The bebop scene in London's Soho, 1945-1950 : post-war Britain's first youth subculture /

Publication Type:



Palgrave Macmillan,, Cham, Switzerland, p.1 online resource I(xv, 275 pages) : (2022)

Call Number:


Other Number:




(OCoLC)fst00836550, (OCoLC)fst00982165, 1941-1950., Bop (Music), England, fast, Jazz, Jazz.


Includes index.This book draws upon a superb range of primary sources, from oral history interviews and press accounts to examples of zoot suits. Ray Kinsella offers rich, vivid insights into the emergence of a subculture in postwar Soho that was firmly rooted in the Black Atlantic, and which also has much to contribute to understandings of migration, movement and cultural hybridity. - Kate Bradley, University of Kent, UK. This is the first book to tell the story of the bebop subculture in Londons Soho, a subculture that emerged in 1945 and reached its pinnacle in 1950. In an exploration via the intersections of race, class and gender, it shows how bebop identities were constructed and articulated. Combining a wide range of archival research and theory, the book evocatively demonstrates how the scene evolved in Sohos clubs, the fashion that formed around the music, drug usage amongst a contingent of the group, and the moral panic which led to the police raids on the clubs between 1947 and 1950. Thereafter it maps the changes in popular culture in Soho during the 1950s, and argues that the bebop story is an important precedent to the institutional harassment of black-related spaces and culture that continued in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This book therefore rewrites the first chapter of the classic subcultural canon, and resets the subcultural clock; requiring us to rethink the periodization and social make-up of British post-war youth subcultures. Ray Kinsella is a writer and part-time Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of the Arts London, UK.Online resource; title from PDF title page (SpringerLink, viewed December 16, 2022).Intro -- Acknowledgements -- Contents -- List of Figures -- Chapter 1: Introduction -- Overview -- Key Terms: Definitions -- Contribution to Knowledge -- Histories of Jazz in Britain -- Histories of Post-War Youth Subcultures in Britain -- Methodology and Approach -- The Chapters -- References -- Chapter 2: Contextualising Soho, 1800-1945 -- Introduction -- Soho: London's Cosmopolis -- A Short Comparison of Soho with Its Surrounding Imperial Thoroughfares -- The Mythologisation of Soho as a Carnivalesque Place -- Entertainment, Nightlife and Jazz in Soho During the Interwar YearsJazz and the Musicians' Union -- Bottle Parties, 1930-1945 -- Archer Street: A Meeting Point for Musicians -- Popular Music During the War: Swing and Dixieland Jazz -- Summing Up -- References -- Chapter 3: Bebop Music and the Soho Clubs -- Introduction -- Bebop's Roots in New York City -- Contested Notions of Bebop: Bird Versus Diz' -- Music of the Black Atlantic -- Bebop's Reception by the Music Press in Britain -- The Birth of Bebop in Britain: The Fullado Club, Soho, 1945-1947 -- Harlem in Soho -- The Transatlantic Migration of Bebop Records to Britain, 1947 -- Recording and DistributionLocalising Bebop in Soho -- The Tito Burns Sextet and Commercial Bebop -- Metropolitan Bopera House -- The Feldman Club -- Club Eleven -- The Paramount Dance Hall -- Bebop Banned at Wimbledon Palais and on the BBC -- Bebop Banned by the BBC -- Summing Up -- References -- Chapter 4: Men's and Women's Sartorial Style in the Clubs: The Bebop Look -- Introduction -- A Very Brief History of the Traditional Suit -- The Zoot Suit -- Jazz and the Zoot Suit -- The British Version of the Men's Zoot Suit as a Prominent Feature of the Bebop Clubs in Soho -- Black HipstersThe Difference Between the Zoot Suit and the 'Spiv' Suit -- Customising the Zoot Suit Look -- Gangster Chic and the Notion of the Spiv -- The Bebop 'Look' Influences Suburban London Youths Then Spreads All Over England -- The Bebop Style Spreads All Over England -- Women's Sartorial Style in the Soho Bebop Clubs -- A Very Brief History of Women's Fashion in Europe, 1914-1950 -- The Difference Between Women's Bebop Style and Women's Trad Jazz Style in the Clubs in Soho -- Summing Up -- References -- Chapter 5: The Police Raids on the Soho Bebop Clubs, 1947-1950 -- IntroductionDrug Use in the Clubs -- The Police Raids on the Clubs -- The Fullado Club -- Club Eleven -- Paramount Dance Hall -- A Brief History of Drug Fears in Britain -- Miscegenation Fears in Britain After the First World War -- The Return of Pseudo-scientific Racism -- Miscegenation Fears and the 'Colour Bar' During the Second World War -- The Police Raids in Detail -- Summing Up -- References -- Chapter 6: Soho After the Raids -- Introduction -- A Short History of Soho's Bebop Clubs After the Police Raids -- Studio'51 -- The Flamingo Club -- Ronnie Scott's: 'First Place' and Frith Street