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Highway 61 Revisited

Bob Dylan’s Road from Minnesota to the World

Colleen J. Sheehy

The young man from Hibbing released Highway 61 Revisited in 1965, and the rest, as they say, is history. Or is it? From his roots in Hibbing, to his rise as a cultural icon in New York, to his prominence on the worldwide stage, Colleen J. Sheehy and Thomas Swiss bring together the most eminent Dylan scholars at work today—as well as people from such far-reaching fields as labor history, African American studies, and Japanese studies—to assess Dylan’s career, influences, and his global impact on music and culture. The Dylan effect has extended far beyond the United States in recent decades, and the essays here analyze his contribution to the people and cultures of the United Kingdom, Italy, and Japan. With a special focus on his Minnesota roots, including Greil Marcus’s spectacular tour of Dylan’s hometown, authors also take into account his most recent work and Martin Scorsese’s documentary No Direction Home. The first cultural and historical geography of his dramatic rise, storied career, and unmatched iconic status, Highway 61 Revisited maps the terrain of Bob Dylan’s music in the world. Contributors: John Barner, U of Georgia; Daphne Brooks, Princeton U; Court Carney, Stephen F. Austin State U; Alessandro Carrera, U of Houston; Michael Cherlin, U of Minnesota; Marilyn J. Chiat; Susan Clayton; Mick Cochrane, Canisius College; Thomas Crow, New York U; Kevin J. H. Dettmar, Pomona College, Carbondale; Sumanth Gopinath, U of Minnesota; Charles Hughes; C. P. Lee, U of Salford, Manchester, England; Alex Lubet, U of Minnesota; Greil Marcus, U of California, Berkeley; Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Pennsylvania State U; Roberto Polito, The New School; Robert Reginio, Frostburg State U; Heather Stur, U of Southern Mississippi; Mikiko Tachi, Chiba U, Japan; Gayle Wald, George Washington U; Anne Waldman, Naropa U; David Yaffe, Syracuse U.

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I Live Inside

Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland

by Michelle Leon

Babes in Toyland burst onto the Minneapolis music scene in the late 1980s and quickly established itself at the forefront of punk/alternative rock. The all-female trio featured a shy, seventeen-year-old Jewish teen from the suburbs on bass guitar—an instrument she had never played before joining the band. Over the next few years, Michelle Leon lived the rock-and-roll lifestyle—playing live concerts, recording in studios, touring across the United States and Europe, and spending endless hours in stuffy vans, staying in two-star motels, and sleeping on strangers’ couches in town after town. The grind and drama of life in the band gradually wore on Leon, however, and a heartbreaking tragedy led her to rethink her commitment to the band and the music scene. Leon’s sensitive, sensory prose puts readers right on stage with Babes in Toyland while also conveying the uncertainty, vulnerability, and courage needed by a girl who never felt like she fit in to somehow find her place in the world.

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I'll Be Here in the Morning

The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt

Brian T. Atkinson; Forewords by "Cowboy" Jack Clements and Harold F. Eggers Jr.

The writer of such influential songs as “Pancho and Lefty,” “To Live’s to Fly,” “If I Needed You,” and “For the Sake of the Song,” Townes Van Zandt exerted an influence on at least two generations of Texas musicians that belies his relatively brief, deeply troubled life. Indeed, Van Zandt has influenced millions worldwide in the years since his death, and his impact is growing rapidly. Respected singer/songwriter John Gorka speaks for many when he says, “‘Pancho and Lefty’ changed—it unchained—my idea of what a song could be.”   In this tightly woven, intelligently written book, Brian T. Atkinson interviews both well-known musicians and up-and-coming artists to reveal, in the performers’ own words, how their creative careers have been shaped by the life and work of Townes Van Zandt. Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Rodney Crowell, Lucinda Williams, and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the established musicians who share their impressions of the breathtakingly beautiful tunes and lyrics he created, along with their humorous, poignant, painful, and indelible memories of witnessing Van Zandt’s rise and fall.   Atkinson balances the reminiscences of seasoned veterans with the observations of relative newcomers to the international music scene, such as Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Josh Ritter, and Scott Avett (the Avett Brothers), presenting a nuanced view of Van Zandt’s singular body of work, his reckless lifestyle, and his long-lasting influence. Forewords by “Cowboy” Jack Clement and longtime Van Zandt manager and friend Harold F. Eggers Jr. open the book, and each chapter begins with an introduction in which Atkinson provides context and background, linking each interviewee to Van Zandt’s legacy.   Historians, students, and fans of all music from country and folk to rock and grunge will find new insights and recall familiar pleasures as they read I’ll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt.

