Tunes of the Twenties is the first book of its kind to tell the stories behind the classic songs of the Jazz Age. With a Foreword by Vince Giordano (Musical Director for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire), this colorfully illustrated book embarks on a musical journey through the era of speakeasies, gangsters, and hot jazz. Robert Rawlins discusses each of the 250 songs in his previous publication The Real Dixieland Book, and takes readers backstage to share the intriguing, sometimes unbelievable stories associated with their publication and subsequent history.

Praise for Tunes of the Twenties

"I do wish I had this book when I was working the five seasons of Boardwalk Empire—it would have been a great help to me!" —Vince Giordano, Leader of Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, Musical Director for HBO series Boardwalk Empire

“Tunes of the Twenties! This great new book by Robert Rawlins is essential reading for every song lover!”  —Chris Calloway Brooks, Owner/Director,            Cab Calloway Orchestra 

“If every picture tells a story, so does every song. Tunes of the Twenties digs deeply into the background of songs we have heard for ages but maybe never fully understood. Profusely illustrated with delightful sheet music covers in glorious color, this volume brings the Roaring Twenties back to life.”  —Bruce Boyd Raeburn, Curator, Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University 

"Tunes Of The Twenties is filled with fascinating and well-researched tales about the origin and history behind the classic material."  —Scott Yanow, American jazz reviewer, historian and author

"An outstanding work. I wish I had had it to consult when I was writing my jazz standards book."             —Ted Gioia, American jazz critic and music historian

“I thought I knew a lot of about the 1920s jazz repertoire but Robert Rawlins’s Tunes of the Twenties offered me something new and interesting on every page. This is one book that I will always keep within an arm’s reach!”  —Ricky Riccardi, Director of Research Collections, Louis Armstrong  House Museum, and Author of What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years

“Tunes of the Twenties is one heckuva book! For over a half-century I’ve enjoyed bringing these tunes to life as a musician, but now, with this book, I’m enjoying the stories behind them. I can think of no other book that, so perfectly, captures the humor, sensitivity, depth and understanding of this musically rich decade in America. It’s no wonder that these songs have endured over the years. Tunes of the Twenties is a ‘must read’ for anyone who enjoys the Great American Songbook.”  —Ed Polcer, Legendary NYC Jazz Cornettist 

“In this wonderfully detailed book Robert Rawlins not only explores the structure of the songs, but gives their back story and historical setting to enlighten these important American melodies. An insightful read! Bravo!”  —Banu Gibson, Classic American Jazz Singer 

“We all delight in these old songs. It all gets better when you know how and why they were written and what it all meant at the time.”  —Jim Cullum, World-renowned American Jazz Cornettist

"Tunes of the Twenties is fantastic! Very well written and the research is beyond reproach! I'm very impressed!!"  —Liz Beiderbecke-Hart, Board of Directors, Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society

"Rawlins' writing style combines seriousness and deep knowledge of the subject with much humor, making it easy to read while being highly rewarding."  —All About Jazz

"A publication that is a welcome addition to literature commenting on the history of popular song."  Jazz Journal

"What a wonderful book, crammed with memorable anecdotes, revelations, explanations, and informative commentary on every page, always delightful to read. You have heeded your own dictum brilliantly: if it’s not interesting, leave it out. Other writers should follow your example." —Floyd Grave, author of The String Quartets of Joseph Haydn

"This book is a rare find that combines expert musical knowledge and a love for jazz with an intuitive understanding of the genre and its continuing appeal for new listeners." —Popular Music and Society

"The information on each title makes this book a riveting read: you can dip in here, there or anywhere, or read whole sections at a time…either way, you will come across facts, anecdotes and background information that will startle and amuse in equal measure." —Vintage Jazz Mart