Bop Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs

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!--[if gte mso 9] ![endif]-- The gripping story of the rise of early drug culture in America, from the author of the acclaimed Can't Find My Way Home

With an intricate storyline that unites engaging characters and themes and reads like a novel, Bop Apocalypse details the rise of early drug culture in America by weaving together the disparate elements that formed this new and revolutionary segment of the American social fabric.

Drawing upon his rich decades of writing experience, master storyteller Martin Torgoff connects the birth of jazz in New Orleans, the first drug laws, Louis Armstrong, Mezz Mezzrow, Harry Anslinger and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, swing, Lester Young, Billie Holiday, the Savoy Ballroom, Reefer Madness, Charlie Parker, the birth of bebop, the rise of the Beat Generation, and the coming of heroin to Harlem. Aficionados of jazz, the Beats, counterculture, and drug history will all find much to enjoy here, with a cast of characters that includes vivid and memorable depictions of Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Borroughs, Jack Kerouac, Herbert Huncke, Terry Southern, and countless others.

Bop Apocalypse is also a living history that teaches us much about the conflicts and questions surrounding drugs today, casting many contemporary issues in a new light by connecting them back to the events of this transformative era. At a time when marijuana legalization is rapidly becoming a reality, it takes us back to the advent of marijuana prohibition, when the templates of modern drug law, policy, and culture were first established, along with the concomitant racial stereotypes. As a new opioid epidemic sweeps through white working- and middle-class communities, it brings us back to when heroin first arrived on the streets of Harlem in the 1940s. And as we debate and grapple with the gross racial disparities of mass incarceration, it puts into sharp and provocative focus the racism at the very roots of our drug war.

Having spent a lifetime at the nexus of drugs and music, Torgoff reveals material never before disclosed and offers new insights, crafting and contextualizing Bop Apocalypse into a truly novel contribution to our understanding of jazz, race, literature, drug culture, and American social and cultural history.


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About the author

Martin Torgoff has been at the forefront of major media trends and cultural currents for more than thirty years, documenting and telling the story of America through the evolution of its popular culture as an award-winning journalist, award-winning and bestselling author, documentary filmmaker, and Emmy-nominated television writer, director, and producer. His book American Fool: The Roots and Improbable Rise of John "Cougar" Mellencamp was the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor Award. He is also the author of Can't Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945-2000. Today Torgoff applies his understanding of American pop culture to projects that include articles, books, film, television, lectures, multimedia events, and advertising/promotion.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Da Capo Press
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Published on
Jan 24, 2017
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9780306824760
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Social History
History / United States / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The world's fascination with New Orleans stems from the allure of the music of the city_music that owes its origins and development to many sources. Until now, popular and scholarly books, dissertations, and articles that attempt to explain these sources have failed to recognize the unsung heroes of the New Orleans jazz scene: the teachers in its public schools. Through more than 90 original interviews and extensive research in New Orleans' historical collections, Dr. Kennedy documents ways that public school teachers pushed an often unwilling urban institution to become an important structure that transmitted jazz and the other musical traditions of the city to future musicians. Music legends from Louis Armstrong to Ellis Marsalis Jr._who also provides the foreword_are just two of the many well-known former students of the New Orleans public schools. Chord Changes on the Chalkboard shows that, particularly after the 1920s, public school students benefited not only from the study of instrumental music and theory, but also from direct exposure to musicians, many of whom were invited to perform for the students. The impact the teachers had on generations of musicians and music fans is undeniable, yet their teaching techniques are only part of the story. In addition to the successes enjoyed with their students, the teachers' own musical experiences, recordings, and performances are also examined. The interaction between teachers and students in New Orleans public school classrooms opens a new field of research for music historians, and this book is the first to document ways in which public school teachers acted as mentors to shape the future of jazz and the music of New Orleans. An important addition to its field, Chord Changes on a Chalkboard will provide invaluable information for jazz fans and historians, music scholars and students, and it is also useful reading for any public school teacher. A must for any music library, it should also be a welcome addition to any collection supporting African-American history or popular culture.
Keep It Real: The Life Story of James Jimmy Palao, The King of Jazz
by Joan Singleton

This book will become a major resource for anyone interested in the beginning history of Jazz. It was written to develop an understanding of some of the events that caused Jazz to prosper and to give credit to an important figure, Jimmy Palao, who gave his life to developing, teaching and sharing his musical skills. It was Jimmy Palao who taught Buddy Bolden how to read and work with the cornet. Jimmy later played in the Buddy Bolden Band and the teacher learned from the student. Buddy became ill in 1905 and never played again Buddy Bolden never recorded or published any of his music. This could have been the end of his friends music but Jimmy Palao had fallen in love with this style of music and he became leader of the Imperial Band and began to develop this music. It was believed that Jimmy Palao was the first to coin the term Jazz This biography explores the life and career path from 1897 to 1925 of Jimmy Palao who became the Leader and Director of the Original Creole Orchestra, one of the greatest musical organizations of this era; the first band to travel to over 75 cities in the U.S. and Canadian cities and gain national prominence. He was the first King of Jazz. He developed the syncopated 4/4 beat and created collective improvisation and allowed the band members to explore new instrumental techniques. These were the sounds of real Jazz. This is a... candid and somewhat revealing, look at the relationships between the Jazzmen of the Original Creole Orchestra, and the culture and the social dynamics that brought them together. . It takes us into the beginning of the Roaring Twenties as Jimmy Palaos career continued to blossom and was cut short at the early age of 45 years old. This book is Great Reading Its thought provoking. Its a research in history that reads like a novel.

