Everybody knows and loves the American Songbook. But it's a bit less widely understood that in about 1950, this stream of great songs more or less dried up. All of a sudden, what came over the radio wasn't Gershwin, Porter, and Berlin, but Come on-a My House and How Much Is That Doggie in the Window? Elvis and rock and roll arrived a few years later, and at that point the game was truly up. What happened, and why?
In The B Side, acclaimed cultural historian Ben Yagoda answers those questions in a fascinating piece of detective work. Drawing on previously untapped archival sources and on scores of interviews - the voices include Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb, Linda Ronstadt, and Herb Alpert - the book illuminates broad musical trends through a series of intertwined stories. Among them are the battle between ASCAP and Broadcast Music, Inc.; the revolution in jazz after World War II; the impact of radio and then television; and the bitter, decades-long feud between Mitch Miller and Frank Sinatra.
The B Side is about taste, and the particular economics and culture of songwriting, and the potential of popular art for greatness and beauty. It's destined to become a classic of American musical history.
From the 1960s graffiti proclaiming 'Clapton is God', to his seminal work in supergroup Cream and his phenomenally successful solo career, Eric Clapton has achieved the status of bona fide living legend and enduring icon.
Now in his sixth decade in the music business, he occupies an exulted position at the pinnacle of the rock world thanks to songs like Layla, Wonderful Tonight and Tears In Heaven, and for many is considered the greatest guitarist who ever lived. This book will chart his rise to stardom in the 60s and his unparalleled success since walking out of the Yardbirds as a 20-year-old to follow his chosen path of the blues with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and later with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker in supergroup Cream, as well as his successful solo career. However, his success has come at a price.
Once a happy well-adjusted boy, the young Clapton was devastated by the realisation at the age of nine that the woman he thought was his sister was in fact his mother, and that the couple he thought were his parents were his maternal grandparents. His treatment by his mother was also to shape his future turbulent relationships with the women in his life, including his failed first marriage to model Pattie Boyd, who was married to Clapton's close friend George Harrison when he fell for her.
Motherless Child also chronicles his battles with the demons of drugs and alcohol, his successful journey to sobriety, and examines his legacy as one of the most influential musicans of his generation. This is essential reading for any Clapton fan.
Akira Kurosawa is one of the most recognisable and influential film directors in the world, with Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Altman, Martin Scorcese and George Lucas all naming him as a major benchmark in their own filmmaking. This new biography by his long-time friend and collaborator gives the reader a priveleged look into the life and working processes of the director of Rashomon (Daiei, 1950) and Seven Samurai (Columbia, 1954).
Ridley Scott's Blade Runner is widely regarded as a masterpiece of modern cinema and is regularly ranked as one of the great films of all time.
Set in a dystopian future where the line between human beings and 'replicants' is blurred, the film raises a host of philosophical questions about what it is to be human, the possibility of moral agency and freedom in 'created' life forms, and the capacity of cinema to make a genuine contribution to our engagement with these kinds of questions.
This is the first book to systematically explore and address these kinds of issues from a philosophical point of view. Beginning with a helpful introduction, seven specially commissioned chapters examine questions such: How is the theme of death explored in Blade Runner and with what implications for our understanding of the human condition? What can we learn about the relationship between emotion and reason from the depiction of the 'replicants' in Blade Runner? How are memory, empathy, and moral agency related in Blade Runner? How does the style and 'mood' of Blade Runner bear upon its thematic and philosophical significance? Is Blade Runner a meditation on the nature of film itself?
Including a brief biography of the director and a detailed list of references to other writings on the film, Blade Runner is essential reading for students - indeed anyone - interested in philosophy and film studies. Contributors: Colin Allen, Peter Atterton, Amy Coplan, David Davies, Berys Gaut, Stephen Mulhall, C. D. C. Reeve.
Published to coincide with Technicolors centennial in 2015, The Dawn of Technicolor recounts the beginnings of one of the most widely recognized names in the American film industry.
Following its incorporation in 1915, Technicolor developed a series of two-colour processes as necessary steps toward full-colour photography and printing. Despite success in the laboratory and in small-scale production, the company was plagued by repeated disappointments. With the support of patient investors and the visionary leadership of Herbert T. Kalmus, Technicolor eventually persevered against daunting odds to create the only commercially viable colour process for motion pictures.
The Dawn of Technicolor investigates the vital make-or-break years, as the firm grew from a small team of exceptional engineers into a multimillion-dollar corporation. The authors chart the making of pivotal films in the process, from the troubled productions of Ben-Hur (1925) and The Mysterious Island (192629), to the early short films in Technicolors groundbreaking three-color process: Walt Disneys animated Flowers and Trees (1932) and the live-action La Cucaracha (1934).
The book spotlights the talented engineers and filmmakers associated with Technicolor and the remarkable technical innovations that finally made color films practical, changing the film industry forever.
Before the Second World War the Hollywood box office was booming, but the business was accused of being too foreign, too Jewish, too 'un-American'. Then the war changed everything.
With Pearl Harbor came the opportunity for Hollywood to prove its critics wrong. America's most legendary directors played a huge role in the war effort: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Between them they shaped the public perception of almost every major moment of the war.
With characteristic insight and expert knowledge Harris tells the untold story of how Hollywood changed World War II, and how World War II changed Hollywood.