The Great Songwriters - Beginnings Vol 2 (ebook)

The Great Songwriters - Beginnings Vol 2 (ebook)

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In Beginnings Vol 2 we look at two of the most significant American popular songwriters of the modern era, both who rose to prominence during the tumultuous 1960's and whose work and influence will live on for many years yet. In some ways it's a tale of two coasts, as Paul Simon emerged from the pseudo-intellectual folk scene in New York, while Brian Wilson and his group, The Beach Boys, emerged from the nascent surf scene in Los Angeles, but both writers soon left any easy attempts at musical categorisation behind. War Babies, born 6 months apart on either side of America's belated entry into WWII, the pair came to maturity during a post-war boom, when America enjoyed a consumerist explosion of pre-Cambrian dimensions, accounting for the purchasing of 60% of the world's consumer goods. By 1960, per capita income was 35% higher than in 1945, and 61% of American families were classified as middle-class, as opposed to just 30% during the 1930's. Paul Simon grew up the son of a college professor and his education gave him a particular insight into the humanities and after falling under the spell of the Everly Brothers he moved into folk music, a musical form that allowed a more appropriate place for his humanist/intellectual musings. Brian Wilson was similarly energised by sweet harmonies, specifically the complex and jazz influenced harmonies of The Four Freshman. Wilson took the energy of rock and roll and applied the four part harmony singing of the Four Freshmen and also of the 1950's Doo-Wop groups, a genre equally beloved by Simon. Simon and Wilson shared a love of music in their upbringings, but that's where the similarities end. Paul's father was a musician, "My daddy was a family bass man", and an academic, but Brian's father was "an asshole, he treated us like shit", according to his brother Dennis.

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The Great Songwriters - Beginnings Vol 2 (ebook)


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