A disorderly mélange of remembrances that won’t pique the attention of a broad audience.


Colleton-Akins (My Experience, 2017, etc.) recollects the religiously infused lessons received from her father and writes about them with co-author and husband, Akins.

In 1978, while Colleton-Akins was attending college in Florida, her father (who is unnamed in the book) fell ill and invited her to visit. He requested that she bring a tape recorder to immortalize a series of wide-ranging lessons that began with and focused on the history of the Israelites, beginning with the Book of Genesis. Her father taught her that gentiles had suppressed those sections highlighting the special election of the Israelites by God, whose true name is Yahawah. Much of the biblical history he related corresponds to the conventional version, but there were notable deviations. For example, he said the existence of the white race dates back to the birth of albinos in Noah’s family line. Unhappy with their pigmentation, angels transformed them into Caucasians. He told his daughter that Lucifer not only tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden with forbidden fruit, but also tricked her into having sex with him. He recounted personal memories as well—overcoming alcohol addiction and protecting her from two strange men who repeatedly tried to steal her. Some of the tales are morbidly dark and presented almost parenthetically; for example, when the author was a young child, her godmother poisoned her milk with kerosene. With the exception of the biblical history, the remembrance is meandering and disjointed—the author’s father jumped without transition from biblical exegesis to tales of the Atlantic slave trade to a short biography of Harriet Tubman. He made macabre predictions about the imminent appearance of the Antichrist as well as the ensuing end of the world. The work is a loving homage to Colleton-Akins’s father, whom she obviously both adored and respected deeply. However, the prose is awkward and leaden, and many of the lessons seem out of place here: “The male, testosterone hormones, is the male trait to produce healthy sperm and to have an erection for pleasure.” Further, the author’s recollections are so idiosyncratically religious they’re unlikely to appeal to readers who don’t share her eschatological convictions.

A disorderly mélange of remembrances that won’t pique the attention of a broad audience. 

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9799344-6-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2018

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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