IF YOU HAVEN'T BUILT-UP A PRIVATE LIBRARY OF YOUR OWN YET, YOU'D BETTER GET STARTED !
One of the easiest ways to reference information, documentation, statistics, pictures, historical facts & figures, and almost anything you want, including your record, CD, and related memorabilia collection, is to have and to update a personal library.
WITH THAT IN MIND, I thought it was necessary to dedicate a Special Page here on the Official St. Louis Record Collector & CD Show WebSite to give you an idea about some of the truly fantastic books on the Artists & Industry that are available today. And, yes, I read & view each and every item I list, giving you my honest opinion of why I've selected them, and my assessement as to their importance.
SO, take your time, scroll down the Page, read the Reviews, and, I know you'll definitely find a few of these you need for YOUR Library !
Jonnie King (Created expressly for the St. Louis Record Collector & CD Show Website)
"DELTA LADY: A MEMOIR", By Rita Coolidge with Michael Walker. Harper, Pub. (2017)
THIS IS ONE OF THE best books that's been written about the Music Industry and how it existed during the late-sixties & early-seventies. More than that, it's about the singers, songwriters, and, performers that were a part of, and helped shape the culture of, not only Rock & Roll, but the culture of our lives here in America...and around the World.
Rita Coolidge has always been one of my favorite singers: Tall, thin, long-thick Raven-black hair, Bronze-skinned...a beautiful woman. Her warm, honey-drenched, smooth-as-butter voice has always seeped-down into the deepest recesses of my soul and given me the purest of listening pleasures. "We're All Alone" & "All Time High" are mainstays in my CD/MP3 Collections.
What you'll learn from reading this book, is that Rita's heritage and family upbringing runs deep in her roots. Her father was Cherokee and a Baptist minister; her mother was a teacher and of Scottish-Cherokee descent. And Rita has always been so proud of her bloodline that it shows in all she does. She has that courageous "backbone" and stubbornness, or, singleness-of-purpose, needed to do anything she sets her mind to, and the stoic nature to realize the "calm" needed to get through some situations. All-in-all, if you've ever seen her perform, or, watched any of her Interviews, you realize this is one very classy lady.
LEON RUSSELL IS THE ONE who dubbed her the "Delta Lady", and her career in the Music Industry started at about the same time mine did in the Broadcast Industry in 1967. So, already knowing much of the subject matter that she covers, it felt like an old friend was discussing it with me...telling her side of the Rock & Roll/Music History that we've both lived through, and are still a part of, during the last 50 Years. But, she filled me in on many of the things I never knew about some of those whose records & music I've played throughout those 50 Years.
Her stories are about not only Leon Russell, but, Joe Cocker, Cher, her talented sister, Priscilla Coolidge, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss, Bonnie Bramlett, Graham Nash, Kris Kristofferson, Brenda Lee, and of course, Michael Walker, who pieced this wonderful book together through a number of years of Interviews, are each worth almost a full chapter on their own !
IF YOU'RE READING THIS and like me, were old enough to be a part of, or remember the Rock & Roll, Psychedelic, and Folk Rock music eras, and ultimately the mid-70's shift to Disco music, you will "Travel Back" to those time periods as Rita shares her stories. If you're younger and aren't familiar with any of this, but love music in all its various forms, this will be your eye-opening ticket to a learning experience from a real pro...and one of the First Ladies of Rock: Rita Coolidge !
"DELTA LADY: A Memoir", By Rita Coolidge, with Michael Walker. Harper, Pub., is a fast-read, 240 Page, Trade Paper Back, and includes many rare, never-before-seen photos from Rita's private collection. There's a 16 Page Center Section devoted to many, many early family photos that are priceless...giving us a view of how she's changed through the years, and still looks remarkably o-so-cool today. Yes, this is a valuable piece of Rock & Roll History as told by one of its most-beautiful and talented survivors. If you love music, and if you love Rock & Roll...you need this book for research & reference in your Library.
