Syllabus—US Popular Music History

online course @ suny brockport, spring 2020.


Dr. Michael Kramer

Assistant Professor, History Department, The College at Brockport, SUNY

Office: Liberal Arts Building (LAB) 319

Office hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays 12-2pm or by appointment

Office Phone: (585) 395-5689


Course Description

Listen to the American past in order to learn about it. By tracing the emergence of popular music in America as cultural history, students learn about the ways culture shapes politics, economics, and social life (race, class, gender, market, region, nation, world) in the development of the modern United States. Students improve skills in analyzing non-written historical artifacts and sources. No formal musical training is required. Coursework consists of readings, listenings, online lectures, analytic writing, and online journals.

Required Materials

  • Hadju, David. Love for Sale: Pop Music in America. Picador, 2017. ISBN: 9781250141217.
  • Brackett, David, ed. The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates, Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780190843595 (Note: Fourth Edition).
  • Additional readings, listenings, viewings on Blackboard.

Learning Goals

The Power of History

By exploring how our world came to be, the study of history fosters the critical knowledge, breadth of perspective, intellectual growth, and communication and problem-solving skills that will help you lead a purposeful life, exercise responsible citizenship, and achieve career success.

Power of History Learning Goals

  • Develop knowledge of the American past, including factual knowledge but also a sense of existing historical interpretations and debates.
  • Improve skills of articulating a thesis or argument based on evidence and in response to a historical problem or question.
  • Advance in logical sequence principal arguments in defense of a historical thesis.
  • Provide relevant evidence drawn from the evaluation of primary and/or secondary sources that supports the primary arguments in defense of a historical thesis.
  • Evaluate the significance of a historical thesis by relating it to a broader field of historical knowledge such as historiographical debates or rethinking of popular assumptions about the past.
  • Express yourself clearly in writing that forwards a historical analysis.
  • Use disciplinary standards (Chicago Manual of Style) of documentation when referencing historical sources.

Course-Specific Learning Goals

  • Acquire knowledge of American musical culture as an active force in national and international history.
  • Develop skills of linking cultural and aesthetic expression to questions of politics, economics, and social life.
  • Acquire skills of analyzing non-textual evidence, such as popular music.
  • Explore use of digital tools for reading, listening, analyzing, interpreting, and communicating history.


Students are expected to engage critically and creatively with their required course readings and assignments and discuss them during class. Constructive participation and thoughtful and respectful dialogue are heavily emphasized and measured into the final grade.

Grades breakdown

Syllabus and Worksheet Assignment             5%

Weekly Journals (10 x 2.5 each)                     25%

Assignment 01                                                15%

Assignment 02                                                15%

Assignment 03                                                20%

Assignment 04                                                20%

Grading Standards

A-level work is outstanding and reflects a student’s:

  • regular attendance, timely preparation, and on-time submission of assignments
  • thorough understanding of required course material
  • insightful, constructive, respectful and regular participation in class discussion
  • clear, compelling, and well-written assignments
  • credible arguments integrated with relevant evidence in own compelling analysis
  • excellent formatting of assignments and citations
  • academic integrity and honesty

B-level work is good, but with minor problems in one or more areas

C-level work is acceptable, but with minor problems in several areas or major problems in at least one area

D-level work is poor, with major problems in more than one area

E-level work is unacceptable, failing to meet basic course requirements and/or standards of academic integrity/honesty


There is a craft to historical interpretation. The assignments will help you approach this craft and continue to improve your practice of it. Your task in each assignment is to develop effective, compelling, evidence-driven arguments informed by historical awareness and thinking. These will often work by applying your judgment and assessment to consider how things connect or contrast to each other: how do different or similar songs, performers, genres, historical moments, geographic locations, etc., relate to each other? And most importantly, why? What are the implicit ideas and beliefs behind the evidence you locate and analyze?

Additionally, your task in this course is not only to treat popular music merely as a reflection of larger phenomenon, but rather as a shaping agent of historical activities: music not only as a static mirror, but also as a crucial vessel—and enactor—of historical meaning and action.

Aspire to make your assignments communicate a convincing, compelling, and precise argument. The argument, to succeed, should display close analysis of details found in the evidence. These should be contextualized effectively. What else was happening at the time? How does the evidence relate to the broader framework of its historical moment?

Try to write, edit, and revise to achieve clarity of expression in graceful, stylish, logical, well-reasoned prose.

Evaluation of assignments will be based on the following rubric:

  • (1) Argument – presence of an articulated argument that makes an evidence-based claim and expresses the significance of that claim
  • (2) Evidence – presence of specific evidence from primary sources to support the argument
  • (3) Argumentation – presence of convincingly connection between evidence and argument, which is to say effective explanation of the evidence that links its details to the larger argument and its sub-arguments with logic and precision
  • (4) Contextualization – presence of contextualization, which is to say an accurate portrayal of historical contexts in which evidence appeared
  • (5) Style – presence of logical flow of reasoning and grace of prose, including:
    • (a) an effective introduction that hooks the reader with originality and states the argument of the assignment and its significance
    • (b) clear topic sentences that provide sub-arguments and their significance in relation to the overall argument.
    • (c) effective transitions between paragraphs
    • (d) a compelling conclusion that restates argument and adds a final point
    • (e) accurate phrasing and word choice
    • (f) use of active rather than passive voice sentence constructions
  • (6) Effective use of digital tools specified in assignment.


Students must complete all assignments to pass the course. These are designed to be fun, but they are also demanding. Rather than test the breadth of your absorption of course materials, the assignments test your ability to wield specific knowledge of US popular music effectively in order to mount compelling, evidence-driven arguments. If this mode of evaluation is not to your tastes, do not take the course.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty, particularly in the form of plagiarized assignments (question sheets, essays), will result in failed assignments, possible course failure, official reporting, and potential expulsion from Brockport. The Brockport Academic Honesty policy applies to all work in this course. To be certain about its stipulations, rather than risk severe penalties, consult it on the College website:

Additional Course Policies


This course features roughly 50-150 pages of reading a week. Additionally, it includes extensive listening and some additional viewing. Be sure to complete the listening and viewing assignments as well as your readings. In a course on popular music, it would be a shame to privilege reading over other modes of communication, expression, argument, and experience! Listen to the music, and watch the visual material, as you would read a book: what does it have to say? What details do you notice? What is the context? What’s the argument, implicit or explicit, in this material? What is the form? What is the content? Why does it matter?

Disabilities and Accommodations

As the father of a child with neuroatypicality, Professor Kramer recognizes that students may require to accommodations to learn effectively. In accord with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Brockport Faculty Senate legislation, students with documented disabilities may be entitled to specific accommodations. Brockport’s Office for Students with Disabilities makes this determination. Please phone the Office at (585) 395-5409 or e-mail at to inquire about obtaining an official letter for the instructor detailing any approved accommodations. You are responsible for providing the course instructor with an official letter. Faculty work with the Office for Students with Disabilities to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Discrimination and Harassment

Sex and gender discrimination, including sexual harassment, are prohibited in educational programs and activities, including classes. Title IX legislation and College policy require the College to provide sex and gender equity in all areas of campus life. If you or someone you know has experienced sex or gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, or stalking, we encourage you to seek assistance and to report the incident through resources at Confidential assistance is available on campus at Hazen Center for Integrated Care and RESTORE. Faculty are NOT confidential under Title IX and will need to share information with the Title IX & College Compliance Officer. For these and other policies governing campus life, please see


UNIT 01: Introduction and Pre-1900

WEEK 01 – Introduction


  • Hadju, “Introduction,” Love For Sale (hereafter LFS), 3-12
  • Larry Waterman and Christopher Starr, “Themes and Streams of American Popular Music,” American Popular Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 5-44
  • George Lipsitz, “The Long Fetch of History; or, Why Music Matters,” in Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), vixx-xxv
  • Michael J. Kramer, “The Multitrack Model: Cultural History and the Interdisciplinary Study of Popular Music,” in Music and History: Bridging the Disciplines, edited by Jeffrey H. Jackson and Stanley C. Pelkey (University Press of Mississippi, 2005), 220-255
  • Amanda Petrusich, “Lil Nas X Is the Sound of the Internet, Somehow,” New Yorker, 24 June 2019
  • Joshua Clover, “The High Rise and the Hollow,” Commune, 24 March 2019


