Item description for Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music by Gerri Hirshey...
Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music is a unique oral history. Here are the recollections of many of the giants of soul---Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, Mary Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Screaming Jay Hawkins, and Wilson Pickett. These and other interviews, many of them exclusive, add up to a brilliant anecdotal portrait of the music and the life. Gerri Hirshey is the author of We Gotta Get Out of this Place: The True, Tough Story of Women in Rock; she has also written for Rolling Stone and the New York Times.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.64" Width: 5.12" Height: 1.26" Weight: 0.97 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2006
Publisher Southbank Publishing
ISBN 1904915108 ISBN13 9781904915102
Reviews - What do customers think about Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music?
Great Book Aug 5, 2006
This is a great book about soul, I read many things about artists that I had not found in the normal biographies. It covers a lot: chicago, stax, detroit. Only Muscle Shoals is sadly forgotten. In that case Peter Guralnicks 'Sweet Soul Music' is a better buy
Poignant history of Soul Music May 10, 2003
This monumental work consists of three parts. Part One: Singing Both Sides, looks at the Gospel and Blues roots of Soul Music, the record companies that first recorded this style, the DJs and the radio stations that played it, and includes interviews with Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Cissy Houston, Ben E. King, Ahmet Ertegun, James Bown and Wilson Pickett. The pioneering work of Ray Charles features heavily here.
Part Two: City Soul, starts with a look at the early Soul artists on Atlantic and other labels and includes the reminiscences of Jerry Wexler, includes information on Solomon Burke, Sam Cooke, Motown Records, plus interviews with Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, Martha Reeves, Diana Ross, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin. It also includes information on Curtis Mayfield and the Chicago-based record companies.
Part Three: Southern Soul, deals with James Brown again, the Memphis scene, Stax Records and its legendary artists, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Muscle Shoals, Joe Tex, Isaac Hayes, the New Orleans scene, and concludes with a poignant interview with Irma Thomas.
As a young teen I was enthralled by the voices of Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Gladys Knight, Percy Sledge and others, so this book finally made the people behind the music come alive for me. It is easy to get lost in its labyrinthine pleasures, to discover how, when and where favourite songs were written, to learn about the backgrounds of the musicians, the record companies and the business people like Ertegun and Berry Gordy.
There's a lot of human interest in the text, a lot of triumph and tragedy - Hirshey is a masterful writer who really gets into the music and compels one to reach for your CD and vinyl collections to hear these great voices again. She mostly allows the voices to speak for themselves, but in a brilliantly interwoven text where the songs, the charts, the gigs and the tours form the historical frame in which the voices reveal the human element.
There are sixteen black and white plates with photographs of artists like Cooke, Wells, Ross, Gaye, Wonder, Lamont Dozier and the Holland Brothers, Franklin, Reeves, Junior Walker, James Brown, Don Covay and others. The thorough index to artists, personalities, songs, record companies and TV shows make referencing easy.
As music writing this book is indispensable, as human interest, it is engaging and addictive. Hirshey succeeds in capturing the mood of the times and the flavours and history of a great American musical style by letting these timeless voices speak for themselves so eloquently.
A brilliant history of Motown and Southern Soul Sep 9, 1999
Hirshey's history of Motown and Southern Soul music offers 23 brilliant chapters, each loosely based around material gathered either in interviews or by spending time with a particular performer or group. And Hirshey writes like a DREAM. Here's Aretha at a rehersal Hirshey attended: "She waved hello with a half-eaten cheeseburger, finished it off, and walked to a music stand in the center of the room. She was wearing a red velour slacks outfit beneath a loose gray coat. A half dozen packs of Kools filled a roomy black leather satchel. Aretha lit a cigarette, nodded to the stout, dashikied concertmaster, squared her shoulders, and took a long, deep, drag of smoke. Ten feet from the epicenter, I felt the first note square in the solar plexus. It hummed through every membrane in the room, saturated the gouged acoustic baffling, rising higher, louder, in a blue cloud of Kool smoke, echoing up the sooty airshaft, a Pentecostal crack in the dense city night. 'Jesus God,' the studio watchman whispered. 'Almighty Jesus God.'" Convinced? Hirshey gets inside the frought relationship of Sam and Dave, rides around New York in a limo with James Brown and Al Sharpton, goes to a Japanese restaurant with Mary Wilson, and lots more. If you love soul and Motown --Irma Thomas, Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex, James Brown, Solomon Burke, Otis, Aretha, Isaac Hayes, etc--you'll love this book.