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I Got a Song
A History of the Newport Folk Festival
Rick Massimo


2017 • 260 pp. 20 illus. 6 x 9"
Folk & Traditional Music / Country & Bluegrass / Music History & Criticism

$24.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7703-0
$80.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7702-3

$19.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7704-7

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)

Written by historian and journalist Rick Massimo, I Got A Song: A History of The Newport Folk Festival explores the festival’s complex 58-year history. Massimo’s research included many interviews and... [continued in Reviews below]”—EC Flamming, Paste Magazine

The first book-length history of an essential American music festival

The first-ever book exclusively devoted to the history of the Newport Folk Festival, I Got a Song documents the trajectory of an American musical institution that began more than a half-century ago and continues to influence our understanding of folk music today. Rick Massimo’s research is complemented by extensive interviews with the people who were there and who made it all happen: the festival's producers, some of its biggest stars, and people who huddled in the fields to witness moments—like Bob Dylan’s famous electric performance in 1965—that live on in musical history. As folk has evolved over the decades, absorbing influences from rock, traditional music and the singer-songwriters of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the Newport Folk Festival has once again become a gathering point for young performers and fans. I Got a Song tells the stories, small and large, of several generations of American folk music enthusiasts.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

Written by historian and journalist Rick Massimo, I Got A Song: A History of The Newport Folk Festival explores the festival’s complex 58-year history. Massimo’s research included many interviews and first-person testimonials from artists, producers and audience members across different generations. A few of the most notable interviewees include Pete Seeger, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Judy Collins, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary) and The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy.”—EC Flamming, Paste Magazine

“Our final verdict, yes, this is a fantastic book for us … we came into I Got a Song expecting a light beach read, and left with a heady brew of history and excitement in the country’s premier music festival.”—Matthew Keefer, Music Ravings

Rhode Island’s Newport Folk Festival is the place where Bob Dylan famously decided to buck the all-acoustic rules and go ‘electric' in 1965. But there’s so much more history and heritage to the Newport festival than that, as author Rick Massimo details in I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival...filled with interviews and photos of the many performers who’ve been a part of the event over the past six decades, including Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary.”—Neil Pond, Parade

“Vibrantly tells good stories that bring to life the personalities involved in the festival, as well as stories that offer perspectives on the significance and endurance of a folk festival”—Henry Carrigan, No Depression

“Massimo, who covered the Folk Festival for nine years with The Providence Journal, is an old school reporter … but the Dylan-Goes-Electric chapter reads like deconstructed poetry. Eschewing editorial in favor of juxtaposition, Massimo tells the story of [the] folk fest.”—Fallon Masterson, Vanyaland

“Massimo grapples with the ‘what is folk’ question throughout the book, contextualizing it against the original folk boom, counterculture rock, the songwriting ‘70s and the eventual near-death of the genre as electronically informed genres popped up in the ‘80s.”—Gillian Turnbull, National Post

“Massimo covers the Newport years well, if uncritically, recognizing the changing nature of the folk music scene in America.”—Derek Shofield, Folk Music Journal

“[Massimo] tells a story that’s not just about one festival in the smallest state of the country, but about folk music as a whole.”—Ben Kaye, Consequence of Sound

“[A] treasure trove for music fans … the first complete account of the legendary festival, describing its many successes and occasional blunders”—Ken Abrams, No Depression

“The Newport Folk Festival has been at the center of all sorts of changes in American life for more than fifty years, and Rick Massimo tells it all. Through all of these changes he never loses his focus on festival producer George Wein, who never loses his focus on the vision that Pete Seeger had that this music was a joint creation between artist and audience. It is a story that needs to be told in this fragmented, divided time, and we owe Rick Massimo a debt of gratitude for telling it so well.” —Jim Rooney, former Newport board member, record producer, and author of In It for the Long Run

“This entertaining book is not just a history of the Newport Folk Festival but of folk music itself and how it has evolved from the ironclad acoustic era of Pete Seeger to the more rocking singer-songwriters of today.”—Steve Morse, instructor of music history at Berklee College of Music and former Boston Globe music critic

“Rick Massimo’s I Got a Song is an entertaining historical account of the Newport Folk Festival (and peripherally the Newport Jazz Festival) that will certainly appeal to the folk music aficionado. Academics may find the quick-paced interviews of particular interest more for what they say about the fallibility of memory and history as mythology than as unassailable first-person narratives.”—Thomas Gruning, author of Millennium Folk

RICK MASSIMO grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and covered the Newport Folk Festival for nine years for the Providence Journal. He is also the author of A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set. He lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:39:53 -0500