The Irish-Jewish music stars of the Tin Pan Alley years

A look at some of the fascinating personalities and partnerships who helped to write the Great American Song Book

George M Cohan and Ida Darling in Broadway Jones in 1917. Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

George M Cohan and Ida Darling in Broadway Jones in 1917. Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

To celebrate Heritage Week, we’re focusing on this year’s theme of “past times” - reflecting on the popular culture which came from the movement of Irish people to the Great Melting Pot of New York in the 19th century.

Before the mass production of gramophones, a favourite pastime was to gather around the piano for the playing of “parlour tunes”. A collection of sheet music publishing businesses who catered for this craze gathered around West 28th Street in Manhattan from around 1885. The area would come to be known as Tin Pan Alley.

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