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Wake the Town and Tell the People: Dancehall Culture in Jamaica Paperback – 23 Jun 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press; First Edition edition (23 Jun. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822325144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822325147
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 696,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"[D]estined to become a classic."
--Donald Hill, "American Ethnologist"

"[A]n engaging anthropological study of dancehall."
--Aaron Cohen, "Down Beat"

"[T]he first comprehensive study of a largely misunderstood and underestimated phenomenon."
--Publishers Weekly

"[A] milestone in scholarship on Jamaican music. . . . [E]ssential reading. . . ."
--John D. Galuska," New West Indian Guide"

""Wake the Town" may just be the most comprehensive piece on the functions of the Jamaican dancehall."
--Howard Campbell, "Margins"

"The book's real strength is in the vivid and precise details Stolzoff gleaned during months of field research."
--Simon Reynolds," Voice Literary Supplement"

"Probably the best book yet written about reggae, this will be the benchmark against which future books on Jamaican music must measure themselves."
--Zinc Fence

"This study is certain to become a manual on how to write about music, but especially Jamaican music and culture."
--Caribbean Historical and Genealogical Journal

"[A]n important and pioneering approach to studying Caribbean music through the interactions of society, culture, and dancehall."
--Kevin Birth," Journal of Anthropological Research"

"For the Reggae enthusiast, ["Wake the Town"] is simply the most detailed, informative, and immersive account of how, why, and where Reggae music is really happening."
--Peace Magazine

"Stolzoff has produced an admirable and thorough piece of scholarship here, and anyone interested in Caribbean culture or the history of Jamaican music should definitely take a look at it."
--Alan Waters, "Signal to Noise"

""Wake the Town" serves as a comprehensive written documentary of Jamaican music as a whole and the dancehall culture in particular. Its culture, its people and its impact are embraced with a reverence that is refreshing."
--Caribvibe.com

"[A] well-researched, well-realized work that will provide an important foundation for future studies on 'dancehall' in these new spatial, cultural, and political terms."
--Marvin D. Sterling, "Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies"

"This excellent work goes straight to the heart of the matter; the Jamaican sound system in all its innovative glory. . . . [It] will prove interesting to both newcomers and longtime fans alike. . . . Fascinating stuff."
--Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton, "The Rough Guide to Reggae"

"Delivering an illuminating profile of an undeniably infectious form, Stolzoff weaves his strands of interdisciplinary research into a focused depiction of social struggle and ghetto stardom. . . . "Wake the Town" takes its rightful place at the top of a growing list of hands-on reggae analyses."
--Jeff Gibson, "Bookforum"

"[T]his is the best kind of scholarly writing--careful research driven by a fan's consuming passion. . . . "Wake the Town" offers valuable insights into dancehall's enduring power--and into the reasons so many international critics have missed the point entirely. Stolzoff deserves our thanks, for, as any DJ knows, the record must be set straight."
--Rob Kenner, "Vibe"

"[A]n extremely important piece of scholarship and an enormous contribution to studies of popular culture, both in Jamaica and beyond. . . . [T]he first sustained analysis of dancehall culture that I know of, and the first analysis of any kind that is so holistic in its coverage. . . . [I]mpressive. . . . [S]hould generate considerable debate in the field of cultural studies."
--Belinda Edmondson," interventions"

"Norman Stolzoff seems to be the ideal chronicler. . . . Calling "Wake the Town" one of the best books written about Jamaican music is of course faint praise. . . . [A]rmchair travelers will be rewarded with a visit to a place armchair travelers almost never go. Not the least of this book's virtues is its title, which is taken from a tune by U Roy. In like fashion my summary paraphrases King Stitt: 'No matter what the people say--this book leads the way.'"
--Michael Turner, "The Beat"

"[W]e are indebted to [Stolzoff] for his time and effort in putting together what must be, essentially, the most academic work on dancehall culture so far. . . . A very interesting and attractive book, it ought to be a watershed for how the music is studied in the future: As being much more than just music and dance and dubplates and deejays, but an intrinsic cultural force which has obviously influenced our society much more than many of us want to admit."
--Balford Henry, "The Jamaica Gleaner"

"[A]n admirable attempt to change the terms of the debate engaged in by the foreign journalists and tastemakers who have dominated the discourse on Jamaican music. . . . Stolzoff's historical analysis of dancehall culture, particularly how it grew out of the gang rivalry sponsored by Jamaica's two main political parties, effectively maps the socio-political onto the music. . . [H]is fieldwork and reportage of numerous yard dances is a crucial contribution to the literature."
--Peter Shapiro, "The Wire"

"This is a thought-provoking read for serious students of Jamaican musical history, who wish not just to know facts so they can sling them in trivia contests, but also to understand the development of Jamaican music and culture in proper context. It is a decidedly necessary book, if only to provoke deeper analysis, discussions or arguments. Still, this is a decidedly colorful and fun book to read as well, with many first-hand accounts and lively stories from various paticipants in reggae history."
--About.com

