A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America

Overview


". . . extraordinarily far-reaching. . . . highly accessible."
-Notes

"No one has written this way about music in a long, long time. Lucid, insightful, with real spiritual, political, intellectual, and emotional grasp of the whole picture. A book about why music matters, and how, and to whom."
-Dave Marsh, author of Louie, Louie and Born to Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story

"This book is urgently needed: a comprehensive look at the various forms of black popular music, both as ...

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Overview


". . . extraordinarily far-reaching. . . . highly accessible."
-Notes

"No one has written this way about music in a long, long time. Lucid, insightful, with real spiritual, political, intellectual, and emotional grasp of the whole picture. A book about why music matters, and how, and to whom."
-Dave Marsh, author of Louie, Louie and Born to Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story

"This book is urgently needed: a comprehensive look at the various forms of black popular music, both as music and as seen in a larger social context. No one can do this better than Craig Werner."
-Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University

"[Werner has] mastered the extremely difficult art of writing about music as both an aesthetic and social force that conveys, implies, symbolizes, and represents ideas as well as emotion, but without reducing its complexities and ambiguities to merely didactic categories."
-African American Review

A Change Is Gonna Come is the story of more than four decades of enormously influential black music, from the hopeful, angry refrains of the Freedom movement, to the slick pop of Motown; from the disco inferno to the Million Man March; from Woodstock's "Summer of Love" to the war in Vietnam and the race riots that inspired Marvin Gaye to write "What's Going On."

Originally published in 1998, A Change Is Gonna Come drew the attention of scholars and general readers alike. This new edition, featuring four new and updated chapters, will reintroduce Werner's seminal study of black music to a new generation of readers.

Craig Werner is Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, and author of many books, including Playing the Changes: From Afro-Modernism to the Jazz Impulse and Up Around the Bend: An Oral History of Creedence Clearwater Revival. His most recent book is Higher Ground: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, and the Rise and Fall of American Soul.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472031474
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 1/9/2006
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : "what's going on"
1 The dream 3
2 Mahalia and the movement 4
3 "The soul of the movement" : calls and responses 11
4 Motown : money, magic, and the mask 15
5 The Big Chill vs. Cooley High : two out of three falls for the soul of Motown 22
6 Sam Cooke and the voice of change 31
7 Solid gold coffins : Phil Spector and the girl group blues 37
8 SAR and the ambiguity of integration 40
9 "The times they are a-changin'" : Port Huron and the folk revival 44
10 Woody and race 49
11 "Blowin' in the wind" : politics and authenticity 53
12 Music and the truth : the birth of southern soul 56
13 Down at the crossroads 65
14 Soul food : the mid-south mix 72
15 Dylan, the brits, and blue-eyed soul 79
16 The minstrel blues 85
17 Otis, Jimi, and the summer of love : from monterey to woodstock 89
18 Last thoughts on the dream : Dot and Diana 94
19 Sly in the smoke 103
20 Death warrants : LBJ, Martin, and the liberal collapse 106
21 "All along the watchtower" : Jimi Hendrix and the sound of Vietnam 109
22 'Retha, rap, and revolt 116
23 "Spirit in the dark" : Aretha's gospel politics 121
24 Jazz warriors : Malcolm and Coltrane 125
25 "Black is an' black ain't" : JB, Miles, and Jimi 137
26 Curtis Mayfield's gospel soul 144
27 John Fogerty and the mythic south 151
28 "Trouble comin' every day" : southern strategies and the revolution on TV 158
29 Troubled souls : Wattstax and Motown (West) 165
30 "Where is the love?" : Donny Hathaway and the end of the dream 172
31 Reflections in a mirror ball 177
32 Reverend green and the return of Jim Crow 179
33 Demographics 101 : hard times in Chocolate City 183
34 Black love in the key of life 187
35 Jimmy Carter and the Great Quota Disaster of 1978 191
36 Roots : the messages in the music 197
37 God love sex : disco and the gospel impulse 203
38 Disco sucks 209
39 Punks and pretenders 212
40 Rebellion or revolution : Bruce Springsteen and the clash 218
41 P-funkentelechy 226
42 Redemption songs : Bob Marley in Babylon 230
43 The message : hip-hop and the South Bronx 236
44 Welcome to the Terrordome 245
45 Springsteen and the Reagan rules 246
46 The problem of healing in the hall of mirrors 251
47 The view from black America 253
48 The way it was and the way it is 257
49 Brer Rabbit and Tar Baby 260
50 Run-D.M.C. negotiates the mainstream 262
51 "A hero to most" : Elvis in the eighties 263
52 Megastardom and its discontents : Michael and Madonna 271
53 Duke Ellington for our time : the symbol formerly known as prince 277
54 West Africa is in the house 281
55 "Bring the noise" : the new school rap game 284
56 "Know the ledge" : KRS-one, Rakim, and the gangstas 290
57 "Born in the U.S.A." : Springsteen and race 297
58 Wasteland of the free 307
59 American dreaming 309
60 C.R.E.A.M., or, tupac on death row 314
61 No more drama : Mary J. Blige and the hip hop generation 319
62 The gospel impulse gets crunk : OutKast and the dirty south 330
63 Ozomatli and the myth of purity : notes on the browning of America 338
64 The gospel impulse (remixed) : Bruce Springsteen, Kirk Franklin, and Lauryn Hill 348
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