Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll
How One Man Discovered Howlin' Wolf, Ike Turner, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley, and How His Tiny Label, Sun Records of Memphis, Revolutionized the World!
From the author of the critically acclaimed Elvis Presley biography: Last Train to Memphis brings us the life of Sam Phillips, the visionary genius who singlehandedly steered the revolutionary path of Sun Records.
The music that he shaped in his tiny Memphis studio with artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Ike Turner, Howlin' Wolf, Jerry Lee... Read more »
The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters was never good at doing what he was told. When Grandma Della said the blues wouldn't put food on the table, Muddy didn't listen. And when record producers told him that no one wanted to listen to a country boy playing country blues, Muddy ignored them as well. This tenacious streak carried Muddy from the hardscrabble fields of... Read more »
My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped
The definitive account of Whitney Houston’s astonishing life, ground-breaking career, and tragic death — complete with never-before-seen photographs — from the only one who truly knows the story behind the headlines: her mother, Cissy Houston.
Cissy has said little publicly about Whitney’s heart-breaking death. Now, for the first time, she opens... Read more »
A Song for You
My Life with Whitney Houston
The New York Times Bestseller!
After decades of silence, Robyn Crawford, close friend, collaborator, and confidante of Whitney Houston, shares her story.
Whitney Houston is as big a superstar as the music business has ever known. She exploded on the scene in 1985 with her debut album and spent the next two decades dominating the charts and... Read more »
Johnny B. Bad
Chuck Berry and the Making of Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll
Thirty years ago, Chuck Berry starred in the seminal music documentary Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll, which profiled the legend during a star-studded concert celebrating his sixtieth birthday. Now, on the heels of Berry's death, comes the complete story behind one of America's most enduring and embattled icons. Compiled as an oral... Read more »
The Life of Marvin Gaye
In this intimate biography of the Prince of Soul, David Ritz provides a candid look at a star and a friend. Ritz had been collaborating with Marvin Gaye on his story for several years before the singer’s tragic death and had conducted a series of extraordinary interviews in which Gaye discussed his deepest secrets. What emerges here is a... Read more »
Move On Up
Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power
In Move On Up, Aaron Cohen tells the remarkable story of the explosion of soul music in Chicago. Together, soul music and black-owned businesses thrived. Record producers and song-writers broadcast optimism for black America's future through their sophisticated, jazz-inspired productions for the Dells and many others. Curtis Mayfield boldly sang... Read more »
The Wrecking Crew
The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret
If you were a fan of popular music in the 1960s and early '70s, you were a fan of the Wrecking Crew—whether you knew it or not.
On hit record after hit record by everyone from the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Monkees to the Grass Roots, the 5th Dimension, Sonny & Cher, and Simon & Garfunkel, this collection of West Coast studio... Read more »
The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine
A delicious romp through the heyday of rock and roll and a revealing portrait of the man at the helm of the iconic magazine that made it all possible, with candid look backs at the era from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elton John, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and others.
The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone's founder, editor,... Read more »
Time Is Tight
My Life, Note by Note
The long-awaited memoir of Booker T. Jones, leader of the famed Stax Records house band, architect of the Memphis soul sound, and one of the most legendary figures in music.
From Booker T. Jones's earliest years in segregated Memphis, music was the driving force in his life. While he worked paper routes and played gigs in local nightclubs to... Read more »
God Save the Queens
The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop meets Girls to the Front in this essential and long overdue history of hip-hop’s female pioneers and its enduring stars.
Every history of hip-hop previously published, from Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop to Shea Serrano’s The Rap Yearbook, focuses primarily on men, glaringly omitting a thorough and respectful examination... Read more »
There Was a Time
James Brown, The Chitlin' Circuit, and Me
A behind-the-scenes look at the Chitlin' Circuit during America's most vital period of soul music—from the eyes and ears of a young, Jewish kid from Queens who joined the team of the hardest working man in show business and learned the art of the music business at the hand of the performer who mastered it. In the mid-'60s, Alan Leeds was a young... Read more »
Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music
In this sweeping history of popular music in the United States, NPR’s acclaimed music critic examines how popular music shapes fundamental American ideas and beliefs, allowing us to communicate difficult emotions and truths about our most fraught social issues, most notably sex and race.
In Good Booty, Ann Powers explores how popular music became... Read more »
Rhythm, Blues & Coming of Age Through Vinyl
A coming-of-age memoir about a young boy in rural Arkansas who searches for himself and his distant father through soul music
Growing up in rural Arkansas, young Rashod Ollison turned to music to make sense of his life. The dysfunction, sadness, and steely resilience of his family and neighbors was reflected in the R&B songs that played on... Read more »
A Subversive History
"A dauntingly ambitious, obsessively researched" (Los Angeles Times) global history of music that reveals how songs have shifted societies and sparked revolutions.
Histories of music overwhelmingly suppress stories of the outsiders and rebels who created musical revolutions and instead celebrate the mainstream assimilators who borrowed... Read more »
The Queen of Soul
Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul documents the beloved singing star’s rocky personal life and internationally acclaimed show business career. An in-depth and frank examination of Aretha, this definitive biography traces her career from her beginnings as a twelve-year-old member of a church choir in the early 1950s, recording her first album at... Read more »
A Story of the Music That Shook Up the World
Memphis gave birth to music that changed the world—Memphis Mayhem is a fascinating history of how music and culture collided to change the state of music forever Memphis Mayhem weaves the tale of the racial collision that led to a cultural, sociological, and musical revolution. David Less constructs a fascinating narrative of the city that has... Read more »
An Unfinished Life
The long-awaited, definitive biography of The King of Soul, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Redding's iconic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
Otis Redding remains an immortal presence in the canon of American music on the strength of such classic hits as “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too... Read more »
Growing Up with Robert Johnson
An intimate memoir by blues legend Robert Johnson's stepsister, including new details about his family, music, influences, tragic death, and musical afterlife
Though Robert Johnson was only twenty-seven years young and relatively unknown at the time of his tragic death in 1938, his enduring recordings have solidified his status as a progenitor... Read more »
Your Song Changed My Life
From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-Five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It
From the beloved host and creator of NPR’s All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts comes an essential oral history of modern music, told in the voices of iconic and up-and-coming musicians, including Dave Grohl, Jimmy Page, Michael Stipe, Carrie Brownstein, Smokey Robinson, and Jeff Tweedy, among others—published in association with NPR... Read more »