Shakin' All Over

Popular Music and Disability
George McKay

A groundbreaking study of the intersection of popular music and disability


Given the explosion in recent years of scholarship exploring the ways in which disability is manifested and performed in numerous cultural spaces, it’s surprising that until now there has never been a single monograph study covering the important intersection of popular music and disability. George McKay’s Shakin’ All Over is a cross-disciplinary examination of the ways in which popular music performers have addressed disability: in their songs, in their live performances, and in various media presentations.

By looking closely into the work of artists such as Johnny Rotten, Neil Young, Johnnie Ray, Ian Dury, Teddy Pendergrass, Curtis Mayfield, and Joni Mitchell, McKay investigates such questions as how popular music works to obscure and accommodate the presence of people with disabilities in its cultural practice. He also examines how popular musicians have articulated the experiences of disability (or sought to pass), or have used their cultural arena for disability advocacy purposes.

"This groundbreaking book beautifully enters into existing scholarly conversations about music and disability but takes them into new and uncharted places, forcing us to rethink many of our assumptions about the creation and reception of popular music."
—Neil Lerner, Davidson College

Cover photograph: Punk wheelchair tattoo. Photographer Jessy Franklin © 2008. Back photograph: The politics of self-naming; Ian Dury lapel badge for “Spasticus Autisticus” single, 1981. Photograph from the Author’s collection.

George McKay is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Salford, UK, where he is Director of the Communication, Cultural and Media Studies Research Centre.

Praise / Awards

  • "Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, McKay's illuminating cultural history of disability in popular music succeeds on another level as an important document of disability advocacy."
    All About Jazz
  • "In pointing out opportunities to crip popular music, George McKay has written an accessible and illuminating book that will be of interest to disability and popular music scholars alike... Shakin’ All Over is a very enjoyable, informative, and useful book that I hope will lead to more cripped critique of popular music."
    --Journal of

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Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 242pp.
  • 1 table, 32 B&W Illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2013
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-07209-5

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  • $89.95 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2013
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-05209-7

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  • $38.95 U.S.

  • Audio Download
  • 2021
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-00451-5

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  • $9.99 U.S.

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