Home Read News Next Week in Music | Nov. 15-21 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Nov. 15-21 • New Books

It's another big week for music memoirs, biographies & more. Read all about ’em.

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The Carpenters and Maria Callas. Motörhead and Shane MacGowan. Beyonce and Bob Dylan. Amy Winehouse and Billy Boy Arnold. Genesis and Woody Guthrie. Pink Floyd and punk rock. Next week’s reading roster really has it all. Now, let’s see if you can read them all:

 


A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan
By Richard Balls

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Punk protagonist, legendary drinker, Irish musical icon. The complete and extraordinary journey of The Pogues’ notorious frontman from outcast to national treasure has never been told — until now. A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan vividly recounts the experiences that shaped the greatest songwriter of his generation: the formative trips to his mother’s homestead in Tipperary, the explosion of punk which changed his life, and the drink and drugs that nearly ended it. As well as exclusive interviews with Shane himself, author Richard Balls has secured contributions from his wife and family, and people who have never spoken publicly about Shane before: close associates, former girlfriends and the English teacher who first spotted his literary gift. Nick Cave, Aidan Gillen, Cillian Murphy, Christy Moore, Sinead O’Connor and Dermot O’Leary are on the rollcall of those paying tribute to the gifted songwriter and poet. This frank and extensive biography also includes many previously unseen personal photographs.”


Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars
By Barry Adamson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A member of seminal new-wave band Magazine, the original bassist in the legendary Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, a Mercury Prize-nominated solo artist, and pioneer of the imaginary soundtrack album — no matter where Barry Adamson’s career has taken him, the result has been consistently impressive. Covering his early life up to the 1990s, this book addresses Adamson’s Mancunian and mixed-race roots, beginning in the late 1950s, through to the highs of his momentous musical achievements and the lows of psychiatric hospitals and drug rehabs. Using a ‘noir’ style of self examination, he also investigates the acute loss of his parents and sister in his early 20s, multiple failed relationships and arrives at the beginnings of a successful Hollywood soundtrack career.”


Carpenters: The Musical Legacy
By Mike Cidoni Lennox & Chris May

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After becoming multimillion-selling, Grammy-winning superstars with their 1970 breakthrough hit (They Long to Be) Close to You, Richard and Karen Carpenter would win over fans worldwide with a record-breaking string of hits including We’ve Only Just Begun, Top of the World and Yesterday Once More. By 1975, success was taking its toll. Years of jam-packed work schedules, including hundreds of concert engagements, proved to be just too much for The Carpenters to keep the hits coming — and, ultimately, to keep the music playing at all. However, Richard and Karen never took their adoring public, or each other, for granted. In Carpenters: The Musical Legacy, Richard Carpenter tells his story for the first time. With candor, heart, and humor, he sheds new light on the Carpenters’ trials and triumphs — work that remains the gold standard for melodic pop. This beautifully illustrated definitive biography, with exclusive interviews and never-before-seen photographs, is a must-have for any Carpenters fan.”


The Flaming Cow: The Making of Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother
By Ron Geesin & Nick Mason

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “By the late 1960s, popular British prog-rock group Pink Floyd were experiencing a creative voltage drop, so they turned to composer Ron Geesin for help in writing their next album. The Flaming Cow offers a rare insight into the brilliant but often fraught collaboration between the band and Geesin, the result of which became known as Atom Heart Mother — the title track from the Floyd’s first U.K. No. 1 album. From the time drummer Nick Mason visited Geesin’s damp basement flat in Notting Hill, to the last game of golf between bassist Roger Waters and Geesin, this book is an unflinching account about how one of Pink Floyd’s most celebrated compositions came to life. Alongside photographs from the Abbey Road recording sessions and the subsequent performances in London and Paris, this new and updated edition of The Flaming Cow describes how the title was chosen, why Geesin was not credited on the record, how he left Hyde Park in tears, and why the group did not much like the work. Yet, more than 50 years on, Atom Heart Mother remains a much-loved record with a burgeoning cult status and an increasing number of requests for the score from around the world. It would appear there’s still life in the Flaming Cow yet.”


