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Ready for a Brand New Beat

How "Dancing In The Street" Became The Anthem For A Changing America

By Mark Kurlansky

Can a song change a nation? In 1964, Marvin Gaye, record producer William “Mickey” Stevenson, and Motown songwriter Ivy Jo Hunter wrote “Dancing in the Street.” The song was recorded at Motown’s Hitsville USA Studio by Martha and the Vandellas, with lead singer Martha Reeves arranging her own vocals. Released on July 31, the song was supposed to be an upbeat dance recording—a precursor to disco, and a song about the joyousness of dance. But events overtook it, and the song became one of the icons of American pop culture.

 

The Beatles had landed in the U.S. in early 1964. By the summer, the sixties were in full swing. The summer of 1964 was the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the beginning of the Vietnam War, the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and the lead-up to a dramatic election. As the country grew more radicalized in those few months, “Dancing in the Street” gained currency as an activist anthem. The song took on new meanings, multiple meanings, for many different groups that were all changing as the country changed.

 

Told by the writer who is legendary for finding the big story in unlikely places, Ready for a Brand New Beat chronicles that extraordinary summer of 1964 and showcases the momentous role that a simple song about dancing played in history.

Format: Book
Author: Kurlansky, Mark
Title: Ready for a brand new beat : how "Dancing in the street" became the anthem for a changing America / Mark Kurlansky.
Publisher Date: New York : Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., c2013.
Subject: Vandellas (Musical group) Dancing in the street. Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century Popular music -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Isbn: 9781594487224 (hbk.) 1594487227 (hbk.)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 323.1196 Kur
Oclc: 822532852
Upc:
Bib Id: 441933

Format: Book
Author: Kurlansky, Mark
Title: Ready for a brand new beat : how "Dancing in the street" became the anthem for a changing America / Mark Kurlansky.
Publisher, Date: New York : Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., c2013.
Description: xxi, 263 pages, unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Subjects: Vandellas (Musical group) Dancing in the street.
Subjects: Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Subjects: African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century
Subjects: Popular music -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages 247-252), discography (pages 245-246) and index.
Contents: Introduction. Calling out around the world -- Are you ready? -- A brand new beat -- Summer's here -- The time is right for dancing in the street -- It doesn't matter what you wear.
LCCN: 2013015012
ISBN: 9781594487224 (hbk.)
ISBN: 1594487227 (hbk.)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 323.1196 Kur