Neighborhood | Community
Multi-award winning and bestselling author Mark Kurlansky returns to the Georgia Center for the Book for a discussion about his latest work, "Ready for a Brand New Beat: How 'Dancing In The Street' Became an Anthem for a Changing America." The summer of 1964 was a turning point for the Civil Rights movement and America as a whole. It was the summer of Beatlemania, Black Power and the Vietnam War. Johnson and Goldwater were stumping on the campaign trail, and the Freedom Summer movement was in full swing registering new black voters in Mississippi. Far away from the Civil Rights hotbed of the South, Marvin Gaye, record producer William "Mickey" Stevenson and Motown song writer Ivy Jo Hunter wrote "Dancing In The Street." Recorded at Hitsville U.S.A. Studio by Martha and the Vandellas, the song was supposed to be upbeat party music. But in a volatile summer the words took on many meaning, and a life of their own. "Ready for a Brand New Beat..." is the story of the relationship between R&B music and the struggle for African-American rights and the story of the importance of an enduring dance song.