The fascinating story of how creative cooperation inspired two of the world’s most celebrated musical acts.
The Beatles and Duke Ellington’s Orchestra stand as the two greatest examples of collaboration in music history. Through his highly original examination of these two musical legends, Duke University musicologist Thomas Brothers delivers a portrait of the creative process at work, demonstrating that the cooperative method at the foundation of these two artist- groups was the primary reason for their unmatched musical success.
While clarifying the historical record of who wrote what, with whom, and how, Brothers brings the past to life with a breadth of musical knowledge that reverberates through every page, and analyses of songs from Lennon and McCartney’s Strawberry Fields Forever to Billy Strayhorn’s Chelsea Bridge. Help! describes in rich detail the music and mastery of two cultural leaders whose popularity has never dimmed.
“This is musicology with taste as well as ears.” — Wall Street Journal
“Adds significantly to our knowledge of popular music and iconic musicians of the 20th century.” — Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Thomas Brothers is the author of Help! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration; Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans; and Louis Armstrong, Master of Modernism, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A professor of music at Duke University, he lives with his family in Durham, North Carolina.