Author: James McBride
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
National Book Award winner James McBride goes in search of the “real” James Brown after receiving a tip that promises to uncover the man behind the myth. His surprising journey illuminates not only our understanding of this immensely troubled, misunderstood, and complicated soul genius but the ways in which our cultural heritage has been shaped by Brown’s legacy. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR Kill ’Em and Leave is more than a book about James Brown. Brown’s rough-and-tumble life, through McBride’s lens, is an unsettling metaphor for American life: the tension between North and South, black and white, rich and poor. McBride’s travels take him to forgotten corners of Brown’s never-before-revealed history: the country town where Brown’s family and thousands of others were displaced by America’s largest nuclear power bomb-making facility; a South Carolina field where a long-forgotten cousin recounts, in the dead of night, a fuller history of Brown’s sharecropping childhood, which until now has been a mystery. McBride seeks out the American expatriate in England who co-created the James Brown sound, visits the trusted right-hand manager who worked with Brown for forty-one years, and interviews Brown’s most influential nonmusical creation, his “adopted son,” the Reverend Al Sharpton. He describes the stirring visit of Michael Jackson to the Augusta, Georgia, funeral home where the King of Pop sat up all night with the body of his musical godfather, spends hours talking with Brown’s first wife, and lays bare the Dickensian legal contest over James Brown’s estate, a fight that has consumed careers; prevented any money from reaching the poor schoolchildren in Georgia and South Carolina, as instructed in his will; cost Brown’s estate millions in legal fees; and left James Brown’s body to lie for more than eight years in a gilded coffin in his daughter’s yard in South Carolina. James McBride is one of the most distinctive and electric literary voices in America today, and part of the pleasure of his narrative is being in his presence, coming to understand Brown through McBride’s own insights as a black musician with Southern roots. Kill ’Em and Leave is a song unearthing and celebrating James Brown’s great legacy: the cultural landscape of America today. Praise for Kill ’Em and Leave “Thoughtful and probing . . . with great warmth, insight and frequent wit. The results are partisan and enthusiastic, and they helped this listener think about the work in a new way. . . . James McBride’s welcome elucidation . . . is clear, deeply felt and unmistakable.”—Rick Moody, The New York Times Book Review “[McBride] turns out to also be the biographer of James Brown we’ve all been waiting for. . . . McBride’s true subject is race and poverty in a country that doesn’t want to hear about it, unless compelled by a voice that demands to be heard.”—Boris Kachka, New York “The definitive look at one of the greatest, most important entertainers, The Godfather, Da Number One Soul Brother, Mr. Please, Please Himself—JAMES BROWN.”—Spike Lee “A feat of intrepid journalistic fortitude.”—USA Today “This is an important book about an important figure in American musical history and about American culture. . . . You won’t leave this hypnotic book without feeling that James Brown is still out there, howling.”—The Boston Globe “Illuminating . . . engaging.”—The Washington Post
Author: James McBride
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. In the days before the Civil War, a runaway slave named Liz Spocott breaks free from her captors and escapes into the labyrinthine swamps of Maryland’s eastern shore, setting loose a drama of violence and hope among slave catchers, plantation owners, watermen, runaway slaves, and free blacks. Liz is near death, wracked by disturbing visions of the future, and armed with “the Code,” a fiercely guarded cryptic means of communication for slaves on the run. Liz’s flight and her dreams of tomorrow will thrust all those near her toward a mysterious, redemptive fate. Filled with rich, true details—much of the story is drawn from historical events—and told in McBride’s signature lyrical style, Song Yet Sung is a story of tragic triumph, violent decisions, and unexpected kindness. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: James McBride
Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction Soon to be a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year “A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride.” –cover review of The New York Times Book Review “Outrageously entertaining.” –USA Today “James McBride delivers another tour de force” –Essence “So imaginative, you’ll race to the finish.” –NPR.org “Wildly entertaining.”—4-star People lead review "A boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel.” – Washington Post From the bestselling author of The Color of Water, Song Yet Sung, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography, comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive. Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859—one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride’s meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Fred Wesley
Publisher: Duke University Press
The legendary funk, soul, and jazz musician who played with James Brown moves from sideman to center stage in this loving tribute to a seminal but often overlooked force in American music. (Performing Arts)
Author: RJ Smith
