The italian gangster and the tightfisted jew became

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no better. The Italian gangster and the tightfisted Jew became stock characters in radio programming.  The phonograph was not far behind the radio in importance. The 1920s saw the record player enter  American life in full force. Piano sales sagged as phonograph production rose from just 190,000 in 1923 to 5  million in 1929. The popularity of jazz, blues, and "hillbilly" music fueled the phonograph boom. The novelist  F. Scott Fitzgerald called the 1920s the "Jazz Age"--and the decade was truly jazz's golden age. Duke  Ellington wrote the first extended jazz compositions; Louis Armstrong popularized "scat" (singing of  nonsense syllables); Fletcher Henderson pioneered big band jazz; and trumpeter Jimmy McPartland and  clarinetist Benny Goodman popularized the Chicago school of improvisation.  The blues craze erupted in 1920, when a black singer named Mamie Smith released a recording called  "Crazy Blues." The record became a sensation, selling 75,000 copies in a month and a million copies in  seven months. Recordings by Ma Rainey, the "Mother of the Blues," and Bessie Smith, the "Empress of the  Blues," brought the blues, with their poignant and defiant reaction to life's sorrows, to a vast audience.  "Hillbilly" music broke into mass culture in 1923, when a Georgia singer named "Fiddlin' John" Carson sold  500,000 copies of his recordings. Another country artist, Vernon Dalhart sold 7 million copies of a recording  of "The Wreck of Old 97." "Country" music's appeal was not limited to the rural South or West; city folk, too,  listened to country songs, reflecting a deep nostalgia for a simpler past. 
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The single most significant new instrument of mass entertainment was the movies. Movie attendance  soared, from 50 million a week in 1920 to 90 million weekly in 1929. According to one estimate, Americans 
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