Featured: Top of Home Page

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong - Terry Teachout – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt [$30.00]


Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Length: 496 pages
Author: Terry Teachout
Price: $30.00
Format: Hardcover
Publication date: 2009-12
Amazon

Most people know Terry Teachout from his theatre criticism at The Wall Street Journal and essays at Commentary, but the writer actually began his career in the arts as a professional jazz musician. Hence, he comes at the subject of America's pre-eminent jazz artist with both a thorough knowledge of jazz performance as well as the rigorous research and smart writing of a top cultural journalist. Pops is an engaging read and the first fully-sourced biography of Louis Armstrong, featuring many photos published for the first time ever.

Teachout says, "I'm the first biographer to have had access to 650 reel-to-reel tapes that Armstrong made during the last quarter-century of his life, many of which contain astonishingly candid recordings of his private after-hours conversations." The result is the most nuanced written work on this seminal figure in American cultural history. Indeed, this book is designed for far more than the jazz fan or Armstrong admirer; anyone interested in African-American culture and the nature of creative genius period will find this book a page turner.

'Psycho': The Mother of All Horrors

Psycho stands out not only for being one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, it is also one of his most influential. It has been a template and source material for an almost endless succession of later horror films, making it appropriate to identify it as the mother of all horror films.

Francesc Quilis
Film

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips
Books

The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2009

Indie pop in 2009 was about all young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band, and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

Music
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.