FREE: Words on Music by A Hi-Def Critic in an MP3 World (ebook)
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FREE: Words on Music by A Hi-Def Critic in an MP3 World (ebook)

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FREE: Words on Music by A Hi-Def Critic in an MP3 World

by Lawrence Schulman

Foreword by Tish Oney

Afterword by Manuel Betancourt



Lawrence Schulman’s second book for BearManor Media includes all of his non-Garland writings, save three, between 2000 and 2024, on a whole host of other artists and authors, including Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Mildred Bailey, Patsy Cline, Bernard Herrmann, among others. With a Foreword by Tish Oney, author of Peggy Lee: A Century of Song and Jazz Singing: A Guide to Pedagogy and Performance, and an Afterword by Manuel Betancourt, author of The Male Gazed: On Hunks, Heartthrobs, and What Pop Culture Taught Me About (Desiring) Men and 33 1/3: Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall, the book offers a panoply of reviews, articles, and liner notes about some of the greatest popular musical figures of the 20th century. The 47-chapter book displays Schulman’s vast knowledge of the Great American Songbook and beyond, such as his ground-breaking reviews and articles on singer-songwriters Tim Buckley and Peter Allen. 


“I am happy to see your life's work in a master compilation like this.”

— REX REED, movie reviewer for Vogue, GQ, The New York Times, The Daily News, The New York Post, Women's Wear Daily, and The Observer, actor in the films Myra Breckinridge, Superman, Inchon, and Irreconcilable Differences, and Grammy nominee for his liner notes to the LP Judy. London. 1969.


“Lawrence Schulman is a critic, biographer, and music historian par excellence. He peerlessly writes the whole picture of these artists: capturing both the forest and the trees, resulting in the whole story coming into vivid resolution. Few writers can aspire to his depth of knowledge within this era of popular singers… An extraordinary book.”

— CHRISTOPHER C. KING, a Grammy-winning producer, musicologist, and prominent 78-rpm record-collector, Editor of the ARSC Journal, and author of Lament from Epirus: An Odyssey into Europe's Oldest Surviving Folk Music


“I was so grateful that someone had finally written about Garland as a great singer and it’s excellent news that your writings on other performers are being brought together.”

— RICHARD DYER, English academic and professor, and author of Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society, In the Space of a Song: The Uses of Song in Film, and others


“Lawrence Schulman’s titanic knowledge of American popular music ranging across vaudeville, recording studios, Broadway musicals, cabarets and nightclubs, Hollywood soundstages, radio, television, and concert venues ripples through the forty-seven chapters of FREE: Words on Music by a Hi-Def Critic in an MP3 World, a deep dive into the recorded legacy of essential performers and songwriters. Featuring jam-packed portraits of the recorded legacies of a wide range of varied talents, Schulman’s impressive technical knowledge of recorded music history is simply stunning, as is his penetrating analysis on the importance of each individual included in this welcome compendium. For those addicted to American popular music, Schulman has much to teach in his celebration of the preserved legacies of the golden greats, as well as more obscure figures he handily convinces the reader deserving of more study.”

— JAMES FISHER, professor emeritus of theater at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and award-winning author of 20 books, including Historical Dictionary of Vaudeville, The Theatre of Tony Kushner: Living Past Hope, and others


LAWRENCE SCHULMAN is an award-winning music producer, critic, and translator who has worked on many Judy Garland CD releases in the past thirty years during which he unearthed numerous unissued recordings. He also writes reviews and articles on classic American popular music for the ARSC Journal and translates for the website, which specializes in high-resolution classical recordings. His acclaimed bestselling 2-volume book, Garland – That’s Beyond Entertainment – Reflections on Judy Garland, was published by BearManor Media in 2023, as was his translation from French of Bertrand Tessier’s Judy Garland: Splendor and Downfall of a Legend.

Born in the Bronx and 26 years a resident of Paris, he is binational and has degrees from Stony Brook University, the Sorbonne, and CREAR. He has lived on Mount Desert Island in Maine since 1997.