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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1978, the B-52s conquered the New York underground. A year later, the band's self-titled debut album burst onto the Billboard charts, capturing the imagination of fans and music critics worldwide. The fact that the group had formed in the sleepy southern college town of Athens, Georgia, only increased the fascination. Soon, more Athens bands followed the B-52s into the vanguard of the new American music that would come to be known as "alternative", including R.E.M., who catapulted over the course of the 1980s to the top of the musical mainstream. As acts like the B-52s, R.E.M., and Pylon drew the eyes of New York tastemakers southward, they discovered in Athens an unexpected mecca of music, experimental art, DIY spirit, and progressive politics - a creative underground as vibrant as any to be found in the country's major cities. 

In Athens in the 80s, if you were young and willing to live without much money, anything seemed possible. Cool Town reveals the passion, vitality, and enduring significance of a bohemian scene that became a model for others to follow. Grace Elizabeth Hale experienced the Athens scene as a student, small-business owner, and band member. Blending personal recollection with a historian's eye, she reconstructs the networks of bands, artists, and friends that drew on the things at hand to make a new art of the possible, transforming American culture along the way. In a story full of music and brimming with hope, Hale shows how an unlikely cast of characters in an unlikely place made a surprising and beautiful new world.

©2020 Grace Elizabeth Hale (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

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A Trip Back To The Salad Days

I grew up during the Bohemian, post-hippie revival in the Deep South, and this book was a faithful representation of a place that seemed like our Eden. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the performance was easy to listen to as well. Get yourself a copy and travel back in time.

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Athens Ga

I have family from Athens. Both parents went to clark central then Uga in the 70s. My dad worked at the Bells grocery store mentioned in the book. This book is a fascinating detail of Athens GA music/arts even food scene starting in about the mid 70s. Have always loved the allure of Athens outside of just the university and the football team(tho I am huge uga sports fan). Must read for anyone with ties to Athens or anyone semi interested in music and arts during that time. Thank you for writing this.

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Thanks, Beth

Loved learning so much about the Athens I thought I knew. Wonderful perspectives on wonderful times of creativity and activism. A cultural microcosm of openness, mutual support and sophistication.

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