Pictures from Life’s Other Side



Ever since attending the “Celebration for Young Americans,” Lee Atwater’s Rhythm and Blues Presidential Ball, in 1989, I have been meaning to write about it. I kept extensive notes at the time (I mean, it was such an amazing experience!), and I always thought I would include it, under the title “My Adventures Among the Republicans,” in the anthology I’m still planning to

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Guest Blogger: Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed on Roscoe Robinson


photo by George Korval


The first time I heard Eli play, he was doing impassioned versions of Elmore James songs, with wild slide guitar and heartfelt (but very young – he was only 18 or 19) vocals.

The next time I saw him, his playing was just as impassioned, but his singing was of an entirely different order. He explained how it had

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Jan 15, 2014: PG at The Grammy Museum

A Conversation With Peter Guralnick

Doors: 7 PM

Admission is free; reservations required. Members receive priority seating. To reserve your seats, please e-mail

Peter Guralnick has been called “a national resource” by critic Nat Hentoff for work that has argued passionately and persuasively for the vitality of this country’s intertwined black and white musical traditions.  Books by Guralnick include the prize-winning two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love. Of the first Bob Dylan wrote, “Elvis steps from the pages. You can feel him breathe. This book cancels out all others.” He won a GRAMMY Award for his liner notes for Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club and wrote and coproduced the documentary Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll as well as writing the scripts for the GRAMMY-winning documentary Sam Cooke/Legend and Martin Scorsese’s blues documentary Feel Like Going Home. He is also a recent inductee in the Blues Hall of Fame. Other books include an acclaimed trilogy on American roots music, Sweet Soul Music, Lost Highway, and Feel Like Going Home; the biographical inquiry Searching for Robert Johnson; and the novel, Nighthawk Blues. His latest book, Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke, has been hailed as “monumental, panoramic, an epic tale told against a backdrop of brilliant, shimmering music, intense personal melodrama, and vast social changes.” He is currently working on a biography of Sam Phillips.  Please join us in the Clive Davis Theater as we help celebrate the release of two enhanced e-books, Feel Like Going Home and Lost Highway. Guralnick will speak about his writing career and will take questions from the audience.

Guest Blogger: Mr. C on Al Green

I met Joe McEwen (a/k/a Mr. C) in 1970 when Jake and Alexandra and I were selling tickets to a Lightnin’ Hopkins concert at the door. Jake was 2, and Joe was 18 or 19. “Did you mean what you said in that Solomon Burke article you wrote in Rolling Stone?” Joe said, without bothering to introduce himself. “Yes,” I said. We’ve been friends ever since.

Recently Joe came across this amazing Al Green clip and dropped by to tell us about it.

— PG 


Mr C:

Al Green didn’t share peanut butter sandwiches with his grade school classmates.  I’ve always been a loner,” he tells interviewer Ellis Haizlip. 

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