Review by Choice Review
For rapid, no-nonsense answers to the question raised by the book's title, Jacobs's compilation is the reference book to choose. Compiled by a music arranger, producer, and conductor of the popular repertoire, this volume simply consists of song titles in one alphabetical section and songwriters in another. Each listing provides the year the song was written, its composer, and the performer or group that introduced the song. A separate section lists award winners. Laced with personal reminiscences, many photos of the author, a "quiz with more than 450 questions," an index that informs the reader that songs beginning with A are on pages 8-17, B, 18-24 and so on, the book succeeds in spite of its obvious amateurism. For a more traditional library reference work with wider coverage including college songs, songs of historical interest beginning with the 16th century, British songs, songs adapted from the classical repertoire, popularity rankings, greatest songs of the year, notable songs and award winners, songs indexed by subject and key word, dates of greatest popularity of song, the choice is Roger Lax and Frederick Smith's The Great Song Thesaurus (rev. ed., 1989; 1st ed., CH, Feb '85). Though both books share much information, there are many songs listed in one not found in the other. Because of the difference in approach and coverage between these two works, libraries may wish to consider owning both. Recommended to both public and academic libraries at all levels. H. J. Diamond Herbert H. Lehman College, CUNY
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Music industry jack-of-all-trades Jacobs has compiled an index of over 12,000 popular songs spanning everything from parlor songs of the mid-1800s to top 40 hits of the 1980s. Arranged alphabetically by song title, entries include composer, lyricist, publication date, and relevant special information. Cross-indexing by composer is also provided, as are appendixes noting award-winning songs/songwriters and a trivia quiz. Interspersed throughout are Jacobs's numerous anecdotes and stories. Libraries shopping for a one-volume ready reference source will find this useful, but the undisputed champ of the genre is still Nat Shapiro's Popular Music (Gale, 1964+). For libraries with this standard reference set, Jacobs's book is an unnecessary duplication. Barry Miller, Austin P.L, Tex. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.