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I've Been Out There

On the Road with Legends of Rock 'n' Roll

Grady Gaines

In the 1950s, as the leader of the Upsetters, the original backing band for rock pioneer Little Richard, Grady Gaines first exposed the music world to his unique brand of “honkin’,” bombastic, attitude-drenched saxophone playing.

In the years that followed, the Upsetters became the backing band for Sam Cooke and crisscrossed the country as the go-to-band for revue-style tours featuring James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Supremes, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John, and Etta James.

In I’ve Been Out There, the Houston blues and R&B legend Grady Gaines speaks candidly about his sixty-year music career and life on the road supporting some of the biggest names in blues, soul, and R&B. This annotated autobiographical account details Gaines's professional triumphs and personal sacrifices.

The book contains anecdotes about life on the road and in the studio during a period when the entertainment industry was vastly different, affording readers a glimpse into the creative makeup of a man whose distinctive sax playing powered some of the most popular songs of the era, helped define the genre, and mesmerized countless audiences.

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If It Swings, It's Music

The Autobiography of Hawaii's Gabe Baltazar Jr.

Gabe Baltazar, Jr.

Hawai‘i’s legendary jazz musician Gabe Baltazar Jr. has thrilled audiences since the late 1940s with his powerful and passionate playing. In this, the first book on his life and career, Gabe takes readers through the highs, lows, and in-betweens on the long road to becoming one of the very few Asian Americans who has achieved national and international acclaim as a jazz artist. 

Born in 1929 to a Japanese mother and Filipino father, Gabe was largely raised by his maternal grandparents, but at a young age his father, an accomplished musician, encouraged his son to take up the clarinet and saxophone. As a teenager during World War II, Gabe performed with the Royal Hawaiian Band and played weekend dances with Filipino swing bands. By the mid-1950s, he had established himself in the West Coast jazz scene, and in 1960 he became the lead alto saxophonist of the influential Stan Kenton Orchestra. Following a four-year stint with Kenton, Gabe worked as a valued studio musician in Los Angeles, where he recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Oliver Nelson, James Moody, and countless others. In 1969 he returned to Honolulu as assistant director for the Royal Hawaiian Band while taking center stage as Hawaiʻi’s premier jazz artist, a role he admirably fulfilled for over forty years. At 83, Gabe remains active in jazz education and continued to perform at home and abroad until 2010.

Gabe is one of a legion of Hawai‘i musicians who migrated to the Mainland after the war, yet his is the only detailed, firsthand account of that experience. As the quintessential musician’s musician, his reminiscences of working as a valued sideman and studio musician in the years when big bands were disappearing and studio orchestras were being replaced by synthesizers comprise a singular account of jazz in the last half of the twentieth century. His memorable encounters with some of the greatest names in jazz and popular entertainment will delight music fans, while readers of Hawai‘i and Asian-American life-writing will find in this work a fond record of days past told with humor and heart.

12 illus.

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Ignaz Friedman

Romantic Master Pianist

Allan Evans

Allan Evans's groundbreaking biography of Ignaz Friedman gives the reader the behind and the between of the life and career of this extraordinary pianist. Friedman's repertory emphasized the major works of Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms, but he was perhaps best known for his interpretation of the Chopin mazurkas, which by all accounts he played with the same rhythmic nuance as their composer. Evans examines Friedman's life as a cultured Jewish musician from Poland; his studies in Leipzig and Vienna; his marriage to Manya Schidlowsky -- a Russian countess and relative of Tolstoy; and his performing career, teaching, and retirement in Australia.

