Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul

Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
10
Free sample

An authoritative look at the life of a music legend from “the Number One Best-selling Pop Biographer” (Publishers Weekly).
 
A frank examination of Aretha Franklin, Mark Bego’s definitive biography traces her career accomplishments from her beginnings as a twelve-year-old member of a church choir in the early 1950s to recording her first album at the age of fourteen, and signing a major recording contract at eighteen, right up through her headline-grabbing 2010 health scare. Originally positioned to become a gospel star in her father’s Detroit church, Aretha had a privileged urban upbringing—stars such as Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington, and Sam Cooke regularly visited her father, Rev. C. L. Franklin. It wasn’t long before she was creating a string of hits, from “Respect” to “Freeway of Love,” and becoming one of the most beloved singers of the twentieth century.
 
This New York Times–bestselling author’s detailed research includes in-person interviews with record producers Jerry Wexler, Clyde Otis, and Clive Davis; Aretha’s first husband; several of her singing star contemporaries; and a rare one-on-one session with Aretha herself. Every album, every accolade, and every heart-breaking personal drama is examined with clarity and neutrality, allowing the vocalist’s colorful story to unfold on its own. With two teenage pregnancies and an abusive first marriage, drinking problems, battles with her weight, the murder of her father, and tabloid wars, Aretha’s life has been a roller coaster. This freshly updated and expanded biography will give readers a clear understanding of what made Aretha Franklin the “Queen of Soul.”
 
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About the author

Mark Bego has been called “The Number One Best-Selling Pop Biographer” by Publishers Weekly and has been referred to in the press as “The Prince of Pop Music Bios.” He is the author of fifty-eight published books on rock & roll and show business. With over ten million copes of his books in print, Mark Bego has written two New York Times–bestselling books and a Chicago Tribune bestseller.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
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Published on
Mar 25, 2012
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9781620871690
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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A “sympathetic and exceptionally well-written account” (USA Today), Ray Connolly’s biography of the King soars with “spontaneity and electricity” (Preston Lauterbach).

Elvis Presley is a giant figure in American popular culture, a man whose talent and fame were matched only by his later excesses and tragic end. A godlike entity in the history of rock and roll, this twentieth-century icon with a dazzling voice blended gospel and traditionally black rhythm and blues with country to create a completely new kind of music and new way of expressing male sexuality, which simply blew the doors off a staid and repressed 1950s America.

In Being Elvis veteran rock journalist Ray Connolly takes a fresh look at the career of the world’s most loved singer, placing him, forty years after his death, not exhaustively in the garish neon lights of Las Vegas but back in his mid-twentieth-century, distinctly southern world. For new and seasoned fans alike, Connolly, who interviewed Elvis in 1969, re-creates a man who sprang from poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi, to unprecedented overnight fame, eclipsing Frank Sinatra and then inspiring the Beatles along the way.

Juxtaposing the music, the songs, and the incendiary live concerts with a personal life that would later careen wildly out of control, Connolly demonstrates that Elvis’s amphetamine use began as early as his touring days of hysteria in the late 1950s, and that the financial needs that drove him in the beginning would return to plague him at the very end. With a narrative informed by interviews over many years with John Lennon, Bob Dylan, B. B. King, Sam Phillips, and Roy Orbison, among many others, Connolly creates one of the most nuanced and mature portraits of this cultural phenomenon to date.

What distinguishes Being Elvis beyond the narrative itself is Connolly’s more subtle examinations of white poverty, class aspirations, and the prison that is extreme fame. As we reach the end of this poignant account, Elvis’s death at forty-two takes on the hue of a profoundly American tragedy. The creator of an American sound that resonates today, Elvis remains frozen in time, an enduring American icon who could “seamlessly soar into a falsetto of pleading and yearning” and capture an inner emotion, perhaps of eternal yearning, to which all of us can still relate.

Intimate and unsparing, Being Elvis explores the extravagance and irrationality inherent in the Elvis mythology, ultimately offering a thoughtful celebration of an immortal life.

'The greatest white female singer ever' is how Boy George described pop icon Cass Elliot, the sixties diva who was at the epicentre of US popular culture and music during the Californian hippy movement. Hailed as America's answer to the Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas' hits such as 'California Dreamin' and 'Monday Monday' became the soundtrack of a generation. Cass's uniquely emotive voice, charismatic wit and outsized multicoloured kaftans singled her out as a popstar who refused to conform to traditional female stereotypes. When she left the Mamas and the Papas, she immediately had a top ten hit with her debut single, 'Dream a Little Dream of Me' and became the queen on Los Angeles society. Her Beverly Hills villa was the scene of legenday parties, becoming the second home of stars such as Jack Nicholson and Grace Slick, but there was a darker side to her fame - after years of continuous dieting and drug addiction, she died mysteriously in London at the age of 33.

Including interviews with Cass's friends and family, co-band members Michelle Phillips and Denny Doherty, and many of the famous names who knew her, this is both an insightful biography of an extraordinary singer, and a fascinating glimpse into free-living, free-loving ideals of the sixties as the optimism of the flower-child generation was crushed by the Vietnam War.

'The product of over 100 interviews and four years of research across three continents, it's a fantastic read that goes way beyond thorough . . . Fiegel's fine, all-encompassing tome restores much of the great woman's dignity' - Mojo

Who knew that Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones) makes an amazing Lamb Chops with Endive and Blue Cheese Salad, that Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers) loves Pasta with Ham and Parmesan Cheese, or that Boz Scaggs eats Tuscan Grilled Chicken?

With more than a hundred recipes from seven decades of rock ‘n’ roll, pop, country, RnB, and disco, Mark Bego, along with Mary Wilson of The Supremes, gathers beloved recipes from legendary rocker friends and invites the ultimate music fan to put on an apron and join them at the table. Featuring each rock star’s biography, their favorite recipe, and other fun facts, Eat Like a Rock Star is a must-have for every die-hard rocker-at-heart who loves to eat.

There is nowhere else you will find Ray Parker Jr.’s Salmon and Eggs, Joey Fatone’s (NSYNC) Rice Balls, Micky Dolenz’s (The Monkees) Micky ‘D’ Cocktail, and Angela Bowie’s (David Bowie’s ex-wife’s) Rosti Hash Brown Potatoes all in one book. Whether it’s brunch, lunch, dinner, or desert, learn to cook:

•Michelle Phillips’s (The Mamas & The Papas) Organic Lemon Chicken
•Lou Christie’s Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes
•Marilyn McCoo's (The 5th Dimension) Leg of Lamb
•Glen Campbell’s Favorite Mexican Chicken Casserole
•Sarah Dash’s (Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles) Peach Cobbler, and more!

With a section on head-spinning cocktails, full menu suggestions, as well as author Mark Bego’s own culinary concoctions such as Spicy Szechuan Sesame Noodles and Boozy Banana Cream Pie, look no further for the all-in-one cooking and rock ‘n’ roll companion. As Martha Reeves says about her Smoked Turkey Necks & Lima Beans, “Honey, this is real soul food!”
#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Good Morning America • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsday • New York Post • theSkimm • Refinery29 • Bloomberg • Self • Real Simple • Town & Country • Bustle • Paste • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • LibraryReads • BookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review
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