"SAM PHILLIPS: THE MAN WHO INVENTED ROCK 'N' ROLL", By Peter Guralnick. Little, Brown And Company, Pub. (2015)
THEY WERE poor farm boys from the South that had talent, could sing, play, and wanted to make records...have a career. Sam Phillips, was just like them, that was his personal history...but they had come to his recording studio with their hopes & dreams, and, yes, he was the one who would eventually lead them to that "promised land"; would give them the opportunity to make those hopes & dreams come true.
To say Sam Phillips was a complicated man would be too easy...that was only part of his character make-up. Guralink, over a span of almost three decades, knew Phillips almost better than anyone, and the man he describes is, at once, a perfectionist who believes that "imperfection" is perfect in its own way, a formidable foe to those who wrong him, as well as one of the kindest, most-generous friends, relatives, or, aquaintances, you'd ever know. A man who tried to control every part of his own destiny...be it in radio,the radio stations he owned, music, recording, building a house, or, his own health...and later, his own history/legacy by which he would ultimately be remembered.
SAM PHILLIPS, jump-started the careers of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and, Jerry Lee Lewis...they ultimately became his "Million Dollar Quartet". But that was just the start !
This is a massive work containing 763 Pages, Ten Chapters, a section on Notes, a Bibliography, and, an Index... so , no, it's not a "weekend read" ! It's a book that must be savored, one long chapter at a time. But, as you read, the story unfolds - as it should - chronologically. You learn about Sam's growing up on a farm, his love of the ethnic/blues music of the sharecroppers, his beloved Aunt Emma (who was blind in one eye, and a deaf mute...for which he learned sign language as a boy), Silas Payne (a poor, blind, black sharecropper, taken in by his parents, he called "Uncle Silas"), his family...including his brother, Jud, who ended-up working for Sam for most of his life, and, the problems and conflicts that relationship caused Sam many times over the years.
Sam's contributions to the music industry could never be underestimated. Besides the ones mentioned a few paragraphs above, there were Howlin' Wolf, Ike Turner, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, and Charlie Rich...along with great legends-to-be like Jack Clement, Bill Justis, Bill Black, Scotty Moore, Billy Lee Riley, and, a few others. His two sons, Knox & Jerry, are covered throughout the book, and they would eventually come into their own as professionals. And yes, Sam's love of radio, his radio stations, music, and, the recording process itself, would take-up most of his entire adult life...it's all covered and explained here.
Sam Phillips loved Florence, Alabama, where he grew up, and traveled back home whenever he could. Too, he was amazed at Memphis the first time he cruised down Beale Street, and adopted it as his "new home" when he decided to move there. But his Alabama roots were always the strongest. His love for his entire family is well documented here, as well as the personal demons that haunted him: his mental state - early on - that triggered his self-diagnosed need for Electroshock Therapy in a mental hospital, and his - later in life - alcoholism. So, both "the good & the bad" sides of his nature are explored...but, I will leave those up to any potential readers to discover for themselves.
Gurlanick's Interviews with Phillips - both recorded & some just with notes - were spread-out over many years, and even though Sam passed-away in 2003, with other committments and projects, the book wasn't finished & published until the Fall of 2015. It's an excellent book, and a microcosm of the early history of not just Rock & Roll, but music itself, and, the "business of music", that you can truly learn a lot about...knowledge you wouldn't otherwise have, from that magical time in our culture's Music History. Plus, the information and Interviews with many involved with Sam, and the recording Industry itself at that time, are well-documented in the book...as are the stars themselves. Peter Guralnick's love of his subject shows through on every page..."warts and all"...just as Sam wanted it.
However, the title of the book, "Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'N' Roll", is up for debate. Did Sam Phillips really "invent" Rock 'N' Roll...or, was he in the forefront: a leader who pioneered that genre, that sound...along with others who were like-minded at that time ? Or, was it the combination of black & country music, mirrored in the "sound" & the "soul" of the artists that he recorded, along with his expertise & secrets of sound design he had perfected, that then spearheaded the movement that eventually became "Rock 'N' Roll" ?
