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Considered by many to be a founder of Afrofuturism, Sun Ra-aka Herman Blount-was a composer, keyboardist, bandleader, philosopher, entrepreneur, poet, and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial from Saturn. He recorded over 200 albums with his Arkestra, which, dressed in Egypto-space costumes, played everything from boogie-woogie and swing to fusion and free jazz. John Szwed's Space is the Place is the definitive biography of this musical polymath, who was one of the twentieth century's greatest avant-garde artists and intellectuals. Charting the whole of Sun Ra's life and career, Szwed outlines how after years in Chicago as a blues and swing band pianist, Sun Ra set out in the 1950s to impart his views about the galaxy, black people, and spiritual matters by performing music with the Arkestra that was as vital and innovative as it was mercurial and confounding. Szwed's readers-whether they are just discovering Sun Ra or are among the legion of poets, artists, intellectuals, and musicians who consider him a spiritual godfather-will find that, indeed, space is the place.
In Jimi Hendrix: The Stories Behind the Songs, music journalist and author David Stubbs provides the definitive companion to Hendrix's recorded output, from the early years, including 'Hey Joe' and 'Purple Haze' through to his posthumously released trilogy that concluded with Both Sides Of The Sky. Quite possibly the greatest solo rock artist of all time, Jimi Hendrix was the supreme physical and musical emblem of rock music. And although he was an immense guitarist, he also connected with audiences as a performer and a songwriter. Songs like 'Voodoo Chile' and 'Third Stone From The Sun' were the brilliant products of a dazed yet expanded consciousness, full of casual epithets which illuminated the era: 'May you never hear surf music again'; ''Scuse me while I kiss the sky'; 'Gonna raise my freak flag high'. Each one of them is explored, dissected and celebrated.
"I was impressed by The Stones. They were dressed casually, had mischief in them and were different to other bands." Terry O'Neill. In July 1962, a group of young men played a gig at The Marquee Club on Oxford Street, London. They called themselves 'The Rollin' Stones' and little did they know they would soon be making music history. This brilliant new book captures the youth, the times and the spirit of The Stones' formative early years. And documenting 1963-1965 were two young photographers just starting out in their careers. Terry O'Neill, aged just 25, had a few years' experience photographing musicians and knew that this group had the same magic as another British phenomenon that just recently started to chart, The Beatles. As the band was starting to record and tour, Gered Mankowitz came along. His first shoot, the now famous Mason's Yard session, was so fruitful, Gered was asked to tag along on tour to America. Gered was a mere 19 when he picked up his camera and joined the band on stage in 1965. Between these two legendary photographers, they document the band's beginnings and these indelible images are forever placed in music's consciousness.The photography throughout this book is embellished with various memoires and interviews, celebrating the early days and giving an inisght into what it must have felt like to go from a small club in Soho with no record deal to touring the world a few years later with a number one record. Terry O'Neill and Gered Mankowitz, two of the most respected, collected and exhibited photographers in the world were sitting in the front row. There are quotes from Andrew Loog Oldman, Norman Jopling, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Bill Wyman, full interviews with Terry O'Neill and Gered Mankowitz, original articles from the Record Mirror (1963), Evening Standard (1964) and Detroit Free Press (1965), and many rare and previously unseen photographs and contact sheets are included.
This book brings together an extensive and varied collection of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's written and spoken-word items for the first time. Spanning the composer's entire career, this compendium offers a balanced selection of Davies's articles and essays, speeches and lectures, interviews, radio broadcasts, programme notes, tributes and letters to newspapers. A number of items are published for the first time, including a new article from Davies himself (commissioned specially for this book), and several BBC radio broadcast interviews and talks from the 1960s. The structure of the book is chronological and divided into three parts, allowing readers to trace the development of Davies's thought and work over time, and to place each item in its biographical and historical context. The introduction and notes by Nicholas Jones place the writings in context, making this volume invaluable for those interested in the music and wider culture of post-war Britain.
