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About the book
  • Published: 27 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9781594632730
  • Imprint: Riverhead
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $26.99
Categories:

Ready For a Brand New Beat: How "Dancing in the Street" Became the Anthem for a Changing America


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Ready for a Brand New Beat chronicles that extraordinary summer of 1964 and showcases the momentous role that a simple song played in history, one that would become an anthem of American pop culture. 

Can a song change a nation?  In 1964, Marvin Gaye, record producer William 'Mickey' Stevenson, and Motown songwriter Ivy Jo Hunter wrote 'Dancing in the Street.'  Recorded at Motown's Hitsville USA studio by Martha and the Vandellas, it was intended as an upbeat dance recording.  But this was the summer of 1964-the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the beginning of the Vietnam War, the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and the lead-up to a dramatic election.  As the country grew more radicalized, 'Dancing in the Street' gained currency as an activist anthem, taking on multiple meanings for many different groups, which were all altered as the country changed. 
Ready for a Brand New Beat chronicles that extraordinary summer of 1964 and showcases the momentous role that a simple song played in history, one that would become an anthem of American pop culture. 
'Mr. Kurlansky has come up with a book that will make you hum its theme song.'  The New York Times 
'Undeniably compelling . . . Kurlansky sure does know how to make his story sing.'  USA Today 
'Comprehensive…Effective…A strong case for why 'Dancing in the Street' would be widely interpreted as a call to action.'  The New Yorker
 

  • Pub date: 27 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9781594632730
  • Imprint: Riverhead
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $26.99
Categories:

About the Author

Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky is the bestselling author of several bestselling nonfiction titles including Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World (winner of the Glenfiddich Best Food Book Award), The Basque History of the World, Salt: A World History, 1968: The Year that Rocked the World, a short story collection The White Man in the Tree and a novel, Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue.

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