Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages
May 31, 2021
E102: Carol Cooper on New York Sounds + Stax Records + Eddy Grant audio
Play • 1 hr 34 min

In this episode we welcome the distinguished New York writer Carol Cooper and ask her to talk us through her career, from her first pieces for the SoHo Weekly News, via the Village Voice and The Face to her present incarnation as an Adjunct Instructor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Dr. Cooper also talks about her early experiences of live music in NYC & New Jersey, plus the dawn of East Coast hip hop (and the vital importance of Bronx club Disco Fever); the problematic concept of "global music"; and the impact of Jungian psychology of her writing & teaching.

Carol then pitches in on a discussion about Steve Cropper, Otis Redding & the racial politics of Stax Records, as well as reminiscing about her 1983 Musician interview with Eddy Grant as Mark talks us through a 1991 audio interview with the former Equal. There's a general discussion of the Guyana-born maverick's unique genre-blending career and DIY business acumen.

Mark talks us through highlights among the most recent additions to the RBP Library, including pieces on Graham Nash & the Hollies, Aretha Franklin's legendary show at the Fillmore West and Paul McCartney's 1980 drug bust in Japan, while Jasper has his mind twisted by Edwin Pouncey's guide to "occult rock" and Lisa Verrico's advice to Times readers on "how to get hip to rap".

Many thanks to special guest Carol Cooper. Please visit for more of her writing and to buy her book, Pop Culture Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race.

Pieces discussed: Black Music Association, Global Music, Disco Fever, Stax Story, Steve Cropper, Stever Cropper audio, Otis Redding, Eddy Grant audio, Graham Nash, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, Chelsea FC, Gil Evans, Paul McCartney, Iggy Pop, Neil Young's archives, Top 10 Black clubs, Occult rock, How to get hip to rap and Rick Rubin.

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