One the main reasons for my becoming a DJ is my passion for music, specifically American popular music, and I’ve spent the past twenty years exploring the soundtrack of the twentieth century. From Tin Pan Alley and the authors of the American Songbook and its earliest ambassadors in Ragtime, Jazz and Swing, to the the emergence of Rhythm & Blues, Country & Western and Rock ‘n’ Roll. I have always believed that music – and the medium through which it was conveyed – were interwoven, with the latter having an immense impact on the former.
Elijah Wald’s book had me re-think everything I know about music’s history, and as Yoda the great Jedi master once said, “Unlearn what I have learned.”
First let’s make clear that this book is not a Beatles bash fest. On the contrary, the author takes nothing away from the importance and significance of The Beatles, but he does make a very strong argument as to how they could very well have had a greater impact on the course of American popular music then anything that came before or after.
Whether I was nodding my head in agreement or thinking that Mr. Wald was off of his rocker, it was at all times thought provoking. Probably better defined by its non-propagandist subtitle “An Alternative History of American Popular Music” this book takes a very comprehensive and contemplative look at all popular music trends and styles of the twentieth century, and not just The Beatles.
If you love music, read this book… It’s really that good.