It’s been nearly two years in preparation, but I’ve almost completed work on my first magnum opus. US Atlantic Singles 1947-77 runs to more than 300,000 words, so it’s not small! Basically the book traces the first 30 years of Atlantic Records through every 45 and 78 the company released during that period – from old shellac 78s by the likes of Boyd Raeburn and Stick McGhee to seventies funk and disco. Atco and other subsidiary labels will have to wait for a second volume, though.
To be honest, it’s so long ago that I started that I’ve forgotten the exact inspiration for the book. I think it came from websites like Soulful Kinda Music (www.soulfulkindamusic.net) which have great label based discographies (though not, in this case, for Atlantic) which by their very nature are little more than checklists. It will tell you a record exists, but nothing of the story behind it. It occurred to me that I’m probably not the only one who’d appreciate the extra depth, so I decided to do it myself.
Alongside the classic soul, r & b, rock and pop records that the company issued over its first thirty years were plenty of oddities, obscurities and fascinating stories to be uncovered. These were probably more fun to research and write about than some of the more familiar names. But I’ve tried to keep a balance.
Anyway, there will be more news on the book as and when I have it. I may publish a few extracts from it here over the coming weeks.