In the mid-twentieth century renowned musicologist, conductor, and lexicographer Nicolas Slonimsky traveled to cities throughout the world to play and conduct music of the American avant-garde. From trips to Paris, Berlin, Havana, New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and Moscow, Slonimsky wrote letters to his wife, the art critic Dorothy Adlow, vividly and humorously describing his adventures. Dear Dorothy: Letters from Nicolas Slonimsky to Dorothy Adlow is a collection of these missives. Though personal, they chronicle Slonimsky's work as an ambassador of modern music who introduced twentieth-century composers, particularly American composers, to audiences worldwide. Full of his admired wit and energy, the letters recount his performances, rehearsals, lectures, day-to-day activities in foreign cities and concert halls, and the anxieties of stretching limited funds to cover an ever-expanding itinerary. They also reveal a side of Slonimsky not seen from his other published writings: a man with deep devotion to his wife and family. Annotated and with an introduction by Slonimsky's daughter, Electra Slonimsky Yourke, this collection documents the meeting of historic musical cultures-Old World Europe, the Soviet Union, and the vibrant countries of Latin America-with the modernist music of the United States. Written in a lively, humorous style, these letters will be of interest to scholars and students of American music and social historians as well as musicians, music lovers, and concertgoers. Electra Slonimsky Yourke is the daughter of Nicolas Slonimsky and Dorothy Adlow, and editor of several collections of her father's work, including The Listener's Companion and the four-volume Writings on Music. Nicolas Slonimsky (1894-1995) was a Renaissance man in the modern-music world of the mid-twentieth century. Composer, conductor, critic, and lexicographer, he authored many books including Lexicon of Musical Invective: Critical Assaults on Composers since Beethoven's Time and a memoir, Perfect Pitch.
I'm Just Dead, I'm Not Gone chronicles Jim Dickinson's extraordinary life in the Memphis music scene of the fifties and sixties and how he went on to play with and produce a rich array of artists, including Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Ry Cooder, Duane Allman, Arlo Guthrie, and Albert King. With verve and wit, Dickinson(1941-2009) describes how his trip to Blind Lemon's grave on the Texas flatlands as a college student and how that encounter inspired his return to Memphis. Back home, he looked up Gus Cannon and Furry Lewis, began staging plays, cofounded what would become the annual Memphis Blues Festival, and started recording. The blues, Elvis, and early rock 'n' roll compelled Dickinson to reject racial barriers and spurred his contributions to the Memphis music and experimental art scene. He explains how thefamily yardman, WDIA, Dewey Philips, Furry Lewis, Will Shade, and Howlin' Wolf shaped him and recounts how he went on to learn his craft at Sun, Ardent, American, Muscle Shoals, and Criteria studios from master producers Sam Phillips, John Fry, Chips Moman, and Jerry Wexler. Dickinson is a member of the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame and an inaugural inductee of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Engineering and Production from the Americana Music Association, a Brass Note on the Beale Street Walk of Fame in Memphis, and a Heritage Marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail. This memoir recounts a love affairwith Memphis, the blues, and rock 'n' roll through Dickinson's captivating blend of intelligence, humor, and candor.
Born out of a union of club bands on the burgeoning Austin bohemian scene and a pronounced taste for hallucinogens, the 13th Floor Elevators were formed in late 1965 when lyricist Tommy Hall asked a local singer named Roky Erickson to join up with his new rock outfit. Four years, three official albums, and countless acid trips later, it was over: the Elevators' pioneering first run ended in a dizzying jumble of professional mismanagement, internal arguments, drug busts, and forced psychiatric imprisonments. In their short existence, however, the group succeeded in blowing the lid off the budding musical underground, logging early salvos in the countercultural struggle against state authorities, and turning their deeply hallucinatory take on jug-band garage rock into a new American institution called psychedelic music. Writer Paul Drummond has gathered an unprecedented catalog of primary materials--including scores of previously-unseen band photographs, rare and iconic artwork of the era, items from family scrapbooks and personal diaries, new and archival interviews, dozens of contemporaneous press accounts, and no shortage of Austin Police Department records--to tell the complete and unvarnished story of a band which, until now, has been tragically underdocumented. Before the hippies, before the punks, there were the 13th Floor Elevators: an unlikely crew of outcast weirdo geniuses who changed culture.
