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.