Quotes About Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution:

"A book based on remarkable research...the great triumph of Turn! Turn! Turn! is that it captures the unrolling of history as if for the first time, and adds extra dimensions to a predictable tale. It's an achievement built on dozens of interviews with the protagonists, from ex-Byrds to John Sebastian, Donovan, Al Kooper and many more. More than that, Unterberger has delved beyond the usual parameters of rock history, to unearth long-forgotten mergers between folk and rock. In his story, folk-rock begins not with "Mr. Tambourine Man" or "Subterranean Homesick Blues," but on early-'60s records by the likes of Carolyn Hester, Judy Henske, and even Bobby Darin and the Four Seasons. He traces the links between political protest, traditional folk and teenage rebellion back into the '50s, pinpoints the effect that the Beatles had on the folk scene across America, and then describes every possible hybrid of folk and rock, from Dylan to such obscurities as an electric album by Burl Ives, The Times They Are A-Changin' (now, why does that title sound familiar?). Impeccably researched, full of revealing anecdotes and hidden treasures, and told in a commendably unfussy way, Turn! Turn! Turn! is a landmark in rock history." -- Record Collector

"His prose shines with delight at the heroics from lesser lights Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jackie DeShannon and P.F. Sloan. It also illustrates how the best folk rock came not from Dylan acolytes or folk purists plugging in, but from the commercial side of folk via the Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio and the New Christy Minstrels -- these popular outfits teaching McGuinn, Stills et al both the musical and the stage skills which allowed their subsequent careers to blossom." -- MOJO

"A thoroughly researched and detailed account of the origins and impact of folk-rock...investigates in meticulous detail critical moments in folk-rock's development...a fine book that makes clear why such an important time in music was important." -- The Denver Post

"One of the strengths of Unterberger's fact-laden study is the way the dense accounting of recording sessions, record-label politics, musical cross-fertilization, and debates over purity and selling out builds into a swirl of cause and effect that transcends linearity. Obsessive about musical minutiae, Unterberger creates kaleidoscopes of details and cacophonies of voices (from more than 100 musicians, producers, managers, and journalists) that feel more representative of the period than any one event or song ever could." -- San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Respected American musicologist Richie Unterberger leaves no stone unturned in this detailed and well-researched analysis of a musical form that altered and shaped pop-rock music well into the next decade. He offers a compelling argument that folk-rock was perhaps the single most important shift in rock music in the 1960s...While Unterberger supplies the narrative and critical analysis, he wisely lets those he interviews provide the color commentary that brings the era -- the early to mid-'60s -- to life." -- Winnipeg Free Press

"An admirable job weaving together diverse strands culled from a daunting number of interviews and extensive research...Unterberger's ability to digest the frenzy is remarkable...What makes Turn! Turn! Turn! invaluable, however, is the insight gained from interviews with key players and witnesses, including Dylan session guitarist Bruce Langhorne, Sing Out! editor Paul Nelson, and filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. They further flesh out the picture offered by more typical suspects such as Roger McGuinn and Denny Doherty. The author's ability to weave these commentaries together, and to allow them to give voice to the narrative, is one of his prime strengths...Ultimately, Unterberger's achievement is not simply in tracing a movement, but in diligently and insightfully encapsulating the warp-speed changes in pop music circa 1965-66." -- No Depression

"With this book Unterberger has staked his claim as one of the most important of a new, hipper, sharper breed of rock'n'roll historians who are rising up to shake the dust off an increasingly complacent old guard...the author successfully weaves separate and often disparate strands into a single cloth to present a surprisingly focused story of the movement itself, and its cultural reverberations. His story takes in the early-'60s folk/hootenanny boom, the emergence of Bob Dylan, the impact of the Beatles and the British Invasion, and the flashpoint scenes of Greenwich Village and the Sunset Strip where folk and rock fused and eventually exploded. Refreshingly the author refuses to conform to the old rock history party lines...

"Clearly a heroic amount of research went into compiling this story, with an attention to detail that is evident on every page...Turn! Turn! Turn! is a MAJOR, major work. Intelligently and clearly written, it's an absorbing read." -- Ugly Things

"In a well-researched and carefully thought out volume, the high flyers, the overlooked, the casually influenced, the opportunistic magpies and long term converts all have a voice...Turn! Turn! Turn! is a volume long needed that documents a time when American sources were producing music that was innovative and worth chasing down." -- fROOTs

"An entertaining and comprehensive account of a small slice of music history...Told with humor, affection, and a discerning eye." -- Dirty Linen

"Unterberger describes Bob Dylan's first electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 as if it were the Kennedy assassination. He recounts the tale from every possible vantage point, then builds a generation around it. His loving and meticulous version of the folk-rock story encompasses a broad definition of the genre as a vital merging point between the youthful energy of pop and the intelligence of the folk revival and what, exactly, it meant that all these lefty ex-folkies were adapting to a morphing technology." -- Relix

And...Turn! Turn! Turn! influences Johnny Cash? From the November 2004 MOJO cover story on Johnny Cash, where producer Rick Rubin discusses the last album Johnny Cash recorded, American V (which has yet to be released):

"Rubin, meanwhile, had been discovering a new fascination with early '60s American folk music. 'I had just read the book Turn! Turn! Turn! [by MOJO's own Richie Unterberger] and I started getting very excited about a bunch of people like Tim Hardin, Joan Baez. I sent Johnny some of these songs. Whether he liked the song or not, it would always spark his memory and he'd say, "That made me think of this other song, and I like this one better." One example of that was the song "Four Strong Winds." Johnny said he remembered the version by Ian and Sylvia.'"

Author Sylvie Simmons goes on to write:

"I sat and watched Cash record 'Four Strong Winds' in his bedroom in Hendersonville -- a beautiful, vulnerable version. He also recorded Tom Paxton's 'Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound.'"

contents copyright Richie Unterberger , 2000-2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               unless otherwise specified.