The Rise And Fall of Popular Musicby Donald Clarke
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A history of the popular music industry (that is, commercial music) from the English pleasure gardens of the 18th century up to the recent collapse of the retail music industry as we had known it. The book's broad sweep takes in wars, depressions, demography, economics, technical innovation and much more, reminding us that music touches and is touched by everything else in our lives. The cover was designed by Jon Hamilton-Fford.
- BN ID:
- Donald Clarke
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- 3 MB
Meet the Author
Donald Clarke was born in 1940 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He began listening to music on the radio, playing on the kitchen floor while his mother did the ironing; it wasn't long before he could reach the radio dial himself. He worked for ten years in a car factory, attended the University of Wisconsin, and moved to England in 1973, where he worked in publishing; all the while, music was his consuming interest. He moved back to the USA in 1998. His other books include All Or Nothing At All: A Life of Frank Sinatra (also available as a Nook book) and Billie Holiday: Wishing on the Moon (Da Capo). You can see his Encyclopedia of Popular Music on his website at www.donaldclarkemusicbox.com. He now lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania; his wife, Ethne Clarke, is a renowned writer in the field of gardens, gardening and landscape architecture.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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It's a shame that this book is not available as a printed copy, otherwise I would have purchased a copy.
When reviewing books at Barnes and Noble, be careful not to use quotation marks. They turn up in the body of your review as code rather than punctuation, which makes you look like an idiot.
The author of the "review" posted June 24, 2001 is writing about the original edition, out of print for many years, not the revised and updated Nook edition. In any case, he/she writes that the book is "without any sense of the broader historical context", while the reviewers of the first edition found "a bracing synthesis of the whole history of American pop music..." and a "capacity to make connections across decades, and sometimes even centuries" and "a brilliant historian of popular music." I think the majority rules in this case.
Donald Clarke is the author of a respected encyclopedia of popular music, and this book shows it. The book reads as if Clarke had strung together entries from his encyclopedia without any sense of the broader historical context that would grab and sustain a reader's interest. There are large and curious omissions: early white folk music is given scant attention and is crammed into a chapter with the development of blues (which does neither one justice); motivations for important decisions of major players of all genres are missing; the social and economic context of popular music at all stages is barely mentioned. You do, however, get to learn how many of the major figures die, if you're into that sort of thing, but generally not how they grew up musically, or who their influences are. Essentially, this book is a very long list of the members of various bands and the songs they played.