Ready for a Brand New Beat

Kurlansky, Mark. Ready for a Brand New Beat: How “Dancing in the Street” Became the Anthem For a Changing America. New York: Riverhead Books, 2013.

Don’t be fooled by the title. This work is much bigger than the humble beginnings and subsequent impact of just one song. Retracing the musical roots of rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock and roll Kurlansky tackles the history of these musical genres (and the musicians who played them) and leaves no stone unturned. The best part of this book was the unveiling of the profound impact technology had on music. As technology continues to change the course of marketing music, buying music, and listening to music it is worth remembering that this trend started a long time ago.

There is one prediction I can make about this book. Whether Kurlansky intends for this to happen is another matter, but I bet people will be reaching for their old Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley albums after reading Ready for a Brand New Beat.

Favorite part: in the acknowledgments Kurlansky thanks Steve Jordan. That is too cool.

Reason read: As part of the Early Review program for LibraryThing…

Author fact: Mark Kurlansky is one of Pearl’s “Too Good To Miss” authors.

Book trivia: Kurlansky thanks drummer Steve Jordan, one of my favorites.



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