Within Doris Day’s prolific output as a singer (29 studio albums and over 600 songs on the Columbia Label between 1947 and 1967), the 1965 release of Latin for Lovers testifies not only to her largely forgotten prominence in middle-brow popular music, but should also be understood as giving voice to the white American middle-class during the 1950s and 60s. Day’s album exemplified a prevalent model for cultural production ranging from music to film and fashion where whiteness was at work not only as a concept and as a color, but also as a musical practice. Today Latin for Lovers can serve not merely as a case study for unmasking the unmarked whiteness in the musical mainstream of the 1960s, but it also for shedding light on moments in midcentury culture, where the American ideal of the melting pot gave way to the reality of America as a mosaic.
Berthold Hoeckner is the J.W. Van Gorkom Professor of Music and is Department Chair. His scholarly interests include music since 1800, opera, song, aesthetics, Adorno, music and visual culture, and the social and cognitive psychology of music. His most recent book Film, Music, Memory was published in 2019 by the University of Chicago Press in the Cinema and Modernity Series edited by Tom Gunning. He joined the Department of Music at the University of Notre Dame in 2021 and is a concurrent faculty member in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.
For a Zoom invite, please email Matthew Payne.