Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music

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$17.99  $16.73
Chicago Review Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.8 X 0.8 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Barry Mazor is a longtime music, media, and business journalist. He is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and to the online music magazine medium/cuepoint, and is the author of Connie Smith: Just for What I Am and Meeting Jimmie Rodgers. He is the former senior editor and columnist for No Depression magazine and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including American Songwriter, the Nashville Scene, the Village Voice, and the Washington Post. He was awarded the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism in 2008. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

"This is an overwhelming book about an overwhelming character in the music field, a true visionary, who realized the potential power of common music long before anyone else - and who transformed the lives of many of those artists whom he recorded. We owe Barry Mazor a debt of gratitude for telling Peer's incredible life story, his monumental accomplishments, putting them all in one place, and bringing them to the light." Bob Dylan"
Ralph Peer was there first to discover and record roots music before anyone else. This remarkable man broughtthat legacyto the world, nurturing the early country, blues, jazz, and Latin artists.It s all in this book. Diveinand be awed. Donovan"
The world has been waiting for this! Ralph Peer is surely the most fascinating character in American vernacular music business history, and I personally thank him, since I otherwise would have been sacking groceries in El Segundo, or parking cars in Pacoima all these years. Mazor does a spectacular job weaving together the threads of Peer's discoveries in blues, jazz, country, and Latin. You will be amazed! I can't recommend this book strongly enough. Ry Cooder, musician"
A thrill to read and wonderfully told. "The Commerical Appeal""
"Barry Mazor tells Ralph Peer s story engagingly and accurately, and his documentation is impressive." 78 Records"
Mr. Mazor discusses the evolution of American music and intricacies of music publishing with equal authority. He likewise brings impressive clarity and cohesion to considering the big-picture nexus of culture, commerce and evolving technology in which Peer s saga unfolds. He tells this complex, intertwined story with ample substance for serious scholars while also making his book welcoming and accessible for neophytes. The Wall Street Journal A complex, fascinating story told by Mazor, a seasoned music-business commentator, with skill, clarity and zest. MOJO Magazine Mazor's extensive research, including access to hours of archival interview tapes of Peer, sheds new light on this important yet little known person who affected so much of the music we all listen to today." Country Standard Time
Musicians know who Ralph Peer was, and now his life and contributions to our nation s music are made available to all of us in Barry Mazor s wonderful and absorbing biography. Mazor [...] has given us a beautifully written portrait of an utterly fascinating man. One is continually astonished at how a shipping clerk from Independence, Mo., at various junctions in his life, made decisions that transformed American music by bringing new artists and forms of music from country, blues and bluegrass to early rock n roll to millions of citizens who had not yet encountered them. New York Times
Ralph Peer s true importance in American music is rarely understood outside of the music business, but Barry Mazor s book draws a compelling portrait of Peer as business innovator, music scout, and publishing executive, detailing his visionary pursuit of musical riches in previously unexplored rural America and Latin America yielding a body of recorded blues, country, and pop that are the foundations of American musical culture. Laura Cantrell"
Peer finally receives his due in this excellent biography. Booklist"
Mazor s book rolls along at a swift and radio-friendly tempo, supplying invaluable detail on Peer s achievements and the vision that drove them. Pastemagazine
A thrill to read and wonderfully told. The Commerical Appeal"