Celebrity Music Bios — fall 2013

Forthcoming biographies from four iconic musical artists.

Simple Dreams: a musical memoir (M)
by Linda Ronstadt (September)

“Ronstadt’s memoir is remarkable but not for reasons that readers might think; it is remarkable because of its very ordinariness.

There are no tales of parental cruelty or substance abuse. She is lucky that her life has been exceedingly normal, or as normal as it can be for someone as talented and famous as she is, having sold more than a million records. Retired from performing since 2009, Ronstadt now looks back fondly to her childhood in Arizona her Mexican heritage comes from her father’s side and shares anecdotes about life on the road, including her first gigs at area coffeehouses and her decision when still a teenager to move by herself to Los Angeles because that was where the music was. She writes about her work with the folk-rock band the Stone Poneys, becoming a solo act, exploring the Great American Songbook, recording traditional Mexican folk songs with Ruben Fuentes, and her famous musical friendships, including those with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. Ronstadt’s fans will love this refreshingly nice and gracious musical memoir.” – Booklist

Everybody’s Brother (M)
by CeeLo Green (September)

“Pop star Cee Lo calls himself “a sensitive and magical child” feeling “lost and terribly alone in the wilderness” in his outrageous new memoir, assisted by his longtime pal Big Gipp and writer David Wild. Born to a hardworking nurse in Atlanta, Thomas DeCarlo Burton (aka Cee Lo) remembers both the hard knocks of his early life, the death of his father when Cee Lo was two years old, and hearing the mysterious sounds of “a visitation from the Good God of the Holy Groove” in his grandmother’s living room. He was always a fancy dresser, a self-described “half-angel-half-devil,” who dropped acid, smoked grass, and shoplifted as a young tough. Influenced by the likes of James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Bill Withers, Tupac, and Prince, he created an outsized, flamboyant persona, which, along with his soulful voice, enthralled audiences. He eventually became a judge on the hit TV show The Voice. Brassy, often snarky, and totally madcap, Cee Lo mouths off in this ribald tell-all, to the enjoyment of his fans and newbies everywhere.” Publisher Weekly

Wild Tales: a rock & roll life (M)
by Graham Nash (September)

“Graham Nash’s songs defined a generation and helped shape the history of rock and roll—he’s written over 200 songs, including such classic hits as “Carrie Anne,” “On A Carousel,” “Simple Man,” “Our House,” “Marrakesh Express,” and “Teach Your Children.” From the opening salvos of the British Rock Revolution to the last shudders of Woodstock, he has rocked and rolled wherever music mattered. Now Graham is ready to tell his story: his lower-class childhood in post-war England, his early days in the British Invasion group The Hollies; becoming the lover and muse of Joni Mitchell during the halcyon years, when both produced their most introspective and important work; meeting Stephen Stills and David Crosby and reaching superstardom with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and his enduring career as a solo musician and political activist. Nash has valuable insights into a world and time many think they know from the outside but few have experienced at its epicenter, and equally wonderful anecdotes about the people around him: the Beatles, the Stones, Hendrix, Cass Elliot, Dylan, and other rock luminaries. From London to Laurel Canyon and beyond, Wild Tales is a revealing look back at an extraordinary life—with all the highs and the lows; the love, the sex, and the jealousy; the politics; the drugs; the insanity—and the sanity—of a magical era of music.” publisher

Johnny Cash: the life (M)
by Robert Hilburn (November)

“Although part of his life has been told on film, there are many compelling layers to his story that have remained hidden–until now. Robert Hilburn tells the unvarnished truth about a musical icon whose personal life was far more troubled and his artistry much more profound than even his most devoted fans have realized. As music critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hilburn knew Cash well throughout his life–he was the only music journalist at the legendary Folsom Prison concert in 1968, and he interviewed him extensively just before Cash’s death in 2003. Drawing upon his personal experience with Cash and a trove of never-before seen material from the singer’s inner circle, Hilburn gives us a compelling, human portrait of one of the most iconic figures in modern popular culture–not only a towering figure in country music, but also a seminal influence in rock.” – publisher

Photos: Barricaded person in Lawrencetown, Lawrencetown, N.S.

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