MUSIC CITY BABYLON

INSIDE THE WORLD OF COUNTRY MUSIC

A Machiavellian manual on what's really happening in the Nashville music industry—including the stars stripped of glitz. Here's a Nashville you've never seen. Everyone is smiling and looking good, but all—performers, managers, booking agents, investors—have so many stab marks in the back they look like shark bait. Faragher—who owns his own booking agency and has handled the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Ronnie Milsap, Barbara Mandrell, Ricky Travis, Lou Rawls, James Brown, and Fats Domino- -explains what really goes down in the deals, both legal and illegal. Just as Marc Eliot (Down Thunder Road, 1991) exposed the mechanics of the rock business's handling of Bruce Springsteen, here Faragher rips the top, sides, bottom, and doors off the whole double-dealing, byzantine country-music business. And he explains the trading pieces—the performers themselves—along the way. The performer Faragher lusted to represent was Jerry Lee Lewis, whom he revered despite Lewis being an ``egomaniac, a drug abuser, a heavy drinker...and having been married almost as many times as Henry VIII....'' Ricky Skaggs was ``the perfect example of an agent's nightmare,'' always whining and refusing to play where alcohol was served and cigarettes were smoked—although he did play for a Marlboro-sponsored concert for twice his usual fee. James Brown—called, according to Faragher, a ``Living Legend'' by the public but a ``Living Nightmare'' by those involved with him on a daily basis—insisted on being addressed as 'Mr. Brown,' and always pulled on a dirty white glove before shaking hands. Faragher also devotes a fascinating chapter to the ``hustlers of all shapes and sizes'' that fill Nashville. Most common among these are the ``wallet surgeons,'' who relieve the life savings of rubes who want to be stars. Straightforward writing, unique anecdotes, and everything you're not supposed to know about the music biz. (Twenty-four pages of photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 1992

ISBN: 1-55972-134-0

Page Count: 420

Publisher: Birch Lane Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1992

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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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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