derrierloisirs.fr
» » There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream

Download There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream ePub

by Ben PhD Sidran

Download There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream ePub
  • ISBN 1450753639
  • ISBN13 978-1450753630
  • Language English
  • Author Ben PhD Sidran
  • Publisher Unlimited Media, Ltd.; 2nd Revised ed. edition (March 15, 2012)
  • Pages 404
  • Formats docx txt rtf azw
  • Category Biography
  • Subcategory Arts and Literature
  • Size ePub 1611 kb
  • Size Fb2 1533 kb
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 215

A comprehensive social history of Jewish contributions to American popular music in the twentieth century. Musician-journalist-producer-author Sidran uses his first person experience to frame the story behind the story of Jews in American popular music.

A comprehensive social history of Jewish contributions to American popular music in the twentieth century. I have had the great pleasure of reading Ben Sidran's amazing book, & Was a Fire. Jews, Music and the American Dream

A comprehensive social history of Jewish contributions to American popular music in the twentieth century. producer-author Sidran uses his first person experience to frame the story behind the story of Jews in American popular music. Jews, Music and the American Dream. I read it word by word, from cover to cover, and I'm just totally bowled over by it. The first thing that struck me was his encyclopedic knowledge of the subject matter; the next thing that struck me actually right from the start, his marvelous skill as a writer and story teller. I found the book overwhelming.

The first comprehensive examination of Jewish influence and participation in the American popular music business .

The first comprehensive examination of Jewish influence and participation in the American popular music business, covering composers, publishers, performers, executives, producers, technical innovations, et. from the turn of the 19th century until the end of the 20th century, from Irving Berlin to the Beastie Boys and beyond. In the words of one writer, Sidran is a warm, funny, and authoritative guide in this thrilling, adventurous social history of popular musi. art textbook, part family history, the insightful section on Dylan alone is worth several times the price of the book.

The book is Sidran’s response to the fact that there was not a single work that comprehensively covered the participation of Jews in American popular music. It struck him as odd that a group never exceeding 2% of the population seemed to contribute 80% of the American songbook. Ben realized that he could write that book. Sidran says, Along the way I learned a lot and in the end I think I answered some key questions, like Who is a Jew in America? What is Jewish about popular music in America? and What’s the prognosis for the future?

There Was A Fire Book Reading 5. 2. There was a Fire - book.

There Was A Fire Book Reading 5. 31. 3. Ben reads from the book part 7

There Was a Fire book.

There Was a Fire book. A comprehensive social history of Jewish contributions to American. He artfully explains the cultural history and the immigrant experience of American Jews and how those factors influenced the many songwriters, musicians, promoters, theatre owners, record company owners, A&R men and others who played an enormous role in the creation of our music. There's a heavy emphasis (rightfully so) on the Great American Songbook (Gershwin, Kern, Rogers et al).

Sidran has extensive experience in the American pop- ular music business, having produced and recorded numerous albums, worked in several musical genres, obtained a PhD in 1970, and released the "Jewish jazz" album Life's a Lesson in 1993. Such background could have produced an interesting contribution to the emerging literature on Jews in the recording industry

Ben Hirsh Sidran (born August 14, 1943) is an American jazz and rock keyboardist, producer, label owner, and music writer. Early in his career he was a member of the Steve Miller Band.

Ben Hirsh Sidran (born August 14, 1943) is an American jazz and rock keyboardist, producer, label owner, and music writer. Sidran was raised in Racine, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1961, where he became a member of The Ardells with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs. When Miller and Scaggs left Wisconsin for the West Coast, Sidran stayed behind to earn a degree in English literature

There Was a Fire A comprehensive social history of Jewish contributions to American popular music in the twentieth century.

There Was a Fire A comprehensive social history of Jewish contributions to American popular music in the twentieth century. Unlimited Media, Ltd. Book Format.

Musician, author, scholar and music producer Ben Sidran has been a major force in the history of jazz and popular music for a half century and, since publication of his landmark history of Jews in American popular music, "There Was A Fire: Jews, Music and The American Dream".

Musician, author, scholar and music producer Ben Sidran has been a major force in the history of jazz and popular music for a half century and, since publication of his landmark history of Jews in American popular music, "There Was A Fire: Jews, Music and The American Dream", he has traveled throughout the United States, giving midrash performances that include songs, stories, history, philosophy and more, at the Skirball in Los Angeles, the Museum of Jewish History in New York and dozens of events in between.

