Dedicated to preserving the best music
from the 20th century for future generations.

That's Music

That’s Music!

The Rise of Recorded Music, and the Best Music of the Twentieth Century.

A superb introduction to the first century of recorded music for young music fans, music students, or anyone who wants to load their device with great music.

That’s Music is 364 pages of 20th century American history as experienced by the musicians who put the sound to it.

This book introduces future generations to the best music of the 20th century, the musicians, and the songs they produced as a legacy to an art form.

That's Music #1

Just about every elite musician from that period is featured. Over 200 of them, from every genre of music. From Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, and Ella Fitzgerald in the first great jazz era, to the crooner greats: Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Engelbert, Luther Vandross, and Michael Bolton.

That's Music #2

The great jazz pianists, Oscar Peterson, Ramsey Lewis, and Beegie Adair, to the lady crooners: Carmen McRae, Sara Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Barbra Streisand, Eva Cassidy, and Queen Latifa.

That's Music #3

From Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard in the birth of rock and roll through the great Doo-Wop groups: the Dells, the Tokens, and Johnny Maestro & the Brooklyn Bridge, to the early rock harmony groups: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the Righteous Brothers, and the Beach Boys.

That's Music #4

Enter Folk rock and Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Carly Simon, and James Taylor. The soft rock groups like Bread, America, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, to the ballad rockers like the Bee Gees and Neil Diamond, and piano rockers: Elton John and Billy Joel.

That's Music #5

From the classic rock and roll era of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Yes, the Who, the Doobie Brothers, and Chicago, into the late ’70s and ’80s rock with Bad Company, Kansas, and Fleetwood Mac.

That's Music #6

The southern rockers of the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, the Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Eagles, to the early country-rock culture of Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Jimmy Buffet, and Emmylou Harris.

That's Music #7

From the ’80s rock bands like Journey, REO Speedwagon, and Boston to ’80s pop icons: Madonna, Michael Jackson, and so many more.

And on it goes from the Big Band Jazz and Swing era of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, the Classical Greats, best of the Jazz Pianists, the Legendary Crooners, through the ’50s, the Doo-Wop and Rockabilly era, the Motown experience, Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, Memphis Blues, the great Rock era of the ’60s and ’70s, through the Golden Years of Country Music and the Pop music of the ’80s, ’90s Smooth Jazz, and on up through the year 2000.

There were two great periods of musical renaissance in the 20th century. The first, from the 1920s and ’30s, contains a treasury of exquisite music that is little heard in the 21st century. That music still resonates and should see a revival. The second, from the 1960s and ’70s, offers an astounding amount of timeless music that can and should be enjoyed in the centuries to come. All current and future generations need is a proper introduction to this exquisite body of work. Their lives can be enriched by it.


The goal of this book is to educate and encourage future generations to identify and enjoy the best music of the 20th century, and to step to the microphone to create their own century of beautiful music.

That’s Music recommends over 1,500 lasting pieces of music and includes over 300 photos to give life to the artists that built the music industry and provide a photo-graphic journey through the first 100 years of music.


What People
Are Saying About
That’s Music

Gospel music, the Blues, Country, Folk, R&B, Rock ‘N’ Roll…the genres are so distinct and yet all related. Through spirited prose and a deep love for all music, Hal Bird offers us a near-comprehensive treasury of music, encompassing the entire 20th century. Adorned with high-end images, the book is educational, richly nostalgic, and inspirational. Bird often recommends hidden gems from our favorite artists, which you can enjoy on That’s Music Radio on this website or That’s Music on Spotify. This is a wonderful primer for young people who yearn to understand the myriad of genres and artists of 1900s music. For us older folk, it’s a happy skip down memory lane.

David Aretha,

editor of The Beatles: 50 Fabulous Years