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The Miraculous

The Miraculous: Music

36. The 1960s, Brooklyn

It’s the mid-1960s in Bedford-Stuyvesant where some 15 or 20 young men get into the habit of harmonizing together after pick-up basketball games. One of them, an aspiring musician who is supporting himself as an elevator operator, notices some talented voices in the crowd, so one night he invites everyone back to his apartment to rehearse, hoping for something interesting to emerge.

The Miraculous: Music

37. 1964 and Later, London

Thanks to her own talent, fearlessness and good looks, a 17-year-old working-class British girl secures a recording contract. Between takes at her first studio session she looks up at the control booth and sees her manager jumping up and down with excitement and the technicians around her laughing. “Your feet, your feet,” the manager explains over the microphone.

The Miraculous: Music

38. 1962, Oklahoma

A teenager in Oklahoma City who is destined to become one of the most respected guitarists in the world but also fated to die at 43 from a heroin overdose in a Los Angeles laundromat covets more than anything else in the world a 1954 Fender Telecaster sitting in the window of a local music store.

The Miraculous: Music

39. 1978, Manchester

Hoping to discover new acts and garner some publicity, two independent record labels organize a “battle of the bands” tour around England. At each venue, local groups are chosen to perform with the vague promise that the winners of the contest will be given a recording contract. One stop on the tour is a small basement club in a once vibrant industrial city that has fallen on hard times.

The Miraculous: Music

40. 1937-1973, Egypt

On the first Thursday of every month for nearly 40 years, a singer’s live performances, often lasting five hours or more, are broadcast throughout the Middle East. These programs become so popular that during them streets empty, stores and restaurants close, and politicians avoid scheduling any speeches or press conferences.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2023

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