Essential for deep-dyed rock fans, collectors, and fans of literate music writing.



A sprawling yet strangely compact history of the years of rock’s golden age.

Austin-based music journalist Ward, co-host of the Let It Roll podcast, sets a daunting task: to say something new about the likes of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, each of which fills libraries of criticism and biography. He answers by going deep here and there while painting a big picture view of the effect those groups had on the world, especially the United States. The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. By 1965, writes the author, “guitar bands were erupting everywhere,” a pack headed by the Byrds but made up of groups as various as the Lovin’ Spoonful, the McCoys, the Bobby Fuller Four, and the bizarre Nightcrawlers, of “Little Black Egg” fame. The Brits captured the most attention during that time, but things were happening on plenty of peripheries: Memphis, for instance, where Otis Redding was working hard to develop an audience and write a hit, and American towns everywhere, where one-hit wonders were doing their thing. “Who were Pidgeon? Rhinoceros? Kak? The Serpent Power? The Wildflower? Zakary Thaks? The Harbinger Complex? Crow?” Ward asks, answering, no one and everyone, sometimes capable of producing songs and artists that would go on to make history, such as guitar wizard David Lindley and Captain Beefheart. Of course, the Stones and the Beatles figure prominently in the narrative, but so do whirlwinds of bands who sometimes turn up a dozen to the page in Ward’s overstuffed narrative. As for the age-old question, Beatles or Stones? Ward delivers a nicely oblique answer: It depends on whether you like live or studio music. By the end of the book, which is full of interesting surprises—e.g., it was Frank Sinatra’s label that took a chance on Jimi Hendrix—readers will have encountered scores of bands they’ve never heard of and plenty of grist for the playlist.

Essential for deep-dyed rock fans, collectors, and fans of literate music writing.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-16519-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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