Actually, in many ways, I look at Sam Phillips as the "Henry Ford Of Rock 'N' Roll": Both grew up from humble beginnings on a farm; both made a lasting impact on the world around them. Ford with his automotive & industrial legacy; Phillips with the sounds, the music, and, the artists, that were forever imbedded into our culture.
WHATEVER THE CASE, Sam Phillips, and all of the achievements he accomplished during his career, will stand the test of time. They show beyond a shadow of a doubt, how one man, with his dreams, his vision, his self-learned, deep-rooted brilliance and understanding of the sound & subject of music, and, his inate judge of talent & creativity, could be a force in changing the world around him...knowing, believing, and, proving, that music is one of the most powerful, and, universal connections that all can relate to, bond with, and, understand.
A SPECIAL REVIEW ON DICK CLARK'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY: "Rock, Roll & Remember", By Dick Clark & Richard Robinson. Thomas Y. Crowell, Pub. (1976)
DICK CLARK DID IT ALL ! Radio, TV, Movies, TV Shows, TV Game Shows, The American Music Awards, New Year's Rockin' Eve, Syndicated Radio Shows, Restaurants...as an entreprenuer he seemingly had no boundries. And, the mere mention of his name may conjure up some pleasant memories if you're a certain age, and newer memories if you're younger.
On Thursday, November 4th, 1976, Dick Clark was in St. Louis. I was at KSLQ Radio and had begun syndication of my Morning Feature "The Breakfast Serial", and I met him at a location in the West Roads Shopping Center (now the Galleria). He was appearing there as part of a Nationwide Book Tour promoting his just-published autobiography "Rock, Roll & Remember", and personally signed a copy for me at that time.
He was a true gentleman, interested in the fact that I was not only an Air Personality, but that I had a great love for the Golden Age of Radio and was preserving it with my show and bringing it to a new generation of listeners...plus, letting those that heard it "the first time" hear it again. He complimented me on "breaking the barrier" by placing a Golden Age/Old Time Radio serialized-concept show on a "Top 40-Style" FM Radio station that was music-driven...and making it work. And, syndicating it to boot !
THE BOOK ITSELF, no matter when it was written, is a great piece of Radio/Rock & Roll personal history from the man who was there in those early days and, through his early, ground-breaking, "American Bandstand" TV Show, pioneered in bring Rock & Roll to the masses via the TV Screen...just as Alan Freed had contributed earlier through the airwaves of Radio.
The book follows Clark's life and career, mostly-chronologically, and his candor in sharing personal thoughts, stories, triumphs & tragedies, shows how his seemingly "meteoric" rise to fame once "Bandstand" became a hit on TV, was actually a trip that had a good foundation from the start.
Like me, he was enthralled by listening to the radio in his room as a young boy, especially listening to favorite stars & shows that he liked. And after he had his first trip to a radio station, his Mother asked him how he liked it...his answer was so very similar to mine "That's what I want to do. When I write away for college catalogs, I'm going to find out which ones have a radio school."
Clark's early career in both Radio & TV is covered in-depth; you'll learn much you never knew. His marriages, divorces, friendships, travels and touring, the Payola Scandal's & Hearings, the move from "Bandstand's" home-base in Philadelphia to the sunny confines of L.A., his creating "R&R Revival Shows"many year's later in Las Vegas...and his thoughts on his life and career at the time this book was written, 1976, are among the most interesting pieces of our American R&R History that you may read.
The books 276 Pages are jam-packed with dozens of Clark's personal photos, most never seen before. His friendships with Frankie Avalon, Bobby Darin, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, Connie Francis, Fats Domino, and many others are shared with the reader, as are his memory-laden traveling "Caravan Of Stars" stories. Those are among the most-interesting as they chronical how much racism there still was in our Country at that time, and how Dick and all those involved had to deal with it while they were on-the-road...traveling from town-to-town with these talented singers, musicians, recording stars who were sometimes subjected to less-than-pleasant-treatment due to their race.
