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For anyone interested in the development of American music in the 20th century, this book is essential reading. John Hammond was a big-hearted, opinionated and fearless advocate for musicians and for the civil rights movement. What this book makes very clear is that Hammond was in the business for the music and the musicians, not for personal gain. Mind you, as a direct descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt he had the resources to make that choice. The portraits of some of Hammond's discoveries, Billie Holliday, Bennie Goodman and Bruce Springsteen, are excellent. One negative; there's some awkward audio editing on the recording. Not a big issue though.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
I enjoyed the book, but the audio editing was terrible. It was very distracting to hear the same recording of particular words repeated again and again in other paragraphs. Yes, you'll hear the same recording of a word multiple times in the same paragraph.
What didn’t you like about Ray Porter’s performance?
As far as I could tell, Ray Porter is a capable reader. However, the combination of his performance and the poor audio editing made listening to the book far from enjoyable. I liked the story, but the product is not professional. It needs to be rerecorded.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
2 of 3 people found this review helpful