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  1. #1
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    Book Ideas Please???

    I am birthday shopping for someone who is a voracious reader but always stays one step ahead of me. When I buy something, he says "I've already read that."

    So with that in mind, what are some of the VERY recent books released about music that I might want to consider? For example, what Motown subject matter has been released in the past few months?

    Also he was an Olivia Newton-John fan, so is there anything new on her or a recommended biography?

  2. #2
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    I love reading biographies but have become increasingly disappointed with content , especially autobiographies where just a genetic overview is provided.
    Probably for fear of litigation, the Kitty Kelly days are long gone. You
    might be fighting a losing battle to find your well read friend a great read.
    A gift certificate to a favorite restaurant might be an alternative.

  3. #3
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    James Gavin has just released a biography of George Michael that’s gotten a lot of favorable buzz; his biography of Lena Horne from last decade is indispensable.

    This one is more like “music-adjacent,” but Nabil Ayers’s My Life in the Sunshine is his account of growing up not really knowing his dad Roy. Great reviews for it as well.

    ETA: I also recently saw Straighten Up and Fly Right by Daniel Mark Epstein in Barnes and Noble. It’s a lengthy new look at —who else?—Nat King Cole.

    AFAIK, things have been pretty quiet on the Motown and Olivia fronts—though that’s almost certain to change for ONJ.
    Last edited by sansradio; 09-16-2022 at 05:45 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    James Gavin has just released a biography of George Michael that’s gotten a lot of favorable buzz; his biography of Lena Horne from last decade is indispensable.

    This one is more like “music-adjacent,” but Nabil Ayers’s My Life in the Sunshine is his account of growing up not really knowing his dad Roy. Great reviews for it as well.

    ETA: I also recently saw Straighten Up and Fly Right by Daniel Mark Epstein in Barnes and Noble. It’s a lengthy new look at —who else?—Nat King Cole.

    AFAIK, things have been pretty quiet on the Motown and Olivia fronts—though that’s almost certain to change for ONJ.
    I have not yet read, but can concur, that the George Michael bio has gotten not only excellent but 'serious' reviews. I'm now interested in the Lena Horne bio myself; I recall it at the time but it escaped me at the time. The recent book about Josephine Baker, 'Agent Josephine: American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy' may be worth a look. I gifted a copy and have my own copy but have not yet read it.

  5. #5
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    I would highly recommend Darlene Love's memoirs My Name Is Love. It's a few years old but most people didn't even know it came out. Background singers always have the best stories.

  6. #6
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    A relatively unknown Motown related bio "Mellow Yellow" The Incredible Life story of Jack The Rapper [Gibson] He was one of the most famous disc jockeys in the U.S. and Berry Gordy asked him to work for Motown in 1961, he agreed & then commuted to Detroit from his home town in Cleveland through to 1964/5.

    The book called "Mellow Yellow" in 2015 - ISBN 978-0-9904996-4-0

    There is a link to Raynoma Gordy when Berry Gordy divorced her in 1963 & she was moved in 1964 to set up the Motown office in N.Y. when she became Miss Motown.
    Last edited by Graham Jarvis; 09-17-2022 at 12:49 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I am birthday shopping for someone who is a voracious reader but always stays one step ahead of me. When I buy something, he says "I've already read that."

    So with that in mind, what are some of the VERY recent books released about music that I might want to consider? For example, what Motown subject matter has been released in the past few months?

    Also he was an Olivia Newton-John fan, so is there anything new on her or a recommended biography?
    if he is an avid reader, likes music and is an avid Olivia fan, he is probably already a step ahead of you and already has it and will probably be one step ahead of you on any reading material. Instead, why not invite him to a restaurant for a birthday dinner and then discuss his favorite reads during dinner conversation. It will give him a chance to discuss his favorite pass time, and it would probably be just as interesting to you and a fun time out with a good friend

  8. #8
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    Gladys Horton's book Letters from the Postman was finally published earlier this summer. Not a whole lot about Motown in it, but still quite a read.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for that last suggestion! I knew there HAD to be something very recent that had a Motown collection but I just could not think what it might be.

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