The myths of Clark being the All-American "Boy Next Door" are changed by the fact that he was "human" ! He smoked, drank, had marital problems, business problems, and had day-to-day problems just like the rest of us, but his admissions to those things in his life actually give us a more in-depth look...and the knowledge that he had the courage to add it to this volume is good in itself.
Also, how he was chosen to take over from Bob Horn, the original host of "Bandstand"; how he helped his friend, Ed McMahon, get a job with Johnny Carson; how he was involved deeper in the music business than most ever knew...but tried to keep his involvement legal; his personal thoughts on the business itself, and, his lifelong quest to bring entertainment to his audience...in any form he chose to pursue...are all covered.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the great stories Dick relates about the "backstage" happenings on the show...lots of fun ! Stories on how some of the songs that became hits evolved. The kids on the show ? What a true "pecking order" came about there ! Some of those kids got almost as much fan mail as Dick ! Dick's good times, as well as bad times, with some of the performers on the show get told here too.
ALL-IN-ALL, if you want to hold book in your hands that reflects a true piece of "Rock & Roll History", by one of the men who helped create a version of the genre' that continues, in its current form, till today, you will definitely love this book ! Dick Clark's "Rock, Roll & Remember" should find a place somewhere in your Library, and you can find your copy on Amazon or ebay. Everytime I touch, hold, and, read, mine I remember the man who handed it to me...one of my early R&R Heroes: Dick Clark.
"THE ALAN FREED STORY: THE EARLY YEARS OF ROCK & ROLL", By John A. Jackson. Collectables Press, Pub.
There was one man who was one of my earliest influences in Broadcasting, he introduced me to the power of "Rhythm & Blues" that blended with Country and other forms to become what he called "Rock & Roll". In this book John A. Jackson not only details the rise of Rock & Roll into our Cultural Heritage, but the rise & fall of that man, one of its early creators & iconic pioneers of the airwaves ALAN FREED, who truly became "Mr. Rock & Roll".
The book was a massive undertaking, is historically documented with notation-after-notation, and is an absolute "must" if you want to learn about the earliest days of "Rock & Roll Radio Personalities", and the history of why & how they acquired the power that they did. In addition, it's a true "Time Travel Trip" that will both inform you, AND, catapult you back into the early origins of music, song writers, music publishers, singers, and, the recording industry. It's a trip you shouldn't miss.
The book's over-400 pages are jampacked with info on how the record labels & music industry contributed to the entire landscape of what we listened to, how our culture was changed by the music that was produced, and how many of the artists who sang those songs were badly treated...even though they were making their bosses rich. But, more than that, you'll learn about Alan Freed.
JACKSON'S WONDERFULLY CRAFTED VOLUME contains two great sections of photos of Freed, his family & friends, many of the radio stations he was with, and the events he promoted. The research, the interviews with Freed's family & friends, the complete dedication of Jackson to the man and his legacy details Freed's life from his earliest years , to station-by-station coverage of the stations he was a part of, the concerts, the movies, the companies & record execs/promoters he was involved with. Plus, it covers in-depth, the Payola scandals and their impact on Freed, his contemporaries, and, how they brought Nationwide attention to the Radio & Record Industry as a whole.
Alan Freed was one of my early R&R Radio Heroes. I learned much from him about the eventual career I would pursue. He preceeded Dick Clark on the National Scene by a number of years, and though sometimes he was his own worst enemy, Freed truly broke new ground in the Radio/Music/Entertainment World and should be given much credit for his contributions...and not universally chastised for the bad judgement & personal demons that eventually helped lead to his downfall, and death, at the young age of 43.
BUY THE BOOK, read it, enjoy it, and, most of all, learn how what we listen to today has its roots firmly planted in yesterday and how Alan Freed was such a great part of that process. Though you may not know it, every time you hear the phrase or speak the words "Rock & Roll", you're remembering the man who first made those words a permanent part of our vocabulary & culture, Alan Freed: "Mr. Rock & Roll".
