The well known musicologist here exhaustively chronicles, decade by decade, the story of the songs America sang from Yankee Doodle to the present day. It is too the story of the men who made those songs, the moods and emotions that promoted their popularity, the happenstances that made them famous. Tune and lyric, from colonial classics, ballads, ragtime, jazz, this is a very worthy assemblage of factual material in the literature of music, and should be an important reference volume for any question on this subject. Spaeth seems to have neglected nothing, from criticism of the banal to appreciation of the deservedly popular song, from brief biographies of the composers to discussion of the radio and the battle of recording. There is the pleasure of looking backward, of recognition, of acquiring unexpected bits of information for the reader of all ages. Don't forget it would be a grand present for a music loving friend.