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Book details
  • Genre:MUSIC
  • SubGenre:Genres & Styles / Rock
  • Language:English
  • Pages:266
  • Paperback ISBN:9780983882459

Countdown: A Life in 20 Songs

by Tom Waldman

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"Countdown: A Life in 20 Songs" uses a range of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, and disco hits from the 1950s through the 1970s to tell the story of the author's political, cultural and intellectual development at a time of tremendous tumult across American society.
The chapters deal with such compelling topics as the environment, race relations, the counterculture, the sexual revolution, the war in Vietnam, the appeal of punk rock, the fall of Richard Nixon, the rise of Ronald Reagan, the murder of John Lennon, and 9/11. The book also traces the development of Waldman's second career in rock roll. He is the author of three books on the subject, associate producer of a documentary about Chicano rock and roll, and creator. He is the host of "Rock and Roll Stories," an interview program that aired in Los Angeles from 2013 to 2015, and writer of the book and original musical, "Eastside Heartbeats," which sold out its entire eight-week run in Los Angeles in 2016.
About the author
Tom Waldman is co-author of Land of a Thousand Dances: Chicano Rock'n'Roll From Southern California, the most comprehensive look at the flourishing Latino rock and roll scene from Ritchie Valens through Los Lobos. Tom served as associate producer of the nationally-broadcast 2008 PBS documentary "Chicano Rock!: The Sounds of East Los Angeles", which was based on his book. In 2004, Tom appeared on C-SPAN2 "Book TV" to discuss his book We All Want to Change the World: Rock and Politics from Elvis to Eminem. The book was prominently featured as part of the Newseum's 2017 exhibit "Louder than Words: Rock, Power and Politics" in Washington D.C. Tom was creator and host of the television program Rock and Roll Stories, which aired on KLCS, the PBS station in Los Angeles, from 2013–2015. . His guests included Wayne Kramer, Johnny Rivers, B.J. Thomas, Louise Goffin, Vicki Peterson, Alan Parsons, Thomas Dolby, and James Holvay. In 2016, Tom wrote the script for the original musical, Eastside Heartbeats, which was staged and sold out for eight weeks at Casa 0101 Theatre in Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighborhood. Tom also wrote the lyrics – and Holvay the music and lyrics – for 20 of the 22 songs. The show is a fictional rendition of the true story of the LA-based Mexican-American vocal group Cannibal and the Headhunters, who became local legends when they opened for the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl in August 1965. Presently, Tom continues researching and writing about the musical genres he loves most from his home in Los Angeles.