Emerson (Doo-Dah!: Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture) enthusiastically chronicles the lives and careers of seven songwriting teams whose pioneering work from the late 1950s through the mid '60s ushered rock and roll into mainstream America. From Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, and Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman came enduring hits like "On Broadway" and "Yakety-Yak." Emerson follows their progress as competitors, lovers and collaborators, creating a hagiography of these ambitious, often classically trained (and often Brooklyn-bred) tyros, influenced as much by the great American songbook as New York City's Latin, soul and doo-wop sounds. Emerson also depicts a music industry in flux, shifting idols from Sinatra to Elvis and learning to cater to a lucrative youth market. Seldom short on gossip, this dense mix of biography, music analysis and social history offers an upbeat reading of rock history. It begs for a fuller discussion of the influences of Motown, the British invasion and payola, but Emerson's affectionate tone, delight in the songwriter's craft and extensive research are fortifying—much like the classics he celebrates.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Many of the early sixties' most memorable songs, such as "Up on the Roof," "Stand by Me," and "Walk on By," were penned in small offices in Manhattan's Brill Building, the midcentury version of the fabled Tin Pan Alley. Virtually all the songwriters were Brooklyn Jews who fell in love with black music and worked in duos, many of which were married couples. The first contingent, including Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, were heavily influenced by R & B; the second, including Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and Burt Bacharach and Hal David, were more pop-oriented. The era ended when the songwriters followed the industry to L.A., which lacked the urban edge that fueled their work in New York. The Brill Building may have been a music factory, but its sweatshop workers brought craftsmanship to teen music and added a distaff element to rock's boys' club. Emerson effectively evokes a milieu whose output remains fondly remembered--and frequently rerecorded--to this day. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One of the best books about American popular music ever written. The "Brill" songwriters in the very early 60s were the bridge between the Tin Pan Alley/Great American... Read morePublished 6 months ago by the.original.jeff
This is the most comprehensive account of the late 50s and early 60s Brill Building era that I have come across. Read morePublished 10 months ago by D. Gurner
VERY IN-DEPTH HISTORY OF THE MOST FAMOUS ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL. NEW YORK DID FOR ROCK, WHAT NASHVILLE DID FOR COUNTRY.Published 13 months ago by Dana Carrier
This book was great paired with Spotify.com music streaming app.
Spotify has all the songs and you can listen to them right after reading about the weird ways
that many... Read more
An exceptional book,due to its research and level of writing.....and,also,not the least,because of the writer's love of his topic and the music involved. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Paul Larsen
I am a Doc Pomus fan and this book fills in many holes in my knowledge of his era. Pretty amazing time!Published 16 months ago by Paul Brewer
So many of these songs were part of my youth, and to see how they came to be, plus the insights to the people and characters was so very fascinating. Read morePublished 16 months ago by dreyna
Ken Emerson has written an entertaining broad overview of a significant era and slice of the American pop music business, focusing on the New York-based songwriters and business... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Howard Mandel