Suggested Reading List
Hidden History of Nashville (TN) [Paperback]
Author: George R. Zepp
Description: Perched on the banks of the Cumberland River, Nashville is best known for its role in the civil rights movement, world-class education and, of course, country music. In this unique collection of columns, longtime journalist and Tennessee native George Zepp illuminates a less familiar side of the city. Learn the secrets of Timothy Demonbreun, one of the city's first residents, who lived with his family in a cliff-top cave; Cortelia Clark, the blind bluesman who continued to perform on street corners after winning a Grammy award; and Nashville's own Cinderella story, which involved legendary radio personality Edgar Bergen and his ventriloquist protegee. Cleverly rendered, using questions from readers across the nation, these little-known tales abound with Music City mystery and charm.
How Nashville Became Music City, U.S.A.: 50 Years of Music Row [Paperback]
Author: Michael Kosser
Description: How did a medium-sized Southern river town become arguably the most important music center in America? In How Nashville Became Music City, U.S.A. , we learn how a single studio in a tiny duplex house became Music Row, a ten-block area populated by hundreds of talented people whose job is to simply make music. The book features stories from publishers, songwriters and others who help tell the evolution of this fabled center of music. It's where Elvis ushered in the commercial rock 'n' roll explosion by recording "Heartbreak Hotel," Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, and Willie Nelson taught mainstream America to love soulful ballads, and Bob Dylan recorded three of his most important albums. The full-length CD includes 12 recordings made in the early studios of Music Row, giving listeners a rare chance to hear the demos made by some of Nashville's most talented artists. Songs include "Bye, Bye, Love," "Crazy," "King of the Road," "Walkin' After Midnight" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today."
A Guide to Historic Nashville, Tennessee [Paperback]
Author: James A. Hoobler
Description: Written by accomplished historian James Hoobler, senior curator of art and architecture at the Tennessee State Museum and former executive director of the Tennessee Historical Society, this book offers extraordinary insight into Nashville's heritage. Carefully researched and exceptionally written, it is a wonderful companion, both for visitors and for Nashville residents who want to see their hometown in a new light.
Elvis by the Presleys
Author: David Ritz
Description: For the first time, the inside story of legendary entertainer Elvis Presleys life as a husband, father, son, cousin, friend, spiritual seeker Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, and other family members, come together to memorialize our greatest star in this stunningly illustrated companion to a major television special and longer-form documentary.
Elvis by the Presleys is a uniquely fascinating treasure and serves as the essential companion to a major television special on CBS and, from Sony BMG, a longer-form documentary DVD and its related CD. Culled from hours of new family interviews conducted for the television special and DVD (much of it appearing exclusively in this book), enhanced with Elvis quotes, and illustrated with private family photographs and images of personal memorabilia from the archives of Graceland/Elvis Presley Enterprises, Elvis by the Presleys is an extraordinary document about an extraordinary figure.
Elvis: The Biography
Author: Jerry Hopkins
Description: Jerry Hopkinss Elvis: A Biography was the first book on popular music to top the U.S. bestseller list, and its sequel was equally popular. Long out of print, both books, along with a wealth of exciting new interviews, are brought together in Elvis to form the most exhaustive account available of the Kings life. Telling the complete story of Presleys rise and fall, from his poverty-stricken childhood in Tupelo through his musical development and emergence as pops first superstar to his decline and death, the book explores Presleys singular appeal, his far-reaching influence, and his extraordinary legacy. Featuring newly published firsthand interviews with people close to Elvis including high school teachers, girlfriends, directors, agents, recording engineers, bodyguards, sidemen, karate instructors, medical professionals, and even his personal jeweler Elvis presents a comprehensive and amazingly intimate look at this cultural icon.
Memphis (TN) (Then & Now) [Paperback]
Author: Robert W. Dye
Description: Memphis rests on the east bank of the Mississippi, a river that has altered its course many times. Memphis has also changed over the years, expanding and maturing with each new decade. From the days when cotton was king, through the yellow fever epidemics of the late 19th century, to the building boom of the 1920s, Memphis has adapted to its changing cultural environment. Through historic photographs, Then and Now: Memphis illustrates how the city has changed over the years. This pictorial retrospective revisits historic Memphis sites and offers comparative photographs of the locations in both past and present times.
Memphis Beat : The Lives and Times of America's Musical Crossroads
Author: Larry Nager
Description: This book fills in what isn't so familiar: Memphis, it reveals, is our great cultural mixing board, where all the black and white folk have met and done musical business for two centuries or more. Larry Nager, former music editor of the "Memphis Commercial Appeal," offers more than a casual history. His chronicle reaches back into the nineteenth century, when Memphis was a wild frontier town full of whiskey, fiddle players, and minstrelsy. It hits cruising speed at the turn of the century, as W. C. Handy discovered the blues, women like Lil Armstrong and Memphis Minnie kept up with the men, and a Memphis deejay dreamed up the Grand Ole Opry. It chronicles the strange alchemy by which local rhythm 'n' blues, hard country, and black and white gospel got remade into powerful rock and roll in Sam Phillips's Sun Records studio on Union Avenue. The beat goes on into the '60s and the era of Stax and Hi Records - when the first integrated generations, raised on Sun 45s, started waxing their own sounds. And it follows Memphis even into contemporary times, through Big Star's adventures at Ardent Records, the difficult revival of Beale Street, and the birth of the House of Blues. There is triumph and tragedy here, and much in between - from the stalwart presence of lifelong musicians like Gus Cannon and Furry Lewis, through the horrific accident that killed Otis Redding, the Bar-Kays, and years and years of musical dreams.