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Rock Star: The Making of Musical Icons from Elvis to Springsteen

Author: David R. Shumway

Publication date: 2014

Johns Hopkins University Press

Publisher information:

Shumway looks at the careers and cultural legacies of seven rock stars in the context of popular music and culture - Elvis Presley, James Brown, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, and Bruce Springsteen. ..... Shumway investigates the rock star as a particular kind of cultural construction, different from mere celebrity. After the golden age of moviemaking, media exposure allowed rock stars more political sway than Hollywood's studio stars, and rock stars gradually replaced movie stars as key cultural heroes. Because of changes in American society and the media industries, rock stars have become much more explicitly political figures than were the stars of Hollywood’s studio era. Rock stars, moreover, are icons of change, though not always progressive, whose public personas read like texts produced collaboratively by the performers themselves, their managers, and record companies. These stars thrive in a variety of media, including recorded music, concert performance, dress, staging, cover art, films, television, video, print, and others. Filled with memorable photographs, Rock Star will appeal to anyone interested in modern American popular culture or music history.
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