Amy Winehouse: Beyond Black
By Naomi Parry

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Amy Winehouse left an indelible mark on both the music industry and pop culture with her soulful voice and bold ’60s-inspired aesthetic. Featuring stories and anecdotes from a wide range of characters connected to Amy, specially commissioned photography of memorabilia, styled and dressed themed sets incorporating Amy’s clothing, possessions, and lyrics, and previously unseen archival images, this volume presents an intimate portrait that celebrates Amy’s creative legacy. Interspersed throughout are personal reflections on Amy’s life and work, provided by her friends, colleagues, and fans. These include Ronnie Spector, Vivienne Westwood, Bryan Adams, Little Simz and Carl Barât, as well as Doug Landlord of The Hawley Arms, tattooist Henry Hate, goddaughter Dionne Bromfield and DJ Bioux. Each one has a personal story to share, and together their anecdotes and reflections build into a complex picture of a much admired but troubled star. Emma Garland puts these insights into context with an introduction that highlights the principal events and achievements in Amy’s life and work, and the key characters that played a part in it. Organized broadly chronologically, the book features newly shot lyric sheets, sketches, and ephemera together with contextual photographs and video stills, including album, single, and promotional artworks and outtakes. Punctuating the story are photographs of dressed room sets each created, designed, and styled especially for the book by Naomi Parry to evoke a period or aspect of Amy’s life or personality, incorporating Amy’s clothing, possessions, lyrics, and other memorabilia.”


By Nora Guthrie & Robert Santelli

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The timely, passionate, and humanely political work of America’s greatest folk singer and songwriter is presented through his own words and art — curated by Woody Guthrie’s daughter — in this essential self-portrait, including never-before published lyrics and personal writing, and testimony from contemporary writers and musicians on his powerful relevance today. Guthrie and his passionate social politics are as crucial today as they have ever been. A powerful voice for justice, and the author of more than 3,000 songs (including This Land is Your Land), he was also a poet, painter, illustrator, novelist, journal keeper, and profuse letter writer. Curated by his daughter Nora Guthrie and award-winning music historian Robert Santelli, this fresh, intimate, and beautifully designed book thematically reveals Woody’s story through his own personal writings, lyrics, and artwork, urgently bringing his voice to life. Featuring never-before-published lyrics to some of his greatest songs, personal diary entries, doodles, quips and jokes, and piercing insights on his politics and justice, this is an undeniable and important celebration of Woody’s vibrant life’s work. Created to be enjoyed by all — those interested in folk music or those interested in Woody’s thoughts on life in all its aspects, from politics and spirituality, to love and family — this book reflects Bob Dylan’s thoughts on Woody Guthrie; “You can listen to his songs and learn how to live.”


Dead Straight Guides: Bob Dylan
By Nigel Williamson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bob Dylan once declared ‘I have no respect for factual knowledge. I don’t care what anybody knows.’ And he has often attempted to confuse and mislead with a stream of misinformation and even downright lies. Yet Dylan’s persistent evasions have only served to enhance his myth and fuel our curiosity. This book sifts the facts, rumor and misinformation to deliver a concise and informative biography of the man and a unique guide to his music, together with insightful reviews of allhis albums, details of his movies, bootleg albums, books and more. What’s more this new fifth edition is bang up to date and includes reviews of his latest album Rough and Rowdy Ways as well as details of his Nobel Prize For Literature speech.”


The Blues Dream of Billy Boy Arnold
By Billy Boy Arnold & Kim Field

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Simply put, Billy Boy Arnold is one of the last men standing from the Chicago blues scene’s raucous heyday. What’s more, unlike most artists in this electrifying melting pot, who were Southern transplants, Arnold — a harmonica master who shared stages with Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, plus a singer and hitmaker in his own right who first recorded the standards I Wish You Would and I Ain’t Got You — was born right here and has lived nowhere else. This makes his perspective on Chicago blues, its players, and its locales all the rarer and all the more valuable. Arnold has witnessed musical generations come and go, from the decline of prewar country blues to the birth of the electric blues and the worldwide spread of rock and roll. Working here in collaboration with writer and fellow musician Kim Field, he gets it all down. The Blues Dream of Billy Boy Arnold is a remarkably clear-eyed testament to more than eighty years of musical love and creation, from Arnold’s adolescent quest to locate the legendary Sonny Boy Williamson, the story of how he named Bo Diddley, and the ups and downs of his seven-decade recording career. Arnold’s tale — candidly told with humor, insight, and grit — is one that no fan of modern American music can afford to miss.”


