How Hit Pop Songs Became The Soundtrack Of American History
Huffington Post - 3 months
Learning the history of pop music in America is inherently a fun exercise.
These are songs, after all, that were made for easy recall, with hooks and rhythms that speak of universal feelings: love, loss, and good times. Marc Myers’ Anatomy of a Song — a spinoff of his Wall Street Journal column where he interviewed major musicians (think Debbie Harry, Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards and Smokey Robinson) to learn the origin stories of some of the most-well known songs over five decades — reads like a dream karaoke playlist. Not a dud in sight.
Of the 45 songs featured in Myers’ book, I was alive for the release of just two: Bonnie Raitt’s “Nick of Time” and R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion.” Reading his book, this fact is irrelevant. The tunes and lyrics of “My Girl,” “London Calling,” “Suspicious Minds,” “Midnight Train to Georgia,” and countless other timeless tunes swirled in my head as I read. Where did this knowledge come from, if not direct lived experience? How do these songs
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