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The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style [Anglais] [Relié]

Nelson George

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Description de l'ouvrage

25 mars 2014

An authoritative history of the groundbreaking syndicated television show that has become an icon of American pop culture, from acclaimed author and filmmaker Nelson George, “the most accomplished black music critic of his generation” (Washington Post Book World).

When it debuted in October 1971, seven years after the Civil Rights Act, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African-Americans and the sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music. The brainchild of radio announcer Don Cornelius, the show’s producer and host, Soul Train featured a diverse range of stars, from James Brown and David Bowie to Christine Aguilera and R. Kelly; Marvin Gaye and Elton John to the New Kids on the Block and Stevie Wonder.

The Hippest Trip in America tells the full story of this pop culture phenomenon that appealed not only to blacks, but to a wide crossover audience as well. Famous dancers like Rosie Perez and Jody Watley, performers such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Barry White, and Cornelius himself share their memories, offering insights into the show and its time—a period of extraordinary social and political change. Colorful and pulsating, The Hippest Trip In America is a fascinating portrait of a revered cultural institution that has left an indelible mark on our national consciousness.


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“A kaleidoscopic trip through one of the brightest zones in the evolution of American culture.” (Booklist)

“George’s in-depth look at a revered TV show is one of those rare music-centric books that will transcend its subject’s core fan base. Even those with just a casual interest in Soul Train will be happy to take this trip.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“30 years of rapier-keen social history and street-savvy cultural criticism.” (USA Today)

“George’s book does a great job of assessing the sociological, stylistic and economic power of ‘Soul Train.’” (New York Daily News)

“The definitive book on ‘Soul Train’” (New York Times Book Review)

“George is one of the best music writers around… he crafts a compelling narrative.” (Andrea Battleground, AV Club)

“A loving history.” (Pitchfork.com)

“An engaging read for those wanting to understand more clearly why Soul Train is such a monumental part of popular-music history.” (SoulTracks.com)

Quatrième de couverture

"We wish you love, peace . . . and soul!"

When it debuted in October 1971, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African Americans and the fashions and sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music. The brainchild of radio announcer Don Cornelius, who was the show's producer and host for decades, Soul Train featured a diverse range of stars, from James Brown and David Bowie to Gladys Knight and R. Kelly; from Marvin Gaye and Elton John to the New Kids on the Block, Stevie Wonder, and the Beastie Boys.

From acclaimed author and filmmaker Nelson George ("the most accomplished black music critic of his generation"—Washington Post Book World), The Hippest Trip in America tells the full story of this legendary pop-culture phenomenon. A landmark program in black music and culture, Soul Train, which premiered just seven years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, presented a positive image of black America—for black America—and became destination television every Saturday. It also enjoyed a wide crossover audience, and for years served as a cultural nexus for the entire nation. Famous dancers like Rosie Perez and Jody Watley, performers such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Barry White, and Don Cornelius himself all share their memories, offering insights into the show and its time—a period of extraordinary social and political change.

As pulsating and colorful as the show itself, The Hippest Trip in America is a vivid and vital portrait of a revered cultural institution—the longest-running syndicated program in television history—that has left an indelible mark on our national consciousness.


