Peter Furlong

In the Days of Naismith

Jan 4, 2016

The NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament is arguably the greatest sporting event in the country. Conducted in mid-March, the top 68 college teams compete at fourteen different sites over a three-week period to determine a national champion. In the book March 1939: Before the Madness, sportswriter Terry Frei of the Denver Post surveys the year 1939—the geopolitical events leading up to World War II, the major cultural events, and most exhaustively the first NCAA tournament; unmistakably, this book is about college hoops.

Singer as Perceived: New Billie Holiday Biography

Sep 30, 2015

With this book, “Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth,” John Szwed gives us an intelligent analysis of both the music of Billie Holiday and the life she and co-author William Dufty described in the memoir, “Lady Sings the Blues.” This is not “just another” Holiday biography, so expect serious unearthing of documented achievement in artistic settings; the accounts of poverty, prostitution, racism, and addiction are to be found elsewhere.

In his new memoir, It’s a Long Story: My Life, Willie Nelson portrays himself as Texas outlaw, rebel, and anti-establishment musician with an enduring professional integrity. He began as a country blues guitar picker and aspiring songwriter. His singing was applauded by the locals in the Texas roadhouses and juke joints, and his friends said he had written some great songs. However, Nashville record companies rejected him.

Book Review: Herbie Hancock - In the Moment

Apr 9, 2015

In this book, Possibilities, by Herbie Hancock, the words seem to flow as the author’s music career has evolved—smoothly and naturally. Herbie’s musical talent was apparent at age eleven, when he won a contest right to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. An early aptitude for understanding technical material and analysis, plus joy in taking things apart, foretold a career in engineering. His practical parents used an uncle’s South Chicago address in the Hyde Park High School district to qualify him a place at a desired school. His classes were easy.

Book Review: Santana - Pioneering Latin Rock

Feb 27, 2015

As I work through the autobiography of any rock guitarist, (e.g. Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, and now Carlos Santana), I speculate on the actual writing involvement of the subject.

In this memoir, The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light, journalist Ashley Kahn and tour companion/musician Hal Miller headline the “Acknowledgements” page.

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