Prince: Lives Of The Musicians
By Jason Draper

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “His name was Prince, and he was funky. He was also inspiring, infuriating, visionary and otherworldly. Channelling contradictions in search of his own unique truth, he eventually changed his name to an unpronounceable glyph that merged the male and female symbols in an outward expression of his inner dualities. Gifted with the ability to play almost every instrument on his records, and shifting between musical styles as much as he switched-up his looks, he refused to acknowledge boundaries. Instead, he brought opposing forces together in a life-long quest to reconcile a dirty mind with a love for God. In doing so, the mini Minneapolis genius became a world-conquering icon whose towering legacy continues to shape pop culture.”


Beyoncé: Lives Of The Musicians
By Tshepo Mokoena

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Beyoncé is not simply a pop sensation. She is a cultural phenomenon empowering the oppressed and dispossessed, challenging white privilege and misogyny and exploding gender politics. But who is Beyoncé Knowles-Carter? And how did a small girl from Houston become the strong confident woman whose albums sell in their millions and whose songs have become anthems against racial and sexual discrimination and oppression? This biography sets out to reveal exactly that.”


Motörhead: Fast & Loose: Snapshots from the Graham Mitchell Archive, 1977-1982
By Graham Mitchell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of the most influential hard rock bands of all time, Motörhead mixed rock, punk, and heavy metal into an aggressive blend of pure explosive energy. Between 1977 and 1982, the classic “three amigos” lineup of the band (Lemmy Kilmister, Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, and “Fast” Eddie Clarke) toured relentlessly, and recorded a half dozen classic albums that continue to impact the music world today. During that period, Graham Mitchell was, in his own words, “their tour manager, their babysitter, their procurer of women, their procurer of drugs, procurer of everything.” Somehow, in the midst of the whirlwind, Graham managed to pick up his camera and snap amazing images of the group that document the raw power of the band with an intimacy that only an insider could capture. Presented in large format and featuring nearly 100 snapshots, many that have never been seen before, Fast & Loose is an inside look at a one-of-a-kind group that is essential for any diehard fan.”


Genesis in the 1970s: Decades
By Bill Thomas

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Few, if any bands, have been as prolific or consistently creative as Genesis were in the 1970s, both together and apart. Across that decade, the mothership released eight studio and two live albums, played a thousand concerts and launched the solo careers of four of its members. Through it all, they weathered the departures of Anthony Phillips, Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett, ending the decade as a self-contained trio of Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford, one that was about to become the biggest band in the world. For many though, the 1970s represents their artistic peak as a hothouse for incredible songwriters. It made for a combustible, heady brew when those talents were all harnessed in the service of the band, helping create the progressive rock genre, pioneering the multimedia concert experience, as well as making a rakishly worn daffodil the headgear of choice for the cognoscenti. Genesis began the decade by playing before an audience of one and asking if he had ‘any requests?’ and ended it by headlining the Knebworth Festival in front of 80,000 fans. This book tells the whole story of that tumultuous decade, on record and on stage, together and apart.”


John Gunn: Musician Scholar in Enlightenment Britain
By George Kennaway

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The Scottish cellist and antiquarian John Gunn (1766-1824) is unique among British writers on music in the late 18th and early 19th century. Learned and practical, at home in classical and modern languages, knowledgeable in a wide range of musical topics and with even wider-ranging interests, and committed to the ideal of progress through rational thought, he typified the Enlightenment. His published output was large and diverse: a cello treatise in two quite different editions; two books on the flute and one on the piano; a treatise on figured bass; a history of the harp in the Highlands; and a translation of a French work of music theory. The list of his unrealised publications is even longer, including a proof of the oriental origins of the Scots. He married Anne Young, a well-known Edinburgh piano teacher, and his letters cast new light on the circumstances and date of her death. Taking account of Gunn’s diverse experiences as a musician-scholar in Cambridge, London and Edinburgh, studying his sundry occupations, and exploring his social connections through a recently unearthed cache of his letters, this study moves away from ‘treatise archaeology’ and offers a broader view than is usually possible with such figures.”