"BILLY F GIBBONS: ROCK + ROLL GEARHEAD", by Billy F Gibbons with Tom Vickers. Motorbooks, Pub. (2005)
WAIT A MINUTE ! I know what you're saying: "Hey, that book's been out for awhile. Think I've seen it before." Okay, BUT do you actually have the book in your collection ? Did you put it in your library...OR, did you say: "Yes, one of these days I've gotta get it !", and just put it off ?
Well, let me tell you from personal experience: I've been in Radio since 1967, as many of you know, and I've played ZZ TOP's Chart Toppers since they began. And, when the Reverend Billy started cranking out some "chart topping" Rods & Customs, I was with those from the beginning too.
This book is a combination of ALL of the above: Music, Cars, and, Guitars. Billy covers the entire History: his, the groups, the cars, the guitars, and, even takes time to give out the recipe for his "Killadilla Renegade Guacamole' " !
What more could you ask for in a book ?? In addition, the Photography by David Perry is superb. Pick-up a copy as soon as you can...before they're gone forever !
(BILLY'S "KOPPERHED", A 1950 CUSTOM FORD COUPE, IS FEATURED in this book. The Original Design came from my friend and another old St. Louis Boy: Renowed Rod & Custom Artist/Illustrator, STEVE STANFORD, and you can hear Steve's story about it in our Interview on this Special Page ! Just Click-On-Here, listen and enjoy !)
"ROCKIN' GARAGES", By Tom Cotter And Ken Gross. Photography By Michael Alan Ross. Foreword By Billy F Gibbons. Motorbooks, Pub.
AS SOON AS I GOT THE INFO that "Rockin' Garages" had been released, I contacted my friend, Nichole Shiele, the Senior Marketing Manager for Motorbooks, and she forwarded me a copy a couple of days later. Nichole, has helped me consistantly, and I couldn't thank her enough for all of her help & support. And, this book proved to be personally important to us both.
If you know me at all, you know that the two "hardest driving" factors in my life have always been cars & music/music & cars. In addition, Nichole also worked in Broadcasting before she began her career at Motorbooks. So, this book actually impacts both of us.
Reading the names of those profiled in this spectacular volume is pure deja vu to me ! How many times since I took to the Airwaves in 1967 have I said: "That was a great track from Aerosmith ! Before that you heard from the Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, and, Fleetwood Mac. On the way...music from Hall & Oates, the J.Geils Band, Arlo Guthrie, and, I may squeeze in some AC/DC and Pink Floyd if we have time !" ?
Yep. Most of those listed here have been with me for decades. I've followed their careers. Our careers, many times, paralleled each other's. Their music is part of the "soundtrack of my life", and this book further cements our relationship. Music, cars, bikes, racing, cool garages, and, a lifestyle that only those that truly "get it" will fully understand.
TOM COTTER & KEN GROSS are names that are familiar to those who've enjoyed their previous works through the years. They are "pros"...from start to finish. MICHAEL ALAN ROSS's photography is as good as it gets...and captures the images & mood of those featured with every click of the shutter.
Okay, now let me give you a better look at some of the "A" Lister's you'll find in "Rockin' Garages": Keith Urban (with a '56 Lincoln Mark II to die for !), Sammy Hagar, Billy Joel, Pat Simmons (Doobie Brothers), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Jimmie Vaughan (with Rods & Customs galore !), Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), George Frayne (Commander Cody), Arlo Guthrie, John Oates (Hall & Oates), J.Geils (J.Geils Band), Michael Anthony (Van Halen/Chickenfoot), Brian Johnson (AC/DC), and many others.
Cotter, and Gross, capture the words and the "souls" of these music masters in their descriptions of each one. Ross's pictorials give them the balance and visual impact they deserve. All is done with a respect for the individuals involved, as well as their involvement with the cars, bikes, racing, guitars, and, memorabilia, that are a part of their lives.
