Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, Volume 1

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Scarecrow Press, Oct 4, 2013 - Music - 1030 pages
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From John Philip Sousa to Green Day, from Scott Joplin to Kanye West, from Stephen Foster to Coldplay, The Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, Volumes 1 and 2 covers the vast scope of its subject with virtually unprecedented breadth and depth. Approximately 1,000 key song recordings from 1889 to the present are explored in full, unveiling the stories behind the songs, the recordings, the performers, and the songwriters.

Beginning the journey in the era of Victorian parlor balladry, brass bands, and ragtime with the advent of the record industry, readers witness the birth of the blues and the dawn of jazz in the 1910s and the emergence of country music on record and the shift from acoustic to electrical recording in the 1920s. The odyssey continues through the Swing Era of the 1930s; rhythm & blues, bluegrass, and bebop in the 1940s; the rock & roll revolution of the 1950s; modern soul, the British invasion, and the folk-rock movement of the 1960s; and finally into the modern era through the musical streams of disco, punk, grunge, hip-hop, and contemporary dance-pop. Sullivan, however, also takes critical detours by extending the coverage to genres neglected in pop music histories, from ethnic and world music, the gospel recording of both black and white artists, and lesser-known traditional folk tunes that reach back hundreds of years.

This book is ideal for anyone who truly loves popular music in all of its glorious variety, and anyone wishing to learn more about the roots of virtually all the music we hear today. Popular music fans, as well as scholars of recording history and technology and students of the intersections between music and cultural history will all find this book to be informative and interesting.

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Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

User Review  - Book Verdict

Sullivan (Bombshells: Glamour Girls of a Lifetime) adds volumes three and four to this set of "popular song recordings." The first two volumes covered songs up to 2012, presenting the "megaclassics ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

If this book can't even get the year right that the Lovin Spoonful recorded their hit song "Do You Believe in Magic?," then it isn't worth reading.


Playlist 2 Down Home Rag 18972005
Playlist 3 Sitting on Top of the World 18902011
Playlist 4 Good Rockin Tonight 19042005
Playlist 5 Jazznocracy 18972010
Playlist 6 Hot Time in the Old Town 18932008
Playlist 7 Fascinating Rhythm 18912008
Playlist 8 Let the Good Times Roll 18952011
Playlist 9 Wasnt That a Time? 18952006
Playlist 10 Memories of You 18892012
Title Index
Subject Name Index

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About the author (2013)

Steve Sullivan is editor and owner of LDI Publications (starting as a reporter in 1985, becoming managing editor in 1989, and its owner since 1999), which publishes the Resort Development Law Reporter and the Digest of State Resort Development Regulations, and also serves as associate editor of the D.C. Real Estate Reporter. Prior to this, he was a freelance writer for Network News, with individual articles placed with various newspapers around the country including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The seeds of this book were planted from 1983-86 when he researched and ghost-wrote Pop Memories 1890-1954: The History of American Popular Music (cover author and editor Joel Whitburn contracted Sullivan under his Record Research, Inc.). He is the author of Va Va Voom; Bombshells: Glamour Girls of a Lifetime; and Glamour Girls: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, and also wrote and edited the magazine Glamour Girls Then and Now from 1994-2002. Sullivan has provided secondary material for some of Joel Whitburn’s Billboard-chart books after 1986, most notably editions of the Pop Annual, as well as fresh research data for a contemplated new edition of Pop Memories.