Along with books about popular science and popular culture, books about popular music are perennial favorites with readers. In the past few months, authors have published a number of books about popular music. Books published on popular music in 2013 include biographies, memoirs, autobiographies, and even academic analyses.
Biographies provide ways for fans to access information about their favorite performers and bands. Mark Blake’s work Pigs Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd traces the band’s development from its obscure roots to its pivotal role in popular music today. A memoir is also a way to learn about a favorite performer. In Remembering Whitney, Cissy Houston, the mother of the late Whitney Houston, tells the story of her daughter’s life from her perspective. The popular music sensation died young in 2012 by drowning in her hotel room bathtub owing the effects of chronic cocaine use and a heart condition. Her harrowing life story of fame, talent, and addiction is as heartbreaking as it is compelling.
Autobiographies are always a great way to examine different aspects of popular music. Clive Davis, former president of both Columbia and Arista Records has a new autobiography entitled The Soundtrack of My Life. Davis discusses his humble Brooklyn beginnings and how he came to launch the careers of many popular music stars. Another autobiography out recently is A Natural Woman: A Memoir, written by singer-songwriter Carol King.
Some niche areas of music are the subject of books as well. Christian popular music is the subject of David W. Stowe’s No Sympathy for the Devil. The book examines the relationship between evangelism and the rise of Christian popular music. Cultural sociologist Andy Bennett’s work Music, Style, and Aging: Growing Old Disgracefully? focuses on how music fans identify with a particular genre that continues to inform their lives as they age. Bennett also looks at how fans change over the years in terms of their fashion choices, career paths, and political orientations. Music continues to be relevant to fans well into adulthood.