Princess Noire: We Knew She Was a Genius

With a few more days left to celebrate Black Music Month, we chose to post this excerpt from Nadine Cohodas’ Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone. This book and a few other titles were featured on a recommended reading list commemorating some of the incredible things black people have brought to music as… Continue Reading Princess Noire: We Knew She Was a Genius

Author B. Brian Foster in Conversation with Author William Ferris, Hosted by Square Books

In late January, Oxford, MS-based indie bookstore Square Books hosted a virtual conversation between B. Brian Foster, author of I Don’t Like The Blues: Race, Black and Backbeat of Black Life, and William Ferris, author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues. Watch as Foster and Ferris discuss a history of… Continue Reading Author B. Brian Foster in Conversation with Author William Ferris, Hosted by Square Books

Happy Black Music Month: A Recommended Reading List

Fresh off the heels of our JuneTeenth reading lists (Part One and Part Two) , I’m back with another celebration of black culture; Black Music Month. “Created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, this month celebrates the African American musical influences that comprise an essential part of our nation’s treasured cultural heritage.” Black people have… Continue Reading Happy Black Music Month: A Recommended Reading List

Happy (early) Juneteenth! A Reading List, Part Two

Happy early JuneTeenth again! I’m back with part two of the recommended reading list in celebration of JuneTeenth, “the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.” Part one of the recommended reading list focused on the experiences of black American slaves whose labor helped shape the fabric of America.… Continue Reading Happy (early) Juneteenth! A Reading List, Part Two

UNC Press authors Regina N. Bradley & Imani Perry speak at IASPM’s Popular Music Books in Process Series

In April, author of Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South Regina Bradley and Imani Perry, author of May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem (available in paperback October 2021), spoke during one of the sessions for IASPM’s Popular Music Books in Process Series. The series started in June 2020… Continue Reading UNC Press authors Regina N. Bradley & Imani Perry speak at IASPM’s Popular Music Books in Process Series

Happy National Guitar Month!

A little late to the party, but we would like to wish a happy national guitar month to all of you rockstar readers. We’ve created this reading list of some of our favorite guitar-related titles to hopefully inspire your next riff. STONE FREE: JIMI HENDRIX IN LONDON, SEPTEMBER 1966 – JUNE 1967 BY JAS OBRECHT… Continue Reading Happy National Guitar Month!

Black and White and the Blues: Who profits from a cultural tradition?

Excerpt from Princeton Alumni Weekly‘s March 2021 issue is reblogged below with permission. By Adam Gussow, author of Whose Blues? Facing Up to Race and the Future of the Music Speaking very broadly, people who have emotional investments in the blues — people who like, play, think about, talk about, and identify themselves with the… Continue Reading Black and White and the Blues: Who profits from a cultural tradition?

Letting the Stank Out: OutKast and the Rise of the Hip-Hop South

The following excerpt is taken from the introduction to Regina Bradley’s Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South While I do not suggest that hip-hop’s presence in the South is the sole marker of its contemporary existence, I do suggest that hip-hop is integral to updating the framework for reading the South’s modernity. Although… Continue Reading Letting the Stank Out: OutKast and the Rise of the Hip-Hop South

Five Weekly Reads for Black History Month: New and Noteworthy

Save 40% on all UNC Press books with discount code 01DAH40. Visit the sale page to browse more recommended titles in African American History, or view our full list of books in African American Studies. Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop Southby Regina N. Bradley This vibrant book pulses with the beats of a new American… Continue Reading Five Weekly Reads for Black History Month: New and Noteworthy

Author Interview: David Menconi on Step It Up and Go

In this Q&A, author David Menconi discusses his new book Step It Up and Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk, out today from UNC Press. This book is a love letter to the artists, scenes, and sounds defining North Carolina’s extraordinary… Continue Reading Author Interview: David Menconi on Step It Up and Go

Grace Elizabeth Hale: Happy Birthday, R.E.M.

Today we welcome a guest post from Grace Elizabeth Hale, author of Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture, out now from the UNC Press Ferris & Ferris Books imprint. In the summer of 1978, the B-52’s conquered the New York underground. A year later, the band’s self-titled debut album… Continue Reading Grace Elizabeth Hale: Happy Birthday, R.E.M.

Author Interview: Charles L. Hughes on “Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns”

Charles L. Hughes, author of Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South, weighs in on Ken Burns’ new documentary Country Music as well as past and present manifestations of “the central racial paradox at the heart of country music.” In the sound of the 1960s and 1970s, nothing symbolized the rift… Continue Reading Author Interview: Charles L. Hughes on “Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns”

UNC Press partners with the Music Maker Foundation

UNC Press is proud to be partnering with the Music Maker Relief Foundation, a local North Carolina non-profit that was founded to protect the soul of America’s music by directly supporting traditional blues, gospel, jazz and folk musicians, so their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time. Music Maker ensures that our cultural… Continue Reading UNC Press partners with the Music Maker Foundation

David Gilbert: James Reese Europe at the Grammys

Today we welcome a guest post from David Gilbert, author of The Product of Our Souls:  The Product of Our Souls: Ragtime, Race, and the Birth of the Manhattan Musical Marketplace. The CD companion to the book came out in the summer of 2018 and his liner note essay has been nominated for a Grammy Award… Continue Reading David Gilbert: James Reese Europe at the Grammys

David Gilbert: Pre-war Ragtime, From UNC Press to the Grammys

We are very proud that two UNC Press authors are nominated for Grammy Awards this year. William Ferris (@WRFerris), noted folklorist who has written and contributed to several publications from UNC Press on Southern history, the oral tradition, and the blues, is nominated for Best Historical Album for “Voices of Mississippi” on @dusttodigital. David Gilbert… Continue Reading David Gilbert: Pre-war Ragtime, From UNC Press to the Grammys

Nadine Cohodas: Reconstructing Nina Simone’s Earliest Days

Today we welcome a guest post from Nadine Cohodas, author of Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone, available in paperback from UNC Press. Born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, Nina Simone (1933-2003) began her musical life playing classical piano. A child prodigy, she wanted a career on the concert stage, but when… Continue Reading Nadine Cohodas: Reconstructing Nina Simone’s Earliest Days

Author Interview: Adam Gussow, Beyond the Crossroads

  Today, UNC Press Publicity Director Gina Mahalek talks with Adam Gussow, author of Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition, about Sterling Magee, the blues tradition and folklore in the American South, and more. You can also read Adam’s Book Notes post over at the Largehearted Boy blog, where he also shares a… Continue Reading Author Interview: Adam Gussow, Beyond the Crossroads

Anthony Chaney: The Royal Scam

Today, we welcome a guest post from Anthony Chaney, author of Runaway:  Gregory Bateson, the Double Bind, and the Rise of Ecological Consciousness, on Steely Dan, Columbia House and the negative-option record club. The anthropologist Gregory Bateson has been called a lost giant of twentieth-century thought. In the years following World War II, Bateson was… Continue Reading Anthony Chaney: The Royal Scam

UNC Press Summer Reading List

Happy Summer! In honor of the summer solstice, we’re posting our suggestions for your summer reading list. If you’re planning a fun tropical vacation or just heading to your neighborhood pool, UNC Press has your perfect summer read. Pick up a fun guidebook or new biography, and don’t forget about our 40% sale! Continue Reading UNC Press Summer Reading List

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is a week away! Still looking for the perfect gift? Look no further than the UNC Press Father’s Day gift guide. We’ve compiled our best suggestions to match any dad’s interests. Continue Reading Father’s Day Gift Guide