The definitive biography of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, with fascinating findings on his life as a Civil Rights activist, an entrepreneur, and the most innovative musician of our time Playing 350 shows a year at his peak, with more than forty Billboard hits, James Brown was a dazzling showman who transformed American music. His life offstage was just as vibrant, and until now no biographer has delivered a complete profile. The One draws on interviews with more than 100 people who knew Brown personally or played with him professionally. Using these sources, award-winning writer RJ Smith draws a portrait of a man whose twisted and amazing life helps us to understand the music he made. The One delves deeply into the story of a man who was raised in abject-almost medieval-poverty in the segregated South but grew up to earn (and lose) several fortunes. Covering everything from Brown's unconventional childhood (his aunt ran a bordello), to his role in the Black Power movement, which used "Say It Loud (I'm Black and Proud)" as its anthem, to his high-profile friendships, to his complicated family life, Smith's meticulous research and sparkling prose blend biography with a cultural history of a pivotal era. At the heart of The One is Brown's musical genius. He had crucial influence as an artist during at least three decades; he inspires pity, awe, and revulsion. As Smith traces the legend's reinvention of funk, soul, R&B, and pop, he gives this history a melody all its own.
Author: James McBride
One of The New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2017 “A pinball machine zinging with sharp dialogue, breathtaking plot twists and naughty humor... McBride at his brave and joyous best.” —New York Times Book Review Exciting new fiction from James McBride, the first since his National Book Award–winning novel The Good Lord Bird. The stories in Five-Carat Soul—none of them ever published before—spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. They’re funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic—all told with McBride’s unrivaled storytelling skill and meticulous eye for character and detail. McBride explores the ways we learn from the world and the people around us. An antiques dealer discovers that a legendary toy commissioned by Civil War General Robert E. Lee now sits in the home of a black minister in Queens. Five strangers find themselves thrown together and face unexpected judgment. An American president draws inspiration from a conversation he overhears in a stable. And members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band recount stories from their own messy and hilarious lives. As McBride did in his National Book award-winning The Good Lord Bird and his bestselling The Color of Water, he writes with humor and insight about how we struggle to understand who we are in a world we don’t fully comprehend. The result is a surprising, perceptive, and evocative collection of stories that is also a moving exploration of our human condition.
Author: Geoff Brown
Publisher: Omnibus Press& Schirmer Trade Books
A biography of singer/songwriter James Brown comprising interviews with the singer and the people who knew him. The book is illustrated with rare photographs and includes a comprehensive discography.
Author: Maceo Parker
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Revealing the warm and astonishing story of an influential jazz legend, this personal narrative tells the story of a man’s journey from a Southern upbringing to a career touring the world to play for adoring fans. It tells how James Brown first discovered the Parker brothers—Melvin, the drummer, and Maceo on sax—in a band at a small North Carolina nightclub in 1963. Brown hired them both, but it was Maceo’s signature style that helped define Brown’s brand of funk, and the phrase “Maceo, I want you to blow!” became part of the lexicon of black music. A riveting story of musical education with frank and revelatory insights about George Clinton and others, this definitive autobiography arrives just in time to celebrate the 70th birthday of the author—one of the funkiest musicians alive—and will be enjoyed by jazz and funk aficionados alike.
Author: James McBride
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, Five-Carat Soul, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. The incredible modern classic that Oprah.com calls one of the best memoirs of a generation and launched James McBride’s literary career. Over two years on The New York Times bestseller list Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother's past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother. The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in "orchestrated chaos" with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. "Mommy," a fiercely protective woman with "dark eyes full of pep and fire," herded her brood to Manhattan's free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades, and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion—and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain. In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother's footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents' loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned. At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. "God is the color of water," Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life's blessings and life's values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth's determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University. Interspersed throughout his mother's compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.
