A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America
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A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  117 ratings  ·  9 reviews
". . . extraordinarily far-reaching. . . . highly accessible."

"No one has written this way about music in a long, long time. Lucid, insightful, with real spiritual, political, intellectual, and emotional grasp of the whole picture. A book about why music matters, and how, and to whom."
-Dave Marsh, author of Louie, Louie and Born to Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story

Paperback, 488 pages
Published January 9th 2006 by University of Michigan Press (first published April 1st 1999)
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I will admit right up front to being dear friends with the author. In fact, he's probably reading this review. I am not sure this would affect my impressions of the book; I took forever to read this book because I took the time to actually read it: no skimming, no skipping. Underlining and notes. Often, if I had my iPod with me, I'd listen to snippets of the songs being discussed.

Gospel impulse, blues impulse, jazz impulse. Masking. Hidden meanings. Getting over. It's easy for a beginner like m...more
Aug 15, 2007 Leslie rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: soul music lovers
Shelves: music
Today, I was reminded that I love this man, Craig Werner. I read _A Change Is Gonna Come_ a little while back, but never picked up the revised and updated version ('til two days ago). I am seeking all good discussions or beginnings of discussions of gospel and this text helps me think about it (and its impulse). The last four chapters of Werner's book are new (on newer soul/r&b/gospel/etc), so I looked at them. Like my fave Sam Cooke track to play in the car, the whole thing is "wonderful."
Darren Blades
An excellent book as the author Craig Werner takes the reader on a musical journey of a blend of musical genres, juxtaposed against the sociopolitical moving landscape of America from the 1920's to the 21st Century. Craig Werner also highlights the importance of black music during the civil rights movement, as an important moment in the history of America.
Ashley Shear
Feb 22, 2009 Ashley Shear marked it as to-read
I took this course in college (taught by the author). I took it a Summer that the book was not available from the publisher so we never had to read it. I have always wanted to though.
Joe Rasmussen
One of my favorites of all time. Changed both the way I listen to music and the way I view history.
See my review at LivinginStereo.com:


Immensely readable and I learned a ton about American music.
This is one of the best books I ever read in college.
Mar 19, 2009 John marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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