Turn Up the Radio! Rock, Pop, and Roll in Los Angeles 1956?1972

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-04-15
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press
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Supplemental Materials

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Combining oral and illustrated history with a connective narrative, Turn Up the Radio! captures the zeitgeist of the Los Angeles rock and pop music world between the years of 1956 and 1972.

Featuring hundreds of rare and previously unpublished photographs and images of memorabilia, this collection highlights dozens of iconic bands and musicians, including the Doors, the Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, CSN, the Monkees, the Rolling Stones, Ike and Tina Turner, Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran, Ritchie Valens, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, Thee Midniters, Sonny and Cher, and many others.

The book also digs deep to uncover the studio musicians, background vocalists, songwriters, producers, and engineers who helped propel the Los Angeles rock and pop music scene to such a legendary status, such as Bones Howe, Barney Kessel, B. J. Baker, Merry Clayton, Jack Nitzsche, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Bobby Womack, and Kim Fowley.

Finally, Turn Up the Radio! pays tribute to the DJs who brought the music of Los Angeles to fans throughout Southern California—and, ultimately, the world—including Art Laboe, Dave Hull, the Real Don Steele, and Dave Diamond.

Packed with exclusive interviews, this one-of-a-kind keepsake is a must-have for any music fan.

Author Biography

Harvey Kubernik, a native of Los Angeles, California, has been a noted music journalist for over forty years. A former West Coast A&R director for MCA Records, Kubernik is the author of five books, including This Is Rebel Music, A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival (co-authored by Kenneth Kubernik), and Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon. Kubernik’s writings on popular music have been published nationally and internationally in the Los Angeles Times, MOJO, Goldmine, Musician, Melody Maker, Treats!, the Los Angeles Free Press, Crawdaddy!, Record Collector News, and many other periodicals and online outlets. His work has also been placed in several book anthologies, including The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats and Drinking with Bukowski. Kubernik has penned liner notes for a dozen albums by a diverse group of recording artists, most notably Elvis Presley, Allen Ginsberg, Carole King, and the Ramones.

Tom Petty is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their debut album in 1976. Petty has received numerous prestigious awards, including seventeen Grammy nominations. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. Petty and his collaborators have sold over sixty million records. He lives in Los Angeles.

Roger Steffens is the author or co-author of seven books on Bob Marley and reggae history, including Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography and The Reggae Scrapbook. He is also the founder of the award-winning Reggae Beat radio show with Hank Holmes on Santa Monica’s NPR affiliate, KCRW. Steffens lives in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Tom Petty


Chapter 1: The South Central Shuffle

Chapter 2: The Birth of the Cool Cats

Chapter 3: The Dotted Line

Chapter 4: The New Kids on the Block

Chapter 5: Tape Is Rolling

Chapter 6: Legends in Their Spare Time

Chapter 7: A Sandbox As Big As an Ocean

Chapter 8: Go East, Young Man

Chapter 9: Powdered Sugar

Chapter 10: When Sonny Met Cher

Chapter 11: Folk Rocks

Chapter 12: Götterdämmerung

Chapter 13: And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’!

Chapter 14: Safe and Warm in L.A.

Chapter 15: A Loon and a Bear

Chapter 16: Colored Balls Falling

Chapter 17: The Left Hand of Darkness

Chapter 18: Expecting to Chart

Chapter 19: Circus Boyz

Chapter 20: Up, Up, and All the Way

Chapter 21: It Was a Mellow Yellow Year

Chapter 22: Meet Me at Sunset and Fairfax

Chapter 23: The King Has Entered the Building

Chapter 24: It’s the Singer and the Song

Chapter 25: On His Carousel

Chapter 26: The Swamp

Chapter 27: Go West, Young Clan

Chapter 28: The Soul Survivor and the Maestro Arrive

Chapter 29: Make It a Little Louder


Afterword by Roger Steffens



Oral History Credits

Photo Credits


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