  • “I Got Rhythm” (George and Ira Gerswhin, written for Girl Crazy musical, 1930)
  • Ella Fitzgerald, “I Got Rhythm” (1959); Duke Ellington Orchestra, “Cotton Tail” (1940); Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, “Anthropology” (1945); Ethel Merman, “I Got Rhythm” (1956); Thelonius Monk, “Rhythm-a-Ning” (1957); Sonny Rollins, “Oleo” (1954); Various studio musicians, “(Meet) The Flintstones” (1961)
  • “Yesterday” (Written by Paul McCartney, listed as Lennon-McCartney, 1965)
  • The Beatles (1965); The Supremes (1966); Count Basie (1966); Ray Charles (1968); Dandy Livingstone (1968); Frank Sinatra (1969); Elvis Presley (1970); Marvin Gaye (1970); Joan Baez (1967, released 1970); Bob Dylan and George Harrison (1970); Boys II Men (1994); John Lennon (Parody, 1974)


  • Tommy James and the Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (1966)
  • The Capitols, “Cool Jerk” (1966, possibly performed by the Funk Brothers, house band for Motown)
  • James & Bobby Purify, “I’m Your Puppet” (1966)
  • Brad Mehldau, “Paranoid Android” (2002, jazz cover of Radiohead song originally released in 1997)
  • Bill Frisell, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (1999, jazz cover of song written by Hank Williams, with Ron Carter, bass, and Paul Motion, drums)
  • The Bad Plus, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (2001, jazz cover of Nirvana song originally released in 1991)
  • The Chordblenders, “I’m From New Jersey” (1961, written by Red Mascara)
  • Donovan, “Epistle to Dippy” (1966)
  • The Rolling Stones, “Let’s Spend the Night Together” (1967)
  • Billy Murray, “You’re a Grand Old Flag” written by George M. Cohan for 1906 musical, George Washington, Jr.)
  • Peter, Paul, and Mary, “I Dig Rock and Roll Music” (1967)


  • Jean Ritchie, “Barbary Allen” (1960, traditional)
  • Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, “Soldier’s Joy” (1929)
  • Tommy Jarrell, “Soldier’s Joy” (early 1980s)
  • Dink Roberts, “Coo Coo” (1974)
  • Lightning Washington and Fellow Convicts, “Long John” (1934)
  • Mississippi John Hurt, “Stagolee” (1965, originally recorded by Hurt in 1928)
  • Carlos Gardel, “La Cumparsita” (1928)
  • Francisco Canaro y Quintero Pirincho, “La Cumparsita” (1951)
  • Grupo Afrocuba de Matanzas, “Enigue Nigue” (1998)
  • Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitln, “Son De La Negra” (1959)


  • The Isley Brothers, “Footsteps in the Dark” (1977), “It’s Your Thing” (1969); “Fight the Power” (1975)
  • Ice Cube, “It Was a Good Day” (1992)
  • Curtis Mayfield, “Pusherman” (1972)
  • King Sunny Ade “Ja Funmi” (1982)
  • Alash Ensemble, “The Raindeer Herder’s Song” (2011)
  • Gary US Bonds, “A Quarter to Three” (1960)
  • Dion and the Belmonts, “The Wanderer” (1961)
  • Parliament Funkadelic, “Flashlight” (1977)
  • KC and the Sunshine Band, “Blow Your Whistle” (1974), “Sound Your Funky Horn” (1974)
  • Zeke Carey and the Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959)
  • 2 Live Crew, “Me So Horny” (1989)
  • Baha Men, “Who Let the Dogs Out?” (2000)
  • Dr. John, “Iko Iko” (1972)
  • Earl Palmer’s Beat, 1956-1964 (Youtube compilations)
  • “All Along the Watchtower” (Written by Bob Dylan, 1967)
  • Bob Dylan (1967), Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967), Bobby Womack (1973), Brothers and Sisters Gospel Choir (1971), Bob Dylan and the Band (1974), Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead (1987), U2 (1988), Indigo Girls (1991), Bob Dylan (Unplugged, 1994), Dave Matthews Band (1997), David West, Pickin’ On Jimi Hendrix: A Bluegrass Tribute (1999), Neil Young (2000), Bryan Ferry (2007), Eddie Vedder and the Million Dollar Bashers (2008)

Additional Listening/Viewing

  • Little Nas X, “Old Town Road” (2018, digital download)
  • Nine Inch Nails, “34 Ghosts IV” (2008, Ghosts I–IV)
  • “The Making Of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” With YoungKio, Deconstructed”
  • Little Nas X with Billie Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road (Remix)” (2019, digital download)
  • Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Keith Urban, “Old Town Road,” CMA Fest 2019
  • Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road,” The BET Awards Live!, 2019

Assignment: Syllabus and Course Goals Worksheet Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 02 – Pre-1900


  • W.E.B. Dubois, “Of Our Spiritual Striving” in The Souls of Black Folk (Chicago: AC McClurg & Co., 1903)
  • Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones, “Blues People and the Classic Blues” from Blues People: The Negro Experience in White America and the Music that Developed from It, in Brackett, The Pop, Rock, Soul Reader, Part 1, Section 6 (hereafter PRSR)
  • WT Lhamon, “Dancing for Eels at Catherine Market,” in Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip Hop (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 1-55
  • Douglas A. Jones, “Black Politics But Not Black People: Early Minstrelsy, ‘White Slavery,’ and the Wedge of ‘Blackness’,” The Captive Stage: Performance and the Proslavery Imagination of the Antebellum North (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2014), 50-74
  • Tom Maxwell, “A History of American Protest Music: How The Hutchinson Family Singers Achieved Pop Stardom with an Anti-Slavery Anthem,” Longreads, March 2017
  • Jody Rosen, “The 2013 VMAs Were Dominated by Miley’s Minstrel Show,” Vulture, 26 August 2013
  • Brittney Cooper, “The first rule of blackface: It’s not hard to understand, everyone,” Salon, 29 October 2013


  • Thomas Hampson, “Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair” (1994, written by Stephen Foster in 1854)
  • Joan Morris and William Bolcom, “After the Ball” (1976, written by Charles K. Harris in 1891)
  • Peter DiSante and others, “De Boatmen’s Dance” (1998, credited to Dan Emmett of the Virginia Minstrels, 1843)
  • Peter DiSante and others, “Stop Dat Knocking” (1998, Written by A. F. Winnemore, 1847, often performed by Christy’s Minstrels)
  • New Sandy Minstrels, “Old Dan Tucker” (1843, written by Dan Emmett, recorded 1998)
  • Eastman Chorale, “Get Off the Track” (1845, written by Jesse Hutchinson, originally sung by the Hutchinson Singers, recorded 1993)
  • Fisk Jubilee Singers, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” (1909)


  • Stephen Foster, dir. Randall MacLowry (2006)
  • Bamboozled, dir. Spike Lee (2001)

Lecture 02.01 The Empire of Sentimentalism: In the Parlor with Stephen Foster, In the Street with John Philip Sousa

Lecture 02.02 The Minstrel Show’s Many Masks: The Vexing Legacy of the Racial Masquerade

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 03 – Project 01

UNIT 02: 1900-1940

WEEK 04 – 1900-1930 Part 1


  • Hadju, LFS, Ch. 1-Ch. 3, 13-61
  • David Suisman, “When Songs Became a Business,” in Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009), 18-55,
  • Larry Waterman and Christopher Starr, “Tin Pan Alley Song Form”-“What Makes a Song a Standard,” American Popular Music, 106-121,
  • Brackett, PRSR
    • 1. Irving Berlin in Tin Pan Alley, Charles Hamm, “Irving Berlin and the Crucible of God”
    • 2. Technology, the Dawn of Modern Popular Music, and the “King of Jazz,” Paul Whiteman and Mary Margaret McBride, “On Wax”
    • 3. Big Band Swing Music: Race and Power in the Music Business, Marvin Freedman, “Black Music’s on Top; White Jazz Stagnant,” Irving Kolodin, “The Dance Band Business: A Study in Black and White”



  • Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville, “Au Clair de la Lune” (1860)
  • Clarice Mayne, “I Was a Good Little Girl Until I Met You” (1914, written by James W. Tate and Clifford Harris)
  • Gwendoline Brogden, “I’ll Make a Man of You” (1914, written by Arthur Wimperis and Herman Finck)
  • Al Jolson, “Who Paid the Rent for Mrs. Rip Van Winckle” (1930, written by Fred Fischer and Alfred Bryan in 1914)
  • Bert Williams, “The Darktown Poker Club” (1914, written by Williams, Will H. Vodery, and Jean Havez)
  • Bert Williams, “Nobody” (1906, written by Bert Williams and Alex Rogers)
  • Albert H. Campbell and Irving Gillette [i.e. Henry Burr], “On the Shores of Italy” (1914)
  • Billy Murray, “In Siam” (1915)
  • Enrico Caruso, “Celeste Aria” from Aida (1911)
  • “Whispering” (written by John Schonberger, Richard Coburn (Frank Reginald DeLong), and Vincent Rose, 1920): Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra (1920); Benny Goodman Quartet (1936); Tommy Dorsey And His Sentimentalists with Frank Sinatra and The Pied Pipers (1940); Dizzy Gillespie, “Groovin’ High” (1945); Lena Horne (1946); Harry Belafonte (1949); Miles Davis Sextet (1951); Bing Crosby (1957); Les Paul and Mary Ford (1951); Chet Atkins (1961); The Beatles (1969)
  • Duke Ellington, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” (1928, written by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields), “East St. Louis Toodle-oo” (1927, written by Ellington and Bubber Miley); “Take the ‘A’ Train” (1941, arranged by Billy Strayhorn, lyrics later added by Joya Sherrill, often sung by Ellington trumpeter Ray Nance, compare to Bing Crosby, “Exactly Like You”)
  • Cab Calloway, “Minnie the Moocher’s Wedding Day” (1932, written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler)
  • Ethel Waters, “Stormy Weather” (1933, written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler); Lena Horne, “Stormy Weather” (1941); Billie Holiday, “Stormy Weather” (1952)
  • Bruce Springsteen, “Jungleland” (1975)
  • Labelle, “Lady Marmalade” (1974, written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan)
  • Earth, Wind, and Fire, “Shining Star” (1975, written by Maurice White, Larry Dunn and Philip Bailey)

Additional listening

  • Dick Hyman, “Maple Leaf Rag” (2011, written by Scott Joplin in 1899)
  • James Reese Europe, “Castle House Rag” (1914)
  • Original Dixieland Band, “Tiger Rag” (1917)
  • Creole Jazz Band, “Dipper Mouth Blues” (1923)
  • Louis Armstrong, “West End Blues” (1928)
  • Al Jolson, “April Showers” (1921)
  • Gene Austin, “My Blue Heaven” (1927)
  • Ben Selvin, “Blue Skies” (1927, written by Irving Berlin for musical Betsy, by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, 1926)
  • Josephine Baker, “Blue Skies” (1927)
  • Kate Smith, “Swingin’ in a Hammock” (1930)
  • Bing Crosby, “Beautiful Dreamer” (1940, written by Stephen Foster, 1864); “Exactly Like You” (1944, written by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, compare to Duke Ellington, “Take the ‘A’ Train”)
  • Paul Whiteman, “Rhapsody in Blue” (1924, written by George Gershwin)


  • Jazz, dir. Ken Burns (2000), Episodes 1-3

Lecture 04.01 Standardization: Tin Pan Alley and the Culture Industry

Lecture 04.02 Syncopatin’ Modernity: From Ragtime to Jazz In “The Jazz Age”

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 05 – 1900-1930 Part 02


  • Hadju, LFS, Ch. 4-5, 63-100
  • W.C. Handy, “Mississippi Mud,” in Father of the Blues, ed. Arna Bontemps (New York: Macmillan Company, 1941), 71-88
  • Brackett, PRSR:
    • 5. Hillbilly and Race Music, Crichton, “Thar’s Gold in Them Hillbillies”
    • Reread 6. Blues People and the Classic Blues, LeRoi Jones, from Blues People: The Negro Experience in White America and the Music that Developed from It
    • 7. The Empress of the Blues, Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff, from Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya: The Story of Jazz as Told by the Men Who Made It
    • 8. At the Crossroads with Son House, Jerry Gilbert, “Son House: Living King of Delta”
  • Michael J. Kramer, “Tunesmithing History: Tin Pan Alley Imitation for Historical Inquiry,” Culture Rover, 12 November 2015


  • Hadju
    • Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan, “Always” (1957, written by Irving Berlin, 1925)
    • Ina Ray Hutton and her Melodears, “Doin’ the Susie Q” (1936)
    • Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra featuring Frank Sinatra with The Pied Pipers, “I’ll Never Smile Again” (1940, written by Ruth Lowe, pianist for Ina Ray Hutton, 1939)
    • Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra featuring the Sentimentalists, “On the Sunny Side of the Street” (1945, written by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields in 1930, arranged by Sy Oliver, the Sentimentalists were also known as the Clark Sisters)
    • Rudy Vallee, “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries” (1931)
    • Bing Crosby, “Sierra Sue” (1940); “Ol’ Man River” (1928, with Paul Whiteman Orchestra, featuring Bix Beiderbecke on cornet, written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II for musical Showtime, 1927)
    • Mitchell Ayres and His Fashions in Music, “Make Believe Island” (1940)
    • Will Bradley Orchestra, “Beat Me, Daddy, Eight to the Bar” (1940, compare to Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” 1941, both songs written by Don Raye and Hughie Prince and to Glenn Miller Orchestra, “In the Mood,” 1940, arranged by Joe Garland and Andy Razaf based on “Tar Paper Stomp” by Wingy Manone, 1930)
    • The Capitols, “Cool Jerk” (1966, possibly performed by the Funk Brothers, house band for Motown)
    • Adele, “Hello” (2015)
    • Robert Wilcox, “The Jolly Cowboy” (1960, published in John Lomax’s Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads, 1910); Rowdy Wright, “I’m a Jolly Cowboy” (1937)
    • Billy Murray, “In the Land of the Buffalo” (1907, written by Egbert Van Alstyne and Harry Williams)
    • Tex Ritter, “You Two-Timed Me One Time Too Often” (1945, written by Jenny Lou Carson); “Rye Whiskey” (1949)
    • Carter Family, “Mid the Green Fields of Virginia” (1932, written by Charles K. Harris); “Little Old Log Cabin By the Sea” (1927, recorded as “Little Old Log Cabin In the Lane” by Fiddlin’ John Carson, 1923, and originally written in 1887 by William Shakespeare Hays as “De Old Log Cabin”); “You Are My Flower” (1938, written by Maybelle Carter based on magazine poem with melody from Mexican song heard on radio); “Single Girl, Married Girl” (1927, also on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, released by Folkways Records, 1952)
    • Blind Lemon Jefferson, “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” (1927, also on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, released by Folkways Records, 1952)
    • Ernst Phipps and His Holiness Singers, “Shine on Me” (1927, originally released on Bluebird, also on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, released by Folkways Records, 1952)
    • Uncle Dave Macon, “Way Down the Old Plank Road” (1926, also on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, released by Folkways Records, 1952)
    • Ken Maynard, “The Lone Star Trail” (1930, also on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, released by Folkways Records, 1952)
    • Jimmie Rodgers, “Blue Yodel No. 2 (My Lovin’ Gal, Lucille)” (1928); “Blue Yodel No. 9 (Standin’ on the Corner)” (1931, with Louis Armstrong on trumpet and Lil Hardin Armstrong on piano)
    • Bing Crosby, Sons of the Pioneers, Louie Prima, and others, “I’m an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande” (1936, from film Rhythm on the Range, written by Johnny Mercer)
    • Gene Autry, “Back in the Saddle Again” (1939); “I’m an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande” (1941, from the film Back in the Saddle, with Mary Lee, written by Johnny Mercer)
    • Sons of the Pioneers (including Leonard Slye aka Roy Rogers), “Cool Water” (1947); “Riders in the Sky” (1948)
    • Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, “Happy Trails” (1952)

