Cover image for Popular musicians
Popular musicians
Hochman, Steve, 1956-
Publication Information:
Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
4 volumes : illustrations, portraits ; 26 cm
General Note:
Volume four accompanied by 1 errata sheet and 2 replacement pages.
v. 1. Abba-Donovan -- v. 2. The Doobie Brothers-Paul McCartney -- v. 3. Reba McEntire-Sonic Youth -- v. 4. Sonny and Cher-ZZ Top. Indexes.
Added Author:




Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML105 .P66 1999 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music
ML105 .P66 1999 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music
ML105 .P66 1999 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music
ML105 .P66 1999 V.4 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music

On Order



These volumes contain articles on the lives and careers of musicians popular in the USA since the late 1950s. Arranged alphabetically, the books cover solo performers, bands and vocal groups from Abba to ZZ Top.


These volumes contain articles on the lives and careers of musicians popular in the USA since the late 1950s. Arranged alphabetically, the books cover solo performers, bands and vocal groups from Abba to ZZ Top.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A student might associate the word popular with groups like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Iron Maiden (included in this set), or The Back Street Boys and Spin Doctors (not found), but these volumes take a somewhat broader view. Here, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra rub shoulders with Public Enemy and Nine Inch Nails. Though focusing on performers "in fields such as pop and its subgenres, rock and roll and its subgenres, rap and hip-hop, country, soul, disco, blues, and folk music" since the late 1950s, they also cover influential jazz artists (e.g., John Coltrane, Miles Davis), as well as musicians from an earlier generation, such as Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers. There are 532 articles, signed and alphabetically arranged. Length ranges from 600 to 5,000 words, with most entries between 750 and 1,200 words. Longer, 2,500-word essays give in-depth treatment to Garth Brooks, James Brown, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, and Barbra Streisand, among others; The Beatles are afforded 5,000-word coverage. Except for a few select performers (e.g., Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Diana Ross) who went on to have significant solo careers, the emphasis is on groups rather than individual group members--no separate entries for Kurt Cobain or Ringo Starr. However, some entries highlight the most dominant members--examples are Culture Club/Boy George and Sonny and Cher/Cher. Cross-references help the reader locate appropriate or related entries. Each entry is headed by a summary listing the first album release, group members, and musical styles; and each ends with a select discography and list of awards. A "For the Record" sidebar offers additional facts. Most entries include a black-and-white photograph. Volume 4 contains a "Time Line of First Releases" that lists artists from 1923 through 1997. Works by Erykah Badu, Hanson, and Puff Daddy are the last entries. This is followed by a glossary and a bibliography, which is arranged by topic. There are three indexes: "List of Artists by Musical Style," "Index of Song and Album Titles," and a general index. The organization of this set is superb. Though not as comprehensive as The Encyclopedia of Popular Music [RBB Ap 1 99], it is broader in scope (and also more suitable for an older audience) than UXL's Parents Aren't Supposed to Like It [RBB Jl 98]. Popular Musicians is excellent for retrospective research, and it may even satisfy a few of your customers' requests for information on the latest musical groups. Recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries.

Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Well researched, accessible, and unburdened by jargon or hype, this set profiles performers who have left a lasting impression on the American music scene since the 1950s. The 532 alphabetically arranged, signed articles include individuals, bands, and vocal groups of rock, rap, hip-hop, country, soul, disco, blues, and folk music. In addition, there are 14 entries on well-known jazz and/or pop figures such as Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Kenny G, and Herbie Hancock. A selected discography and list of awards and see-also references conclude each article. The attractive layout features boxed tidbits of trivia throughout the set. The several indexes allow for multiple access points to the information and the final volume includes an extensive, up-to-date bibliography. Average-quality black-and-white photos illustrate many of the profiles. With approximately 1800 entries, The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll (Fireside, 1995) presents broader coverage but has no index or table of contents. Dafydd Rees and Luke Crampton's The DK Encyclopedia of Rock Stars (1996) provides year-by-year chronological data for musicians rather than interpretive essays. Hochman's set is a valuable resource for libraries fielding questions on contemporary performing artists.-Douglas Wooley, Brooklyn Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This set features 532 essays on the careers of popular musicians in the US from the late 1950s to the present. "Popular" as used here includes pop, rock, soul, country, rap, and folk; theater, television, film, and classical musicians are excluded, and only 14 influential jazz artists are covered. The essays range in length from 600 to 1,500 words, but some key performers receive 2,500-word pieces and the Beatles 5,000. Although there are many contributors, the essays are written in a similar style; each includes first release, selected discography, and selected awards. For every artist, an entertaining anecdote is featured in a sidebar, and more than 400 artists have a black-and-white photograph. The final volume includes a time line of first releases, a glossary, a list of artists by musical style, and an index of song and album titles. This set is easy to use, but much of its biographical information is covered in such sources as the "musicHound" series or Dafydd Rees and Luke Crampton's Encyclopedia of Rock Stars (1996). For all levels of readers. J. A. Badics; Eastern Michigan University