Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke Paperback – 2 Nov 2006
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Guralnick is the paramount historian of American vernacular music (New Yorker)
Masterly ... Guralnick captures [Cooke's] turbulent times as adroitly as he celebrates his brief, brilliant life (Sunday Telegraph)
The definitive account of one of soul's greatest figures by one of the the great music writers of our time.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Be warned that the Sam Cooke who emerges in these pages is not a wholly likeable character, though if he seems more elusive than Guralnick's earlier subject that is, perhaps, intrinsic to the man rather than any failing on the author's part. His widow, Barbara, features prominently: a childhood sweetheart whom he eventually married in order not to lose his daughter to another man, she seems to have been the victim of the introspection and anger concealed from others in his compartmentalised life. A frequent theme of many, less close, interviewees is the charm he exerted which made them feel the sole focus of his attention during a conversation, though many seem to stumble when trying to define that appeal more precisely.
This is not a sensational book, though it doesn't flinch from describing Cooke's sexual adventures. But finally it's the music that is left and it's clear that Cooke, despite his boundless professional self-assurance, was always pushing himself, always trying to develop further.Read more ›
I still enjoyed the read but felt the last chapters were rushed almost to the point were they let the rest of the book down.
Once again Guralnick seamlessly weaves together a chronological, extremely detailed account of all Sam's tours, recording sessions, financial dealings etc etc with comments from his friends, backing musicians, music industry players and other stars. For a book about a `mere pop singer' this is as scholarly and well-researched as any biography of a politician or author. Although I've read many accounts of R&B stars on the chitlin' circuit (and with his crossover into secular music that is what the early part of Cooke's pop career became) what was a real revelation to me were the stories of his tours on the gospel circuit and how these differed from the pop tours, and how they were the same - groupies! Sam's climb to success in the late 50s and early 60s also coincided with the fight for civil rights and that fight, and Sam's involvement in the movement, is also clearly evoked in the book.Read more ›
the author opens the curtains on the beginning of rock & roll. Through Sam's early years with The Soul Stirrers and the gospel scene up to his solo career in LA
we are introduced to many of the characters who shaped the music industry and also to many of it's early stars.As soon as I finished the book I started again from the beginning, anybody who loves black music or rock & roll or is interested in the history of both should read this beautifully written and researched work.
The best book I have ever read about music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an amazing book about an iconic singer. It is so well written, you feel transported into the era of gospel and r & b music. A totally absorbing read.Published 6 months ago by dorothy shortland
I cant put this book down! Its quite an epic read but that just makes it all the more enjoyable!Published on 12 Sept. 2013 by Samantha
Excellent read. Guralnick and David Ritz are probaly the best two music biographers. Guralnicks Sweet Soul Music is the best book I've ever read.Published on 3 Jun. 2013 by Barry L Dunsdon
Peter Guralnick knows how to tell the history of a life, and Dream Boogie is a well written account not just of Sam Cooke but of the history of popular music at perhaps its most... Read morePublished on 19 Aug. 2007 by Paul Rayson
2005 brought me two books I had been eagerly anticipating: Peter Guralnick's "Dream Boogie" and Erik Greene's "Our Uncle Sam". Read morePublished on 19 Mar. 2007 by Mrs. F. C. Currie