When 22-year-old American photographer Blake Wood moved to London in 2007, a mutual friend introduced him to Amy Winehouse. After winning five Grammy Awards for her 2006 album Back to Black, the celebrated singer with the sultry and emotionally raw voice was at the height of her celebrity, but struggling with her wayward partner and the scrutiny of constant media attention. Bonding personally and creatively, Wood and Winehouse developed a close friendship and would become inseparable for the next two years. From images of Winehouse performing in Paris to playing drums at her home studio in Camden Town, London, from lovingly composed portraits of her at ease on St. Lucia to carefree vamping for the camera, this is an intimate visual diary of the soul diva at a time when she was one of the most celebrated voices on earth. The story of this profound emotional collaboration is told through the lens of her confidant in 85 color and black-and-white photographs, most of them never published before, that reveal their mutual love, trust, and respect. With text by acclaimed pop culture critic Nancy Jo Sales, discover a rare and lighter side of this much-missed icon, totally at ease in front of her friend's camera; a typical young London girl enjoying life to the fullest.
Take a kid with a dream. A legendary hip hop group. 6 years of secret recordings. A casing worthy of a king. A single artifact. Hallowed establishment institutions. An iconoclastic auction house. The world's foremost museum of modern art. A bidding war. Endless crises of conscience. An angry mob. A furious beef. A sale. A villain of Lex Luthor-like proportions. Bill Murray. The FBI. The internet gone wild. In 2007, the innovative Wu-Tang Clan producer, Cilvaringz, feeling that digital downloads were threatening the music industry, took an incendiary idea to his mentor hip hop legend, RZA: create a unique physical copy of a secret Wu-Tang Clan album, to be encased in silver and sold through auction as a work of contemporary art. As such, it could never be commercialised - or pirated. The plan raised a number of complex questions: Would selling one album for millions be the ultimate betrayal of rap music? Would hip hop fans support the project, even if it meant they could never buy the album? And could anyone justify the ultimate sale of the album to despised pharmaceutical mogul Martin Shkreli?
*** *** THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE OSCAR-WINNING, GOLDEN-GLOBE-WINNING FILM. 'Exactly the sort of tribute Mercury himself would have wanted' Spectator 'No one has captured better than Lesley-Ann Jones the magical, enchanting dualism of Freddie Mercury' The Times 'Truly definitive, truly Freddie, an energetic, entertaining and essential account' Sir Tim Rice 'This book grabs you with its opening, then builds. Insight and anecdote in perfect harmony' Simon Napier-Bell 'At last a massive tribute to a massive talent' Steve Harley, Cockney Rebel This is the definitive biography of Freddie Mercury, written by award-winning rock journalist Lesley-Ann Jones, who toured widely with Queen and formed lasting friendships with the band. Now, having secured access to the remaining band members and those who were closest to Freddie from childhood to death, Lesley-Ann has written the most in-depth account of one of music's best loved and most complex figures. Meticulously researched, sympathetic, unsensationalised, the book focuses on the period in the 1980s when Queen began to fragment, before their Live Aid performance put them back in the frame. In her journey to understand the man behind the legend, Lesley-Ann Jones has travelled from London to Zanzibar to India. Packed with exclusive interviews and told with the invaluable perspective that the twenty years since Mercury's death presents, Bohemian Rhapsody is the most up-to-date portrait of a legendary man.
Guns N' Roses emerged from Los Angeles in the 1980s to become a global rock'n'roll phenomenon, selling in total more than 100 million albums. Three decades on, Guns N' Roses are once again headline news around the world - with the return of iconic guitarist Slash marking the end of his bitter 20-year feud with singer Axl Rose. When Guns N' Roses' debut album Appetite For Destruction was released in 1987, the band were so out of control that their record company stated: "They'll make it - if they live." And yet, somehow, they did. Appetite For Destruction became the biggest selling debut in the history of American music, and songs such as "Sweet Child O' Mine", "Welcome To The Jungle" and "Paradise City" became era-defining classics. Known as The Most Dangerous Band In The World, Guns N' Roses' success continued into the 1990s with the albums Use Your Illusion I and II, but by the end of that decade only singer Axl Rose remained from the original line up. This book follows the complete story of Guns N' Roses: the highs and lows, the triumphs and failures, the fights, the excess, and the great music that shook the world. Now, with Axl and Slash reunited - along with another member of the band's classic line-up, Duff McKagan - Guns N' Roses are set to make history once again with one of the biggest tours ever. The story continues...
Offering a unique glimpse into the Gram Parsons legend that has never been offered before this book is the inside story by his bandmate and travelling partner from the The International Submarine Band. Set between September 1965 and June 1968 it follows Gram Parsons as he begins to create country rock and he and the band embark upon an exasperating upstream journey, swimming against a tide of opposition, rejection and astonishment from the establishment. With a cast of characters including Gram Parsons, David Crosby, Peter Fonda, Denis Hopper, Arthur Lee, and Hugh Masekela this is more than a music book, it's a vivid swirling trip across a vanished America.
