Ben Ewing – “The Last Gasp of the Great American Songbook: Reassessing the Brill Building Era” (2010)

September 22, 2010 at 1:03 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles)

An article from the PopMatters website, written June 2, 2010…



The so-called Brill Building era of American popular music—which can be conveniently traced from Elvis’s entrance into the Army in early 1958 until Beatlemania’s arrival from across the pond in early 1964—has, until recently, been granted precious little serious analysis by music critics and historians alike. Named for an art-deco building at 1619 Broadway in mid-town Manhattan, one of several on the street that housed songwriters, publishers, and aspiring performers of the day, this six-year span in pop music history does not neatly conform to the traditions of Tin Pan Alley before it or the rock and roll in its wake. Many of the most memorable works of the time—Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”, the Drifters’ “This Magic Moment”, Dionne Warwick’s “I Say a Little Prayer”, to name just a few

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