"Norman's love of dancehall music coupled with his probing anthropological mind takes you into the world of dancehall culture . . . . Many books have scratched the surface of Reggae music but this is the first book, to my knowledge, that dives into the subject with both feet. "Wake the Town and Tell the People" is definitely one for the collection for reference purposes if you are already knowledgeable about dancehall music or as a thorough study into Jamaican music for the beginner."
--Miss Mention, "Black Hole"

"Stolzoff's detailed research chronicles the uniquely Jamaican phenomenon of the sound system, its catalyst role in originating the island's vast recording industry and in popularizing every form of the island's indigenous recorded music from folk influenced mento to the mid-80s computerized rhythm tracks over which 'deejays' and singers laid their vocals, which came to be known as Dancehall. . . . [Stolzoff] presents a wealth of heretofor uncollected facts according overdue respect to the current manifestation of Jamaican music's esteemed lineage (Dancehall) by illustrating the dancehall's role in the development of popular Jamaican music."
--Patricia Meschino, "Skywritings"

Dancehall is not just about music, it is about a way of life. Norman Stolzoff clearly understands this. I would tell anyone who wants to get a picture of reggae and the Jamaican people to take a read of Wake the Town and Tell the People-it's worth it. Blessed. Beenie Man, reigning king of the dancehall and two-time reggae Grammy nominee for Many Moods of Moses and The Doctor"

Norman Stolzoff has gone where many fear to tread - to the very heart of the dancehall milieu in the depths of the Kingston ghetto, emerging with the first full, objective look at this fertile birthing ground of Jamaican music. Wake the Town introduces us to many of the prime figures in DJ culture producers, promoters, selectors and artists and traces their history back hundreds of years. It is a remarkable work. Roger Steffens, co-author of Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer and Old Fire Sticks: The Autobiography of Bunny Wailer"

Stolzoff's comprehensive analysis will unquestionably be an important contribution to the growing field of Latin American/Caribbean popular music studies. But beyond its importance as the first study of dancehall, this book is outstanding because of its theoretical sophistication, its comprehensive scope, and its firm grounding in extensive fieldwork among dancehall participants. Deborah Pacini-Hernandez, author of Bachata: A Social History of Dominican Popular Music"

This is the first sustained study of Jamaican dancehall music and culture in all of its aspects. Everyone interested in the island music, and in popular music in general, will find something useful in this book. Andrew Ross, author of The Celebration Chronicles"

"Dancehall is not just about music, it is about a way of life. Norman Stolzoff clearly understands this. I would tell anyone who wants to get a picture of reggae and the Jamaican people to take a read of Wake the Town and Tell the People-it's worth it. 'Blessed.' "--Beenie Man, reigning king of the dancehall and two-time reggae Grammy nominee for Many Moods of Moses and The Doctor

"Norman Stolzoff has gone where many fear to tread - to the very heart of the dancehall milieu in the depths of the Kingston ghetto, emerging with the first full, objective look at this fertile birthing ground of Jamaican music. Wake the Town introduces us to many of the prime figures in DJ culture--producers, promoters, selectors and artists--and traces their history back hundreds of years. It is a remarkable work."--Roger Steffens, co-author of Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer and Old Fire Sticks: The Autobiography of Bunny Wailer

"Stolzoff's comprehensive analysis will unquestionably be an important contribution to the growing field of Latin American/Caribbean popular music studies. But beyond its importance as the 'first' study of dancehall, this book is outstanding because of its theoretical sophistication, its comprehensive scope, and its firm grounding in extensive fieldwork among dancehall participants."--Deborah Pacini-Hernandez, author of Bachata: A Social History of Dominican Popular Music

"This is the first sustained study of Jamaican dancehall music and culture in all of its aspects. Everyone interested in the island music, and in popular music in general, will find something useful in this book."--Andrew Ross, author of The Celebration Chronicles

Review

“Dancehall is not just about music, it is about a way of life. Norman Stolzoff clearly understands this. I would tell anyone who wants to get a picture of reggae and the Jamaican people to take a read of Wake the Town and Tell the People-it's worth it. ‘Blessed.’ ”—Beenie Man, reigning king of the dancehall and two-time reggae Grammy nominee for Many Moods of Moses and The Doctor


“Norman Stolzoff has gone where many fear to tread - to the very heart of the dancehall milieu in the depths of the Kingston ghetto, emerging with the first full, objective look at this fertile birthing ground of Jamaican music. Wake the Town introduces us to many of the prime figures in DJ culture—producers, promoters, selectors and artists—and traces their history back hundreds of years. It is a remarkable work.”—Roger Steffens, co-author of Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer and Old Fire Sticks: The Autobiography of Bunny Wailer


“Stolzoff's comprehensive analysis will unquestionably be an important contribution to the growing field of Latin American/Caribbean popular music studies. But beyond its importance as the ‘first’ study of dancehall, this book is outstanding because of its theoretical sophistication, its comprehensive scope, and its firm grounding in extensive fieldwork among dancehall participants.”—Deborah Pacini-Hernandez, author of Bachata: A Social History of Dominican Popular Music


“This is the first sustained study of Jamaican dancehall music and culture in all of its aspects. Everyone interested in the island music, and in popular music in general, will find something useful in this book.”—Andrew Ross, author of The Celebration Chronicles

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