The late Dr. Robert Lindsay was economics professor at New York University for many years. He was also a trombone student of Stuart Dempster and an enthusiastic participant in the Weekend Warriors at International Trombone Workshops.
Changes in instrumental solo styles sometimes reflect the changing economic and social context from which they emerge. This article explores why the so-called "singing" style of trombone, widely associated with the dance band musician Tommy Dorsey, blossomed to a new level as a working concept in the late 1920's and early 1930's. Why then, and not earlier? The article explores the changing markets for musicians in these years, and the changing technologies available to those musicians.