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
I’m giving a talk – well, it’s a conversation, really – on “How Waylon Jennings Changed My World” at the Country Music Hall of Fame on January 25.
This video shows some of the reasons why.
A Conversation With Peter Guralnick
Doors: 7 PM
Admission is free; reservations required. Members receive priority seating. To reserve your seats, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Al Green didn’t share peanut butter sandwiches with his grade school classmates. ”I’ve always been a loner,” he tells interviewer Ellis Haizlip.
An audio excerpt from my 1970 interview with Johnny Shines is included in the new enhanced e-book of Feel Like Going Home. Here’s a brief clip, with Johnny playing guitar as we talk, at the Hotel Diplomat in Boston’s South End.
Once you got past the brilliance of his music, the first thing that struck you about Johnny Shines was his resolve, his resolve and and a kind of invincible optimism that he could, that he would accomplish