Music | Prepub Alert, April 2024 Titles

A Beatles oral history, folk music chronicles, and more music books to create a reading melody.








Brown, Peter & Steven Gaines. All You Need Is Love: An Oral History of the Beatles. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781250285010. $32. MUSIC

A companion of sorts to Brown and Gaines’s 1983 best-selling The Love You Make, this history is comprised of the interviews with Paul, Ringo, and George (as well as Yoko Ono and many who knew the Beatles intimately) that were used as research for that earlier title. With a 200K-first copy printing.

Kaskowitz, Sheryl. A Chance To Harmonize: How FDR’s Hidden Music Unit Sought To Save America from the Great Depression—One Song at a Time. Pegasus. Apr. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781639365715. $29.95. MUSIC

Award-winning author Kaskowitz (“God Bless America”: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song) investigates the New Deal musical initiative, part of the homestead program meant to build community and boost morale, which laid the foundation for the folk-music revival and led to a collection of over 800 songs.

Maxwell, Tom. A Really Strange and Wonderful Time: The Chapel Hill Music Scene, 1989–1999. Hachette. Apr. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780306830587. $30. MUSIC

A former member of the Squirrel Nut Zippers recounts the heady indie rock scene in North Carolina during the ’90s. Through interviews and contextualizing personal history, Maxwell takes readers into the music world, focusing on Superchunk, Ben Folds Five, Hootie and the Blowfish, and more.

Suárez-Pajares, Javier & Walter Aaron Clark. A Light in the Darkness: The Music and Life of Joaquín Rodrigo. Norton. Apr. 2024. 400p. ISBN 9781324004455. $39.99. MUSIC

Composer of the Concierto de Aranjuez, Rodrigo directly inspired Miles Davis, but his work, crafted during the cultural and political upheaval of Franco’s Spain, captured audiences beyond the jazz great. In this first English-language biography, two professors of musicology explain his importance and influence.

Wald, Elijah. Jelly Roll Blues: Censored Songs and Hidden Histories. Hachette. Apr. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780306831409. $30. MUSIC

Grammy winner and best-selling author Wald (Dylan Goes Electric!; Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues) focuses on Jelly Roll Morton, a key figure in the development of jazz. Diving deep, Wald uses Morton’s music to explore the beginnings of the popular-music scene and of Black culture at the dawn of the 20th century.

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