Talk about There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream


Anardred
From page 205: "The conflict between [Bob] Dylan and [Clive] Davis didn't end there. The following year, when Dylan wanted to include the song 'Talkin' the John Birch Society Blues' on the Freewheelin' album, Davis, on behalf of the legal affairs department at Columbia, informed him that the label considered the song potentially libelous (to the KKK), and too risky to be included on the album." This a good example of the odious left-wing bias polluting this book. Equating the Birchers with the Klan is a clumsy piece of communist propaganda typical of Sidran's outlook. As a jazz fan of 60 years and a patriotic American, this book is a big disappointment.
Heri
I have had the great pleasure of reading Ben Sidran's amazing book, `There Was a Fire./Jews, Music and the American Dream." I read it word by word, from cover to cover, and I'm just totally bowled over by it.

The first thing that struck me was his encyclopedic knowledge of the subject matter; the next thing that struck me actually right from the start, his marvelous skill as a writer and story teller.

I found the book overwhelming. About ¾ into the book, I began to feel a real sense of despair, as I saw the whole music scene in this country coming unraveled. But then of course that is what he was showing and documenting, how, what passed for music, was losing and had lost its soul.

And then, of course, we get to the story of "Life's a Lesson," emblematic of finding meaning again in music and the roots of Sidran's life and experiences. Suddenly I realized that I had a copy of Sidran's CD, that I had listened to it several times shortly after I received it, that I had loved it but that I was not at all aware of the incredible story and meaning connected with it.

The last two chapters of the book were just glorious; they also made me peek again at the introductory chapter, wonderfully titled: "If God is the Story, Who is a Jew?"

What a glorious achievement! What a remarkable talent! What a Mensch!

I also had a most personal reaction to the book. I could see my own life reflected in it, personally and in my books and their journey, which is finally blossoming. (Note: instead of CD's I have boxes of books in my garage).

Thank you (son Ron and family) for these marvelous, meaningful, soul-satisfying gifts.

PS I also love the emblematic Chasidic "Fire" story. It is deeply moving.

Rolf Gompertz, author of
TO LIFE! TO LOVE! IN POETRY AND PROSE, A SPIRITUAL MEMOIR, and four other books
Dawncrusher
My Jewish father was in the independent record distributing business in St. Louis, Missouri in the 1950's and 1960's,
carrying many different rhythm and blues/rock and roll record labels including Atlantic, Chess, Apollo, King and Vee-Jay records for example.

This book brought back many memories, but more importantly, tied things together into broad religious and historical themes.
Gosar
A lot of research has gone into this book which by definition does get a little tiring in only mentioning Jewish musicians some of them later in the book somewhat removed from actual production. Sidran has found every composer who had any Jewish blood which is fair enough given the project but the emphasis is more on the last half of the 20th century and since. Impressive research but at times a little repetitive to the recreational reader
Zbr
One of the best books about music you'll ever read!
An endless source of knowledge and information with very insightful analysis from a great musician with a profound knowledge of the music he writes about.
Fundamental reading.
Lynnak
Ben Sidran's contribution to culture is arguably of greater significance through a book like this than through his music. This is not to dismiss his talents as a pianist, vocalist and composer but rather to applaud his argument on behalf of the central and essential role of Jewish contributions to the indigenous art form of American jazz and its "repertory," often referred to as "the Great American Songbook." The "received wisdom" of most jazz history texts has long been overdue for serious reevaluation. Contrary to the claims of virtually all of them, jazz is not exclusively an "African-American art form." It's equally a Jewish-American art.

In short, jazz and the American popular song have a symbiotic relationship. You can't have one without the other. Without the Great American Songbook there would be no jazz; without jazz (and its influence on Berlin, Arlen, Gershwin, etc.) there would be no "Great American Songbook" (which is not to diminish the noteworthy contributions of a Cole Porter or Duke Ellington). (Admittedly, I'll encounter listeners--some of them unfamiliar with the difference between "smooth" and "mainstream" jazz--who simply don't "get" the preceding statement, which admittedly requires familiarity with the history of jazz, from Louis Armstrong to the present, as well as some reflection on what constitutes a "body of music" sufficient to be taken seriously as an "art form" or to receive attention as an "academic subject" deserving a place in the curriculum. Without a "canon" of music, there simply could be no jazz studies--any more than there could be literature departments and literary studies without a canon of literature. A collection of modern poems from diverse sources is precisely that--a bunch of poems--and no more. A collection of sounds--however appealing or "groovy"--is precisely that and no more. "Smooth jazz," which can easily and quickly be created by anyone with an iPad Air and a software program like "Garageband," is not great jazz nor is it art. Even its supporters admit as much when telling me they don't necessarily "listen" to it: they like to have it on "in the background" because it makes them "feel good").

