A década começa com Mickey em seu papel mais famoso - como o aprendiz de feiticeiro em "Fantasia" . O curta começou a ser produzido ainda em 1938, e foi sincronizado com a peça clássica "O Aprendiz de Feirticeiro" de Paul Dukás. Mas o projeto ficou tão caro para um curta, que Walt Disney resolveu incorporar o desenho de Mickey em um projeto muito maior chamado "Fantasia" - onde os segmentos animados seria inspirados e sincronizados com versões originais ou adaptadas de peças clássicas de Beethoven, Tchaikovski, Stravinski e Schubert.

1940 : Carmen Miranda parte para os Estados Unidos, em 3 de outubro, para iniciar uma carreira de 15 anos de sucesso, com 13 filmes, mais de 30 discos e incontáveis aparições em teatros, programas de rádio e televisão.

O swing, dançante e palatável, agradava imensamente às multidões durante a época da guerra. Mas em 1945 surge um estilo muito mais radical e que fazia menos concessões ao gosto popular, o bebop, que seria revisto, radicalizado e ampliado nos anos 50.

Os musicais estavam por cima nessa década, e foram realizados filmes clássicos, brilhantes e até hoje nunca esquecidos. Como "High Society", com Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby e Louis Armstrong para embalar essa história ao som de sua música.

Em 1944 Vicente Minelli dirige o sensacional "Meet Me in ST. Louis".

Gene Kelly incorporava um estilo popular e fez parte da fase de ouro do gênero musical em Hollywood, nos anos 40 e 50. Coube ao produtor Arthur Freed reunir na Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer os maiores talentos da época, a frente e atrás das cameras, para realizar as obras-primas: O Pirata (1948), Um Dia em Nova York (1949).

O musical chega a maioridade ao som de George Gershwin, letras de Ira Gershwin, roteiro de Alan Jay Lerner, direção de Vicente Minelli e coreografia de Gene Kelly: Sinfonia de Paris (An american in Paris, 1951.)



1940: Seeking an alternative to ASCAP, a group of radio industry leaders forms Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) as the second U.S. performing rights organization. BMI now represents more than 300,000 songwriters and publishers, with about 4.5 million compositions.

1941: Guitarist Les Paul designs and builds one of the first solid-body electric guitars (Adolph Rickenbacker had marketed a solid body guitar in the 1930s; Leo Fender was also a pioneer in solid body electric guitar design). The Gibson Les Paul guitar, introduced in 1952, becomes one of the most popular models.

Ever the innovator, in 1947 Paul records "Lover" featuring eight multi-tracked electric guitars, all played by him.

1941: Woody Guthrie joins the Almanac Singers, a folk group with a decidedly leftist political passion formed the previous year by Pete Seeger, Lee Hays and Milliard Lampell. Over the next year or so the group performed with the likes of Leadbelly, Josh White, Burl Ives, Sis Cunningham and Bes Hawes.

After recording just two albums -- the anti-war "Songs for John Doe" and the pro-labor "Talking Union" -- the members of the Almanacs were blacklisted for their political associations and activities. They disbanded in 1942, but had already paved the way for generations of folksingers to come. Seeger and Hays later formed the Weavers, while Lampell became a successful songwriter and novelist. The prolific Guthrie wrote hundreds of songs that are entrenched in the fabric of America, including "This Land Is Your Land," and made numerous recordings, mainly for Folkways and RCA.

1942: Songwriter Johnny Mercer founds Capitol Records, with movie producer B.G. "Buddy" DeSylva and Glenn Wallichs, owner of Los Angeles record store Music City.

1942: Crooner Bing Crosby, already a major star, performs the Irving Berlin song "White Christmas" for the movie musical "Holiday Inn," in which he also co-stars. The song wins an Academy Award, and goes on to become one of the best-selling records of all-time.

1944: Aaron Copland debuts his American folk music-inspired "Appalachian Spring," written for Martha Graham's dance company. The work wins a Pulitzer Prize and emerges as a popular concert performance piece on its own, eventually becoming one of the most widely known 20th-century classical compositions.

1944: Jazz promoter Norman Granz borrows $300 to put on a jazz concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles. The concert and its many sequels give prominence to concert jam sessions and put live jazz recordings on the map. Illinois Jacquet, Les Paul, J.J. Johnson, Nat King Cole and Red Callendar are among the players.

Subsequent national tours and recordings through 1957 (many still available on Verve) will be seminal in the development of bebop, and give wide exposure to such giants as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Benny Carter, Ben Webster and Oscar Peterson, among many others.

1947: With a $10,000 investment from his dentist (Dr. Vahdi Sabit), Ahmet Ertegun founds Atlantic Records with Herb Abramson of National Records.

1947: The 12-inch 33 1/3 RPM LP record is invented, introduced to the public the following year by Columbia.

1949: RCA-Victor develops and releases the first 45 rpm record to the public.

1949: After stints with bebop pioneer Charlie Parker, Miles Davis joins with arranger Gil Evans to create the legendary album "The Birth of the Cool" (Blue Note), the trumpeter's first major recording and the precursor to the cool-jazz movement.

Throughout his career, the insatiably curious Davis would plunge into new territory, including hard bop, modal jazz (epitomized by his 1959 Columbia album "Kind of Blue"), jazz-rock electric fusion (beginning with 1969's "In a Silent Way" and climaxing with "Bitches Brew," recorded the same year) and jazz-funk fusion (the brilliant 1972 album "On the Corner"). Not only a stunning horn blower, Davis would become a profound bandleader whose members -- from John Coltrane to Wayne Shorter -- would go on to their own acclaim as a result of his tutelage.

1949: Hank Williams debuts on the "Grand Ole Opry" performing "Lovesick Blues" and is called back to the stage for an unprecedented six encores. "Lovesick Blues" stays at No. 1 on Billboard's country singles chart for 16 weeks. Williams remained with the Opry until 1952 when he was fired from the cast. A year later, he died at age 29.