This essay considers the cultural implications of a brief period in the life of New York’s Brill Building, America’s second Tin Pan Alley, a transformative moment in R&B that involved music performed by African American artists but written by songwriters committed to “Jewish Latin.” Recorded on 45 rpm vinyl, circulated in jukeboxes and on radio in new Top 40 radio formats, this sound formed young taste, and, in the bargain, its commercial cycles produced staggered temporal segments that shaped feeling and memory for a generation. One’s sense of life history, of history itself, was time-coded by what we heard and how we heard it, with some interesting implications.

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