Over the past century recorded music has echoed from phonographs, jukeboxes, car radios, televisions, portable Walkmen, and a multitude of contemporary digital devices. In addition to general listeners and record buyers, music scholars have become interested in audio imagery and prominent themes in lyrics. This volume continues that academic tradition. However, it should be noted that rather than just naming isolated subjects in specific songs, this investigation probes for clusters of ideas that constitute important audio themes. This is the sixth of several volumes in the "Persistent Themes" Series being sponsored by The Paw Paw Press. Each volume examines a few highly important general themes by breaking them down into component topics and illustrating several recordings that constitute the framework for both the smaller topics and the over-arching themes. In one earlier volume, for example, the authors identified "Metropolitan Centers" as an important lyrical theme. They gathered hundreds of recordings that illustrate this theme and arranged these songs by topic, such as "Chicago", "Dancing Cities," "Detroit", "Hometown Reveries" "Kansas City", "Los Angeles", and so on. Thus the general theme was justified by the large number of recordings attributed to each of the related sub-topics.
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B. Lee Cooper is a freelance writer and popular music critic. He has been a professor of history and American culture, a dean of students, a provost and vice president for academic affairs, and a university president. He holds degrees from Bowling Green State University (B.S., 1964), Michigan State University (M.A., 1965), Ohio State University (Ph.D., 1971), and Newman University (D.H.L., 2009). He also studied at the Institute for Educational Management (I.E.M., 1980) at Harvard University. Dr. Cooper has an avid interest in 20th Century American popular music. He collects blues, doo-wop, rockabilly, and rock 'n' roll CDs. His scholarly pursuits in popular music include bibliography, discography, song theme identification, and biographical studies. Dr. Cooper has authored more than 500 book and record reviews and over 150 articles that have appeared in 40 different scholarly journals and music magazines. He has also published 36 books, including A RESOURCE GUIDE TO THEMES IN CONTEMPORARY SONG LYRICS, 1950-1985 (Greenwood Press, 1986), ROCK MUSIC IN AMERICAN POPULAR CULTURE -- 3 Volumes (Haworth, 1995, 1997, 1999), THE POPULAR MUSIC HANDBOOK (Libraries Unlimited, 2004), NEW ORLEANS MUSIC: LEGACY AND SURVIVAL (Routledge, 2008), and NOVELTY RECORDINGS: A TOPICAL DISCOGRAPHY (Paw Paw Press, 2015). In 1983 he received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music research after publication of IMAGES OF AMERICAN SOCIETY IN POPULAR MUSIC (Nelson-Hall, 1982). Dr. Cooper is currently President and CEO of Popular Music Research, Ltd., a voluntary association of scholars and teachers who assist young writers with music-related projects. He also teaches courses in The College for Seniors at The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at U.N.C.-Asheville. Frank W. Hoffmann served as a Professor of Library & Information Science, as well as Music, from 1979 to 2014. He has written more than fifty trade books (publishers include Routledge, Haworth, Scarecrow, Shoe String and Libraries Unlimited) and thirty e-books (available from NetLibrary and Amazon.com). He has won the Choice Magazine Best Academic Books award for both THE LITERATURE OF ROCK and INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM AND CENSORSHIP.
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