in which American culture has had an increasing influence on British culture is the music.  The popular music in America and in Britain have both changed a lot since the 1930’s, and not always in the same ways, or at the same times – but it was America that overall changed what the British people listened to in the way of music.


        In America in the 1930’s the people were very much swing and Jazz orientated.  The title of this Duke Ellington song “It Don’t mean a thing (if it Ain’t Got Swing)” pretty much sums up what I have just stated.  People of all ages really did like the sound of Swing and Jazz, they played it everywhere, in pubs, restaurants, on the radio and whilst eating and preparing the Sunday lunch!  There were popular songs during this era like “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” that spoke about all of the hardships of the times, and there were also songs, which spoke of the extreme good points of the time.  Singers which made all of the young people rush to the dance floor and sing and dance to were people like Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey.  These were all very talented singers who sung a variety of songs, but many were swing and Jazz.  In the 30’s, the Broadway also produced a number of the most famous and lasting American musicals.  George and Ira Gershwin wrote the hits “Strike up the Band”, “Girl Crazy” and “Of Thee I Sing”.  Cole Porter produced the hits “Anything Goes”, “Jubilee” and “Red Hot and Blue”.  Many of the songs that were written in the 1930’s are still being sung today.  

        The popular styles of music in the 1930’s in Britain was much the same as in America, but the singers of the songs were different.  The style of the 1930’s was upbeat swing.  The upbeat style was very popular because the people needed to take their minds off of the Great Depression that had just passed.  The most significant Musical artists of this decade were Woody Guthrey, Rudy Vallee and Irving Berlin.  And some of the most significant and popular songs of the 1930’s in Britain were “I’ll kiss Your Hand”, “Madame”, “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land”.  As you can see, the song “God Bless America” is a song which really stands out, because yes, it is one of the songs which had come over from America.  It was sung by Kate Smith, and it was released in 1938.  Because there were some songs which had come over from America, it means that Britain had been influenced by America.  But not an awful lot during this decade.

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        At the beginning of the 1940’s America’s charts were pretty much dominated by big bands, (rather than soloists or duos – which were popular in the 1930’s), that still played swing and jazz.  Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman led some of the more famous bands.  Eventually, many of the singers in these big bands struck out on their own.  Bing Crosby’s extremely ‘smooth’ voice made him one of the most popular singers, along with Frank Sinatra.  Dinah Shore, Kate Smith and Perry Como were also all very popular in their own individual ways.  Be-Bop and ...

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