Showing the personalities behind the music, Emery reveals the commitment, talent, and history that have helped sustain...

50 YEARS DOWN A COUNTRY ROAD

An entertaining decade-by-decade look at the evolution of country music, as revealed in the anecdotes, memories, and insights of the renowned radio DJ and television host Emery.

Many of the most famous artists and movers and shakers, past and present, are covered here, including Hank Williams, Eddy Arnold, Fred Rose, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill. The author’s skill as a storyteller is evident even when he has to rely on other people’s accounts (in order, for example, to create a compelling look at the last days of Hank Williams). He is well qualified to place the artists’ significance to the music: readers are reminded, for example, of how Eddy Arnold was so popular that he was able to break from the tight hold of the Grand Ole Opry and proved to be as groundbreaking as the more mythically heralded Hank Williams. Emery’s personal relationships within Nashville give him a trove of appealing stories: Dolly Parton is shown to have “a brain beneath the wigs, a heart beneath the boobs,” the wedding day of Johnny Cash and June Carter becomes an amusing tale as related by their Best Man, and the experiences of Marty Robbins, Mel Tillis, Charley Pride, Ronnie Milsap, and Barbara Mandrell, become personal and inspirational. Emery’s many stories become one collective experience, in a sense, since the artists’ lives often intertwine as they become friends with, and influences to, each other.

Showing the personalities behind the music, Emery reveals the commitment, talent, and history that have helped sustain country music in his appealing account. (16 pp. b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-17758-1

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

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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