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American Epic

When Music Gave America Her Voice

by Bernard MacMahon Author · Allison McGourty Author


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The companion book to the groundbreaking PBS and BBC documentary series celebrating the pioneers and artists of American roots music-blues, gospel, folk, Cajun, Appalachian, Hawaiian, Native American-without which there would be no jazz, rock, country R&B, or hip hop today. In the 1920s and 1930s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent-farmers, laborers, and ethnic minorities playing styles that blended the intertwining strands of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Fortunately, thanks to the continuing efforts of cultural detectives and record devotees, the stories of America's earliest musicians can finally be told. Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty spent years traveling around the US in search of recollections of those musical pioneers. Their fascinating account, written with the assistance of Elijah Wald, continues the journey of the series and features additional stories.

Publication Details

HighBridge Audio
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  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook 142 MB
  • OverDrive Listen 142 MB

Elijah Wald (Author)

Elijah Wald is a writer and musician whose books include Escaping the Delta and How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll. A respected expert on the folk revival, he collaborated with Dave Van Ronk on The Mayor of MacDougal Street, the inspiration f...

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Bernard MacMahon (Author)

Bernard McMahon is cofounder of Lo-Max Films as well as the director and writer of the American Epic film series and the performance feature The American Epic Sessions.

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Allison McGourty (Author)

Allison McGourty is a writer and producer, known for American Epic: The Big Bang, The Big Bang, and Out of the Many, the One.

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Author :
Elijah Wald
Narrator :
Mike Chamberlain
Author :
Bernard MacMahon
Author :
Allison McGourty
American Epic
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