American Studies •  Film and Music

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Hollywood Shack Job: Rock Music in Film and on Your Screen

Harvey Kubernik

"I thought a book needed to be written about the music, especially the rock 'n' roll, we hear on the screen and collect as soundtrack albums; the interaction of the music and the cinematography clicking together like a Motown rhythm section; the story of how the music gets inside the films, and how rock 'n' roll in particular has been utilized in television the last six decades."--from Hollywood Shack Job

For over thirty years Harvey Kubernik has been actively involved in the music scene in Los Angeles as a studio musician, record producer, and reporter. Here he shares insiders' accounts of the compromises and "deals" behind the fusion of creativity and commerce in the making of cultural commodities.

Kubernik begins in the 1950s when rock 'n' roll made its first appearance in movies with artists like Chuck Berry or Little Richard, moves through the 1960s with the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, when people began to realize the commercial potential of soundtracks, to Easy Rider, which took individual singles, most already released, and created a new soundtrack. Over the course of thirty-one interviews he covers nearly six decades of music in movies and television, bringing the story up to 2006.

"Harvey Kubernik is a cornucopia of American culture. . . . He's onto the most important development since bebop, that is, the absolute cultural primacy of rock 'n' roll. . . . His new book, Hollywood Shack Job is a totally original scan across this history, uncovering major and minor players, aficionados and accomplices of every stripe."--David E. James, professor, School of Cinema-Television, University of Southern California, and author of Power Misses


Harvey Kubernik is a former West Coast director of A&R for MCA Records, a TV music and talk show host, and has been a production consultant to the weekly syndicated radio show, "Little Steven's Underground Garage." He lives in the Los Angeles area.

6 x 9 in. 416 pages 55 halftones