Additional listening

  • Bessie Smith, “St Louis Blues” (1925, with Louis Armstrong, written by W.C. Handy)
  • Mamie Smith’s Jazz Hounds (no relation to Bessie Smith), “Crazy Blues” (1920)
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson, “That Black Snake Moan” (1927)
  • Charley Patton, “Tom Rushen Blues” (1929)
  • Robert Johnson, “Cross Road Blues” (1936)
  • Don Azpiazu, “El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor)” (1930)
  • Carter Family, “Foggy Mountain Top” (1927); “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” (1929)
  • Golden Gate Quartet, “The Sun Didn’t Shine” (1941)
  • Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton, “New Orleans Blues (written ca. 1902, recorded by Alan Lomax at Library of Congress, 1938)
  • Fletcher Henderson, “Wrappin’ It Up” (1934)
  • Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, “Caravan” (1937)
  • Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra, “Rhythm Is Our Business” (1935)
  • Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, “Taking a Chance on Love” (1940, with Helen Forrest on vocals, arranged by Fletcher Henderson, written by Vernon Duke, John Latouche and Ted Fetter for the Broadway musical Cabin in the Sky)
  • Benny Goodman Trio, “Tiger Rag” (with Teddy Wilson, piano; Gene Krupa, drums, 1936)
  • Benny Goodman Quartet (with Teddy Wilson, piano, Lionel Hampton, vibraphone, and Gene Krupa, drums, 1937)
  • Benny Goodman Sextet (with Charlie Christian, guitar; Lionel Hampton, vibraphone; Fletcher Henderson, piano; Artie Bernstein, bass; Nick Fatool, drums), “Red Room,” 1939)
  • Count Basie Orchestra, “One O’Clock Jump” (1937)
  • Glenn Miller and his Orch., “In the Mood” (1940, arranged by Joe Garland and Andy Razaf based on “Tar Paper Stomp” by Wingy Manone, 1930)
  • Charlie Parker, “A Night in Tunisia” (1946, with Miles Davis, trumpet, written as “Interlude” by Dizzy Gillespie, 1941-2)
  • Charlie Parker, “Koko” (1946, with Miles Davis or Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet, Dizzy Gillespie or Argonne Thornton (Sadik Hakim), piano, Curley Russell, bass, Max Roach, drums, based on chord changes of based upon the chord changes of Ray Noble’s “Cherokee,” 1938).
  • Dizzy Gillespie and His All-Stars (including Charlie Parker, alto saxophone), “Salt Peanuts” (1945, written by Dizzy Gillespie, with Kenny Clarke and possibly Charlie Parker, 1942)
  • Dizzy Gillespie, “Manteca” (1947, cowritten by Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo and Gil Fuller)


  • Jazz, dir. Ken Burns (2000), Episodes 5-8

Lecture 05.01 Anti-Standardization: Race Records, Hillbilly Music, and the Cultivation of Niche Markets

Lecture 05.02 A New Deal: Swingin’ the Machine in the 1930s

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 06 – Project 02

Assignment 02 Tin Pan Alley Imitation and Analysis Due Sunday midnight

UNIT 03: 1940-1975

WEEK 07 – 1940s-1950s


  • Hadju, Ch. 6, 101-121
  • PRSR:
    • 10. Jumpin’ the Blues with Louis Jordan, Down Beat, “Bands Dug by the Beat: Louis Jordan”, Arnold Shaw, from Honkers and Shouters: The Golden Years of Rhythm and Blues
    • 13. Country Music as Folk Music, Country Music as Novelty, Billboard, “American Folk Tunes: Cowboy and Hillbilly Tunes and Tunesters”; Newsweek, “Corn of Plenty”
    • 15. “The House that Ruth Brown Built,” Ruth Brown (with Andrew Yule), from Miss Rhythm: The Autobiography of Ruth Brown, Rhythm and Blues Legend
    • 16. Ray Charles, or, When Saturday Night Mixed It Up with Sunday Morning, Ray Charles and David Ritz, from Brother Ray: Ray Charles’ Own Story
    • 17. Jerry Wexler: A Life in R&B, Jerry Wexler and David Ritz, from Rhythm and the Blues: A Life in American Music
    • 19. From Rhythm and Blues to Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Songs of Chuck Berry; Norman Jopling, “Chuck Berry: Rock Lives!”
    • 20. Little Richard: Boldly Going Where No Man Had Gone Before, Charles White, from The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Quasar of Rock
    • 21. Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips, and Rockabilly, Elizabeth Kaye, “Sam Phillips Interview”
    • 23. The Chicago Defender Defends Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rob Roy, “Bias Against ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ Latest Bombshell in Dixie”



  • Bessie Smith, “T’aint Nobody’s Bizness If I Do” (1923); “Downhearted Blues” (1923); “Gin House Blues” (1925, written by Fletcher Henderson and Henry Troy)
  • Alberta Hunter, “Downhearted Blues” (1922)
  • Duke Ellington, “Down in Our Alley Blues” (1927)
  • Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, “Stompin’ at the Savoy” (1936, arranged by Fletcher Henderson)
  • Big Joe Turner, “Shake, Rattle, Roll” (1954, written by Jesse Stone under the pseudonym Charles E. Calhoun, Atlantic Records); “The Chicken and the Hawk” (1955)
  • Jackie Brentson, “Rocket 88” (1951, recorded by Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm)
  • Wynonie Harris, “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (1948)
  • Jimmy Preston and His Prestonians, “Rock the Joint” (1949)
  • Louis Jordan, “Caldonia” (1945); “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” (1947); “Saturday Night Fish Fry” (1949); “Ain’t That Just Like a Woman” (1946, compare the guitar intro played by Carl Hogan to Chuck Berry, “Johnny B. Goode”)
  • Jim Jackson, “Jim Jackson’s Kansas City Blues” (1927)
  • Charlie Patton, “Going to Move to Alabama” (1929)
  • Count Basie, “Red Wagon” (1939, with Freddie Green, guitar, Walter Page, bass, and Jo Jones, drums)
  • Hank Williams, “Move It On Over” (1947)
  • Big Bill Broonzy and the Famous Hokum Boys, “Eagle Riding Papa” (1930)
  • Milton Brown and His Brownies, “Easy Ridin’ Papa” (1936)
  • Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, “Ida Red” (1938, compare to Chuck Berry, “Maybelline”); “New San Antonio Rose” (1940)
  • Bill Haley and His Saddlemen, “Deal Me a Hand” (1950); “Rocket 88” (1951); “Rock the Joint” (1952)
  • Wild Bill Moore, “We’re Gonna Rock, We’re Gonna Roll” (1948)
  • Bill Haley and His Comets, “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” (1954); “Thirteen Women (and Only One Man In Town)” (1954); “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock Tonight” (1954)
  • Chuck Berry, “Maybellene” (1955); “Thirty Days” (1955); “Too Much Monkey Business” (1956); “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man” (1956); “You Can’t Catch Me” (1956); “Sweet Little Sixteen” (1958, compare to The Beach Boys, “Surfin’ USA,” 1963, Berry won a copyright infringement suit against The Beach Boys for the song); “Back in the USA” (1959, compare to The Beatles, “Back in the USSR” and Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the USA”); “Come On” (1961)
  • Little Richard, “Tutti Frutti” (1957, produced by Robert “Bumps” Blackwell); Pat Boone, “Tutti Frutti” (1957)
  • Little Richard, “Keep a Knockin'” (1958, produced by Robert “Bumps” Blackwell; compare to minstrel song “Who Dat Knocking” and Jaack McVea’s “Open the Door, Richard”)
  • Elvis Presley, “That’s Alright (Mama)” (1954); “Blue Moon of Kentucky” (1954) (compare to Bill Monroe version); “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956); “Don’t Be Cruel” (1956, written by Otis Blackwell); “Jailhouse Rock” (1957, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller)

