A personal reflection on the crucial turning points in the history of music, from BBC broadcaster and musician Mark Radcliffe
Standing at the crossroads – the Mississippi crossroads of Robert Johnson and the devil’s infamous meeting – Mark Radcliffe found himself facing his own personal crunch point. Aged sixty, he had just mourned the death of his father, only to be handed a diagnosis of mouth and throat cancer.
This momentous time in his life, and being at the most famous junction in music history, led Radcliffe to think about the pivotal tracks in music and how the musicians who wrote and performed them – from Woodie Guthrie to Gloria Gaynor, Kurt Cobain to Bob Marley – had reached the crossroads that led to such epoch-changing music.
In this warm, intimate account of music and its power to transform our lives, Radcliffe takes a personal journey through these touchstone tracks, looking at the story behind the records and his own experiences as he goes in search of these moments.
“A deep love of music and its legends, a warm wit and a hawkish eye for the absurd. I feel educated but I’m crying laughing. This is a great book”
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“Mark Radcliffe is like our shared friend. We feel we know him from being our late night, early morning or afternoon companion for many years. His voice is always a comfort and his music knowledge rivals that of anyone I know. His writing is like his broadcasting - light and funny when needed but it is beautifully emotional like the man himself. Long may Mark and his stories be part of our lives”
“Written in the warm, engaging voice that’s happily become a constant presence in the soundtrack of popular music”
“That warmth, that authenticity, those stories … Masterfully told”
“An excellent read – engagingly witty”
Mark Radcliffe is: a broadcaster, writer, musician, father of three, grandfather of two, husband of one, cavapoo owner, art appreciator, Manchester City Fan, Knutsford dweller and Builder’s Arms regular. He is the author of three works of non-fiction: Showbusiness, Thank You For the Days and Reelin’ in the Years; and one work of fiction, Northern Sky. He lives in Cheshire. @themarkrad