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New Musical Express and Blues and Soul: The Journals of Popular Music: New Musical Express and Predecessors, 1946-1971


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Introduction: New Musical Express and Blues and Soul: The Journals ofPopular Music: Part 1: New Musical Express and Predecess

Introduction: New Musical Express and Blues and Soul: TheJournals of Popular Music: Part 1: New Musical Express and Predecessors,1946-1971

 

The pre-eminence of New Musical Express amongpost-war popular music journals is proven by its longevity, its consistentability to predict trends, and by its massive worldwide readership figures. Butalthough a pioneer of entertainment and music journalism, and a recognizedrecord of contemporary music in society, New Musical Express is heldcomplete by only one library in the world.

 

It is from this set that we now make New Musical Expressavailable in microfilm to a worldwide audience involved in the serious study ofpopular music in all its forms.

 

It is essential reading for the sociological or historicalstudy of post-war popular culture and especially youth culture in both Britainand America. And it is also invaluable for musicians as well as anyone writingdiscographies, biographies, group histories, or generally discussing theentertainment industry.

 

The quality of writing in NME has been invariablyhigh. Regular reviewers and contributors range from John Dankworth, HumphreyLyttleton and Max Bacon in the early days to Roy Carr, Charles Shaar Murray andNick Logan in the modern era. Special articles have been written for thejournal by Kenny Baker, Frankie Laine, Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Ken Pitt andmany others. Space has regularly been given to international developments inmusic and to television, cinema and the other arts.

 

NME has a proud record of predicting trends anddefending innovative music. It recognized that Elvis Presley was on the crestof a tidal wave and welcomed rock n roll when it exploded on the scene in1956. An early 1963 interview with Roy Orbison predicted the massive impact ofMerseybeat and the Beatles. David Bowie appeared in the journal as early as1966.

 

The availability of 25 years of New Music Expresswill open up fresh studies of the end of the swing era and the big band, of theinfluence of blues and folk on modern popular music, of the birth ofrock-and-roll, the staying power of Motown and of the British invasion from1963 onward, when the Beatles and the Rolling Stones conquered America. Thefirst reel contains the complete British and American Single and LP Chart Pagesfrom their first appearance to 1971.