Additional listening

  • Mills Brothers, “Paper Doll” (1957)
  • Roy Acuff, “Great Speckled Bird” (1936)
  • Xavier Cugat, “Brazil” (1943)
  • Machito and His Afro-Cubans, “Nagüe” (1941)
  • Frank Sinatra and the Axel Stordahl, “Nancy (With the Laughing Face)” (1945)
  • Nat “King” Cole, “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” (1946, written by Bobby Troup)
  • Nat “King” Cole, “Nature Boy” (1948, written by eden ahbez (George McGrew))
  • Pèrez Prado, “Mambo No. 5” (1947)
  • Rosemary Clooney, “Mambo Italiano” (1954)
  • Jack McVea and His All Stars, “Open the Door, Richard” (1947) (compare to minstrel show song “Who Dat Knocking” and Little Richard’s “Keep a Knocking”)
  • Ruth Brown, “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean” (1952)
  • Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, “Hound Dog” (1952, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller); Elvis Presley, “Hound Dog” (1956)
  • Muddy Waters, “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” (1954, written by Willie Dixon, Chess Records)
  • Howlin’ Wolf, “Spoonful” (1960, written by Willie Dixon, Chess Records)
  • Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys, “Blue Moon of Kentucky” (1946); “It’s Mighty Dark to Travel” (1947)
  • Hank Thompson, “The Wild Side of Life” (1952) (compare to Carter Family, “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” and Roy Acuff, “Great Speckled Bird”)
  • Kitty Wells, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels” (1952, written by J. D. “Jay” Miller) (compare to Hank Thompson, “The Wild Side of Life,” Carter Family, “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” and Roy Acuff, “Great Speckled Bird”)
  • Hank Williams, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (1949); “Hey, Good Lookin'” (1951)
  • The Chords, “Sh-Boom” (1954); The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom” (1954)
  • Junior Parker, “Mystery Train” (1953); Elvis Presley, “Mystery Train” (1955)
  • Jerry Lee Lewis, “Great Balls of Fire” (1957, written by Otis Blackwell)
  • Buddy Holly and the Crickets, “That’ll Be The Day” (1957)
  • Ritchie Valens, “La Bamba” (1958)
  • The Coasters, “Charlie Brown” (1959, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller)


  • Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll, dir. Taylor Hackford (1987)

Lecture 07.01 Everybody Eats When They Come To My House: Postwar Reconfigurations

Lecture 07.02 Roll Over Beethoven: The Rise of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

Week 08 – 1960s Part 01


  • Hadju, LFS, Ch. 7-8, 123-150
  • PRSR:
    • 24. The Music Industry Fight Against Rock ‘n’ Roll: Dick Clark’s Teen-Pop Empire and the Payola Scandal, Peter Bunzel, “Music Biz Goes Round and Round: It Comes Out Clarkola”; New York Age, “Mr. Clark and Colored Payola”
    • 25. The Brill Building and the Girl Groups, Charlotte Greig, from Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? Girl Groups from the 50s On
    • 26. From Surf to Smile, Richard Cromelin, “Interview with Brian Wilson”
    • 28. Bringing It All Back Home: Dylan at Newport, Irwin Silber, “Newport Folk Festival, 1965,” Paul Nelson, “Newport Folk Festival, 1965”
    • 31. No Town Like Motown, Harvey Kubernik, “Berry Gordy: A Conversation with Mr. Motown”



  • The Shirelles, “Tonight’s the Night” (1960, written by Luther Dixon and Shirley Owens, produced by Luther Dixon); “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” (1960, written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, produced by Phil Spector)
  • Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960); “Crying” (1962)
  • Connie Francis, “My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own” (1960)
  • Frankie Avalon, “Why” (1959)
  • Stephen Stills, “Love the One You’re With” (1970)
  • Billy Eckstine, “Love the One You’re With” (1971)
  • Pèrez Prado, “Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)” (1955)
  • Mitch Miller, “The Yellow Rose of Texas” (1955)
  • Elton John, “Philadelphia Freedom” (1974)
  • David Bowie, “Fame” (1975, with John Lennon)
  • The Eagles, “One of These Nights” (1975)
  • Eve Tanguay, “I Don’t Care” (1922)
  • Billie Holiday, “God Bless the Child” (1955)
  • Frank Sinatra, “Ebb Tide” (1958, compare intro to Erroll Garner, “Misty”)
  • George Jones, “She Thinks I Still Care” (1962)
  • Ray Charles, “Hit the Road, Jack” (1961, written by Percy Mayfield)
  • Trini Lopez, “If I Had a Hammer” (1964, written by Pete Seeger, compare to versions by Peter, Paul, and Mary; The Weavers; Odetta; Sam Cooke; Aretha Franklin; Johnny Cash; among others); Peter, Paul, and Mary, “If I Had a Hammer” (1962); Sam Cooke, “If I Had a Hammer” (1964)
  • The Beatles, “Love Me Do” (1963); “Chains” (1963, written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin); “Please Please Me” (1963); “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1964); “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” (1965); “Help!” (1965); “Eleanor Rigby” (1966); “Come Together (1969, compare to Chuck Berry, “You Can’t Catch Me”), all produced by George Martin
  • Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan (produced by John Hammond): “Talkin’ New York” (1962); Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (producers John Hammond and Tom Wilson): “Masters of War” (1963); “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” (1963, music based on traditional Child ballad “Lord Randall”); “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” (1963, music adapted from traditional song “Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons When I’m Gone?”); “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963); The Times They Are A-Changin’ (produced by Tom Wilson, compare to version by Sam Cooke, 1964): “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1964, from The Times They Are A-Changin’, produced by Tom Wilson); “Mr. Tambourine Man” (1965, from Bringing It All Back Home, produced by Tom Wilson, compare to version by The Byrds);”Like a Rolling Stone” (1965, from Highway 61 Revisited, produced by Tom Wilson)
  • The Rolling Stones, “Come On” (1963, compare to Chuck Berry version); “Satisfaction” (1965, compare to Otis Redding version, 1965; Aretha Franklin version, 1968; Britney Spears, 2000; Cat Power (Chan Marshall), 2000)
  • Lovin’ Spoonful, “Do You Believe in Magic?” (1965)
  • Mississippi John Hurt, “Coffee Blues” (1966, Today!)
  • Joni Mitchell, “My Old Man” (1971)
  • REM, “Radio Free Europe” (1983)
  • Guided By Voices, “Hardcore UFO’s” (1994)
  • Eric B. and Rakim, “Eric B. Is President” (1986)
  • Tyler, the Creator, “Yonkers” (2010)
  • Marvin Gaye, “Got To Give It Up” (1977)
  • Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines” (2013, featuring T.I. and Pharrell, produced by Pharrell Williams, Marvin Gaye added as a writer due to lawsuit over copyright infringement for “Got To Give It Up,” 2015, currently being appealed)

Additional listening

  • The Kingston Trio, “Tom Dooley” (1958, based on actual murder in North Carolina, recorded versions by G. B. Grayson and Henry Whitter, 1928; field recording of Frank Proffitt, 1940, recorded in 1961; Frank Warner, 1952; The Folksay Trio, 1953; Paul Clayton, 1956; Lonnie Donegan, 1958; Doc Watson, 1964)
  • Chubby Checker, “The Twist” (1960, produced by Dave Appell who performed in Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra, released on Cameo-Parkway, originally released by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, 1959)
  • The Isley Brothers, “Twist and Shout” (1962, originally recorded by The Top Notes, 1961, in version produced by pre-Wall of Sound Phil Spector)
  • Sam Cooke, “Twistin’ the Night Away” (1962, recorded with the “Wrecking Crew” studio musicians, Los Angeles)
  • The Drifters, “Up On The Roof” (1962, written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King)
  • The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (1963, written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, produced by Phil Spector)
  • The Crystals, “He’s a Rebel” (1962, uncredited vocals by Darlene Love, written by Gene Pitney, produced by Phil Spector); “Uptown” (1962, written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, produced by Phil Spector); “Da Doo Run Run” (1963, written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, produced by Phil Spector)
  • The Beach Boys, “Surfin’ USA” (1963); “In My Room” (1963); “I Get Around” (1964); “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” (1966, Pet Sounds); “God Only Knows” (1966, Pet Sounds); “Good Vibrations” (1966, Smiley Smile)
  • The Temptations, “My Girl” (1964, written and produced by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, Motown)
  • Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” (1965, written by Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, and Marv Tarplin, Motown)
  • The Supremes, “Stop! In the Name of Love” (1965, written by Holland–Dozier–Holland, Motown); “You Can’t Hurry Love” (1966, written by Holland–Dozier–Holland, Motown)
  • Marvin Gaye, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You” (1964, written by Holland-Dozier-Holland); “Ain’t It Peculiar” (1965, written by Smokey Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore, and Marv Tarplin); “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967, with Tammi Terrell, written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson); “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, compare to versions by Gladys Knight and the Pips (1967), The Miracles (1968), and in advertisement for California Raisins (1986); “What’s Going On” (1971, written by Marvin Gaye)

