Holding the Note: Profiles in Popular Music
The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and editor of The New Yorker gathers his writing on some of the essential musicians of our time—intimate portraits of Leonard Cohen, Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, and more.
The greatest popular songs, whether it’s Aretha Franklin singing “Respect” or Bob Dylan performing “Blind Willie McTell,” have a way of embedding themselves in our memories. You remember a time and a place and a feeling when you hear that song again. In Holding the Note, David Remnick writes about the lives and work of some of the greatest musicians, songwriters, and performers of the past fifty years.
He portrays a series of musical lives and their unique encounters with the passing of that essential element of music: time. From Cohen’s performing debut, when his stage fright was so debilitating he couldn’t get through “Suzanne,” to Franklin’s iconic mink-drop at the Kennedy Center, Holding the Note delivers a view of some of the greatest creative minds of our time written with a lifetime’s passionate attachment to music that has shaped us all.
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