Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stan Fornaszewski Orchestra
featured in Press-Record

Drummer Stan Fornaszewski's big band is the subject of a feature article in the Granite City Press-Record and other Suburban Journal papers serving the Metro East. You can read the article online here, but one word of caution: If you know anything about jazz, or 20th century American music in general, you may do a spit-take of your beverage of choice and/or find your blood pressure rising after reading this particular passage:
"According to Web sites, big band music attracted a large following in the 1930s and 1940s. Abe Lyman, Rudy Vallee and Vincent Lopez were popular artists in the genre."
One can understand that a young general assignment reporter may not have a lot of specific knowledge of music history to draw upon when writing a piece like this. However, that doesn't excuse publishing unsourced information of extremely dubious accuracy.

Yes, Lyman, Vallee and Lopez all were active during the period in question, but citing them as "popular artists in the genre" without mentioning, say, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey or the many other better-known bands of the era is like leaving the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Beach Boys out of a history of rock music so as to devote more space to Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Archies and the Surfaris. And since when is "according to Web sites," considered adequate sourcing for a newspaper published by a major media conglomerate? Does the Press-Record not employ any editors at all?

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