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The Northern Soul Scene by Sarah E. Raine et al. (eds.) (2019)

The Northern Soul Scene by Sarah E. Raine et al. (eds.) (2019)

Only a few recent local dance scenes gained enough influence on a global scale, so they could be called some sort of movement; with powerful and addictive rhythms, strong horn sections, strings, highly emotional (shouted) lyrics, an overall richly decorated studio sound, a positive outlook (in the lyrics), a genre of late-1960s soul music, played […]

Devil’s Music, Holy Rollers and Hillbillies: How America Gave Birth to Rock and Roll by James A. Cosby (2016)

Devil’s Music, Holy Rollers and Hillbillies: How America Gave Birth to Rock and Roll by James A. Cosby (2016)

What historically led to the rise of American teenage youth culture and paved the way for rock’n’roll is the subject of James Cosby’s latest book. As examined against the subcultural background of post-war America, and the arrival of new musical impulses from African American culture, teenager’s unknown struggles for autonomy in an altogether anxious and […]

Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation by Nicholas Sammond (2015)

Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation by Nicholas Sammond (2015)

The mere mention of the word ”minstrelsy“ brings back numerous unpleasant, racist, stereotypical and humiliating issues of the past. It is interesting to find out then, that many of the most popular cartoon characters were actually modeled on or even continued the line of minstrelsy characters: the most popular would be Walt Disney’s (early) Mickey […]

Ragged But Right. Black Traveling Shows, “Coon Songs,” and … by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff (2012)

Ragged But Right. Black Traveling Shows, “Coon Songs,” and … by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff (2012)

For several decades, a very distinctive form of African American minstrel show was the most popular form of entertainment for black audiences in the South, its fame covering almost the entire country by and by. The beginning of this art form (that was in parts of the country available until the late 1940s) and its […]