The Songs of Hollywood tells the story of how songs have been presented in film-not just in musicals but in dramatic films as well--from the earliest "talkies" down to the present. While most songs have been done as "performances" by characters portraying singers, who thus have a realistic excuse to sing because they are rehearsing or performing for a Broadway show, another convention for presenting songs as integral, spontaneous expression of what a character feels at a particular dramatic moment gradually emerged in the early 1930s and flourished through the 1950s.

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