Music History and Criticism +
Mozart in the Jungle
Sex, Drugs, And Classical Music
Paperback ISBN: 0802142532
A journalist explores the backstage lives of classical musicians, uncovering evidence of substance abuse on and off-stage, as well as the privations of professional orchestra musicians who suffer from low salaries and difficult work environments. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
The Most Revolutionary Year in Music
Paperback ISBN: 1250181712
A lively chronicle of the year that shaped popular music forever! More than half a century ago, friendly rivalry between musicians turned 1965 into the year rock evolved into the premier art form of its time and accelerated the drive for personal freedom throughout the Western world. The Beatles made their first artistic statement with Rubber Soul. Bob Dylan released "Like a Rolling Stone, arguably the greatest song of all time, and went electric at the Newport Folk Festival. The Rolling Stones's "Satisfaction" catapulted the band to world-wide success. New genres such as funk, psychedelia, folk rock, proto-punk, and baroque pop were born. Soul music became a prime force of desegregation as Motown crossed over from the R&B charts to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Country music reached new heights with Nashville and the Bakersfield sound. Musicians raced to innovate sonically and lyrically against the backdrop of seismic cultural shifts wrought by the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, psychedelics, the Pill, long hair for men, and designer Mary Quant
Okie from Muskogee
Paperback ISBN: 1501321439
Every now and then, a song inspires a cultural conversation that ends up looking like a brawl. Merle Haggard's Okie from Muskogee, released in 1969, is a prime example of that important role of popular music. Okie immediately helped to frame an ongoing discussion about region and class, pride and politics, culture and counterculture. But the conversation around the song, useful as it was, drowned out the song itself, not to mention the other songs on the live album-named for Okie and performed in Muskogee-that Haggard has carefully chosen to frame what has turned out to be his most famous song. What are the internal clues for gleaning the intended meaning of Okie? What is the pay-off of the anti-fandom that Okie sparked (and continues to spark) in some quarters? How has the song come to be a shorthand for expressing all manner of anti-working class attitudes? What was Haggard's artistic path to that stage in Oklahoma, and how did he come to shape the industry so profoundly at the moment when urban country singers were playing a major role on the American social and political landscape?
Country Music Originals
The Legends and the Lost
Paperback ISBN: 0199732663
Graced by more than 200 illustrations, many of them seldom seen and some never before published, this sparkling volume offers vivid portraits of the men and women who created country music, the artists whose lives and songs formed the rich tradition from which so many others have drawn inspiration. Included here are not only such major figures as Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Fiddlin' John Carson, Charlie Poole, and Gene Autry, who put country music on America's cultural map, but many fascinating lesser-known figures as well, such as Carson Robison, Otto Gray, Chris Bouchillon, Emry Arthur and dozens more, many of whose stories are told here for the first time. To map some of the winding, untraveled roads that connect today's music to its ancestors, Tony Russell draws upon new research and rare source material, such as contemporary newspaper reports and magazine articles, internet genealogy sites, and his own interviews with the musicians or their families. The result is a lively mix of colorful tales and anecdotes, priceless contemporary accounts of performances, illuminating social and historical context, and well-grounded critical judgment. The illustrations include artist photographs, record labels, song sheets, newspaper clippings, cartoons, and magazine covers, recreating the look and feel of the entire culture of country music. Each essay includes as well a playlist of recommended and currently available recordings for each artist. Finally, the paperback edition now features an extensive index.
