Peter Furlong

NBA's Bill Walton: "Back from the Dead" | Book Review

Oct 31, 2016

For teenager Bill Walton, the music (The Grateful Dead, Dylan, Neil Young, etc.) he was hearing and basketball he was playing became one. He explains, “. . .  guys start playing and figuring things out . . . It all rolls into one.  A wonderful thing about basketball is that on every one of your trips up or down the floor you have an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the outcome of the game. It’s the same with music.

Mingus Ahem! New biography reviewed

Apr 8, 2016

In this new biography, Better Git It in Your Soul, author Krin Gabbard expresses gratitude for the Mingus biographers who supplied him with much source material—Brian Priestly (1982), Gene Santoro (2000), and Sue Graham Mingus (2002). And thank you to Charles Mingus, the author of maybe the most sensational jazz memoir ever, Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus (1971). Adding to the instrumental music and his novelistic memoir, Charles also wrote poetry—not well-known, but equally stirring.

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.

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