Wolfgang Flur was a member of Kraftwerk from 1973 to 1987, contributing to albums such as Autobahn (1974), Radioaktivitat (1975), Trans-Europa Express (1977), Die Mensch-Maschine (1978), Computerwelt (1981) and Electric Cafe (1986). He continues to record music with his solo album Eloquence being released in 2015.
Peter Dickinson has made an enduring contribution to British musical life, and his music has been regularly performed and recorded by leading musicians. His writings, brought together here for the first time, are equally noteworthy. Covering well over half a century, the subjects are fascinatingly varied. Apart from musical interests ranging from Charles Ives to John Cage, they touch on literature; and Dickinson's meetings with W.H. Auden and Philip Larkin are an intriguing insight that led to his Auden songs and the chamber work Larkin's Jazz. American themes are prominent in this collection. There are unique reviews of concert life in New York from 1959 to 1961; an account of the teaching programme at the Juilliard School of Music at that time; three studies of Ives; and features containing original material on Copland, Thomson and Cage, all of whom Dickinson knew. Features on Erik Satie include the imaginary discussion marking his centenary in 1966. Dickinson also writes about his own music, providing an insight into what it was like being a British composer in the later twentieth century. Peter Dickinson was born in Lancashire in 1934 and now lives in Suffolk. His 80th birthday was marked by a whole variety of tributes, including concerts, articles, broadcasts and various interviews - some included in this book. PETER DICKINSON is a British composer and pianist as well as author and editor of Boydell/URP books on Berkeley, Copland, Cage, Barber and Berners. As a pianist, Dickinson had a twenty-five-year, international partnership with his sister, the mezzo Meriel Dickinson, for whom he wrote song cycles to poems of E. E. Cummings, Gregory Corso and Stevie Smith. He was a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3 and is widely read as a critic on the Gramophone. He is an Emeritus Professor of the Universities of Keele and London and is chair of the Bernarr Rainbow Trust, for which he has edited several books on music education.
Bob Dylan: Outlaw Blues by Spencer Leigh is a fresh take on this famous yet elusive personality, a one-man hall of mirrors who continues to intrigue his followers worldwide. It is an in-depth account with new information and fascinating opinions, both from the author and his interviewees. Whether you are a Dylan fan or not, you will be gripped by this remarkable tale. Most performers create their work for public approval, but at the centre of this book is a mercurial man who doesn't trust his own audience. If he feels he is getting too much acclaim, he tends to veer off in another direction. Despite his age, Bob Dylan still tours extensively. Famously known for not looking happy, the author looks at what motivates him. `Journalists are very fond of saying Bob Dylan is an enigma,' says Spencer Leigh, `but that word is flawed. It's as good as saying you don't know... I have not called Bob Dylan an enigma at any point in the book as I have tried to find answers.' Spencer Leigh has spoken to over 300 musicians, friends and acquaintances of Bob Dylan in his research for this book.
The music of Queen and powerhouse lead singer Freddie Mercury are best experienced with the volume turned all the way up. Alfonso Casas's Freddie Mercury delivers a sonorous homage to the formidable singer and the turning points that produced a game-changing body of music that continues to inspire fans around the globe. First published in Spain and now available worldwide, this luminous work covers Freddie's three "births": his birth as Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar; his adoption of the last name of Mercury and the launch of Queen with Brian May and Roger Taylor; and the emergence of the lasting legend after Freddie's death at the age of forty-five. Casas's evocative illustrations highlight the key moments in the singer's transformation from child prodigy to superstar, bringing to life the bold innovator who broke free of his conventional upbringing. Chronicling events from Freddie's marriage to Mary Austin and early fame in London's 1970s glam scene, to the making of multiple megahits (including the six-minute chart-topper "Bohemian Rhapsody"), to his final years in a lasting relationship with Jim Hutton, Freddie Mercury is an exhilarating, poignant portrait of a creative genius who lived life to the hilt.