33 1/3: Maria Callas’s Lyric and Coloratura Arias
By Ginger Dellenbaugh

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “More than 40 years after her death, the legend of Maria Callas, ‘La Divina Assoluta,’ remains unsurpassed. Much has been written about her sensational opera career and fraught private life, from her definitive mastery of iconic opera roles to her love affairs and tantrums. The prototype for the 20th century celebrity diva, Callas emblematizes the cliche of tormented talent — genius in the ring with catastrophe. Her extraordinary voice, in particular, has become an object of cult-like adoration and cultural significance almost with a life of its own: As fetish object, as sophisticated sonic signifier, and most recently, as the lifeblood for a Callas hologram. Such adoration is not without consequences. When Callas is transformed into a vessel for such transcendent magic, it overshadows what is perhaps her most superhuman ability — the masterful technique she deployed to shape and craft her astounding instrument. Singing bodies are working bodies, enacting an intimate and complex form of artistic labor and cultural signification. Using one of Callas’s first recital recordings from 1954, this book envisions each aria as a lens to examine various aspects of vocalization and cultural reception of the feminized voice in both classical and pop culture, from Homer’s Sirens to Star Trek. With references to works by Marina Abramovic, Charles Baudelaire, Michel Chion, Wayne Koestenbaum, Greil Marcus and Farah Jasmine Griffin, as well as films by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jonathan Demme and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, each chapter explores phenomena unique to the singing voice, including the operatic screaming point, the politics of listening, and the singing simulacrum.”


Jefferson Airplane: Every Album, Every Song
By Richard Butterwort

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jefferson Airplane are among the few rock groups genuinely to qualify as unique, although they were not the only exemplar of the 1960s San Francisco sound: The Grateful Dead could equally claim to be the Summer of Love’s house band. Comprising mainly vocal harmonies, two guitars, bass and drums, Airplane boasted no unusual instrumentation. The band’s music was superficially derivative of many of their predecessors. They drew on the folk traditions of The Weavers and Pete Seeger; of legendary bluesmen Gary Davis and B.B. King; of soul giant Otis Redding; improvisatory masters from Miles Davis to Cream and even literary visionaries such as James Joyce and Lewis Carroll. Airplane shaped these influences into a single entity of one ex-model, two ex-folkies, one ex-jazzer and two ex-DC guitar slingers, setting them in Haight-Ashbury’s dreamily LSD-drenched hippie heartland in 1966, then watching them burn fierce and bright before their decline with the death of that psychedelic dream. More than any other, the band and their recorded output were synonymous with the birth and death of the hippie era. his is the only work on Jefferson Airplane to combine a concise history of this magnificent ensemble incisive, entertaining reviews of its entire recorded canon.”


Beatboxing: How Hip-hop Changed the Fight Game
By Todd D. Snyder

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Daryl McDonald of the iconic rap group Run-D.M.C. once argued that Muhammad Ali’s ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ was hip-hop’s most famous lyric. Ali’s poetic brilliance, ignited by cornerman and hype man Drew “Bundini” Brown, supplied the template for how hip-hop artists forged their identities and performed their art. Ali’s influence on hip-hop culture is undeniable. Hip-hop’s impact on boxing, on the other hand, has yet to be explored. Until Now. In Beatboxing: How Hip-Hop Changed the Fight Game, Todd Snyder uncovers the unique connection between hip-hop and the sweet science, tracing a grassroots cultural movement from its origins in the South Bronx to its explosion across the globe and ultimately into the charged environment of the prize ring. Presented thematically, the stories in this collection focus on the fighters and rappers who forever transformed both worlds. From Mike Tyson to Tupac, from Roy Jones Jr. to J. Prince, Snyder digs deep into the lyrics, personalities, and fights that drove these subcultures together. Step into a world of rap moguls turned fight promoters, boxers turned rappers, and rappers turned boxers. Explore how a cultural collision altered the relationship between popular music, race, sports, and politics. In Beatboxing, Snyder shows both how boxing has been shaped by hip-hop and how boxing continues to inspire hip-hop artists in the United States and abroad.”


