That this world of sex, dance and music was interracial is crucial to Mr. Cockrell’s book Everybody’s Doin’ It: Sex, Music, and Dance in New York, 1840-1917. It makes the connection to his scholarly specialty and passion: American popular music and its black vernacular roots ... Mr. Cockrell’s identification with his black and white childhood peers informs his scholarship to this day. Everybody’s Doin’ It is a book to read and ponder.
...[an] explosive history of sex, music, and dance in New York City ... Cockrell’s fascinating story and soundtrack of disorderly old Gotham will delight New York City historians and music buffs alike.
Drawing on newspaper reports, court records, song lyrics, reform tracts, and travel guides, among many other sources, Cockrell fashions an abundantly populated narrative featuring musical performers and composers...dancers, club owners, madams, prostitutes, gangsters, reformers, preachers, policemen, politicians, and exuberant patrons of dance halls, bars, and saloons ... A well-researched and spirited cultural history.