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Tony Fletcher is the author of several music biographies, most notably Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon and a novel set in New York's clubland Hedonism. He lived in New York City for two decades and now resides in the Catskill Mountains. His journalism has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the world and can also be found at his website www.ijamming.net
Fletcher (Moon: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend), who has worked in the music industry as a producer, consultant, and DJ, here examines styles that were developed and evolved on the streets of New York City from 1927 to 1977, covering jazz, blues, Brill Building pop, doo-wop, folk, punk rock, hip-hop, and disco. Fletcher provides compelling and convincing evidence on why New York and its unique cultural mix were essential to all of these scenes. He studies in detail how music that developed on the streets became important commercial genres and examines the intersections of all the styles over the 50-year period he discusses. Verdict This thoroughly researched, engaging, and perceptive book is aimed at all readers and doesn't duplicate anything that's already out there. Anyone with any interest in popular music in New York City will want to read it.-James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
From the Brill Building to CBGB, from Washington Square Park to the Apollo Theater, New York has been the birthplace and center of an astonishing variety of musical trends. In his richly detailed study of 50 years of the city's most important music history, music journalist Fletcher vividly recreates the birth and evolution of jazz, folk, pop, punk and hip-hop as the strains of these musical styles emerged from the urban cacophony of New York. Drawing on interviews and archives of well-known stories, Fletcher nimbly explores the ways that various musical styles benefit from and grow out of their contact with their surrounding cultures. For example, the music scene of the Lower East Side was a direct product of the area's thriving movements in poetry, filmmaking, avant-garde music and experimental theater. Fletcher chronicles the beginnings of the folk movement in the sing-alongs in Washington Square Park and the opening of the Folklore Center on MacDougal Street in 1957, where musicians could hold hootenannies. Fletcher observes the folk scene on the wane as John Sebastian leaves Jim Kweskin's Jug Band and teams with Canadian Zal Yanovsky, formerly of the Mugwumps (which became the Mamas and the Papas), to form the rock band the Lovin' Spoonful, and provides one of the best brief histories of CBGB. Fletcher's terrific music history captures the teeming life of New York's thriving music scene. (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Tony Fletcher has demonstrated extraordinary depth in his research and vibrancy in his writing. Not only was I fascinated by his stories of times and styles about which I knew little, but, in those areas in which I know a lot, he has connected all the dots for me...Oh, yeah, and it's a damn good read.' Mike Stoller, Leiber & Stoller I enjoyed this book almost as much as I originally enjoyed all the music it covered. Peter Buck R.E.M. This is the first time I had seen anyone attempt to chronicle the whole of New York's popular music, and Tony is remarkably successful in his endeavour. Chris Stein Blondie Fletcher's narrative hurtles along like a high-speed cab ride down broadway **** MOJO Magazine