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All Hopped Up and Ready to Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77 Paperback – October 26, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
From the Brill Building to CBGB, from Washington Square Park to the Apollo Theater, New York has been the birthplace and center of an astonishing variety of musical trends. In his richly detailed study of 50 years of the city's most important music history, music journalist Fletcher vividly recreates the birth and evolution of jazz, folk, pop, punk and hip-hop as the strains of these musical styles emerged from the urban cacophony of New York. Drawing on interviews and archives of well-known stories, Fletcher nimbly explores the ways that various musical styles benefit from and grow out of their contact with their surrounding cultures. For example, the music scene of the Lower East Side was a direct product of the area's thriving movements in poetry, filmmaking, avant-garde music and experimental theater. Fletcher chronicles the beginnings of the folk movement in the sing-alongs in Washington Square Park and the opening of the Folklore Center on MacDougal Street in 1957, where musicians could hold hootenannies. Fletcher observes the folk scene on the wane as John Sebastian leaves Jim Kweskin's Jug Band and teams with Canadian Zal Yanovsky, formerly of the Mugwumps (which became the Mamas and the Papas), to form the rock band the Lovin' Spoonful, and provides one of the best brief histories of CBGB. Fletcher's terrific music history captures the teeming life of New York's thriving music scene. (Oct.)
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“In his richly detailed study of fifty years of the city’s most important musical history, music journalist Fletcher vividly recreates the birth and evolution of jazz, folk, pop, punk and hip-hop as the strains of these urban styles emerged from the urban cacophony of New York.”
- Publishers Weekly
“Fletcher’s commentary melds very different cultures to shows interrelationships and how new genres built upon the foundations of predecessors... Anyone interested in popular music and the rich cultural heritage of New York―indeed, of all of the U.S.―should read this book.”
“Thoroughly researched, engaging, and perceptive.”
- Library Journal
“Like Alastair Cooke’s America, All Hopped Up is an unapologetically opinionated overview of zeitgeists that sparked their own theme music.... An indispensable reference book for college students and a survival guide for modern musicians.”
“In All Hopped Up and Ready To Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77, Tony Fletcher has demonstrated extraordinary depth in his research and vibrancy in his writing. Not only was I fascinated by his stories of times and styles about which I knew little, but, in those areas in which I knew a lot, he has connected all the dots for me…oh, yeah, and it’s a damned good read.”
- Mike Stoller
“Fletcher tells the story well.... His gift is enthusiasm.”
- The New York Times Book Review
Top customer reviews
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It also sets the record straight on how a lot of deals and so on went down, without ever digressing into "tell all" mode.
The politics, social scene, and other historical points of interest are also discussed to frame out the why's and how's of what brought each scene together .
Of particular interest to me was the Brill Building era and also the early days of DJ'ing, where you needed more than a soft ware program to beat match and scratch records.
I'd recommend this whether you have a deep knowledge of music or pedestrian. Historical books like this can be a little confusing if you are are totally unfamiliar with the era, but I think the author does a good job of introducing the characters.
Goes along well with " Please Kill Me" and the "Disco Files"
From Count Basie and Fletcher Henderson to Tito Punete; from The Ravens to Billie Ward and the Dominoes; from Leadbelly to Bob Dylan; from the Lovin' Spoonful to the Velvet Underground; from the Fugs to Blondie...Fletcher covers them all...but don't forget about the locations (the Savoy, the Loft); the promoters (Morris Levy, Alan Freed); the composers (Josh White, Leiber and Stoller); the DJs (Murray the K, Nicky Siano)...whew!!
"All Hopped Up and Ready to Go" isn't a listing of people and places. It's a well-written narrative that goes on and on with fascinating facts and stories surely to delight anyone wanting to know about the music instrument and its creators. There is certainly too much information here to digest, but it's a great and worthwhile read you are certain to go back to...if for no other purpose then to hear the songs and see the people he refers to on "YouTube"!!