New in paperback: spotlight on music makers

This month brings a number of new in paperback releases from the Fall 2015 season including four titles that delve into the deep well of of American music.

Rimler-GershwinGeorge Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait by Walter Rimler

Legendary composer George Gershwin was a man of ambitious craft and an unsettled personal life.

In George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait, Walter Rimler makes use of fresh sources, including newly discovered letters by the composer’s lover and musical confidante Kay Swift as well as correspondence between and interviews with intimates of Ira and Leonore Gershwin. It is written with spirited prose and contains more than two dozen photographs.

The Jerusalem Post says of George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait, “Rimler shines in weaving together anecdotes, correspondence and a wealth of interviews with the composer and his contemporaries to create a vibrant, flesh-and-blood picture of the man and his music.”

CapsManciniHenry Mancini:
Reinventing Film Music 
by John Caps

The man behind slinky sound of The Pink Panther and the staccato sound noir of Peter Gunn changed the way the movies sounded and captured multiple Oscars, Grammys and millions of album sales along the way.

In Henry Mancini: Reinventing Film Music, John Caps traces Mancini’s collaborations with important directors and shows how he homed in on specific dramatic or comic aspects of each film to create musical effects through clever instrumentation, eloquent melodies, and the strong narrative qualities of his scores. Accessible and engaging, this fresh view of Mancini’s oeuvre and influence will delight and inform fans of film and popular music.

Library Journal raves the book “will satisfy musically experienced readers as well as laypeople. It deserves a place in every film and popular music collection.”


Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins by Diane Diekman

Singer, songwriter and race car driver Marty Robbins was a restless seeker.  In the award-winning Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life Marty Robbins, Diane Diekman reveals the life of a man who went to extremes to fill his restless spirit.

Drawing from personal interviews and in-depth research, biographer Diekman explains how Robbins saw himself as a drifter, a man always searching for self-fulfillment and inner peace. Born Martin David Robinson to a hardworking mother and an abusive alcoholic father, he never fully escaped the insecurities burned into him by a poverty-stricken nomadic childhood in the Arizona desert. Even a music career that saw over 90 of his songs place on the Billboard charts wouldn’t satisfy Robbins, who became a serious NASCAR driver.

KaufmanWoody Guthrie, American Radical by Will Kaufman

With his face emblazoned on a U.S. postage stamp and his song “This Land is Your Land” taught in elementary schools for decades, Woody Guthrie is entrenched in the mainstream of American culture.  Yet, Guthrie’s politics were far afield from the mainstream of his time.

Utilizing a wealth of previously unseen archival materials such as letters, song lyrics, essays, personal reflections, photos, and other manuscripts, Woody Guthrie, American Radical introduces a heretofore unknown Woody Guthrie: the canny political strategist, fitful thinker, and cultural front activist practically buried in the general public’s romantic celebration of the “Dust Bowl Troubadour.” 


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