Love for Sale
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Love for Sale

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Description

David Hajdu begins Love for Sale, his personal history of pop music, in an unexpected place - not with nostalgic reminiscences of the 45s of his youth but with the sheet music era at the end-of the nineteenth century. It was not so much the beginning of popular music - many songs were already popular - as it was the beginning of the popular music industry. And if he's going to understand what his 453 meant to him, this is the place to start: the rise of Tin Pan Alley, of minstrelsy, of million copy sellers and One hit wonders and cultural arbiters decrying the baseness, simplicity, and signs of the end of times in popular music. From there, Hajdu takes us on more unexpected routes through the history of pop music - back to Alexander Graham Bell and the invention of records ...and to his grandmother's collection of Italian crooners on shellac records that young Hajdu liberated from her New Jersey basement. And neither Italians nor New Jersey are incidental to his story - not just because of Frank Sinatra but because Hajdu's mom, a waitress in a chrome clad diner on Route 22, helped shape the fate of a budding young music critic by introducing him to one of the diner's most prominent patrons, the writer of the timeless song "I'm from New Jersey." Love for Sale does ultimately spin through more familiar territory - the Cotton Club, the rise of radio, the battle of disco versus punk for the soul of New York as Hajdu made his chops as a critic, the rise of hip-hop, and the current atomisation of the music landscape but it is always with a unique, insightful, and eloquently presented point of view, as one would expect from one of our most celebrated music critics.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 28mm | 499g
  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0374170533
  • 9780374170530
  • 591,983

About David Hajdu

David Hajdu is the music critic for The Nation and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of three books of narrative nonfiction and and one collection of essays: Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn (1996), Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Farina, and Richard Farina (2001), The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America (2008), and Heroes and Villains: Essays on Music, Movies, Comics, and Culture (2009). He lives in Manhattan."show more

Review quote

[Love for Sale] is easy to devour for anyone who still feels a pang of nostalgia or despair when walking past a bank branch where a record store used to be . . . [Hajdu] traces the history of pop from the sheet-music past to the streaming present with the friendly authority of a favorite teacher . . . Educational and entertaining. Jim Windolf, New York Times Book Review"show more