Just finished the article "The Music of America" by Roger Scruton, who is a great favorite of mine. Two comments, coming from me, some authority, too, as author of The Rock and Roll Songwriter's Handbook (Scholastics, 1972).
1. What he said. Yeah.
2. Scruton uses the phrase "The great American songbook," seeming to attribute its origin to Terry Teachout. The citation isn't precise; perhaps Teachout makes no such claim. But I point out that Boston DJ Ron Della Chiessa used it as the title of a regular radio broadcast going back nearly two decades.
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