Lets Together Celebrate over 100 Years of Jazz!!!
Americas National Treasure

It was none other than Louis Armstrong who said, "These people who make the restrictions, they don't know nothing about music. It's no crime for cats of any color to get together and blow." "You can't know what it means to be black in the United States--in any field," Dizzy Gillespie once said, but Gillespie vigorously objected to the proposition that only black people could play jazz. "If you accept that premise, well then what you're saying is that maybe black people can only play jazz. And black people, like anyone else, can be anything they want to be." In Cats of Any Color, Gene Lees, the acclaimed author of three previous collections of essays on jazz and popular music, takes a long overdue look at the shocking pervasiveness of racism in jazz's past and present--both the white racism that long ghettoized the music and generations of talented black musicians, and what Lees maintains is an increasingly virulent reverse racism aimed at white jazz musicians. In candid interviews, living jazz legends, critics, and composers step forward and share their thoughts on how racism has affected their lives. Dave Brubeck, part Modoc Indian, discusses native Americans' contribution to jazz and the deeply ingrained racism that for a time made it all but impossible for jazz groups with black and white players to book tours and television appearances. Horace Silver looks back on his long career, including the first time he ever heard jazz played live. Blacks were not not allowed into the pavilion in Connecticut where Jimmie Lunceford's band was performing, so the ten-year-old Silver listened and watched through the wooden slats surrounding the pavilion. "And oh man! That was it!" Silver recalls. Red Rodney recalls his early days with Charlie "Bird" Parker, and pianist and composer Cedar Walton tells of the time Duke Ellington played at the army base at Ford Dix and allowed the young enlisted Walton to sit in. Tracing the jazz world's shifting attitude towards race, many of the stories Lees tells are inspiring--Brubeck cancelling 23 out of 25 concert dates in the South rather than replace black bass player Eugene Wright, or Silver insisting that while he strives to provide his fellow black musicians opportunities, "I just want the best musicans I can get. I don't give a damn if they're pink or polka dot." Others are profoundly disturbing--Lees' first encounter with Oscar Peterson, after a Canadian barber flatly refused to cut Peterson's hair, or Wynton Marsalis on television claiming that blacks have been held back for so many years because the music business is controlled by "people who read the Torah and stuff." From the old shantytowns of Louisville, to the streets of South Central L.A., to the up-to-the-minute controversies surrounding Marsalis's jazz program at Lincoln Center, and the Jazz Masters awards given by the NEA, Cats of Any Color confronts racism head-on. At its heart is a passionate plea to recognize jazz not as the sole property of any one group, but as an art form celebrating the human spirit--not just for the protection of individual musicians, but for the preservation of the music itself.
Can't Find My Way Home is a history of illicit drug use in America in the second half of the twentieth century and a personal journey through the drug experience. It's the remarkable story of how America got high, the epic tale of how the American Century transformed into the Great Stoned Age.
Martin Torgoff begins with the avant-garde worlds of bebop jazz and the emerging Beat writers, who embraced the consciousness-altering properties of marijuana and other underground drugs. These musicians and writers midwifed the age of marijuana in the 1960s even as Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass) discovered the power of LSD, ushering in the psychedelic era. While President John Kennedy proclaimed a New Frontier and NASA journeyed to the moon, millions of young Americans began discovering their own new frontiers on a voyage to inner space. What had been the province of a fringe avant-garde only a decade earlier became a mass movement that affected and altered mainstream America.
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Can't Find My Way Home tells this extraordinary story by weaving together first-person accounts and historical background into a narrative vast in scope yet rich in intimate detail. Among those who describe their experiments with consciousness are Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Robert Stone, Wavy Gravy, Grace Slick, Oliver Stone, Peter Coyote, David Crosby, and many others from Haight Ashbury to Studio 54 to housing projects and rave warehouses.
But Can't Find My Way Home does not neglect the recovery movement, the war on drugs, and the ongoing debate over drug policy. And even as Martin Torgoff tells the story of his own addiction and recovery, he neither romanticizes nor demonizes drugs. If he finds them less dangerous than the moral crusaders say they are, he also finds them less benign than advocates insist.
Illegal drugs changed the cultural landscape of America, and they continue to shape our country, with enormous consequences. This ambitious, fascinating book is the story of how that happened.
An eye-opening account of life inside North Korea—a closed world of increasing global importance—hailed as a “tour de force of meticulous reporting” (The New York Review of Books)
 
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
 
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Praise for Nothing to Envy

“Provocative . . . offers extensive evidence of the author’s deep knowledge of this country while keeping its sights firmly on individual stories and human details.”—The New York Times

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“A tour de force of meticulous reporting.”—The New York Review of Books

“Excellent . . . humanizes a downtrodden, long-suffering people whose individual lives, hopes and dreams are so little known abroad.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“The narrow boundaries of our knowledge have expanded radically with the publication of Nothing to Envy. . . . Elegantly structured and written, [it] is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction.”—John Delury, Slate

“At times a page-turner, at others an intimate study in totalitarian psychology.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK

A WASHINGTON POST TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR * A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER and NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018

“A constant pleasure to read…Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book.” —The Washington Post

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A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries—from the bestselling author hailed as a “national treasure” by The Washington Post.

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

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Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.
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