Beats By Design: An Illustrated Inventory Of The Most Important Hip Hop Producers Vol. 1
By Stefano “J.O.D” Marinelli

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With Beats by Design, I wish to pay homage to the figure of the producer, artist, and visionary genius who often opts to stay behind the big spotlights while creating new musical trends and influencing entire generations. There are 60 illustrations of producers in this first volume that contains the greatest exponents of hip hop culture, from its dawn to the early 2000s. The selection of producers was made based on the impact and influence they had and still have on rap music and other genres, record sales, and hits well positioned in the charts. Each producer is represented by an illustration, as well as a short biography, their most famous productions, my personal list of their favorite songs, and an inventory of instruments used to make the music. There are anecdotes, teachings, and thoughts about the art of beatmaking, insights both into the music industry and the rap game, and so much more, everything told by the producers themselves through interviews released during their careers.”


Sue Kwon: Rap Is Risen – New York Photographs 1988-2008
By Sue Kwon

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The last decade of the 20th century into the first decade of the 21st represent a High Renaissance age of hip-hop — an era in which rap music had reached critical mass and was exploding, and in which New York City itself witnessed the worldwide ascension and cultural domination of its powerful homegrown art form. In Rap Is Risen: New York Photographs 1988–2008, celebrated photographer Sue Kwon documents this era with a combination of incisive portraits and unposed, spontaneous images that capture the energy of these ascendant artists and the city itself. With access to some of rap music’s biggest legends — some stars already, some at the cusp of their fame — Kwon’s work offers an intimacy rarely seen in the hip hop photography of the time. The Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Big Pun, Eminem, Mobb Deep, Beastie Boys, Big L, Ice Cube, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest are all represented here, as well as dozens of other DJs and artists that communed with Kwon to produce these images. Method Man brushing his teeth, Fat Joe playing softball in the Bronx, Prince Paul kissing his baby son — the trust inherent between subject and photographer is evident in intimate, joyful shots like these. Giving a rare glimpse into real rap culture, and featuring 300 photographs, most of which have never been published before, Rap Is Risen is a necessary offering to music history and the faithful followers of hip-hop.”


Funk & Soul Covers
By Joaquim Paulo, Julius Wiedemann

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following the success of Jazz Covers, this epic volume of groove assembles over 500 legendary covers from a golden era in black music. Psychedelia meets Black Power, sexual liberation meets social conscience, and street portraiture meets fantastical cartoon in this dazzling anthology of visualized funk and soul. Gathering both classic and rare covers, the collection celebrates each artwork’s ability to capture not only a buyer’s interest, but an entire musical mood. Browse through and discover the brilliant, the bold, the outlandish and the sheer beautiful designs that fans rushed to get their hands on as the likes of Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Michael Jackson and Prince changed the world with their unique and unforgettable sounds. Featuring interviews with key industry figures, Funk & Soul Covers also provides cultural context and design analysis for many of the chosen record covers.”


Punk Identities, Punk Utopias: Global Punk and Media
By Russ Bestley, Mike Dines, Matt Grimes & Paula Guerra

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Punk Identities, Punk Utopias unpacks punk and the factors that shape its increasingly complex and indefinable social, political, and economic setting. The third offering in Intellect’s Global Punk series, produced in collaboration with the Punk Scholars Network, this volume examines the broader social, political, and technological concerns that affect punk scenes around the world, from digital technology and new media to gender, ethnicity, identity, and representation. Drawing on scholarship in cultural studies, musicology, and social sciences, this interdisciplinary collection will add to the academic discussion of contemporary popular culture, particularly in relation to punk and the critical understanding of transnational and cross-cultural dialogue.”


