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Love for Sale: Pop Music in America by David…
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Love for Sale: Pop Music in America

by David Hajdu

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A very light-hearted, personalized look at the author's late night forays into pop music via his transistor radio (which left him partially deaf in the ear he and his radio slept on). Hadju covers every historical base - race music, punk, blues, folk, swing, disco, rap, rock, soul, cowboy ballads, American Songbook. He gives props and credit where it's due. Love For Sale reads as though you were speaking with an old friend who grew up when you did, and each 45, every album mentioned, evokes the thrill and the passion of the sounds, times, and places. ( )
1 vote froxgirl | Dec 20, 2016 |
David Hajdu’s “Love For Sale: Pop Music in America” is an insightful and enjoyable survey of the key genres and aspects of American popular music and its surrounding culture. It is neither a chronological treatise nor a fully comprehensive study, but rather a series of essays, generally light in tone, infused with good humor, and filled with anecdotes and insights from the author’s perspective over the years as a music journalist as well as his childhood recollections. Hajdu’s title premise that all popular music has been basically selling love and sex is only loosely and sporadically woven through the essays; overall, he paints a much broader picture of the evolving role of popular music and its continuing significance. Rather than a dry scholarly approach, this instead is a fun and refreshing take on the history of pop music aimed clearly at the casual music lover. ( )
  ghr4 | Nov 14, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374170533, Hardcover)

A personal, idiosyncratic history of popular music that also may well be definitive, from the revered music critic

From the age of song sheets in the late nineteenth-century to the contemporary era of digital streaming, pop music has been our most influential laboratory for social and aesthetic experimentation, changing the world three minutes at a time.

In Love for Sale, David Hajdu―one of the most respected critics and music historians of our time―draws on a lifetime of listening, playing, and writing about music to show how pop has done much more than peddle fantasies of love and sex to teenagers. From vaudeville singer Eva Tanguay, the “I Don’t Care Girl” who upended Victorian conceptions of feminine propriety to become one of the biggest stars of her day to the scandal of Blondie playing disco at CBGB, Hajdu presents an incisive and idiosyncratic history of a form that has repeatedly upset social and cultural expectations.

Exhaustively researched and rich with fresh insights, Love for Sale is unbound by the usual tropes of pop music history. Hajdu, for instance, gives a star turn to Bessie Smith and the “blues queens” of the 1920s, who brought wildly transgressive sexuality to American audience decades before rock and roll. And there is Jimmie Rodgers, a former blackface minstrel performer, who created country music from the songs of rural white and blacks . . . entwined with the sound of the Swiss yodel. And then there are today’s practitioners of Electronic Dance Music, who Hajdu celebrates for carrying the pop revolution to heretofore unimaginable frontiers. At every turn, Hajdu surprises and challenges readers to think about our most familiar art in unexpected ways.
Masterly and impassioned, authoritative and at times deeply personal, Love for Sale is a book of critical history informed by its writer's own unique history as a besotted fan and lifelong student of pop.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 19 Aug 2016 17:13:56 -0400)

From the age of song sheets in the late nineteenth century to the contemporary era of digital streaming, pop music has been our most influential laboratory for social and aesthetic experimentation, changing the world three minutes at a time. Hajdu shows how pop has done much more than peddle fantasies of love and sex to teenagers. Exhaustively researched and rich with fresh insights, Love for Sale details pop music from Eva Tanguay, who upended Victorian conceptions of feminine propriety, to Blondie, the scandal of disco; from Bessie Smith and the 'blues queens' of the 1920s to Jimmie Rodgers, a former blackface minstrel performer who created the country music sound. At every turn, Hajdu surprises and challenges readers to think about our most familiar art in unexpected ways. --… (more)

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