"Ready for a Brand New Beat" by Mark Kurlansky

Jul 22, 2013

    "Callin' out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?" This is the opening line to the 1964 signature Motown hit "Dancing in the Street" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, a beloved tune canonized in American popular music with recordings by everyone from Mick Jagger and David Bowie to Van Halen.

In his newest book, Ready For a Brand New Beat, author Mark Kurlansky makes the compelling argument that this song changed America forever.

Famous for telling a grand historical story through the lens of a single-and often unlikely-subject, Kurlansky now turns his astute cultural eye on this popular tune, examining its intersection with the civil rights movement and a tumultuous period in American history, and underscoring the role that popular music can play in the genesis of greater social movements.