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Chasing the Rising Sun: The Journey of an American Song
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Chasing the Rising Sun: The Journey of an American Song

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  54 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
"Chasing the Rising Sun" is the story of an American musical journey told by a prize-winning writer who traced one song in its many incarnations as it was carried across the world by some of the most famous singers of the twentieth century. Most people know the song "House of the Rising Sun" as 1960s rock by the British Invasion group the Animals, a ballad about a place in ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published June 19th 2007 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2007)
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Todd Stockslager
Jun 08, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
AAnthony traces the song "House of the Rising Sun" to and from its historical, geographical, cultural, and musical roots in this entertaining tale.

Anthony started his search, in New Orleans before finding that this song, about a woman's (or man's) life ruined in a whorehouse (or prison or roadhouse or gambling den) in New Orleans (or Lowestoft, England or Baxter Springs, Kansas or "yondos" town or "the strip club out on Old 87") is really about an outsider's warning to those who might hop a trai
Nov 01, 2014 Cynthia rated it it was ok
I always liked the song, I like learning about music, and I thought a whole book about the history of House of the Rising Sun would be interesting.

Wrong. Maybe I'm not being fair, as I admit to skimming through this the further I read, but it seems the basic information in it could have been told in a chapter, an essay. He goes to the south, to New Orleans, to England, all in pursuit of finding out the history of the song, and writes paragraphs every time he finds a new verse or variation. And,
Marty Beck
Feb 06, 2014 Marty Beck rated it it was amazing
This book is a marvel, one that’s hard to put down. It’s about history, family, culture and it all centers around one song….”The House of the Rising Sun”. The author begins by discussing his love of the song, of the many different recordings he eventually heard of it. He then begins a journey to trace the song’s origins, a tale that begins in Appalachia, but ends up taking him around the world. As it would be with any such journey, the things and people he discovers along the way are the real st ...more
Jan 12, 2008 Chris rated it it was ok
Other writers have written similar explorations of roots music, folk music, and explored what this music says about our culture and our character. You should reaf one of those other books rather than this one. Ted Anthony quotes amply from those other books anyway. Chasing The Rising Sun is a history of Anthony's obsession with the song "House of the Rising Sun". In it, he tells us all about the famous and cool people he met, the money he spent on music, and how important music is to him. He wri ...more
Feb 15, 2015 Du rated it it was ok
Shelves: music
This should have been a very interesting and fun book to read, but it wasn't. The author has a passion for the song, and that comes through, but it would have been better as a long form essay. Instead the length here, is the detractor. It allows for filler and aimless wandering that takes you away from the central goal of the book.

I liked the overall idea, and the intention, but not the execution. Too bad.
Jon Burns
May 01, 2014 Jon Burns rated it it was amazing
A fascinating look at the history of this song. This book went places I never expected. A must read for anyone interested in the history of Americana, folk, or rock music.
Dec 11, 2007 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
Another book based on an attempt to trace a very well known song, but Anthony makes it much more of a personal odyssey than Cecil Brown did in "Stagolee Shot Billy". The story is fascinating, from the Lomax recording of a white teenager's version through various commercial and folk versions of the song to Anthony's connection with the children of the woman whom Lomax first recorded in 1937. Along the way, I picked up some recommendations for musicians to listen for, too.
Sean Evans
This is one of the most well written books I've read in some time. The concept of following the roots and history of a single song is facinating, and the writing style is engaging and fun. If all non-fiction was written this well, I'd hardly need to read fiction at all.
Tom landy
Aug 02, 2008 Tom landy rated it it was amazing
Great Book. Traces the history of the song house of the rising sun from it's first known recording to the present day. Some interesting reflections on how people, culture and music interact in America.
Jan 31, 2011 Fran rated it really liked it
A fascinating history, chasing the song through many variations as it came up from the 1800s and up to the present. Not only a story of music, but of people. Interestingly written.
Apr 19, 2009 Xander rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dad
Recommended to Xander by: The Penn Stater Magazine
Fascinating. I do, however, get the feeling the author had too much material for a magazine article, but not quite enough for a book. But fascinating nonetheless.
Feb 23, 2010 Rob rated it liked it
Interesting book about the origins of the song The House of the Rising Sun, although he can't trace it back past the 20th century.
Apr 05, 2009 Edmund rated it it was ok
Shelves: library
Not bad but didn't really live up to expectations and its reviews.
Mar 01, 2008 Abraham rated it it was ok
sub-greil marcus but i finished it anyway
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