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Posted: 3/19/2013 1:27:52 PM EDT
Very interesting.

Dramatic shifts in popular culture are usually assumed to result from naturally occurring forces such as changing tastes (did people get sick of hearing "In the Mood"?) or demographics (were all those new parents of the postwar baby boom at home with junior instead of out on a dance floor?). But the big bands didn't just stumble and fall behind the times. They were pushed.

In 1944, a new wartime cabaret tax went into effect, imposing a ruinous 30% (later merely a destructive 20%) excise on all receipts at any venue that served food or drink and allowed dancing. ... [I]n the next few years, struggling nightclub owners were trying every which way to avoid having to foist the tax on customers.

The tax-law regulation's ... exception had the biggest impact. Clubs that provided strictly instrumental music to which no one danced were exempt from the cabaret tax. It is no coincidence that in the back half of the 1940s a new and undanceable jazz performed primarily by small instrumental groups—bebop—emerged as the music of the moment.

"The spotlight was on instrumentalists because of the prohibitive entertainment taxes," the great bebop drummer Max Roach was quoted in jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's memoirs, "To Be or Not to Bop." "You couldn't have a big band because the big band played for dancing."

The federal excise tax inadvertently spurred the bebop revolution: "If somebody got up to dance, there would be 20% more tax on the dollar. If someone got up there and sang a song, it would be 20% more," Roach said. "It was a wonderful period for the development of the instrumentalist." ...

The cabaret tax dropped to 10% in 1960 and was finally eliminated in 1965. By then, the Swing Era ballrooms and other "terperies" were long gone, and public dancing was done in front of stages where young men wielded electric guitars.


Link Posted: 3/19/2013 1:33:44 PM EDT
Interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 1:34:06 PM EDT
AWB will spawn Phased plasma rifles
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 1:38:19 PM EDT
Interesting read.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 1:43:13 PM EDT
This was discovered during a taxpayer funded study on the origins of "Bebop."
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 1:43:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2013 1:44:47 PM EDT by mcantu]
NYC still requires places where people dance to get a special cabaret license or face a fine. this applies to any type of busines.

having candles in a bar or restaurant also requires an 'open flame' permit
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