Woman With Guitar
Memphis Minnie's Blues
Paperback ISBN: 0872866211
Universally recognized as one of the greatest blues artists, Memphis Minnie (1897?1973) wrote and recorded hundreds of songs. Blues people as diverse as Muddy Waters, Johnny Shines, Big Mama Thornton, and Chuck Berry have acknowledged her as a major influence. At a time when most female vocalists sang Tin Pan Alley material, Minnie wrote her own lyrics and accompanied her singing with virtuoso guitar playing. Thanks to her merciless imagination and dark humor, her songs rank among the most vigorous and challenging popular poetry in any language. Woman with Guitar is the first full-length study of the life and work of this extraordinary free spirit, focusing on the lively interplay between Minnie's evolving artistry and the African American community in which she lived and worked. Drawing on folklore, psychoanalysis, critical theory, women's studies, and surrealism, the authors' explorations of Minnie's songs illuminate the poetics of popular culture as well as the largely hidden history of working-class women's self-emancipation. This revised and expanded edition includes a wealth of new biographical material, including photographs, record contracts, sheet music, and period advertisements, which further vivify this portrait of an African American musical legend. Complete, updated discography included. "Woman with Guitar is a fascinating, thorough and extremely valuable biography of one of American musical history's most vibrant and pioneering artists. As the first woman singer/songwriter/ guitarist to ever reach stardom, the story of her life in music, on and off the stage, during one of the most important and formative periods of the origins of popular music, is an indelible, crucial window into that history."?Bonnie Raitt "Woman with Guitar has been, since it was first published in 1992 and now with this new revised and extended edition, still the only real definitive biography of Memphis Minnie, the most important female singer, songwriter and guitarist in the history of Delta blues."?Lucinda Williams "As a most ardent and devoted lifelong fan of Memphis Minnie and her music, I avidly devoured the original Woman with Guitar when it first came out in 1992. Now I am excited to be reading this new edition, and so grateful for it's additional rare photos and carefully researched details, which shed even more light on this seminal, iconic, almost mythical musical pioneer, who was way ahead of her time, and whose soulful music and life so deeply inspired and influenced so many! A must read ? whether you are already a Memphis Minnie fan, or just discovering her for the first time!" ? Maria Muldaur "An excellent book."?Bill Wyman "Woman with Guitar is not simply a carefully researched biography of Memphis Minnie, complied from the memories of her relatives, friends, and fellow performers; it is a vivid portrait of a talented singer and guitarist . . . The authors have added a new dimension to blues scholarship."?Paul Oliver, author of Blues Off the Record "Woman with Guitar is a delight. The book is both thorough and brilliant, a rare combination these days. . . . A fanatic interest in Minnie underpins and energizes this wonderful biography."?David Roediger, author of The Wages of Whiteness Paul Garon is a co-founder of Living Blues magazine and author of The Devil's Son-in-Law and Blues and the Poetic Spirit. Beth Garon is a painter and collagist. The Garons operate a rare-book business in Chicago, Illinois, and have been associated with the US surrealist movement for many years.
A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years
Paperback ISBN: 1610392361
The Doors: a lasting voice, or psychedelic trash? To Greil Marcus they can be both--in the same song. More Doors songs can be heard on the radio today, forty years after Jim Morrison's death, than those of almost any group of their era. Sparked by that fact, and with the deep focus of a critic engaged with his subject, Marcus both revisits a parade of great performances and explores why and how the Doors have endured with their spirit and menace intact. He makes plain that the Doors are at the heart of what Leslie Fiedler called "the mythic life of their generation," and dramatizes how their music still shimmers with the dread that in their time hovered over a country convulsed by assassination and war, and over a city terrorized by the specter of the Manson murders--a dread that, in different forms, with different faces, is with us still.--From publisher description.
Paperback ISBN: 178125642x
Ideas in Profile: Small Introductions to Big Topics Is music a science or an art? It's both, as Andrew Gant reveals in this lively and accessible account of what music is and what it's for. Music has been central to life since the dawn of humankind and is intimately bound up with the origins of language. Andrew Gant introduces us to its long history and its many genres and manifestations. He explains how composers compose, players play and singers sing. He looks at how musical styles develop, the ways they fall in and out of fashion, and why certain kinds of music - dancing and love songs, for example - is a universal in human culture. He considers how music is composed, the nature of genius and the workings of inspiration. He shows how music can be composed and used to stir patriotism, instill courage, reinforce identity, sell a product, or make a political point. And he goes beyond humans to examine music in the natural world in the creativity of birdsong. This is, in short, the ideal introduction to a very big subject.