Peter Guralnick: Adventures in Music and Writing
(This is an online program.) Join American music critic and author Peter Guralnick as he discusses his half-century career writing on blues, country, soul, and early rock and roll. Widely considered one of the foremost historians of American “roots music,” 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.
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In this exclusive career-spanning conversation, Guralnick will discuss his writing process, how it has changed over time, and how it has stayed the same. He will also discuss his role and responsibilities in documenting some of the most recognizable music of the twentieth century from Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips, and Sam Cooke to Robert Johnson and less well-known figures like blues singer Robert Pete Williams and country music singer Dick Curless. This program is a must for fans of music and culture of 20th century America!
(More) About the Author:
Peter Guralnick’s books 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.” Ta-Nahisi Coates named Sweet Soul Music as “one of the ten books he couldn’t live without.” Guralnick won a Grammy for his liner notes for Sam Cooke: Live at the Harlem Square Club and wrote and co-produced 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. His biography of Sam Cooke, Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke, was hailed as “monumental, panoramic, an epic tale told against a backdrop of brilliant, shimmering music, intense personal melodrama, and vast social changes.” His 2015 biography of Sam Phillips, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll, was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the New York Times and was a finalist for the international Plutarch Award for Best Biography of the Year.
Of his latest book, Looking to Get Lost, Michael Eric Dyson wrote, “Peter Guralnick is one of the 3 or 4 greatest writers in the country today. His searching intelligence, his unquenchable curiosity, and his stunning scope of knowledge are all on display in this breathtaking volume.” Rosanne Cash meanwhile described Looking to Get Lost as the work of “a dedicated explorer, a writer of great sensitivity and intuition, who lyrically untangles the network that exists between artist and art, persona and humanity, rhythm and melody, the mortal desires that underscore it all, and, crucially and seamlessly, his own relationship to everyone and everything he contemplates.”
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