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Contributor: xxxxx TD
Just my soul responding

Just my soul responding began as part of Brian Ward's doctorate research. Somewhere along the way, he must have wised up the commercial possibilities that the research could reap and so he decided to publish the book. But then, maybe he grasped these financial possibilities before he even started the project. As part of the trade off, he makes it clear in the introduction that the book is not "so heavily freighted with jargon that it becomes impenetrable to all but a cabal of cultural theorists."

That understanding established, ward launches into the early forays of R&B into mainstream American music. Here, in what would probably have impressed his supervisors as a testament to his thorough research, he name-drops a while load of pre-70s American music industry personalities - both well known and remote. Having given us a feel of the depth of his knowledge on this project, however, he does not disappoint us when he launches into the main subject matter.

The main shortcoming of the book was the fact that the relationship between the rise of Rhythm and Blues and the rise of the Black consciousness movement was presented only in a tangential manner. Both issues appeared almost as completely different stories in many parts of the book. As the issue of race relations is one that has been well documented, Ward could not tell us much on this. However as a reference for Black music in America, this will prove very valuable and timely.

I will go a far as saying that this book is more academic than commercial and it success will not come from a big boost in shop sales. Rather, success will come from its durability - it should remain in demand for a long time as a excellent source of reference to the rise of Black music in America.

Just my soul responding is published by UCL press.
 
 
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