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Il Trittico, Turandot, and Puccini's Late Style

Andrew Davis

Giacomo Puccini is one of the most frequently performed and best loved of all operatic composers. In Il Trittico, Turandot, and Puccini's Late Style, Andrew Davis takes on the subject of Puccini's last two works to better understand how the composer creates meaning through the juxtaposition of the conventional and the unfamiliar -- situating Puccini in past operatic traditions and modern European musical theater. Davis asserts that hearing Puccini's late works within the context of la solita forma allows listeners to interpret the composer's expressive strategies. He examines Puccini's compositional language, with insightful analyses of melody, orchestration, harmony, voice-leading, and rhythm and meter.

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In Her Own Words

Conversations with Composers in the United States

Jennifer Kelly

This collection of new interviews with twenty-five accomplished female composers substantially advances our knowledge of the work, experiences, compositional approaches, and musical intentions of a diverse group of creative individuals. With personal anecdotes and sometimes surprising intimacy and humor, these wide-ranging conversations represent the diversity of women composing music in the United States from the mid-twentieth century into the twenty-first. The composers work in a variety of genres including classical, jazz, multimedia, or collaborative forms for the stage, film, and video games. Their interviews illuminate questions about the status of women composers in America, the role of women in musical performance and education, the creative process and inspiration, the experiences and qualities that contemporary composers bring to their craft, and balancing creative and personal lives. Candidly sharing their experiences, advice, and views, these vibrant, thoughtful, and creative women open new perspectives on the prospects and possibilities of making music in a changing world.

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In Search of Alberto Guerrero

In Search of Alberto Guerrero is the first full biography of the influential Chilean-Canadian pianist and teacher (1886-1959), describing Guerrero’s long career as virtuoso recitalist, chamber music collaborator, concerto soloist, and teacher. Written by composer John Beckwith, who was a student of Guerrero, the book blends research and memoir to piece together the life of a man who once insisted he had no story.

Guerrero was part of the intellectual scene that introduced Chileans to Debussy, Ravel, Cyril Scott, Scriabin, and Schoenberg. He and his brother played an active role in founding the Sociedad Bach in Santiago. In 1918 Guerrero moved to Toronto, making the Hambourg Conservatory, and later the Toronto (now Royal) Conservatory, his new base. He soon became one of Canada’s most active pianists. In what was then a novel activity, he played regular radio recitals from the mid-1920s to the early 1950s. He was also deeply engaged with issues in piano pedagogy, and worked with young talents including Canada’s much-acclaimed Glenn Gould. But unlike the shadowy role Guerrero is assigned in Gould biographies, here he is given proper credit for his technical and aesthetic influence on the young Gould and on other notable musicians and composers.

Guerrero left few written records, and documentation of his work by others is incomplete and often erroneous. Aiming for a fuller and more accurate account of this remarkably influential and well-loved man, Beckwith’s In Search of Alberto Guerrero gives an insider’s story of the Canadian classical music scene in mid-twentieth-century Toronto, and pays homage to the influential musician William Aide has called an “unsung progenitor.”

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Ina Boyle (1889-1967)

A Composer’s Life

by Ita Beausang and Séamas de Barra

The Irish composer, Ina Boyle (1889-1967), was born in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, where she enjoyed a sheltered childhood as a member of an Anglo-Irish family with roots in the medical, military and diplomatic professions. Her first music teacher was her clergyman father, who made violins for a hobby. She started to compose from an early age and soon found a passion for music that lasted a lifetime, spanning two world wars, the 1916 rebellion, the war of independence, the civil war and the economic war.Ina Boyle studied privately in Dublin with C.H. Kitson and Percy Buck, she had her first success in 1919 when her orchestral rhapsody, ‘The magic harp’, which was selected for publication by the prestigious Carnegie United Kingdom Trust and was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Boult. From 1923, realising the need to expand her musical horizons, she visited London for composition lessons with Ralph Vaughan Williams whenever family duties allowed, until her travels were curtailed by the outbreak of the Second World War. Vaughan Williams thought highly of her works but, despite her best efforts to promote them, few were performed in public. During the 1940s some of her orchestral music was broadcast on Radio Éireann in a series of programmes on Irish composers. After the death of her father in 1951, she was again free to travel to London while devoting the rest of her life to composition. As one of twentieth-century Ireland’s most prolific composers and the first Irishwoman to undertake a symphony, a concerto and a ballet, this first book on the life and music of Ina Boyle is long overdue.

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