Back yet again with another collection of his ephemeral newspaper pieces, turf-kicking, one-gallus humorist Grizzard reverts to his customary populist procedures. Sometimes the soul of political correctness, sometimes sociological troglodyte, Grizzard fires off more random shots than Rambo on a busy day. Unfortunately, not enough hit the mark. It's his advice to women who attend country music concerts to ``keep your undergarments to a minimum'' to avoid long lines at the ladies' room (just the kind of social ill that causes our southern gentleman much concern). Another (and more interesting) question vexing the bard of the know-nothing bon ton: ``Why,'' he wonders, ``are so many of today's young men wearing their ball caps backward?'' Grizzard seems to have selective areas of concern. There is a lot that has to do with hometown Atlanta, the failures of its sports teams and the faults of Mayor Maynard Jackson. There is much ado about the author, his own self, including the failures and faults of his innards. The text, being a compilation of daily off-the-cuff maunderings composed largely of one- or two-sentence paragraphs, tends to be a bit redundant, with a lot about zits, mooning, and other such interesting arcana. Throughout, there's a vein of old-timey country xenophobia. Recent events in the Persian Gulf (where we needed to ``kick butt and take some names'') finally give Grizzard a chance to get ``camel jockey'' triumphantly past the Speech Police. This year's offering is not the best of Grizzard, just a lot of Grizzard: standard smirky humor from a writer who knows better.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1991

ISBN: 0-679-40704-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1991

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



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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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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