Lecture 08.01 Twistin’ Into the Sixties: Teenage Symphonies, Hitsville USA, and More

Lecture 08.02 “Auteur” Pop Star and Their Subcultures: The Beach Boys and California Surfers—Dylan and the Folk Revival—The Beatles and the British Invasion—Marvin Gaye at Motown

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 09 – Spring Break

WEEK 10 – 1960s Part 02


  • Hadju, Ch. 9, 151-170
  • Michael Frisch, “Woodstock and Altamont,” in True Stories From the American Past, Vol. II: Since 1865, ed. William Graebner (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997), 210-231
  • PRSR:
    • 30. From R&B to Soul, Jerry Wexler and David Ritz, from Rhythm and the Blues: A Life in American Music
    • 34. Aretha Franklin Earns Respect, Phyl Garland, “Aretha Franklin-‘Sister Soul’: Eclipsed Singer Gains New Heights”
    • 35. The Beatles, the “British Invasion,” and Cultural Respectability, William Mann, “What Songs the Beatles Sang . . .,” Theodore Strongin, “Musicologically…”
    • 36. A Hard Day’s Night and Beatlemania, Andrew Sarris, “Bravo Beatles!,” Barbara Ehrenreich, Elizabeth Hess, and Gloria Jacobs, “Beatlemania: Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
    • 37. Two Takes on Sergeant Pepper, Tom Philips, “Review of Sergeant Pepper: The Album as Art Form”: Richard Goldstein, “I Blew My Cool through the New York Times”
    • 38. The British Art School Blues, Giorgio Gomelsky,”The Rolling Stones Stake a Claim in the R&B Race”
    • 39. The Stones versus the Beatles, Ellen Willis, “Records: Rock, Etc.-the Big Ones”
    • 40. If You’re Goin’ to San Francisco, Ralph J. Gleason, “Dead Like Live Thunder”
    • 41. The Kozmic Blues of Janis Joplin, Nat Hentoff, “We Look at Our Parents and…”
    • 42. Jimi Hendrix and the Electronic Guitar, Bob Dawbarn, “Second Dimension: Jimi Hendrix in Action”
    • 44. Festivals: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Mike Jahn, “Recollected in Tranquility: Woodstock”
    • 45. Where Did the Sixties Go?,Lester Bangs, “Of Pop and Pies and Fun”
    • 48. Sly Stone: “The Myth of Staggerlee,” Greil Marcus, from Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music



  • Julie Andrews, “The Rain In Spain” (1956, from My Fair Lady, written by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion)
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, “Ohio” (1971)
  • Chicago, “Saturday in the Park” (1972)
  • David Bowie, “Ziggy Stardust” (1972); “Starman” (1972)
  • Gilbert and Sullivan, “Favorite Airs from The Mikado” (1914, Edison Records)
  • Sarah Vaughan, “Stairway to Paradise” (1957, written by George Gershwin, 1922)
  • Ella Fitzgerald, “I Get a Kick Out of You” (1956, written by Cole Porter, produced by Norman Grantz); “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1964, compare to The Beatles); “Sunshine of Your Love” (1968, compare to Cream version)
  • Cream, “Sunshine of Your Love” (1968, Disraeli Gears); “Crossroads” (1968, Wheels of Fire, compare to Robert Johnson version)
  • The Beatles, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band); “Revolution” (1968, The Beatles (The White Album)); “Back in the USSR” (1968, The Beatles (The White Album)), all produced by George Martin
  • The Rolling Stones, “Street Fighting Man” (1968, Beggars Banquet)
  • Janis Joplin, “Piece of My Heart” (1968, Cheap Thrills, compare to Erma Franklin version; Dusty Springfield version, 1968)
  • Erma Franklin, “Piece of My Heart” (1967; compare to Janis Joplin version, 1968; Dusty Springfield version, 1968)
  • Simon and Garfunkel, “The Sounds of Silence” (1964, acoustic; 1966, with overdubbed band, produced by Tom Wilson); “America” (1968)
  • Les Paul and Mary Ford, “How High the Moon” (1951)
  • The Shangri-Las, “Leader of the Pack” (1964, written by George “Shadow” Morton, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich, produced by George “Shadow” Morton)
  • The Kinks, “Sunny Afternoon” (1966, Face to Face)
  • The Who, “Pinball Wizard” (1969)
  • Various musicians, “Superstar” (1970, from Jesus Christ Superstar, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice)
  • Carole King, “It’s Too Late” (1971, Tapestry)

Additional listening

  • Sam Cooke, “You Send Me” (1957, produced by Robert “Bumps” Blackwell); “A Change is Gonna Come” (1964)
  • James Brown, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (1966)
  • Otis Redding, “Respect” (1965, written by Otis Redding, Stax Records); Aretha Franklin, “Respect” (1966, produced by Jerry Wexler, recorded at Muscle Shoals Studios, Atlantic Records); The Rationals, “Respect” (1966)
  • Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit” (1967, Surrealistic Pillow)
  • Grateful Dead, “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” (1967, Grateful Dead); “St. Stephen” (1969, Live/Dead); “Turn on Your Love Light” (1969, Live/Dead, originally recorded by Bobby “Blue” Bland, 1961); “Uncle John’s Band” (1970, Workingman’s Dead)
  • The Doors, “Break on Through” (1968, The Doors)
  • The Temptations, “Cloud Nine” (1968, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, produced by Norman Whitfield, Motown)
  • Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Purple Haze” (1967, Are You Experienced?); Jimi Hendrix, “Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze” (live at Woodstock, 1969, released on Woodstock album, 1970)
  • Credence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” (1969, Willie and the Poor Boys)
  • Sly and the Family Stone, “Everyday People” (1969, Stand!); “Don’t Call Me Nigga, Whitey” (1969, Stand!)


  • Woodstock, dir. Michael Wadleigh (1970)
  • Gimme Shelter, dirs. Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin (1970)

Lecture 09.01 R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Soul and Civil Rights in the Sixties

Lecture 09.02 Are You Experienced? Rock and the Youth Counterculture

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 11 – Project 03

Assignment 03 Annotated Playlist and “Liner Note” Essay – 1940-1975 Due Sunday midnight

UNIT 04: 1975-2020

WEEK 12 – 1970s


  • Hadju, LFS, Ch. 10, Ch. 12, 171-184, 197-210
  • Jeff Chang, “Loop 1: Babylon Is Burning, 1968-1977,” in Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005), 7-88
  • PRSR:
  • 46. The Sound of Autobiography: Singer-Songwriters, Carole King, Robert Windeler, “Carole King: ‘You Can Get to Know Me through My Music’
  • 50. Parliament Drops the Bomb, W. A. Brower, “George Clinton: Ultimate Liberator of Constipated Notions”
  • 51. Heavy Metal Meets the Counterculture, John Mendelsohn, “Review of Led Zeppelin,” Ed Kelleher, “Black Sabbath Don’t Scare Nobody”
  • 56. Get On Up Disco, Andrew Kopkind, “The Dialectic of Disco: Gay Music Goes Straight”
  • 55. The Global Phenomenon of Reggae, Robert Hilburn, “Third-World Theme of Bob Marley”
  • 57. Punk: The Sound of Criticism?, James Wolcott, “A Conservative Impulse in the New Rock Underground”
  • 58. The Punk Rimbaud, Robin Katz, “Patti Smith: Poetry in Motion”
  • 59. Punk Crosses the Atlantic, Caroline Coon, “Rebels Against the System”
  • 71. Hip-Hop, Don’t Stop, Robert Ford, Jr., “B-Beats Bombarding Bronx: Mobile DJ Starts Something with Oldie R&B Disks,” Robert Ford, Jr., “Jive Talking N.Y. DJs Rapping Away in Black Discos”