1986, Mobile, Alabama. A fourteen-year-old girl is awakened by the unmistakable sound of gunfire. On the front lawn, her father has shot and killed her mother before turning the gun on himself. Allison Moorer would grow up to be an award-winning musician, with her songs likened to "a Southern accent: eight miles an hour, deliberate and very dangerous to underestimate" (Rolling Stone). Now, Allison turns her lyrical storytelling powers to recount the events leading up to the moment that forever altered her own life and that of her older sister, Shelby, with whom she shares an unbreakable bond. Gorgeously written, Blood delves into the meaning of inheritance and destiny, shame and trauma - and how it is possible to carve out a safe place in the world despite it all. With a foreword by Grammy winner Shelby Lynne, Blood is a familial Just Kids that reads like an intimate journal - vivid, haunting, and ultimately life-affirming
Rick Bucklers autobiography is the first from a member of The Jam, who some considered were the ultimate Mod band. Rick tells The Jam story from growing up in Woking and meeting fellow members Paul Weller and Bruce Foxton at school, through their formation in 1972 and tells of the band's early years before signing to Polydor records. He provides a year by year account of The Jam's progress whilst describing what it was like being a part of the music industry during the 70's and 80's and some of the characters who he met along the way including the Ramones, John Enwistle, Sid Vicious, Blondie, Boy George and Paul McCartney. Rick shares his own experiences and thoughts about what it was like to be in one of the UK's most successful bands who spent a great deal of time recording, performing and touring. Following The Jam's split in 1982, Rick gives a candid account of how he coped and his subsequent relationship with Paul and Bruce. All three members of The Jam stayed within the music industry and Rick takes the reader through his years in Time UK and various other bands up until forming From the Jam. A must read for any Jam fan.
This brilliant portrayal weaves Beethoven's musical and biographical stories into their historical and artistic contexts. Lewis Lockwood sketches the turbulent personal, historical, political, and cultural frameworks in which Beethoven worked and examines their effects on his music. "The result is that rarest of achievements, a profoundly humane work of scholarship that will-or at least should-appeal to specialists and generalists in equal measure" (Terry Teachout, Commentary). Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. "Lewis Lockwood has written a biography of Beethoven in which the hours that Beethoven spent writing music-that is, his methods of working, his interest in contemporary and past composers, the development of his musical intentions and ideals, his inner musical life, in short-have been properly integrated with the external events of his career. The book is invaluable." -Charles Rosen "Lockwood writes with poetry and clarity-a rare combination. I especially enjoyed the connection that he makes between the works of Beethoven and the social and political context of their creation-we feel closer to Beethoven the man without losing our wonder at his genius." -Emanuel Ax "The magnum opus of an illustrious Beethoven scholar. From now on, we will all turn to Lockwood's Beethoven: The Music and the Life for insight and instruction." -Maynard Solomon "This is truly the Beethoven biography for the intelligent reader. Lewis Lockwood speaks in his preface of writing on Beethoven's works at 'a highly accessible descriptive level.' But he goes beyond that. His discussion of the music, based on a deep knowledge of its context and the composition processes behind it, explains, elucidates, and is not afraid to evaluate; while the biographical chapters, clearly and unfussily written, and taking full account of the newest thinking on Beethoven, align closely with the musical discussion. The result is a deeply perceptive book that comes as close as can be to presenting the man and the music as a unity."-Stanley Sadie, editor, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians "Impressive for both its scholarship and its fresh insights, this landmark work-fully accessible to the interested amateur-immediately takes its place among the essential references on this composer and his music."-Bob Goldfarb, KUSC-FM 91.5 "Lockwood writes like an angel: lucid, enthusiastic, stirring and enlightening. Beethoven has found his ablest interpreter."-Jonathan Keates, The Spectator "There is no better survey of Beethoven's compositions for a wide audience."-Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times Book Review
Jam drummer Rick Buckler was one-third of the powerhouse sound of The Jam along with Paul Weller and Bruce Foxton. The group had 18 consecutive UK Top 40 singles from their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982, including four No 1 hits. More than any other group, The Jam kept the tradition of three-minute, hook-driven British guitar pop alive providing a blueprint for generations of bands to come. In this book, Rick Buckler talks us through the formation of The Jam and their early days - being signed by Polydor, their fi rst No 1 record, the video shoots, tours and beyond. Buckler also picks the 50 greatest Jam tracks and tells us how they were written, recorded and the stories behind every one of these classic songs. This book also critiques every Jam studio album as well as listing every Jam tour, The Jam on TV, Awards, video locations and more.
