Just as THE LAST PARTY caught Britpop in the 90s, and EASY RIDERS and RAGING BULL portrayed Hollywood in the 70s, so ALWAYS MAGIC IN THE AIR brilliantly captures the sweet, baby-boom music scene of New York in the 60s. / Will have great appeal for the many fans, young and old, of Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick and others / Review and feature coverage anticipated from broadsheet and popular press to specialist pop music magazines and radio / Competition: EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULL; THE LAST PARTY;
Ken Emerson is a music journalist, historian, and former editor of the New York Times Magaizine. His previous books include a biography of Neil Sedaka.
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. Agent, Gloria Loomis. (Oct. 20) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
`A magisterial study...scholarly and highly entertaining.' Daily Telegraph
'A loving and exhaustive examination...a stern corrective to anyone who thinks pop music began with the Beatles.' Observer Music Monthly