cover of book

Spencer Kimball's Record Collection: Essays on Mormon Music
by Michael Hicks
Signature Books, 2020
Paper: 978-1-56085-286-5 | eISBN: 978-1-56085-385-5

At times jubilant, at times elegiac, this set of ten essays by music historian Michael Hicks navigates topics that range from the inner musical life of Joseph Smith to the Mormon love of blackface musicals, from endless wrangling over hymnbooks to the compiling of Mormon folk and exotica albums in the 1960s.  It also offers a brief memoir of what happened to LDS Church President Spencer Kimball’s record collection and a lengthy, brooding piece on the elegant strife it takes to write about Mormon musical history in the first place.  There are surprises and provocations, of course, alongside judicious sifting of sources and weighing of evidence. The prose is fresh, the research smart, and the result a welcome mixture of the careful and the carefree from Mormonism’s best-known scholar of musical life.
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