Cover image for Ready for a brand new beat : how "Dancing in the street" became the anthem for a changing America
Title:
Ready for a brand new beat : how "Dancing in the street" became the anthem for a changing America
ISBN:
9781410461957
Edition:
Large print edition.
Physical Description:
403 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Contents:
Calling out around the world -- Are you ready? -- A brand new beat -- Summer's here -- The time is right for dancing in the street -- It doesn't matter what you wear -- Timeline of the Summer of 1964.
Local Subject:
Summary:
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." The song was recorded at Motown's Hitsville USA Studio by Martha and the Vandellas. Released on July 31, the song was supposed to be an upbeat dance recording--a precursor to disco, a song about the joyousness of dance, the song of a summer. But events overtook it, and the song became one of the anthems of American pop culture. The Beatles had landed in the U.S. in early 1964. By that summer, the '60s were in full swing. 1964 was the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Act, and the lead-up to a dramatic election that completely changed American politics. As the country grew more radicalized in those few months, "Dancing in the Street" gained currency as an activist anthem. The song took on new meanings, multiple meanings, for many different groups that were all altered as the country changed. Told by the writer who is legendary for finding the big story in unlikely places, Ready for a Brand New Beat chronicles that extraordinary summer of 1964 and showcases the momentous role that a simple song about dancing played in our nation's history.--Publisher's description.
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Summary

Summary

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." The song was recorded at Motowns Hitsville USA Studio by Martha and the Vandellas, with lead singer Martha Reeves arranging her own vocals. Released on July 31, the song was supposed to be an upbeat dance recording-a precursor to disco, and a song about the joyousness of dance. But events overtook it, and the song became one of the icons of American pop culture. The Beatles had landed in the U.S. in early 1964. By the summer, the sixties were in full swing. The summer of 1964 was 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 in those few months, "Dancing in the Street" gained currency as an activist anthem. The song took on new meanings, multiple meanings, for many different groups that were all changing as the country changed. Told by the writer who is legendary for finding the big story in unlikely places, Ready for a Brand New Beat chronicles that extraordinary summer of 1964 and showcases the momentous role that a simple song about dancing played in history.


Author Notes

Mark Kurlansky is the author of The Basque History of the World, the New York Times bestseller Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World (among the New York Public Library's Best Books of the Year in 1998), as well as A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry; A Continent of Islands: Searching for the Caribbean Destiny, and several acclaimed works of short fiction and journalism about the Caribbean. He spent seven years as the Caribbean correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.

He lives in New York City.

(Bowker Author Biography)