cover image In the Groove: The People Behind the Music

In the Groove: The People Behind the Music

Ted Fox. St. Martin's Press, $18.95 (361pp) ISBN 978-0-312-41166-4

Fox's interviews with 12 men important to the history of modern music are reprinted from Audio magazine, where he is an editor. The interviewees are those who developed the top vocal artists of the past half-century. Most familiar to the public is Mitch Miller, who at Columbia Records introduced or advanced the careers of Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Johnny Mathis, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, country-and-western star Hank Williams and jazz performer Erroll Garner. Less known, but as influential, is record impressario John Hammond, who brought to public attention Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin. These figures have intriguing stories to tell, and, despite occasional excursions into details too technical for any but audiophiles, the interviews are all in the groove. (December 15)