Musical Theater

Minstrel Shows

There are many objections we can raise concerning minstrel shows and their depictions of African Americans, yet they remain important as an object of study for the way in which they inform and influence later musical theater and popular music developments.

More coming soon…


Early recordings made by companies like Edison were often of variety theater performers. Here is a set of links to recordings of vocal duets.

More coming soon…


The integrated musical was still very much in its golden era when rock and roll first hit the jukeboxes and airwaves. Some of the most popular Broadway shows ever first opened in the 1940s and 50s. Hollywood was churning out film adaptations of the shows, as well as creating film musicals that were not directly associated with a show. The most popular songs from the shows were often released as recordings either by the cast members or as covered by other pop singers. Audiences of the 1950s would have heard, one or another, some of the duets from those shows (click here for a list of shows and their duets). For some people, then, the style of dueting employed by the Everly Brothers would have stood in contrast to the Broadway/Hollywood style.