Poetic Song Verse: Blues-Based Popular Music and Poetry
By Mike Mattison & Ernest Suarez

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Poetic Song Verse: Blues-Based Popular Music and Poetry invokes and critiques the relationship between blues-based popular music and poetry in the 20th and 21st centuries. The volume is anchored in music from the 1960s, when a concentration of artists transformed modes of popular music from entertainment to art-that-entertains. Musician Mike Mattison and literary historian Ernest Suarez synthesize a wide range of writing about blues and rock — biographies, histories, articles in popular magazines, personal reminiscences, and a selective smattering of academic studies — to examine the development of a relatively new literary genre dubbed by the authors as ‘poetic song verse.’ They argue that poetic song verse was nurtured in the ’50s and early ’60s by the blues and in Beat coffee houses, and matured in the mid-to-late sixties in the art of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Gil Scott-Heron, Van Morrison, and others who used voice, instrumentation, arrangement, and production to foreground semantically textured, often allusive, and evocative lyrics that resembled and engaged poetry. Among the questions asked in Poetic Song Verse are: What, exactly, is this new genre? What were its origins? And how has it developed? How do we study and assess it? To answer these questions, Mattison and Suarez engage in an extended discussion of the roots of the relationship between blues-based music and poetry and address how it developed into a distinct literary genre. Unlocking the combination of richly textured lyrics wedded to recorded music reveals a dynamism at the core of poetic song verse that can often go unrealized in what often has been considered merely popular entertainment. This volume balances historical details and analysis of particular songs with accessibility to create a lively, intelligent, and cohesive narrative that provides scholars, teachers, students, music influencers, and devoted fans with an overarching perspective on the poetic power and blues roots of this new literary genre.”


Five Straight Lines: A History of Music
By Andrew Gant

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Whether you prefer Baroque or pop, Theremins or violins, the music you love and listen to shapes your world. But what shaped the music? Ranging across time and space, this book takes us on a grand musical tour from music’s origins in prehistory right up to the 21st century. Charting the leaps in technology, thought and practice that led to extraordinary revolutions of music in each age, the book takes us through medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy and Jazz era America to reveal the rich history of music we still listen to today. From Mozart to McCartney, Schubert to Schoenberg, Prof. Andrew Gant brings to life the people who made the music, their techniques and instruments, as well as the places their music was played, from sombre churches to rowdy taverns, stately courts to our very own homes.”


Music, Lyrics, and Life: A Field Guide for the Advancing Songwriter
By Mike Errico

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Music, Lyrics, and Life is the songwriting class you always wish you’d taken, taught by the professor you always wish you’d had. It’s a deep dive into the heart of questions asked by songwriters of all levels, from how to begin journaling to when you know that a song is finished. With humor and empathy, acclaimed singer-songwriter Mike Errico unravels both the mystery of songwriting and the logistics of life as a songwriter. Alongside his own lessons, Errico interviews the writers, producers, and A&R executives behind today’s biggest hits and investigates the larger questions of creativity through lively conversations with a wide range of innovative thinkers: astrophysicist Janna Levin explains the importance of repetition, both in choruses and in the exploration of the universe; renowned painter John Currin praises the constraints of form, whether it’s within a right-angled canvas or a three-minute pop song; bestselling author George Saunders unpacks the hidden benefit of writing, and revising, authentically; and much more. The result is that Music, Lyrics, and Life ends up revealing as much about the art of songwriting as it does about who we are, and where we may be going.”


On the Road: Recording the Stars in a Golden Era of Live Music
By David W. Hewitt

