Traditional pop or classic pop or standards music denotes, in general, Western (and particularly American) popular music that either wholly predates the advent of rock and roll in the mid-1950s, or to any popular music which exists concurrently to rock and roll but originated in a time before the appearance of rock and roll, and its offshoots, as the dominant commercial music of the United States and Western culture. (For a definition of "Traditional pop" see .) The terms pop standards or (where relevant) American standards are used to denote the most popular and enduring songs from this style of music. More generally, the term "standard" can be used to describe any popular song that has become very widely known within mainstream culture.
Classic pop embraces the song output of the Broadway and Hollywood show tune writers from approximately World War I to the 1950s, such as Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein, Johnny Mercer, Dorothy Fields, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter and a host of others. The works of these songwriters and composers are usually considered part of the canon known as the "Great American Songbook".
The big band era further developed the genre of "pop standards". Bandleaders like Tommy Dorsey, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, and Count Basie continued to innovate. Big band singers, who had previously been considered instrumentalists and were rarely singled out, now became huge stars, like Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Shore.
The genre was embodied by a remarkable and diverse group of singers, writers and stylemakers. Jazz pioneers Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Paul Whiteman first popularized jazz music among a diverse audience. Meanwhile the Tin Pan Alley and Broadway songwriters popularized the "Great American Songbook". Soon afterward, radio introduced millions of Americans to the same songs, often written by artists like Hoagy Carmichael, or sung in a more soothing, personal style by crooners like Rudy Vallee or Bing Crosby.
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