Music Books

 
       
 
Aug 28, 2016, 03:19 AM

Hey everyone!

I’ve recently been reading a lot of books on musicians, mostly biographies, and I wanted to share a few, and ask for recommendations.

Some of my favorites are:

LA Reid’s biography - Sing to Me
Butch Walker’s Biography - Drinking in Bars with Strangers
The Song Machine by John Seabrook
The Beatles Biography - Bob Spitz

Out of those books, The Song Machine is probably the most educational.

Anyway, let me know what you’re reading!

I make tasty snacks.

Hot and fresh out the kitchen: https://soundcloud.com/kadyrain

 
     
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fat_n_flabby Joined Aug 27, 2016
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Aug 28, 2016, 11:14 AM

I was just eyeballing a Dylan bio I stopped halfway through, hmmm, 2/3’s the way through, thinking I should finish it, “Behind The Shades” by Clinton Heylin. I’ve got a couple others laying around here, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Clive Whozit - a big executive, Cussler?

I recommend “The Craft and Business of Songwriting”, by the late John Braheny. It’s mostly about business, as it was constituted some years ago. It’s changed a lot in recent decades. But much of that data remains accurate. Publishing, contracting, copyright.

These can become your ‘textbooks’ for learning what you need to know to make the transition from hobbyist to commercial endeavor.

What did you learn in “The Song Machine”?

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Jun 10, 2017, 07:32 PM

I spent many years in the jazz world (and still have 1 1/2 feet in it), so I read many biogs on my heroes. Miles (a collaboration with Quincy Troupe) was said to be largely lifted from Jack Chambers’ biog on Davis, but I loved reading his insights on music and takes on Charlie Parker, Jackie McClean, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, etc. He was there, and part of the history. Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson and others wrote good autobiogs. Horace Silver’s was disappointing. Art Pepper’s is riveting, but you’ll hate him: he’s self-aggrandizing, ego-driven and proud of his criminal ‘achievements’. But you won’t be able to put it down.

My fave of all of these is Hampton Hawes’s Raise Up Off Me. He also worked with Parker, and runs down the black side of the LA jazz scene (mostly it’s white players of the so-called ‘cool school’ that got the ink). He’s open about his junkie years and his prison term. (He was pardoned by JFK!). A great read.

As far as what WE do: Alec Wilder’s American Song is indispensable—- though he stops at 1950 and is VERY opinionated. It analyzes many of the great songs in the way only a person of edification and accomplishment could (he was a wonderful songwriter and writer of classical pieces).

There are scholarly works on jazz composers I like (and haven’t hardly cracked—-duuuhhh), such as Walter van de Fleur’s (sp?) Something to Live For: The Music of Billy Strayhorn

For the ‘anecdotal’, there are interview books. My fave is Max Wilk’s They’re Playing Out Song (interviewees include Dorothy Fields, Stephen Sondheim and Johnny Mercer). You can imagine the insights they shared. There’s also Songwriters on Songwriting——more up-to-date, with interviewees Dylan, Rickie Lee Jones, Frank Zappa, etc.

I like Bob Dylan’s comments on songwriting in Chronicles.

Guess that about covers it…

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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