Step It Up and Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk
by David Menconi
UNC Press, 2020
2023 North Carolina Humanities “North Carolina Reads” Selection; 2020 North Caroliniana Society Book Award; First Runner-Up, 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Awards (Culture)
This book is a love letter to the artists, scenes, and sounds defining North Carolina’s extraordinary contributions to American popular music. David Menconi spent three decades immersed in the state’s music, where traditions run deep but the energy expands in countless directions. Menconi shows how working-class roots and rebellion tie North Carolina’s Piedmont blues, jazz, and bluegrass to beach music, rock, hip-hop, and more. From mill towns and mountain coves to college-town clubs and the stage of American Idol, Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk, Step It Up and Go celebrates homegrown music just as essential to the state as barbecue and basketball.
Spanning a century of history from the dawn of recorded music to the present, and with sidebars and photos that help reveal the many-splendored glory of North Carolina’s sonic landscape, this is a must-read for every music lover.
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