Andy Flory, author of I Hear a Symphony: Motown and Crossover R&B
Content is pleased to host Carleton Assistant Professor of Music Andy Flory, who will read from and discuss his new book, I Hear a Symphony: Motown and Crossover R&B.
I Hear a Symphony opens new territory in the study of Motown's legacy, arguing that the music of Motown was indelibly shaped by the ideals of Detroit's postwar black middle class; that Motown's creative personnel participated in an African-American tradition of dialogism in rhythm and blues while developing the famous "Motown Sound." Throughout the book, Flory focuses on the central importance of "crossover" to the Motown story; first as a key concept in the company's efforts to reach across American commercial markets, then as a means to extend influence internationally, and finally as a way to expand the brand beyond strictly musical products. Flory's work reveals the richness of the Motown sound, and equally rich and complex cultural influence Motown still exerts.
"[Flory's] access to Motown archival materials, his scrutiny of the Michigan Chronicle, and his encyclopedic familiarity with seemingly every form of Motown's output and public circulation--recordings, covers, film, television appearances, commercials--brings readers closer than ever before to an understanding of the operations of the company and the sheer scope of Motown's presence in global popular culture."
--Mark Burford, Associate Professor of Music at Reed College