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Soon, it became an anthem for freedom and change. In , there were over a hundred [urban riots] that summer. The song came out two days before the Vietnam War started. It was just an incredible moment. But as Kurlansky notes in the book, these covers still can't top the originalespecially in how it continues to be interpreted by people. But he meant that it was an anthem to the changing times, which Martin Luther King talked about also.

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Skip to main content. Advertise Contact Us. As the country grew more radicalized in those few months, 'Dancing in the Street' gained currency as an activist anthem. The song took on new meanings, multiple meanings, for many different groups that were all altered as the country changed.

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From the writer legendary for finding the big story in unlikely places, Mark kurlansky's Ready for a Brand New Beat recounts that extraordinary time and showcases the role that a simple song about dancing played in our nation's history. Praise for Mark Kurlansky 'Every once in a while a writer of particular skill takes a fresh, seemingly improbable idea and turns out a book of pure delight. Kurlansky has a keen eye for odd facts and natural detail.

But how about the people who were heroes a little more indirectly?


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Those who were heroes for other reasons, but lent their fame to the cause? I speak of the entertainers. Loved it. Mostly Motown but a lot about the music of the times in general and what was going on in the early 60s.

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“Dancing in the Street”: Detroit’s Radical Anthem

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Ready for a Brand New Beat: How "Dancing in the Street" Became the Anthem for a Changing America