Author: Damon Wood, Phil Carson
Publisher: ECW Press
A white rock ’n’ roll guitarist on stage with the Godfather of Soul In this unvarnished account of toiling under one of popular music’s most notorious bosses, Damon Wood details his six years spent playing guitar for James Brown’s Soul Generals. In a memoir certain to fascinate Mr. Dynamite’s millions of fans, as well as musicians and industry insiders, Wood recalls how a chance encounter with James Brown led him to embrace soul and funk music under the tutelage of its greatest progenitor. Numerous interviews with bandmates provide multiple perspectives on James Brown’s complex character, his leadership of his band, the nature of soul and funk, and insights and sometimes harsh lessons learned along the way. This is a sideman’s story of the gritty reality of working close to the spotlight but rarely in it. Damon Wood describes life on the road — often on James Brown’s infamous tour bus — with one guitar, a change of clothes, and two dozen comrades-in-arms as they brought the funk to clubs, theaters, and the biggest music festivals on earth. Working for James Brown could be fear-inducing, inspiring, exhilarating, and exasperating — all in the space of a single performance.
Author: James McBride
In a historical novel based on events at a small village in Tuscany during World War II, four African American soldiers from the 92nd Division, a band of partisans, and a young Italian boy come together to experience a miracle.
Author: Yamma Brown, Robin G. Fisher
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Being the child of a global superstar is never easy. Being the daughter of the Godfather of Soul—that’s a category unto itself. Like every little girl, Yamma Brown wanted her father’s attention, but fame, drugs, jail, and the complicated women in James Brown’s life set the stage for an uncommon childhood. Cold Sweat is about how Yamma rose to meet every challenge. Though packed with celebrity appearances ranging from Michael Jackson to Al Sharpton, Cold Sweat is not just a celebrity book. It focuses on an everyday issue faced by millions of women—domestic violence—and in this book Yamma faces it in an honest and powerfully moving way. Dealing with a complex and famous father eventually took a backseat to coping with her own abusive and deceitful marriage. Cold Sweat is about how Yamma got caught in the same trap as her mother, doing things in her adult life that, as a child, she’d promised herself she’d never do. But at the same time, Yamma learned valuable lessons about life from her father. The struggles she went through, both as a child and as an adult, make for a gripping read and, in the end, a profound examination of the nature of celebrity, violence, and survival.
Author: Hendrik Groen
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
A #1 international bestseller in the vein of Fredrik Bachman's A Man Called Ove: an irresistible, funny, charming, and tender-hearted tale about friendship, love, and an old man who is young at heart. "FUNNY AND FRANK...A STORY WITH A GREAT DEAL OF HEART."--Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of THE ROSIE PROJECT Technically speaking, Hendrik Groen is....elderly. But at age 83 1/4, this feisty, indomitable curmudgeon has no plans to go out quietly. Bored of weak tea and potted geraniums, exasperated by the indignities of aging, Hendrik has decided to rebel--on his own terms. He begins writing an exposé: secretly recording the antics of day-to-day life in his retirement home, where he refuses to take himself, or his fellow "inmates," too seriously. With an eccentric group of friends he founds the wickedly anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club--"Rule #3: No Whining Allowed"--and he and his best friend, Evert, gleefully stir up trouble, enraging the home's humorless director and turning themselves into unlikely heroes. And when a sweet and sassy widow moves in next door, he polishes his shoes, grooms what's left of his hair, and determines to savor every ounce of joy in the time he has left, with hilarious and tender consequences. A bestselling phenomenon that has captured imaginations around the world, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is inspiring, charming, and laugh-out-loud funny with a deep and poignant core: a page-turning delight for readers of any age.
Author: Walter Mosley
Publisher: Hachette UK
Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD's finest investigators until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault, a charge that lands him in the notorious Rikers Island prison. A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid by someone in the NYPD to frame him all those years ago, King realises that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of - and why. At the same time, King must investigate the case of black radical journalist Leonard Compton, aka A Free Man, accused of killing two on-duty police offices who had been abusing their badges to traffic drugs and women into the city's poorest neighbourhoods. In pursuit of justice, our hero must beat dirty cops and even dirtier bankers. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: Compton's, and King's own.
Author: James Sullivan
Documents the lesser-known story of the legendary soul performer's stirring Boston Garden concert in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, describing how he fought to prevent the concert's cancellation and his role in preventing riots in Boston. 25,000 first printing.