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Extended Audio Sample Love for Sale: Pop Music in America Audiobook, by David Hajdu Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Hajdu Narrator: George Newbern Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2016 ISBN: 9781504748117
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From revered music critic David Hajdu comes a personal, idiosyncratic history of popular music.

David Hajdu begins Love for Sale, his personal history of recorded 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 45s 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 of 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 atomization 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Writing in graceful prose, Hajdu nicely balances brisk historical narrative, shrewd cultural analysis, and opinionated personal reflection…Absorbing.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This beautifully told history of popular music, like a great pop song, is full of memorable lines.”

    Library Journal

  • “[A] deft examination of the history and meaning of popular music…An essential purchase for all pop-culture collections.”

    Booklist

  • “A highly learned pleasure for music and pop-culture buffs.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A work of wide-ranging historical observation that also feels personal, vivid, and particular.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • Love for Sale…is easy to devour

  • A Library Journal Editor’s Pick for October 2016
  • A 2016 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year Selection for Nonfiction
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About the Author
Author David Hajdu

David Hajdu is the author of Lush Life and Positively 4th Street. He lives in Manhattan and writes for the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, New Republic, and New York Review of Books.

About the Narrator

George Newbern is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and a television and film actor best known for his roles as Brian MacKenzie in Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II, as well as Danny in Friends. As a voice actor, he is notable for his role as Superman on the Cartoon Newtork series Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. He holds a BA in theater arts from Northwestern University.