New Books in Music

Interviews with Scholars of Music about their New Books



      Danny Goldberg, “In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea” (Akashic Books, 2017)

      In his new book, In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea (Akashic Books, 2017), Danny Goldberg explores the political, social, and cultural influences of 1967–a pivotal year in American history. Goldberg, who graduated from high…



      Andre Sirois, “Hip-Hop DJs and the Evolution of Technology: Cultural Exchange, Innovation, and Democratization” (Peter Lang, 2016)

      What is the role of the deejay in shaping hip-hop? Did deejays shape the technology that is used to create the music or were they simply consumers of mixers, faders, and microphones? What is the relationship between deejays and the…



      Paul Youngquist, “A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism” (U. Texas Press, 2016)

      The legendary band leader Sun Ra said he came from Saturn. Known on Earth for his inventive music and extravagant stage shows, he pioneered free-form improvisation in an ensemble setting with the devoted band he called the “Arkestra,” Sun Ra…



      James A. Cosby, “Devil’s Music, Holy Rollers and Hillbillies: How America Gave Birth to Rock and Roll” (McFarland, 2016)

      Do you love Rock and Roll or is Rock and Roll music dead? Are you old enough to have put any money in a jukebox to hear your favorite song, watched American Bandstand, or spent any hours viewing music…



      Petra R. Rivera-Rideau, “Remixing Reggaeton: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico” (Duke UP, 2015)

      Puerto Rico is often depicted as a “racial democracy” in which a history of race mixture has produced a racially harmonious society. In Remixing Reggaeton: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico (Duke University Press, 2015), Petra R. Rivera-Rideau…



      Anna Harwell Celenza, “Jazz Italian Style: From its Origins in New Orleans to Fascist Italy and Sinatra” (Cambridge UP, 2017)

      In her new book, Jazz Italian Style: From its Origins in New Orleans to Fascist Italy and Sinatra (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Anna Harwell Celenza examines the arrival of jazz in Italy after World War I and the role of…



      Tyina Steptoe, “Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City” (U. California Press, 2015)

      What do you know about Houston, Texas? That Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States? That Houston was the home of the 2016 NCAA Final Four in basketball and the home of the NFL’s Super Bowl LI…



      Melissa Hidalgo, “Mozlandia: Morrissey Fans in the Borderlands” (Headpress, 2016)

      In Mozlandia: Morrissey Fans in the Borderlands (Headpress, 2016), Melissa Hidalgo examines the world of Morrissey fandom in US-Mexico borderlands. As the frontman of The Smiths, Morrissey is regarded as one of the most influential and iconic musical performers to…



      Ben Westhhoff, “Original Gangtas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap” (Hachette, 2016)

      The real story behind the origin of gangsta rap is difficult to discern. Between the bombastic rhetoric and imagery, the larger-than-life characters, and the subsequent success of many of the individuals, it is hard to know exactly what to believe.…



      David W. Stowe, “Song of Exile: The Enduring Mystery of Psalm 137” (Oxford UP, 2016)

      On today’s program we will be speaking with David W. Stowe about his recent book Song of Exile: The Enduring Mystery of Psalm 137 (Oxford University Press, 2016). Song of Exile weaves together the 2,500-year history of one of the…