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Next Week in Music | May 29 – June 4 • New Books

Mamas & Papas, art & soul, Dante & ducktails, & plenty more: Read all about ’em.

Mamas and Papas, art and soul, Dante and ducktails, Bleecker Street and The Beatles — and the rest of the new tomes of the week. Read all about ’em:


All The Leaves Are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart
By Scott G. Shea

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Few songs have captured the contradictions and ambiguities of the 1960s as memorably as California Dreamin’, the iconic folk music single that catapulted The Mamas & The Papas into rock ’n’ roll history. In All The Leaves Are Brown, author Scott Shea details how John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Michelle Phillips and “Mama Cass” Elliot became standard-bearers for California counterculture, following their transformation from folk music wannabes to rock sensations and chronicling the tumultuous events that followed their unexpected success. Shea gives a definitive account of the group’s short time together, from their hitmaking approach with legendary producer Lou Adler to John’s unique songwriting to tours and friendships with other musicians riding the folk-rock wave. He explores the emotional vicissitudes that came with being in The Mamas & The Papas, from Cass’s unrequited love for Denny, his affair with Michelle, and the ebb and flow of dysfunction in John and Michelle’s marriage. And he explains how it all came to a crashing end with John’s brainchild, the Monterey Pop Festival, which should have launched the group even further into the musical stratosphere, but only served to be their undoing. Drawing on new interviews with former bandmates, session musicians, family members, and many others, All The Leaves Are Brown is a layered, revelatory tale of overnight stardom and its many pitfalls.”

Son Of The City: A Memoir
By Dante Ross

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “You might not know his name — but you’ve heard his work. Dante Ross, born and raised by political activists on New York’s pre-gentrified Lower East Side, would play a pivotal role in the golden age of hip-hop. Named  one of  the top 25 hip-hop A&Rs, Ross got his start at Tommy Boy Records, where he would sign and handle the careers of De La Soul and Queen Latifah. At Elektra Records, he would go on to sign Brand Nubian, Grand Puba, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, KMD, Busta Rhymes and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. As a producer, he has worked on a range of hit records by artists such as 3rd Bass, Del the Funky Homosapien, Run-DMC and Everlast — including the multi-platinum album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and the gold followup, Eat at Whitey’s. Ross earned a Grammy in 1999 for his production work on Carlos Santana’s Supernatural and also produced and cowrote two songs featuring Macy Gray and Young Z for the soundtrack to Eminem’s 8 Mile. In this highly entertaining memoir, Ross pulls no punches as he details his chaotic childhood, his life in hip-hop, and all the hard lessons he learned growing up in New York as a true son of the city.”

Behind The Rainbow: The Story of Eva Cassidy
By Johan Bakker

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A new edition of Behind the Rainbow, Johan Bakker’s biography on musician Eva Cassidy. Cassidy’s story is one of the most compelling and poignant in recent music history. In this thoughtful and probing study Bakker re-evaluates her career and the fame that came only after her death at the tender age of 33. Cassidy performed largely in and around Washington D.C.. Iceland was the only place she ever played in Europe, yet her jazzy folk pop would, after her death, make her a star both there and in her homeland. Since her passing she has sold more than ten million records. Bakker has interviewed Cassidy’s friends, colleagues, and family, and by tracing her formative experiences, outlook, and eventual disillusionment with the music business, has crafted a detailed and considered account of her life.”

All You Need is HELP!
By Rory Hoy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Beatles are arguably the most successful act in music history. They were very prolific musicians before, during, and after The Beatles, and they were never idle, always doing something in the music and film industry throughout the decades. As well as their own individual projects, they also helped out on other people’s records and projects. On one tune, you may catch George Harrison playing slide guitar, Ringo Starr may be on drums, and John Lennon or Paul McCartney will sing backing vocals. Throughout the years, you may have been listening to something which has some sort of Beatles magic, without you realizing it! This book is a database of these many fascinating collaborations over the years, some which might even surprise you along the way!”

Ducktails, Drive-ins, And Broken Hearts: An Unsweetened Look At ’50s Music
By Hank Davis

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “They all tried, but few singers and musicians from the 1950s became stars. Yet many of them had stories to tell that were far more interesting than the ones you already know. Author Hank Davis was bitten by the music bug as a teenager. By the time he entered college in 1959, he was no stranger to New York’s recording studios and had a few 45s of his own on the market. Spanning a 45-year career in music journalism, Davis has spent time backstage, in motel rooms, and on tour buses to uncover stories that rarely made the official annals of pop music history. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews and new research, Ducktails, Drive-Ins, and Broken Hearts offers a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the winners and losers during rock ‘n’ roll’s formative era. How did a decade as uptight and puritanical as the ’50s produce so much cringe-worthy, politically incorrect music? What was it like to see a pale cover version of your latest record climb the charts while yours sat unplayed by mainstream radio stations? How did precious Elvis tapes end up in a Memphis landfill? And who was that 13-year-old girl who made a $5 vanity record at Sun just two years after Elvis — and ended up singing backup on Suspicious Minds and In the Ghetto? This book is a must-read for all fans of ’50s music. In the words of Jerry Phillips, son of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, “Hank Davis is one of the few guys who really gets it.”

Art And Soul
By Howard Priestley

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Soul music was born around the same time as the American Civil Rights movement and in many ways travelled the same routes around America. This new music was created by unique musicians, innovative producers and writers as well as unequalled singers. Along the way, soul also found inspiration in local culture and traditions giving every city its own identity. In 1966 Ben E. King released What Is Soul? on ATCO and defined as a burning feeling inside, made from love and loss but then in 1970 Funkadelic redefined it, telling us that soul was a hamhock in your cornflakes or the ring around your bathtub which showed just how deep soul could be and how it wasn’t that easy to define. For Howard Priestley, the title says it all — and defines a huge part of his life. He has been fortunate to write about the music that has inspired these paintings and worked alongside many Funk artists, creating their concepts as well as designing their cover art. Every picture tells a story and he has used an infinite spectrum of colours that paints the United States Of America in a way never seen before.”

The Bleecker Street Tapes: Echoes of Greenwich Village
By Bruce Pollock

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village to the stage of Woodstock, folksingers became a powerful cultural force in the 1960s, Mixing music and politics, tradition and innovation, romance and righteousness, these men and women were outspoken voices for their generation, each with a story to tell. The Bleecker Street Tapes — a collection of intimate profiles and essays by veteran music journalist Bruce Pollock, a Village resident and clubgoer during its heyday — documents folk music’s evolution from passing the hat to topping the charts.”

Les Paul: 70 Years
By Julien Bitoun

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Produced in collaboration with Gibson, this is the ultimate history of rock’s greatest guitar — with unprecedented access to behind-the-scenes stories and unseen photography of the greatest Les Paul models, detailed technical information, iconic Les Paul players, songs, albums and concerts, along with other treasures from the Gibson vaults. Celebrating 70 years of a music icon, this is an ode to a magical guitar and the music made with it.”

Dee Snider: He’s Not Gonna Take It
By Dee Snider, Frank Marraffino & Steve Kurth

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The name of Dee Snider is synonymous with the battle for freedom of expression in the arts. This new graphic novel will follow the impact of it throughout Dee’s life. From a childhood where he was frequently silenced, through the early efforts to stifle his band’s music, to the open warfare of the PMRC hearings in Washington, D.C., and his current efforts on social media, He’s Not Gonna Take It tells the story of why free speech is so important to this man who has fought for it. Even when it endangered everything that was important to him.”