OF THOSE LISTED & PROFILED in the book, I've had dinner with Sammy Hagar a number of years ago, did a Doobies Concert with Pat Simmons, and, had a great Interview with Jimmie Vaughan...as well as Gary Howard, who's built most of Jimmie's customs. All are real Music Legends & "Gearheads" in the pure essence of the word.
If you want a book that sheds new light on some of the singers & musicians that you've probably listened to more times than you could count, "ROCKIN' GARAGES" is a book you need in your library ! And, thanks again, Nichole !
"ROLLING STONES-50X20", By Chris Murray. Foreword By Richard Harrington. Afterword By Chris Salewicz. Insight Edittions, Pub.
They've been called "The Greatest Rock & Roll Band of All-Time", and if you've ever seen 'em in-person, you'll probably agree with that statement. Seniority has its perks. From the 60's until the new Millenium their "rock" has never stopped ! SO, if you like the Stones, you'll love this book as it celebrates their Fifty Years of Rock & Roll !
Twenty of the best Stones photographers were chosen to share their pix...and, yes, they go chronologically from the 60's to the 2000's, and almost every photo that you see could be made into a Poster on its own merits. It's a massive, full-size, coffee-table-type hardcover, containing 144 pages in colour and b&w...and CHRIS MURRAY has done it perfectly.
Some of the twenty photographers include: Michael Joseph, Gus Coral, Mark Seliger, Eddie Kramer, Bob Gruen, and, Fernando Aceves. You see some of the most candid photos of the Stones ever shot. On-stage, off-stage, in rehearsal, in the studio, at play, at rest...well, you get the idea. Plus, many of the Stones and their friends are in there too. Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, are included...but mostly, it's the Stones as you've never seen them before.
WHEN I WAS Music Director at KAAY/Little Rock, Atlantic Records flew me into Nashville for the "Rolling Stones American Tour 1972" Concert, and, in 1997 at KHITS-96/St. Louis, we did a promotion for the Stones "Bridges Over Babylon" Tour, and I saw them for the second time. Twenty-Five years later, they were just as good, or better, than the first time !
This is a superb book, about a Legendary group, and if you want an intimate look into their entire career this is it, as it was produced to celebrate the Stones 50th Anniversary. It is a must for any Stones collector ! JK
"Rolling Stones-50X20" is available directly from the Publisher, Insight Editions at http://www.insighteditions.com/ , and, at Amazon www.amazon.com
"HOUSE OF CASH: THE LEGACIES OF MY FATHER, JOHNNY CASH", By John Carter Cash. Insight Editions, Pub.
RARELY IS A BOOK A "WORK OF ART"...THIS ONE IS.
It opens with John Carter Cash's description of his father: "My father was a complicated man. There is no denying that. He was a man of steadfast faith and an open book in so many ways. But he was also a very deep and even mysterious man, intriguing and unpredictable..." What follows in the journey you will take during the 160 pages of this massive 12"x9" volume, is a first-hand look into the music, life, loves, and career, of an American icon.
John Carter Cash, is the only child born of the marriage of two music legends: Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash. The love he had for his parents is self-evident in this book, and his honesty about his feelings for his father are manifested on every page of this "Cash-Carter Family" based volume.
Pulling no punches, you are immersed into the entire world of this musical giant that became known as "The Man In Black". From his early beginnings in Arkansas to his world travels, you follow his path no matter where it leads. His song writing, his poetry, his paintings, his photography, his playful/humorous side, his addictions, his ailments, his friends...if it was a part of the life of Johnny Cash, you will read about it within these pages.
Most of all you will learn about his steadfast, deep abiding faith in God, his loyalty to his friends...and the compassion he had for those less fortunate souls, no matter where in the world he traveled.
Through the years his friends included many whose names you know: the Reverend Billy Graham, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Horton, Kris Kristofferson, "Cowboy" Jack Clement...and many more too numerous to mention. But his family always came first, and you will also learn about his love for each and every one in it: his parents, children, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, cousins, his talented & loving wife, June, and the members of her family.
