This is a unique book covering 100 years of hit songwriting. The music historian, Spencer Leigh, selects the outstanding songs from each year of the 20th century and tells how they came to be written. This well-researched book is bursting with facts and opinions as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and George Gershwin rub shoulders with Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Madonna. There are essays on key songs including My Way, American Pie, Imagine, Candle in the Wind and of course, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?. There is a full assessment as to whether John Lennon or Paul McCartney made the larger contribution to the most famous songwriting partnership of the 20th century. The book includes Spencer Leigh's interview with five leading songwriters -- Sammy Cahn, Elvis Costello, Gordon Lightfoot, Tim Rice and Jimmy Webb. In addition, there are features on tribute songs and answer songs, and there are plenty of lists. The book is a delight for trivia buffs as well as scholars. It can be read as a musical history of the 20th century or, with its full index, used as a reference work. The book is illustrated with archive material and also contains original artwork by the Liverpool artist, Tony Brown. Spencer Leigh is well regarded for his BBC Merseyside programme 'On the Beat' and his many books on popular music. The front cover of this soft cover copy features sketches of writers of well known popular songs. It is signed 'Best Wishes, Spencer Leigh' without dedication. Apart form a crease on the front cover, the book is in very good condition.