An illuminating look at how James Brown became an icon of the 60s, a musical pioneer, and an eccentric character frequently in trouble with the law. Complex, thorny, and very much a product of the time and place he was born into, James Brown became a musical revolutionary and a player in the civil rights movement despite a childhood of deprivation. This book is a welcome investigation into the life of a man who has still never gotten his due as a musician and band leader, and a man for whom success was never enough to erase the effects of a life lived as a poor African American in the early part of the 20th century. Well written, well read, and well worth the time it takes to listen.
Warren Zanes gives us a personal look at his history with this acclaimed Dusty Springfield album, as well as the details of its creation. Dusty in Memphis is sort of an improbable classic, made by a singer whose personal problems were overcome by the strength of the material and by the collaborators she chose, such as soul music producer extarordinaire Jerry Wexler. Northerner Zanes details his fascination with the mysteries of the exotic South, a fascination shared by British soul singer Springfield, who traveled to Memphis to try to capture the spirit of soul music at its source.
I stumbled upon the world of typography by accident and have become fascinated with the vast, arcane universe that lies behind the printed words we take for granted. Anyone who is interested in the strange history of how everyday things come into being, or the entertainingly eccentric symbology and politics of letterforms will love this collection of short chapters dealing with type creators, typefaces and their impact on everyday life.
There's a fascinating history of the development of radio in the second half of the 20th century hiding inside this book, which in the way it is read, and in the way it is written, is too much of a Baby Boomer "oh, yeah, remember when?" chronicle for listeners who didn't grow up in the era. If you can stand the nostalgia, it's a good listen.
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