Always Magic in the Air

Always Magic in the Air

The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era

Written by:

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101156926
  • 352 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


During the late 1950s and early 1960s, after the shock of Elvis Presley and before the Beatles spearheaded the British Invasion, fourteen gifted young songwriters huddled in midtown Manhattan’s legendary Brill Building and a warren of offices a bit farther uptown and composed some of the most beguiling and enduring entries in the Great American Songbook. Always Magic in the Air is the first thorough history of these renowned songwriters-tunesmiths who melded black, white, and Latino sounds, integrated audiences before America desegregated its schools, and brought a new social consciousness to pop music.


An insightful, delightful look at ‘the sounds pouring out of radios and jukeboxes in the 1950s and 1960s’ (The Wall Street Journal )

Emerson takes flight…. Here we get the whole tale in a single entertaining package. (The New York Times Book Review)

Superb… Witty, in love with the music, Emerson is the ideal companion for this narrative…. Beautiful stuff. (The Boston Globe)