The prequel to Bob Stanley’s universally acclaimed Yeah Yeah Yeah, Let’s Do It is the only book that brings together all genres to tell the definitive story of the birth of Pop, from 1900 to the mid-fifties.
‘An absolute landmark/joy/gossip-fest/door to Narnia: the history of pop music before rock’n’roll. Fascinating. I can’t recommend it enough.’
‘An encyclopaedic introduction to the fascinating and often forgotten creators of Anglo-American hit music in the first half of the Twentieth Century.’
‘A perfect guidebook, filled with smart thinking and the kind of communicable enthusiasm that sends you rushing to the nearest streaming service, eager to hear what all the fuss was about.’
ALEXIS PETRIDIS, GUARDIAN
Pop music didn’t begin with the Beatles in 1963, or with Elvis in 1956, or even with the first seven-inch singles in 1949. There was a pre-history that went back to the first recorded music, right back to the turn of the century . . .
Who were the earliest record stars, and were they in any meaningful way ‘pop stars’? Who were the likes of George Gershwin writing songs for? Why did swing, the hit sound for a decade or more, become almost invisible after the Second World War?
The prequel to Bob Stanley’s Yeah Yeah Yeah, Let’s Do It is the first book to tell the definitive story of the birth of pop, from the invention of the 78 rpm record at the end of the nineteenth century to the beginnings of rock and the modern pop age. Taking in superstars such as Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra alongside the unheralded songwriters and arrangers behind some of our most enduring songs, Stanley paints an aural portrait of pop music’s formative years in stunning clarity, uncovering the silver threads and golden needles that bind the form together.
Bringing the eclectic, evolving world of early pop to life – from ragtime, blues and jazz to Broadway, country, crooning and beyond – Let’s Do It is essential reading for all music lovers.
‘Stanley has provided something invaluable to the growing numbers who get their music via streaming services: a guide to pop’s back pages, where artists mostly remembered in sepia tones are brought into vivid colour by the author’s enthusiastic sense of discovery.’
BILLY BRAGG, NEW STATESMAN
‘Inspired.’ THE TIMES
‘Remarkable.’ CLASSIC ROCK
‘Exhilarating.’ CAUGHT BY THE RIVER
‘Essential.’ DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘A joyous read.’ THE ECONOMIST
‘Wholly entertaining.’ MOJO
‘Enthralling.’ DAILY MAIL
‘Great fun.’ LITERARY REVIEW
‘A joy.’ RECORD COLLECTOR
‘A triumph.’ LOUD & QUIET