  • New York Dolls, “Jet Boy” (1973, produced by Todd Rundgren)
  • The Dead Boys, “Sonic Reducer” (1977, Young, Loud, and Snotty, written by David Thomas of Rocket from the Tombs and Pere Ubu and Cheetah Crome of Rocket from the Tombs and Dead Boys, produced by Genya Ravan)
  • Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, “Chinese Rocks” (1977, L.A.M.F., written by Dee Dee Ramon and Richard Hell)
  • David Bowie, “Heroes” (1977, Heroes, written by David Bowie and Brian Eno, produced by David Bowie and Tony Visconti)
  • Iggy Pop, “Sister Midnight” (1977, The Idiot, produced by David Bowie)
  • The Ramones, “Blitzkrieg Bop” (1976); “Judy Is a Punk” (1976); “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” (1977)
  • Blondie, “One Way Or Another” (1978); “Heart of Glass” (1978); “The Tide Is High” (1980, cover of The Paragons, 1966); “I Feel Love” (1977, Live cover of Donna Summer song)
  • Donna Summer, “I Feel Love” (1977, written and produced by Giorgio Moroder, original 12-inch version); “Bad Girls” (1979)
  • Barry White, “Love’s Theme” (1974)
  • Don McLean, “American Pie” (1971)
  • Velvet Underground and Nico, “Sunday Morning” (1967, written by Lou Reed and John Cale, sung by Nico) “I’m Waiting For the Man” (1967, written by Lou Reed); “Heroin” (1967, written by Lou Reed)
  • Patti Smith, “Gloria” (1975, Horses, produced by John Cale)
  • The Stooges, “No Fun” (1969, The Stooges, produced by John Cale, lead singer Iggy Pop)
  • James Brown, “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” (1970)
  • Sly Stone, “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” (1969); “Thank You for Talkin’ to Me Africa” (1971, There’s a Riot Goin’ On)
  • Gloria Gaynor, “I Will Survive” (1978)
  • Sylvester, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” (1978)
  • D.O.A., “Disco Sucks” (1979)
  • The Vectors, “Death to Disco” (1979)
  • The Accident, “Kill the Bee Gees” (1979)
  • Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “The Message” (1982)
  • Kraftwerk, “Trans-Europe Express” (1976)
  • Afrika Bambaattaa, “Planet Rock” (1982)
  • Gil Scott-Heron, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (originally recorded in 1970 for Small Talk at 125th and Lenox; re-recorded with full band, 1971, Pieces of a Man)
  • KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions, “The Bridge Is Over” (1987, note reference to Billy Joel, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”)
  • Chic, “Good Times” (1979, lyrics based on Depression era songs “Happy Days Are Here Again,” 1929, written by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen, as well “About a Quarter to Nine,” written by Harry Warren and Al Durban for the 1933 musical 42nd Street, made famous by 1935 performance by Al Jolson, written and produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards)
  • Queen, “Another One Bites the Dust” (1980, bassline inspired by “Good Times”)
  • The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979, produced by Sylvia Robinson of Mickey and Sylvia, samples “Good Times”)
  • Blondie, “Rapture” (1980, note Deborah Harry’s rap and mention of “Fab Five” Freddie and Grandmaster Flash)
  • The Clash, “The Magnificent Seven” (1980, Sandinista!)
  • LL Cool J, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” (1985, Radio, produced by Rick Rubin and Jazzy Jay
  • Notorious BIG, “Gimme the Loot” (1994, Ready to Die, produced by Sean “Puffy” Combs and others
  • Lonnie Johnson, “Got the Blues for Murder Only” (1930)
  • Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, “Duncan and Brady” (1947)
  • Johnny Cash, “Folsom Prison Blues” (1957)
  • Charles Ives, Symphony No. 2 (1897,1901)
  • Miles Davis, “Serpent’s Tooth” (1953, featuring Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins)
  • Public Enemy, “Party for Your Right to Fight” (1988, produced by Chuck D, Rick Rubin, Hank Shocklee of the Bomb Squad, compare to Beastie Boys, ” (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party),” 1986); “Fight the Power” (1989, produced with members of the Bomb Squad)
  • Kanye West, “Gold Digger” 2005, samples Ray Charles, “I Got a Woman”)

Additional listening

  • Santana, “Oye Como Va” (1970, written by Tito Puente, 1963)
  • Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, “Express Yourself” (1970)
  • Led Zeppelin, “Stairway to Heaven” (1971, Led Zeppelin IV)
  • Stevie Wonder, “Superstition” (1972, Talking Book, 1972)
  • The Staples Singers, “Respect Yourself” (1972)
  • Townes Van Zandt, “Pancho and Lefty” (1972)
  • Elton John, “Crocodile Rock” (1973, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, lyrics by Bernie Taupin)
  • John Denver, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” (1974)
  • The Eagles, “Hotel California” (1976, Hotel California)
  • Bob Marley, “Simmer Down” (1963/4, as The Wailing Wailers, with Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith, produced by Coxsone Dodd); “Get Up Stand Up” (1973, Burnin’, written with Peter Tosh); “Trenchtown Rock” (1975, Live!); “War” (1976, Rastaman Vibration); “Africa Unite” (1979, Survival); “Redemption Song” (1980, Uprising)
  • Sex Pistols, “God Save the Queen” (1977, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols)
  • The Clash, “1977” (1977, The Clash); “London Calling” (1979, London Calling)
  • X-Ray Spex, “Oh Bondage Up Yours!” (1978, Germ Free Adolescents)
  • Television, “See No Evil” (1977, Marquee Moon, produced by Andy Johns)
  • Talking Heads, “Psycho Killer” (1977, Talking Heads: 77)
  • Willie Colon and Ruben Blades, “Pedro Navaja” (1978)


  • Wild Style, dir. Charlie Ahearn (1982)

Lecture 12.01 Mainstream and Margin in the 1970s: AOR, Funk, Punk, Disco, and More

Lecture 12.02 Two Turntables and a Microphone: The Rise of Hip Hop

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 13 – 1980s


  • Hadju, LFS, Ch. 11, 185-196
  • PRSR:
    • 62. Thriller Begets the “King of Pop”, Greg Tate, “I’m White! What’s Wrong with Michael Jackson”, Daryl Easlea, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough: Sweden Remembers the Times with Michael Jackson”
    • 63. Madonna and the Performance of Identity, Camille Paglia, “Venus of the Radio Waves”
    • 64. Bruce Springsteen, Reborn in the USA, David Marsh, “Little Egypt from Asbury Park–and Bruce Springsteen Don’t Crawl on His Belly, Neither”
      Simon Frith, “The Real Thing–Bruce Springsteen”
    • 65. R&B in the 1980s: To Cross Over or Not to Cross Over?, Nelson George, from The Death of Rhythm and Blues
    • 66. Heavy Metal Thunders On!, J. D. Considine, “Purity and Power–Total, Unswerving Devotion to Heavy Metal Form: Judas Priest and the Scorpions”
    • 67. Metal in the Late Eighties: Glam or Thrash?, Richard Gehr, “Metallica”
    • 68. Parents Want to Know: Heavy Metal, the PMRC, and the Public Debate over Decency, Record Labeling: Hearing before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, 99th Congress, September 19, 1985


  • Michael Jackson, “Thriller” (1982, Thriller); “Man in the Mirror” (1987, Bad, produced by Quincy Jones)
  • The Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” (1983)
  • Van Halen, “Jump” (1984, 1984)
  • Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the USA” (1984, Born in the USA, produced by former rock critic and Springsteen manager Jon Landau, among others); “Born in the USA” (acoustic demo, 1982)
  • David Bowie, “Let’s Dance” (1983, Let’s Dance, produced by Nile Rodgers)
  • Madonna, “Like a Virgin” (1984, Like a Virgin, produced by Nile Rodgers); “Vogue” (1990, I’m Breathless); “What It Feels Like for a Girl” (2000)
  • Prince, “When Doves Cry” (1984, Purple Rain)
  • U2, “(Pride) In the Name of Love” (1984, The Unforgettable Fire, produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois)
  • Run D.M.C., “King of Rock” (1985, King of Rock, produced by Russell Simmons)
  • Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)” (1986, Licensed To Ill, produced by Rick Rubin); “Shake Your Rump” (1989, Paul’s Boutique, produced by Beastie Boys, Dust Brothers, and Mario Caldato Jr.)
  • Run D.M.C. with Aerosmith, “Walk This Way” (1986)
  • Salt N Peppa, “Push It” (1987)
  • NWA, “Fuck the Police” (1988, Straight Outta Compton, produced by Dr. Dre, Easy E, and others); “Express Yourself” (1988, Straight Outta Compton, produced by Dr. Dre, Easy E, and others)
  • De La Soul, “Me Myself and I” (1989, 3 Feet High and Rising, produced by Prince Paul)
  • Garth Brooks, “The Dance” (1989, Garth Brooks)