What makes this book so special is that John Carter Cash, and his wife Laura, went through the archives of Johnny & June and acquired information and documents that only they could have access to. In so doing, the added bonus of the book includes facimilies, documents, and many, many photos that you will see nowhere else: a copy of JR's High School diploma from Dyess Arkansas, rare photos of Johnny & June, Johnny's recipe's, including Chili (he liked to cook,too !), some of his artwork, poem's he wrote to June, copies of his lyric/song sheets...and that's just a sampling of what's in-store for you !
I had followed Johnny Cash's career since I was a teenager in 1956, and was privileged to receive a phone call from him while I was Music Director at the 50,000 Watt Giant, KAAY Radio 1090, in Little Rock, in May of 1972. That call turned into an On-The-Air Interview that I'll never forget, and Johnny Cash was one of the most courteous and kind individuals I've ever known. His music had been a part of my life for as long as I could remember, but his thoughtfullness and warmth that came through the phone that day during our conversation will forever live in my memory banks.
Johnny Cash was an American "original" in every sense of the word. His body of work continued for over five decades, and this loving chronical of his life, his music, and his impact on all whose lives he touched, and continues to touch years after his death, is set-down in this wonderful volume by his only son: John Carter Cash....a son who not only loved his father, but wanted to share that love, and his stories, with all of us.
If you would buy only one book that covered the true history of Johnny Cash, this would be it. JK
NOTE: My favorite Johnny Cash songs ? Many have asked me that through the years, so here's my list: "I Walk The Line", "Home Of The Blues", "I'd Just Be Fool Enough", "Understand Your Man", "I Guess Things Happen That Way", "I Got Stripes", "Get Rhythm", "Folsom Prison Blues" (live), and "Sunday Morning Coming Down".
My ultimate favorite though for many reasons, some personal, is the haunting, beautiful "I Still Miss Someone" from 1958. If I were to loose all of the rest, this is the one that I'd have to save. JK
(This book is available directly from the Publisher at www.insighteditions.com or at Amazon at www.amazon.com )
"RICK NELSON, ROCK 'N' ROLL PIONEER", By Sheree Homer. Foreword By Bruce Berenson. McFARLAND & COMPANY, INC., PUBLISHERS.
Most of you know that my "Broadcasting Roots" were honed & polished by the "Roots of Rock 'N' Roll". And, in October of 1981, at KSLQ Radio/St. Louis, I was privileged to Interview one of R&R's true Legends: Rick Nelson.
I have Interviews from Rick online for you to hear (see the Link below), and, along with hearing Rick's stories, you can read my info and memories of that memorable, and way too brief, time I spent talking to Rick. I'm proud that I was able to record his History for all to enjoy...and to learn from. He was a consumate professional, and a true gentleman in every sense of the word. I have done literally hundreds of Interviews in my career since 1967...and my Interview with Rick is one of my personal favorites of all-time. Period.
One day I got an eMail from SHEREE HOMER telling me she had listened to the Interviews, truly enjoyed them, and stated that she had written a book about Rick entitled "Rick Nelson, Rock 'N' Roll Pioneer". Well, I instantly replied back to her, thanked her for her kind words, and asked for a copy of the book so that I could Review it and give all of you, kind readers, a chance to get a copy for your collection.
If you grew up, as I did, watching "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" on TV every week (or, hearing their long-running Radio show in the 40's & 50's), you know how important Rick Nelson was to the early Rock 'n' Roll/Rockabilly movement, and Sheree's book let's you re-live it all over again. BUT, if you're younger and didn't have that opportunity, the book so well-defines all of Rick's "time periods" that you'll feel as if you were there anyway !
Sheree is an accomplished writer, has run her own "Rockabilly Revue" magazine, and has contributed numerous articles that have been published Nationally. And, in doing this special book on Rick Nelson, shows a true love of the subject, his life, his history, and, his long and varied career.
Rick, as I stated to him in my Interview, and as Sheree notes in her book, was at one time Elvis' closest rival ! He was the 5th most popular recording artist of the 1950's, and Sheree's research, Interviews with his family, friends, fellow-musicians, and, producers, shed a candid look into Rick's background that is both professional & honest. It shows the many sides of Rick that made up the man and the musician.
