Music (and Music CDs)
The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums
Released on Columbia Records in 1946, The Voice of Frank Sinatra consisted of eight love songs which, though known by the public for years, were given a new musical treatment by the singer’s arranger, Axel Stordahl. The runaway success of this approach set the standard for a new genre of pop and jazz vocal album, the best 57 of which are analysed here, including classic records by Chet Baker, Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan. Slightly off-mint with felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Elvis: The Legend
The Authorized Book from the Graceland Archives
Elvis's career began to take off in 1955 when he was picked up by the shady Dutch-born promoter ’Colonel' Tom Parker, who secured a major recording deal. The contract sent to Elvis's parents (as the singer's guardians) to authorize Parker as manager is one of the items of memorabilia reproduced in this celebration of Elvis's career, which includes many concert and promotional photographs, film stills and posters as well as private snaps and personal documents.
Roots, Radicals and Rockers
How Skiffle Changed the World
Lonnie Donegan’s energetic renditions of American folk and blues songs inspired thousands of teenagers to start skiffle bands in the mid 1950s. Billie Bragg’s analysis of this uniquely British craze shows how it led to the Beatles, British blues and the transformation of Western popular music.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink
The son of a big band singer, Declan McManus emerged from the post Punk era as one of the most significant British songwriters of his generation. This thoughtful memoir discusses his long career and many collaborations with other artists including Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. Felt tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine
Jann Wenner created a new type of magazine with Rolling Stone in 1967, mixing politics with serious pop-music journalism. This biography was written with extensive access to the controversial editor as well as interviews with leading rock stars.
Anatomy of a Song
The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop
This compendium of the popular Wall Street Journal column tells the stories of 45 hits by artists including Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell and The Clash, based on interviews with the songs’ writers and performers. Off-mint.
Philip Norman's history of the Beatles, Shout!, and his biography of John Lennon seemed to take a largely anti-McCartney stance so it was a surprise when Paul gave tacit approval to Norman to write this biography, enabling access to family members and close friends. The result redresses the balance, describing the importance of McCartney's creative leadership in the Beatles and exploring his later career and personal life from the early death of his mother to his highly publicized marriages. Felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
After firing a revolver in the street at the age of 12, Louis Armstrong was sent to the Colored Waif’s Home for Boys in New Orleans, where the harsh conditions were mitigated by the opportunity to play in the band. This succinct biography of the jazz legend describes how he came to dominate the new art form from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Sammy Davis Jr
A Personal Journey With My Father
Faced with the prejudice and segregation of post-war America, Sammy Davis Jr established himself as a mainstream entertainer, famously teaming up alongside Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as part of the Rat Pack. His life was extremely eventful and his experiences included a near-fatal car accident, conversion to Judaism and a prominent interracial marriage. This biography, illustrated with photographs from the family archive, has been compiled from conversations between the star and his daughter.
The Triumph of the Will
How do we come to terms with a great artist who was also a monstrous human being? Richard Wagner was a mass of contradictions: charming, aggressive, radical, reactionary, visionary and virulently anti-Semitic. In this learned account, Simon Callow plunges the reader into the composer’s world, setting his epic music dramas against a turbulent backdrop of poverty, revolution, violent controversy, critical contempt and hysterical hero-worship.
Sounds and Sweet Airs
The Forgotten Women of Classical Music
For centuries female composers have been unjustly ignored and patronized, since they worked within a male-dominated musical culture that sought to exclude them, even to the extent of questioning their music’s authorship. The eight composers profiled here all challenged this prejudice with courage and pragmatism, from Francesca Caccini, who manipulated the gender politics of the Medici court, to Vaughan Williams’ pupil Elizabeth Maconchy, who fought back against sexism by working with ‘rigid self-discipline’.
During the last decade of his life Leoš Janá?ek sent hundreds of passionate letters to Kamila Stösslová, a married woman half his age. Selections from their correspondence are translated in this volume, with linking commentary, photographs and a decoding of the lovers’ erotic references. Their words reveal how much this relationship inspired the composer’s final, greatest works – including the String Quartet ‘Intimate Letters’ – and shed valuable light on his personality.
The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams
A prototype tragic hero for the rock generation to follow, Hank Williams struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse and died before he was 30 on New Year's Day, 1953. This new biography of the country legend describes his childhood of rural poverty, tracing his musical roots to the street corner bluesman he befriended in Alabama, and explores the powerful influence in his life and career of his domineering mother, Millie, and fiery wife, Audrey. Off-mint.
Dreams to Remember
Otis Redding, Stax Records and the Transformation of Southern Soul
Otis Redding (1941–1967) made a seismic impact on American popular culture, and his recordings for the STAX label during the 1960s helped to define the sound of soul music and bring it to the mainstream. Based on interviews and extensive archival research, this chronicle of his life traces his rise from an unknown rural gospel singer to a superstar capable of selling out huge venues across the world. American-cut pages.
The Last Waltz
The Strauss Dynasty and Vienna
An empire was dying, but the band played on, reeling out one intoxicating waltz after another: Voices of Spring, Tales from the Vienna Woods, The Blue Danube… This absorbing narrative tells the story of the two Waltz Kings, Johann Strauss father and son, whose melodies beguiled Europe even as the family was riven with tension, jealousy and feuds, mirroring the dysfunction of the Austrian Empire as it danced and drank its way to catastrophe.
A household name since his prodigious childhood, the violinist and conductor Sir Yehudi Menuhin (1916–99) strove to use his fame to draw attention to many humanitarian issues. Humphrey Burton, who knew Menuhin for 40 years, compiled this biography with full access to his subject’s personal archive; it offers a rounded portrait of his family life and his wide-ranging activities as performer, teacher and ‘musical diplomat’. The preface to this centenary edition highlights Menuhin’s continuing legacy.
Musorgsky & His Circle
A Russian Musical Adventure
The 'Mighty Handful' of five Russian composers who came together in St Petersburg in the 1860s had little musical education, but they created some of the most popular music in the classical repertoire, including Borodin's Prince Igor and Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade. Walsh's study analyses how this rare example of a creative musical collective worked and reveals the crucial role played by their mentor, the art historian Vladimir Stasov, in fostering a Russian nationalist music. Slightly off-mint and American-cut pages.
The Record Players
Describing how dance music evolved and shaped popular culture from the 1950s to the present, this volume is a compilation of interviews with pioneering disc jockeys from the website DJhistory.com, including John Peel, Grandmaster Flash, Paul Oakenfield and Tiësto.