Lecture 13.01 Video Killed the Radio Star: The 1980s

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 14 – 1990s


  • Jessica Rosenberg and Gitana Garofalo, “Riot Grrrl: Revolutions from Within,” Signs 23, 3, Feminisms and Youth Cultures (Spring 1998), 809-841
  • PRSR:
    • 70. Indie Brings the Noise, Kim Gordon, “Boys Are Smelly: Sonic Youth Tour Diary, ’87”
    • 73. Where Rap and Heavy Metal Converge, Jon Pareles, “There’s a New Sound in Pop Music: Bigotry”
    • 74. Hip-Hop into the 1990s: Gangstas, Fly Girls, and the Big Bling-Bling, J. D. Considine, “Fear of a Rap Planet”
    • 76. Keeping It a Little Too Real, Sam Gideon Anso and Charles Rappleye, “Rap Sheet,” Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, “Party Over,” Natasha Stovall, “Town Criers”
    • 77. Women in Rap, Christopher John Farley, “Hip-Hop Nation”
    • 78. From Indie to Alternative to . . . Seattle?, Grant Alden, “Grunge Makes Good”
    • 79. Riot Girl, “riot grrrl”
    • 80. Grunge Turns to Scrunge, Eric Weisbard, “Over and Out: Indie Rock Values in the Age of Alternative Million Sellers”
    • 81. “We Are the World”?, George Lipsitz, “Immigration and Assimilation: Rai, Reggae, and Bhangramuffin”
    • 83. Electronica Is in the House, Simon Reynolds, “Historia Electronica Preface”
    • 84. R&B Divas Go Retro, Ann Powers, “The New Conscience of Pop Music”


  • A Tribe Called Quest, “Jazz (We’ve Got)” (1991, Low End Theory)
  • Sonic Youth, “Teen Age Riot” (1988, Daydream Nation)
  • The Pixies, “Debaser” (1989, Doolittle)
  • Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991, Nevermind, produced by Butch Vig)
  • Bikini Kill, “Rebel Girl” (1993)
  • Sleater-Kinney, “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” (1996, Call the Doctor)
  • Queen Latifah, “U.N.I.T.Y.” (1993)
  • Hole, “Asking For It” (1994, Live Through This)
  • No Doubt, “Just a Girl” (1995, Tragic Kingdom)
  • TLC, “No Scrubs” (1999, FanMail)
  • Destiny’s Child, “Independent Women, Pt 1” (2000, Survivor and Charlie’s Angels soundtrack)
  • Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg, “Nothin’ But a G Thang” (1992, The Chronic)
  • Tupac Shakur (2Pac), “Dear Mama” (1995, Me Against The World)
  • Puff Daddy featuring The Notorious BIG, The LOX & Lil’ Kim, “It’s All About the Benjamins” (1997, No Way Out)
  • Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (1996, Spice)
  • Radiohead, “Karma Police” (1997, OK Computer)
  • Backstreet Boys, “I Want It That Way” (1999, Millennium)


  • The Punk Singer: A Documentary Film About Kathleen Hanna, dir. Sini Anderson (2014)

Lecture 14.01 Indie Nations/Corporate World: 1990s

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 15 – 2000s


  • Hadju, LFS, Ch. 13, Coda, 211-244
  • John Seabrook, “The Song Machine,” New Yorker, 26 March 2012
  • John Seabrook, “Blank Space: What Kind Of Genius Is Max Martin?,” New Yorker, 30 September 2015
  • PRSR:
    • 85. Country in the Post-Urban Cowboy Era, Mark Cooper, “Garth Brooks: Meet Nashville’s New Breed Of Generously Stetsoned Crooner”
    • 86. Performance as Simulacrum, Boy Bands, and Other 21st-Century Epiphanies, Joshua Clover, “Jukebox Culture: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Boy Band,” Nina C. Ayoub, “Idol Pursuits”
    • 88. A World of Copies without Originals, Testimony of Mr. Lars Ulrich, Member and Co-founder of Metallica (Senate Judiciary Committee on Downloading Music on the Internet, July 11, 2000), John Seabrook, “Revenue Streams,” Joe Coscarelli, “Riding an Online Craze to the Top”
    • 89. Political Engagement and African American Popular Music in the 21st Century, Zandria F. Robinson, “How Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ Exposes the Inner Lives of Black Women,” Aisha Harris, “Has Kendrick Lamar Recorded the New Black National Anthem?” Singing “Alright” in a Summer of Protest, Despair, and Hope
    • 90. EDM Grooves Onward, Simon Reynolds, “How Rave Music Conquered America.”



  • Cher, “Believe” (1998, Believe)
  • Jeremih, featuring YG, “Don’t Tell ‘Em” (2014, Late Nights)
  • Kid Ink, “Money and the Power” (2013, My Own Lane)
  • Ke$ha, “Tik Tok” (2010, Animal, written with Dr. Luke and Benny Bianco, produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Bianco)
  • Beyoncé, featuring Jay-Z, “Drunk in Love” (2013, Beyoncé, produced by Timbaland and others)
  • Nicki Minaj, featuring Bobby V & Lil Wayne, “Sex in the Lounge” (2012, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded)
  • Tina Turner, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (1984, Private Dancer, written and produced by Terry Britten)
  • Marvin Gaye, “Let’s Get It On” (1973, Let’s Get It On)
  • KC and the Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (1975, At the Time)
  • Katy Perry, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” (2010, Teenage Dream, produced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin)
  • Leslie Gore, “You Don’t Own Me” (1963, producer Quincy Jones)
  • Lorde, “Royals” (2013, Pure Heroine)
  • Kendrick Lamar, “Alright” (2015, To Pimp a Butterfly, produced by Pharrell Williams); “The Blacker the Berry,” (2015, To Pimp a Butterfly, produced by Boi)
  • Taylor Swift, “Bad Blood” (2014, 1989, featuring Kendrick Lamar, produced by Martin, Shellback, Ilya)
  • Rolling Stones, “Ruby Tuesday” (1967); “Let’s Spend the Night Together” (1967)

Additional Listening

  • Britney Spears, “…Baby One More Time” (1998, …Baby One More Time, produced by Max Martin and Rami); “Oops!…I Did It Again” (2000, Oops!…I Did It Again, produced by Max Martin)
  • Christina Aguilera featuring Lil’ Kim, “Can’t Hold Us Down” (2002, Stripped)
  • Katy Perry, “I Kissed a Girl” (2008, One of the Boys, written by, among others, Max Martin, produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco)
  • Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera, “Moves Like Jagger” (2011, Hands All Over, produced by Shellback and Benny Blanco)
  • Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off” (2014, 1989, written by Taylor Swift, Max Martin, and Shellback, produced by Max Martin and Shellback)
  • Beyoncé, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” (2008, I Am… Sasha Fierce, written by Beyoncé Knowles along with Thaddis Laphonia “Kuk” Harrell and producers Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, Terius “The Dream” Nash); “Formation” (2016, Lemonade, written with Khalif Brown, among others, and produced by Beyoncé Knowles, Mike Will Made It (Michael Len Williams II), Andre “A+” Levins, and others)

Lecture 15.01 “Sampling” Recent Pop Music History: The Expansion of Compression—Pop Music Formats in the New Millennium

Weekly Journal Due Sunday midnight

WEEK 16 – Conclusions


  • Lizzo, “Truth Hurts” (2017, Cuz I Love You)
  • Janelle Monae featuring Wondaland Records, “Hell You Talmbout” (2013)
  • Billie Ellish, “Bury A Friend” (2019, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?)
  • Childish Gambino, “This Is America” (2018, video)

Lecture 16.01 Conclusions

Final Essay

Assignment 04 Annotated Playlist and “Liner Note” Essay – 1975-2020 Due Wednesday 05/13 midnight

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