Wilson Pickett was arguably the greatest male soul screamer of the 1960s and '70s. Well known for his unprecedented string of Soul hits, including "In the Midnight Hour," "Land of 1,000 Dances," and "Mustang Sally," Pickett has sold millions of albums, and tens of millions of singles. A first ballot inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he collaborated with some of the biggest names in '60s and '70s pop, rock, and soul, recorded for the most renowned labels in soul and R&B, and was a legendary presence on stage, his performances frequently culminating in stage invasions by frenzied audience members of all colors eager to bask (and dance) in his radiant aura. Equally well known for his personal troubles, his musical brilliance and success - like that of so many other superstars - Pickett's career was punctuated by violence, drug and alcohol addictions, and fits of erratic and wild behavior. In In the Midnight Hour, veteran music journalist and biographer Tony Fletcher not only tells the full story of Wilson Pickett's incredible career, and troubled life, but goes beyond the individual anecdotes to illustrate how Pickett's journey - geographic, musical, and cultural - was emblematic of both that of his generation of southern black men, and that of black American music in the second half of the twentieth century. He grew up in Alabama under Jim Crow in '40s where he experienced the peak of the gospel circuit before moving north to Detroit as part of the Second Great Migration, where he recorded for the nascent Tamla/Motown label. In the 60s he participated in integrated recording sessions for Stax and Atlantic, before moving back to Alabama where he took part in sessions at Muscle Shoals that made the studios signature sound famous, and at the beginning of the '70s, found himself in Philadelphia where he was instrumental in the birth of the Philly Soul sound. While centered around Wilson Pickett and his music, In the Midnight Hour will also be about the roller-coaster journey he took in his life, the social upheavals that surrounded him, the genre he helped shape along the way, and the pitfalls of the fame that success brought him. The first biography of one the most famous, influential, and fascinating figures in soul and R&B, In the Midnight Hour will find an eager audience among fans of Wilson Pickett, and soul and R&B music in general, as well as readers interested in the development of black music during the second half of the twentieth century.
Beginning from the unlikely vantage point of Venice in the aftermath of fascism and World War II, this book explores operatic production in the city's nascent postwar culture as a lens onto the relationship between opera and politics in the twentieth century. Both opera and Venice in the middle of the century are often talked about in strikingly similar terms: as museums locked in the past and blind to the future. These cliches are here overturned: perceptions of crisis were in fact remarkably productive for opera, and despite being physically locked in the past, Venice was undergoing a flourishing of avant-garde activity. Focusing on a local musical culture, Harriet Boyd-Bennett recasts some of the major composers, works, stylistic categories and narratives of twentieth-century music. The study provides fresh understandings of works by composers as diverse as Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Verdi, Britten and Nono.
In this philosophical biography, Liel Leibovitz looks at what it is that makes Leonard Cohen an enduring international figure in the cultural imagination. Born into a Canadian religious Jewish family, for years a reclusive lyricist on the Greek island of Hydra, known for his bold political commentary, his devotion to Buddhist thought and his later despair over contemporary Zionism, Cohen hardly follows the rules of a conventional rock star. Yet the prophetic themes of his music, often filled with pessimism and apocalyptic visions, prove redemptive to an audience that spans generations. As Leonard Cohen requires, this is a passionate and personal evocation of a man who appeals to the inner spirit of his fervent followers.
The Bedford (Amateur) Musical Society, now Bedford Choral Society, was formed in 1867. Its beginnings were not auspicious - an article in a local newspaper reported that 'no one felt very sanguine about the success of the proposed Society ... the idea being that musical people were a quarrelsome lot and could not hold together for any length of time.' Despite this, the Society has had a long and almost continuous history and is still thriving today. This volume records the characters who have shaped the Society through the years, the varied musical programmes and the links with well-known performers and musicians. It includes the BBC Music Department's move to Bedford early in the Second World War and its support for the Society as it re-established itself. The volume holds an introduction by Donald Burrows, Professor of Music at the Open University and a leading scholar of the music of George Frideric Handel. Professor Burrows provides a historical setting for the development of the Society within the context of national musical developments. MICHAEL BENSON was educated at St Michael's College, Tenbury Wells and later attended Hereford Cathedral School and Theological College. Michael has been a member of Bedford Choral Society since 1977 and was General Secretary from 2002 to 2008. Now retired, he spent most of his working life at the City & Guilds of London Institute, and was involved with the administration of technical examinations. .
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