Allman Brothers Band Biography

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This week’s readings highlighted both several different approaches to music biographies and the challenges confronted by the reader to treat them as historical documents. The audience for music biographies consists mainly of fans of that artist and their music and thus focus on the action of the story and less about the historical context or analysis. While it is imperative the biographer focus on a well-documented story of the artist life, exploring the causality and effects hold equal sway. These texts tend to focus on answering the questions of “what,” “where,” and “when” and skate around the “why” and “how come.” Additionally, since the primary audience lay in the general public, publishers and readers alike do not require or desire…show more content…
They do not participate in a historical discussion of previous works or historical thought. Despite this, music biographies do prove to be important documents for a historian in their research, but the researcher must interrogate this source with a fine tooth comb and be prepared to dig deep into the author’s biography or other documentation to prove out any claims of truth or fact. Matt Follett and Scott Willett address the typical frustration of historians with many music biographies in their review of an Allman Brothers Band biography. They argue, “A history of he Allman Brothers Band would have addressed the issue of ‘why?’ Why did the Allman Brothers Band become so popular? Answering simply that ‘the music’ was the reason for the popularity is like saying that the President of the country was elected because he gave good speeches. Other attributes, perceptions, opportunities, capabilities, and needs came…show more content…
While an artist’s sex life and drug use factor heavily into their decision making and provide a contextual understanding of the motivations and output, sometimes they sometimes overly recount each exploit that reads more like a tabloid story rather than a historical analysis. While such an exploration is necessary in their argument that Janis Joplin, though of the very liberal hippie and free love era, still encountered many of the same paternalistic and male-centered issues of her predecessors. Her rampant drug use and sexual exploits illustrate her attempt to control her environment and the authors are able to contextualize for her role in the feminist movement of that
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