I met Rick's long-running, most-influential producer, Jimmie Haskell, at an ABC/Dunhill Convention in 1971, and told him how I had admired his work through the years. He thanked me, and said that I was the only one there who had taken the time to tell him that. Again, a class-act, and a true production Wizard, so you'll enjoy Jimmie's comments in this book.
Guitarist James Burton is another whose work I have loved through the years. From the opening strains of Dale Hawkins' "Susie-Q", to seeing him in Concert with Elvis on April 17, 1972, when I was Music Director & Air Personality at KAAY in Little Rock, he's always been one of the best...and, universally admired by his peers, as well as his fans. His stories about recording and traveling with Rick are among the most important in the book. James Burton was a key to getting some personal background stories on Rick, and I compliment Sheree with the in-depth way she handled it.
Plus, Sheree's support, along with stories & photos, from Rick's family, was vital to the information included in the book...and, it was perfect on all accounts. The book contains a filmography, a discography, and in addition, lists all of the Nelson's Radio & TV shows in order, from 1944-1966, in its 206 pages, and has 47 photos...many never seen before.
All-in-all, I cannot tell you what a wonderful addition this would be to your personal library. Music & Cars have gone together since the first radio was installed in one of those classic rides of the 1930's...and, Rick's "Million Sellers" CD is played almost-monthly in my "Daily Driver" !
Oh ! My personal Rick Nelson favorites ? I've been asked that many times, so here are my Top 5 RN Greatest Hits: "Poor Little Fool"; "There'll Never Be Anyone Else But You"; "Lonesome Town; "Teenage Idol"/"Believe What You Say" (tie); "Garden Party". There now ! Are you happy ?!
If you love Rock & Roll History, if you ever watched "The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet", if you've ever wanted to learn about one of the biggest and best true Superstar's of All-Time...you have to own "Rick Nelson, Rock 'N' Roll Pioneer" by Sheree Homer !
NOTE: Copies of "Rick Nelson, Rock 'N' Roll Pioneer" are available at www.mcfarlandpub.com Call 800-253-2187 to order your copy.
And, to access my Interviews with Rick, and listen to PART 1 right now, simply Click-On Here, listen, and, ENJOY ! JK
" The Rock 'N' Roll Age: The Music, the Culture, the Generation" (Hardcover). By Mike Evans, Reader's Digest, Pub.
REVIEW: Mike Evans is a Brit who's been a musician & broadcaster as well as a writer. In this volume he starts with "the roots of rock" spawned in the 40's, carries its history to the time of the "British Invasion" of 1964, and ends it at "The Summer Of Love" in 1967.
This is a veritable "Who's Who" of those who made the music we've listened to for decades ! From Jackie Brenston's seminal "Rocket 88", through Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Clyde McPhatter, Bill Haley, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Bobby Darin, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Stones, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Jimi Hendrix...well, you get the picture. If they're a part of R&R History, they're in there !
On the way, this journey takes you through not only the music, and those that made it, but also the cultural & generational progression of our society: movies, books, politics, cars, advertising, news headlines, fads...it's all covered, as well as how we sometimes connect it all through music, and how it shapes and changes the world we live in.
If you have a personal library, love music, and want to read about the History of R&R as viewed through the eyes of a knowledgeable, well-traveled Englishman, this IS a book you need for your collection ! JK
NOTE: This book, and others listed on this Special Page, is available at www.amazon.com AND, be sure to see the great variety of books, magazines, posters, pictures, and many other items just like this, at all of our ST. LOUIS RECORD COLLECTOR & CD SHOWS ! You can buy 'em there and take 'em home the same day !
These Reviews are prepared especially for the ST. LOUIS RECORD COLLECTOR & CD SHOW Website by Jonnie King...a lifelong record collector, musicologist, car buff, and, a St. Louis-based nationally-known radio personality/music director/program director since 1967.