The Encyclopedia of New York Pop Music


This is not the history of popular music in New York, but a history—an impressionistic, anecdotal, suggestive, but by definition incomplete survey of the past 100 years of New York pop, focusing on key figures and watershed events. Sharp readers will find that many illustrious musicians and  moments—even whole genres—have been left on the cutting-room floor. But we’ve tried to convey the crazy-quilt variety of New York’s pop music, to highlight telling vignettes, and, where possible, to let the musicians speak for themselves. (Plus, check back throughout the week for extended testimonies from Burt Bacharach, Grandmaster Flash, Thurston Moore, and more.)

*This article appeared in the March 24, 2014 issue of New York Magazine.