RIVER OF SONG

A MUSICAL JOURNEY DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI

This companion volume to an upcoming PBS series on the southern roots of American music, drafted by a writer for the show (Wald) and its director (Junkerman), is a particularly varied and moving example of its genre. This probably has to do with the subject: it’s hard to be dull when you’re describing the lives, memories, and music (country, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, and zydeco, among others) of several hundred performers, and even harder when you rely, as the book does, largely on the frank and salty words of those performers. Following the Mississippi downstream turns out to be a particularly useful conceit: because the river touches so much of the American heartland, almost every kind of popular music is being performed along its length. Many unique musical forms, of course, including jazz and the blues, have a history intimately entwined with the river. Ranging from profiles of little-known but durable musicians to those with a regional or national profile (John Hartford, Fontella Bass, Rufus Thomas, Little Milton, Irma Thomas), the book offers both an engaging overview of modern American music as it is being created and performed in small Southern towns and cities, and a fascinating glimpse of the ways in which American music continues to reflect and to shape American life. (color and b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-312-20059-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1998

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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