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Up All Night: My Life and Times in Rock Radio [Hardcover]

Carol Miller

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Book Description

25 Sep 2012

Carol Miller is indisputably America’s premiere female rock ’n’ roll disc jockey, as her well-deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame proves.

In her illuminating, fascinating, sometimes heartbreaking memoir, Up All Night, the legendary “Nightbird” tells the story of her colorful career—her rise to success in a male-dominated music industry; her close and personal dealings with rock royalty like Bruce Springsteen (whose music she first introduced to New York radio), Sir Paul McCartney, and Steven Tyler (whom she dated)—and details openly and honestly her battle against breast cancer for the very first time.

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“Radio legend Carol Miller…the sultry-voiced and still-fabulous airwaves icon…is a beloved veteran of…classic rock.” (New York Post)

“[Miller’s] voice drew a generation of teenage boys to their radios.” (New York Times)

From the Back Cover

The all-American chronicle of radio legend Carol Miller, from her rise to success in a male dominated world, to the rockstars she's know along the way, to, for the first time, the private story of her quietly waged battle with a deadly disease.

As one of the nation's top radio DJs, Carol Miller introduced the music of Bruce Springsteen to the New York airwaves, was on a first-name basis with Sir Paul McCartney, dated Steven Tyler, and has been recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her on-air approach and singular voice have influenced the sound of rock radio for more than four decades, and her satellite and syndicated Get the Led Out programs are heard nationwide.

In Up All Night, Carol spins the entertaining, moving, and revealing story of her life and times in rock radio and beyond. A nice Jewish girl from Queens, Carol was supposed to be a doctor or, at the very least, a lawyer. But hearing a doo-wop trio in the alley under her window changed the direction of her life forever: she fell in love with popular music.

As the tumult and excitement of the sixties rocked colleges across America, Carol—a biology major at the University of Pennsylvania—became an underground rock DJ at the campus radio station. Radio jobs in Philadelphia and New York City quickly followed, and Carol rose to the top of the profession. But even as she enjoyed a professional and personal life imbued with rock and roll glamour, Carol harbored guilt, disappointment, and alienation, believing she'd failed her traditional, intellectual Jewish parents and often feeling like an outsider in the very culture she had helped to create. The specter of an unnamed illness that had claimed many of her relatives' lives hung over hers as well, and she too would face a monumental challenge when diagnosed with breast and uterine cancer. Told in the distinctive voice that has charmed millions of listeners for decades, Up All Night is a frank, funny, and inspiring memoir. Offering snapshots of the rarefied world of pop music and the shifting social history of our times, it is as much a cultural chronicle as it is one woman's candid and moving story.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of New York's Radio Jewels....... 9 Sep 2012
By Scott F. Griffin - Published on Amazon.com
If you grew up in the 70's and 80's listening to FM rock radio in the New York area, then you will definitely enjoy this book. Carol Miller gives us a very welcome behind-the-scenes look at both college FM radio in Philly and big-time radio in New York.

Having gone to college way upstate in the late seventies, I can still remember how much I used to miss hearing Carol and her cohorts at WNEW and WPLJ when away at school. Towards the end of the long late-night rides home we would frantically turn the dial on the car radio until we finally got that strong FM rock signal tuned in just right. You never felt like you were home until you had Carol and that car radio at full blast.

From the book, I was struck by just how much FUN it must have been to be part of that whole rock scene in New York in those times. The backstage look at some of the absolute top rock and roll acts of the times is priceless.

Carol's achievements in New York FM rock radio, despite very serious health concerns, which she eloquently and poignantly describes in the book, should not be underestimated. There are few premiere rock stations in the city and only so many times slots available where you can actually get on the air and excel as Carol has in her career. The book is a fine chronicle of one of New York's radio jewels.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacking a direction, it goes nowhere 16 Sep 2012
By Judith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I should start off by saying I didn't know who Carol Miller was when I read the blurb about this book. I like rock & roll biographies, so I decided to try it. I was looking for insider insights into music personalities. By the time I finished the Kindle sample, I realized this was not that kind of book, but I was interested enough in this woman's life story to go ahead and buy the e-book. The book turned out to be a quick read, semi-enjoyable, but nothing special. In thinking about it for this review, I realized the book goes in too many directions, and thus doesn't complete any of the journeys.

As an insider's view of rock music, it doesn't offer anything new. Paul McCartney was a nice guy who really loved Linda, Springsteen stays close to his Jersey roots, Steve Tyler is childlike and crazy. Nothing new there. I wasn't looking for gossip and dirt, but I was hoping to see some personalities from a different perspective. It didn't happen.

Her discussion of her radio career was mostly about getting jobs, trying to keep them, getting fired after stations changed their format. I worked at W---, then they changed their format. I got fired, so I got a job at W---, etc. etc. I don't feel I know much more about the inner workings of radio after reading this book.

Ms. Miller grew up in a traditional New York, Jewish family. She sprinkles the book with lots of Yiddish words and talks about her culture. She had difficult relationships with her parents, especially with her father who was often verbally abusive. There could have been a book in that, but this angle is not fully explored. Ditto, her marriage to MTV VJ Mark Goodman. She takes some understandable potshots at him for his adultery, but mostly there is not a whole lot about the good times or the bad times of that marriage, and even less about her second marriage. I respect that people want to maintain their privacy, but in reading the book I wondered about the good times. I wondered how her fellow DJs felt about her being married to a VJ. It just seemed like more could have been said without getting too personal.

Another element of the book was her struggle with cancer that involved many surgeries and treatments. This could have been a whole book, but she doesn't go into it deeply, which was a wise choice. It wasn't meant to be a book centered on surviving cancer.

The one aspect of the book that I found most interesting was her thoughts on music. She had intriguing thoughts about music snobs who take themselves and their musical tastes too seriously. She suggests that there is nothing wrong with enjoying a silly, fun song. Unfortunately, these thoughts only take up a page or two. More thoughts on music would have improved the book.

I can't really recommend this book, except for readers who are fans of her radio work who want to know more about her.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Needs to be on audio 17 Sep 2012
By Terry Richardson - Published on Amazon.com
For a topic like radio the author needs to have it on audio also. Heard the author on an interview and the telling of the story helps create the picture.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting on many levels 16 Sep 2012
By Steve Stanley - Published on Amazon.com
Disclosure: I received a complimentary advance copy of this book with the expectation that I would provide an honest review.

I didn't know who Carol Miller was, and I don't know much about rock personalities, so everything she had to say about her work was new to me.

Interesting for:

First-hand stories about rock celebrities (she dated Paul Stanley of Kiss and Steve Tyler of Aerosmith)

Life as a teenager and college student in the 60s (she saw the Beatles in concert in New York, student protests)

She was a woman pioneer in a man's world (record nerds and radio DJs)

Insights into radio industry and rock programming

Tension between a socially conservative Jewish upbringing and life among pop culture trend-setters

The silence and ignorance of women's health issues before Our Bodies, Ourselves
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ya gotta love Carol Miller 27 Sep 2012
By TERRY MCDONALD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is an outstanding behind the scenes look at what we've grown up with for most of our lives, and who else better to tell it. Good job, Carol!
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