From Publishers Weekly
In 1965, the boogaloo, a dance akin to the jitterbug as well as the title of a record by a Chicago soul group, leapt out of the communities of black America and swept across America. Since then, insiders in the music industry have used the word boogaloo to describe rhythm and blues, or soul music. Musicologist Kempton traces the genealogy of boogaloo in this grand and sweeping survey of the history of soul music in America. He masterfully narrates the careers of several musicians who played key roles in establishing the legacy of boogaloo. Sam Cooke, for example, molded his sweet and seductive style in his early days with the traveling gospel group, the Soul Stirrers. When Cooke discovered that he could make soul music by simply changing the words of many of the gospel tunes he was crooning, his career took a new and lucrative turn. Kempton also focuses on the ways that boogaloo captured the hearts not only of black Americans but also of white teenagers, driving men like Berry Gordy and the founders of Stax Records to find singers who could capitalize on this crossover appeal. In addition to profiles of Cooke and Gordy, Kempton offers detailed portraits of two other men-gospel great Thomas Dorsey and Parliament Funkadelic's leader, George Clinton-instrumental in making boogaloo the soul of American music. In a brilliant sketch of the history of rap music, Kempton anoints Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre and other rappers as heirs to these R&B musicians, arguing elegantly that hip-hop is modern boogaloo.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Arthur Kempton was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and received a B. A. in English from Harvard. He has been a radio disk jockey, deputy superintendent of Boston’s public school system, and an educational consultant. A frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books
, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.