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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  13 commentaires
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Nelson George's weakest book 5 juin 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This book was a huge disappointment. It's short. Just 256 pages. There isn't very much new information. It doesn't feel like George did a great deal of research. I think most hardcore fans of Soul Train our age could write more pages than that with no research and just our memories of this iconic show. The biggest disappointment? He mentions several individual dancers (other than Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel) from the show and THERE ARE NO PICTURES OF ANY OF THEM. A lot of the music that was used on the show over the years is trashed by George. He does get across the importance of Don Cornelius as a producer and businessman, but it's far too brief and you can't tell this story without pictures while trashing the music. Oh, and the early Chicago years of Soul Train, which some argue was the best period of the show, is dismissed in a few pages.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Great Companion Book to the Wonderful VH1 Documentary - A Look Back at the Major Impact of this Show! 15 avril 2014
Par gpangel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train the Evolution of Culture & Style by Nelson George is a 2014 William Morrow publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
This book is like a companion book for the highest rated VH1 rock documentary by the same name. In honor of Black History Month the documentary explored the humble beginnings of Soul Train all the way to the end of the show and sadly the death of Don Cornelius. This is a very good documentary and if you ever have a chance to locate it I do recommend you watch it.
This book compliments everything we saw in the documentary with interviews and photos and aims the focus more on the show itself and the dancers in particular. This was a great angle to explore. Instead of rehashing the history of the 1970's and giving us technical details of business transactions, this book zeroes in on the entertainment value of the show and the massive impact it had on clothing, hair styles , dance trends, marketing geared toward blacks and opening doors for many to cross over into careers of their own.
As a child I was not allowed to stay up past a certain time so it wasn't until I was in my teens that I had the chance to watch Soul Train. I got in on the tail end of the great soul and funk music of the seventies but the disco transition was nearly complete. I didn't watch the show all that often. It came on Saturday afternoons and if I happened to be home at that time of day and thought about it I would tune in. Now all these years later I really wish I had paid more attention.
I read a book not all that long ago all about Soul Train and that book was nearly encyclopedic, extremely well documented and researched. At that time I got on the internet and began looking through videos for Soul Train and ended up spending hours watching the old clips from various eras of time.
The Nelson George book I am reviewing here, listed certain dancers and controversies that had me going back and looking up specific details and videos. Rosie Perez and Jody Whatley are some of the more recognizable names. Again ,I have found myself enjoying the performances and the line dances once more. While not filled with a detailed list of performers and dancers or anything along those lines, this book highlights the points that pop culture will remember the most. There are many quotes and interview excerpts from the people on the show and from Don Cornelius himself.
Don Cornelius is still somewhat of an enigma. He wanted Soul Train to show blacks in a positive light and made a diligent effort to keep the show clean. He frowned on provocative clothes and certain dance moves that could be considered suggestive. He was a very disciplined man, serious, private, perhaps a little aloof. He suffered with many health issues and it is very sad that his life ended in such a way.
The influence Don and Soul Train had on pop culture and the impact it had in opening doors for black performers to cross over into mainstream in immeasurable. It angered and saddened me to know that performers poked fun at Don in his later years and parodied Soul Train in an unflattering way. If it were not for the vision and tenacity of Don Cornelius I don't know how long it would have taken for black performers to break out into television, movies, and have their music universally recognized. Surely, a little respect is due and I do hope that the show can be rebooted in order to touch a whole new generation of people.
A fun book that gives us a point of view unique to the dancers and the impact the show had on their lives and continues to have for many. I had a lot of fun reading it and now I am off to look through more videos to go along with this review when I post it on my blog. This one gets 4 stars.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Hip trip down memory lane 15 mai 2014
Par Read-A-Lot - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I'm a fan of Nelson George and also of Soul Train, so I was certainly expecting fire. Instead I got a tiny spark. I think he gives the reader a good feel for the importance of the phenomenon that was Soul Train. But it is done in a very surface manner. The book never gets deep, it isn't a bold effort by George that seeks to go beyond the shallow waters of Soul Train history.

We don't learn much about the personal live of Don Cornelius, even though by all accounts he was an extraordinary individual, with a sharp business acumen. We do get profiles of some of the dancers that fans of the show will recognize by description, as the absence of many pictures is a glaring omission. Now don't get me wrong, as an avid reader I don't generally crack a book looking for photos, but it is a necessity when you are trying to describe a dancer that most fans probably saw in the late 70's or early 80's, so we're talking 34-37 years. A photo as a reminder would be helpful, instead Nelson refers readers to You Tube to experience the moments he writes about. This is an example of glossing over information that ultimately hurts the book.

He writes that the holy trinity of Soul Train was music, dance and fashion. But Nelson George only gives lip service to the fashion and even arguably the dance. There are some interesting tidbits, but frustratingly not explored thoroughly. Of course we hear all about the great musicians that graced the Soul Train stage, and some behind the scene looks. All said I think the book could have been much better, but in the final analysis it is an ok read, and a memorable trip down the Soul Train line. Love, peace and Sooooouuull!
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Book Version of the VH1 Documentary 2 juillet 2014
Par dwood78 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I grew up on "Soul Train". I watched the show regularly until around 1998, when the decline on the quality of music being released caused me to lose interest in the show.

That said, this is basically the book version of the award winning VH1 documentary as most of the inform's taken from it. Though it does have extended interviews from former "Soul Train" dancers like Rosie Perez & Cheryl Song, some of whom went on to have successful careers outside the show. It also has the final years of "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius who was still living when the doc came out in 2010. Otherwise there's nothing really new this book offers, esp. if you already seem the documentary. Still, it's a good read for those who haven't watched it yet (which as of the posting of this review as yet to be released on DVD or Blu Ray).
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 25 juin 2014
Par UK - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This is a very good book about what happen on the soul train show.
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