Sidran additionally pays attention to the all-important "business," "promotional," and "distributional" channels opened up by Jewish-Americans on behalf of this new American music. Passionate promoters like Norman Granz, George Avakian, and John Hammond were as dedicated to promoting the jazz mainstream and bringing credit to its creators as to keeping a personal label alive (the same is true of record executives like Lester Koenig at Contemporary Records, Orrin Keepnews at Riverside Records, Alfred Lion at Blue Note, and the heads of Brunswick, Dial, Savoy, RCA, EmArcy, and Atlantic. These men, together with the help of Jewish jazz giants like Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw (who, from Sidran's persuasive genealogical perspective, were existential "blacks"), worked tirelessly on behalf of a music that all Americans had a right, after years of struggle and civic discord, to celebrate as their own. (Alfred Lion's label, inarguably a colorful chapter in the story of the music's recorded history, acquired a reputation that seems disproportionate to its actual importance. The small label, which became synonymous with "black music" in the minds of a devoted, "cult-like" following, produced the occasional "Blue Trane" or "Maiden Voyage" but more often struggled to survive with profitable "hit" recordings like "Song for My Father," "The Sidewinder," and "The Midnight Special"--until by the late '60s the label survived in name only). The most successful recording in jazz history--Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue"--could never have become the vital and vibrantly fresh current in the stream-of-American-consciousness had Miles chosen to record it not on Columbia but on Blue Note, with its trademark two-dimensional aural canvas and distorted piano sound).

Sidran's expertise is not the American Songbook but the production end of the music (his prolific discography and media credits occupy numerous pages). Even as a musician his tentacles have extended to the worlds of rock (Steve Miller) and contemporary folk (Mose Allison, Bob Dylan) as much as to the "art" of American Popular Song, which became integral with the music of Louis and Bing, Billie and Lester, Bird and Diz, Miles and Coltrane. As a result, his book invites follow-up studies delving more deeply into the Jewish identity embedded in the music of the seminal creators and their recordings. And the book also provokes questions about the paradoxical eschatology of an art form that evolved from a folk music and, beginning as early as the 1960s, began to retreat to the elemental strains of its primitive beginnings.

A close observer of the fortunes of jazz and The Great American Songbook--both of interest to an ever-shrinking American audience--might come to some dismal conclusions concerning the role of commerce or, more specifically, of capitalism with respect to the creation and preservation of an art. Has the initiative that led to the success of the music and its elevation to iconic cultural status become, in essence, a destructive force, incapable of approaching the creative spirit as anything other than a commodity? Personally, I'm eagerly awaiting the final episodes of "Mad Men" for further insight. Don Draper seems too smart, and decent, to end up as the indisputable "genius of Madison Avenue." As the resurrected Robert Morse reminds us in the May 25, 2014 episode of television's most provocative dramatic series, "the best things in life are free" (another American "standard," once performed with swing and soul by Hank Mobley).

Although Sidran's book does not short-change history and its flesh-and-blood makers--including artists, composers, and promoter-producers of Jewish heritage--his actual sights are aimed higher--and broader. The listener who hears in the music cries of pain and a desire for freedom is like the Jew who has experienced persecution and loss along with the need to reclaim and preserve a cultural heritage. In that respect the experience of the Jew is like that of the black. Or, as a reading of William Faulkner should reveal, it's the experience of all Americans who, in their search for meaning and a sense of identity, share similar memories, fears and hopes. Suddenly it becomes all too apparent that the color that once served as a marker to divide us is ironically what distinguishes and unites us as a nation. Faulkner's narratives, like the late Maya Angelou's, are at once universal and inarguably American. The experience of reading them carefully is that of a uniquely American pilgrimage leading to a moment of self-discovery when, as in a sheet of flame, we find our heritage, our identity, our authentic selves in a three-word sentence summing up the meanings represented by the most labyrinthian and obdurate sentences of America's greatest writer: "Blackness is humanness."