Felt it in their bones. Blew it on their horns. Played it on keyboards, and behind Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, in the late 1930s, in a sound known as swing.
It was a time of Depression and FDR, Joe Louis and Amelia Earhart. It had a soundtrack. And Count Basie was a huge part of it.
Do we have a soundtrack today? Gnarls Barkley? Beck?
This hour, On Point: Count Basie, and the sound of America, then and now.Guests:
Roxane Orgill, music critic and author of the new book "Dream Lucky," which chronicles Count Basie's rise in the 1930s.
Tim Riley, NPR music critic and frequent contributor to "Here & Now." His latest book is "Fever: How Rock Transformed Gender."
This program aired on June 6, 2008.