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This book tells the story of a life spent on the road recording the rich diversity of music in America when it was a major part of our lives, not just digital background noise. For music fans, there was a golden era of live music, stretching from the 1960s through the 1980s, and even evolving into the 1990s, if you want to be generous. In the pre-digital era, music fans spent a large part of their free time (and money) listening to their favorite artist’s recordings. It was an analog world so if they wanted to hear the music, they actually had to listen to the radio, buy the records, and go to the concerts. Popular artists had long performed live concerts in the major markets, but it took rock ‘n’ roll to make national touring a viable business. Touring sound systems grew from scratch to keep up with larger and larger venues. Likewise, the ability to record those shows had to grow as well. The rudimentary collection of semi-professional gear grew into full-blown remote recording studios to keep up with the demand for live records, films, and broadcasts. The truly wonderful thing about the remote recording business was the author experienced so many different musical cultures. Where else could you go from recording a tour with The Rolling Stones to a TV special with Muhammad Ali at the Apollo Theater? How about the season opening of Carnegie Hall on PBS TV (with a different major orchestra every year) to Frank Zappa’s annual Halloween show? Or maybe a Yoko Ono tour behind the 1980s Iron Curtain to Eagles in modern Australia? Then there are worldwide live broadcasts like the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards to intimate jazz settings with Miles Davis or Wynton Marsalis. Compare the grandeur of the Metropolitan Opera to the irreverent comedy of Saturday Night Live. On the Road contains the stories of recording all that music live in its natural habitat, the clubs, theaters, concert halls, and arenas.”


Country Music Goes to War
By Charles K. Wolfe & James E. Akenson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “While Toby Keith suggests that Americans should unite in support of the president, Dixie Chicks assert their right to criticize the current administration and its military pursuits. Country songs about war are nearly as old as the genre itself, and the first gold record in country music went to the 1942 war song There’s a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere by Elton Britt. The essays in Country Music Goes to War demonstrate that country musicians’ engagement with significant political and military issues is not strictly a twenty-first-century phenomenon. The contributors examine the output of country musicians responding to America’s large-scale confrontation in recent history: World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the cold war, 9/11, and both conflicts in the Persian Gulf. They address the ways in which country songs and artists have energized public discourse, captured hearts, and inspired millions of minds.”


Mountaineer Jamboree: Country Music in West Virginia
By Ivan M. Tribe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Jamboree! To many country music fans the word conjures up memories of Saturday nights around the family radio listening to live broadcasts from that haven of hillbilly music, West Virginia. From 1926 through the 1950s, as Ivan Tribe shows in his lively history, country music radio programming made the Mountain State a mecca for country singers and instrumentalists from all over America. Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, Little Jimmy Dickens, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Red Sovine, Blaine Smith, Curly Ray Cline, Grandpa Jones, Cowboy Loye, Rex and Eleanor Parker, Lee Moore, Buddy Starcher, Doc and Chickie Williams, and Molly O’Day were among the many who came to prominence via West Virginia radio. Wheeling’s WWVA Jamboree, first broadcast in 1933, attracted a wide audience, especially after 1942, when the station increased its power. The show’s success spawned numerous competitors, as new stations all over West Virginia followed WWVA’s lead in headlining country music. The state also played an important role in the early recording industry. The Tweedy Brothers, Frank Hutchison, Roy Harvey, Blind Alfred Reed, Frank Welling and John McGhee, Cap and Andy, and the Kessinger Brothers were among West Virginians whose waxings contributed to the state’s reputation for fine native musicianship. So too did those who sought out and recorded the Mountaineer folksong heritage. As Nashville’s dominance has grown since the 1960s, West Virginia’s leadership in country music has lessened. Young performers must now seek fame outside their native state. But, as Ivan Tribe demonstrates, the state’s numerous outdoor festivals continue to keep alive the heritage of country music’s “mountain mama.”


Kentucky Folkmusic: An Annotated Bibliography
By Burt Feintuch

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1899, a fundraising program for Berea College featured a group of students from the mountains of eastern Kentucky singing traditional songs from their homes. The audience was entranced. That small encounter at the end of the last century lies near the beginning of an unparalleled national — and international — fascination with the indigenous music of a single state. Kentucky has long figured prominently in our national sense of traditional music. Over the years, a diverse group of people — reformers, enthusiasts, the musically literate and the musically illiterate, radicals, liberals, a British gentleman and his woman companion, amateurs, local residents, and academics — have been sufficiently captivated by that music to have devoted considerable energy to harvesting it from its fertile ground, studying its various manifestations, and considering its many performers. Kentucky Folkmusic: An Annotated Bibliography is a guide to the literature of this remarkable music. More than seven hundred entries, each with an evaluative annotation, comprise the largest bibliographic resource for the folkmusic of any state or region in North America.”