Dream Boogie by Peter Guralnick
The Triumph of Sam Cooke

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One of the most influential singers and songwriters of all time, Sam Cooke was among the first to blend gospel music and secular themes--the early foundation of soul music. He was the opposite of Elvis: a black performer who appealed to white audiences, who wrote his own songs, who controlled his own business destiny. No biography has previously been written that fully captures Sam Cooke's accomplishments, the importance of his contribution to American music, the drama that accompanied his rise in the early days of the civil rights movement, and the mystery that surrounds his death. Bestselling author Peter Guralnick tells this moving and significant story, from Cooke's childhood as a choirboy to an adulthood when he was anything but. With appearances by Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, James Brown, Harry Belafonte, Aretha Franklin, Fidel Castro, The Beatles, Sonny and Cher, Bob Dylan, and other central figures of this explosive era, DREAM BOOGIE is a compelling depiction of one man striving to achieve his vision despite all obstacles--and an epic portrait of America during the turbulent and hopeful 1950s and 1960s. The triumph of the book is the vividness with which Peter Guralnick conveys the astonishing richness of the black America of this era--the drama, force, and feeling of the story.

About Peter Guralnick

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Peter Guralnick has been called "a national resource" by Nat Hentoff for work that has argued passionately and persuasively for the vitality of this country's intertwined black and white musical traditions. His 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." Of the biography as a whole, the New York Times Book Review declared in a lead review, "It must be ranked among the most ambitious and crucial biographical undertakings yet devoted to a major American figure of the second half of the twentieth century." 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 by the San Fransisco Chronicle as "monumental, panoramic...an epic tale told against a backdrop of brilliant, shimmering music, intense personal melodrama, and vast social changes." He is currently at work on a biography of Sam Phillips.
Published December 2, 2008 by Back Bay Books. 772 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Elvis Presley's masterful biographer delivers a brilliant depiction of "Mr. Soul."

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Dream Boogie: The Triumph of ...

The Guardian

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Many in the gospel world were dismayed by Cooke's apostasy and Cooke himself had doubts, but it paid off when the ethereal "You Send Me" sold more than a million copies in 1957.

Dec 30 2005 | Read Full Review of Dream Boogie: The Triumph of ...

Bookmarks Magazine

… Dream Boogie is the widescreen epic that Cooke has always deserved, an evocation of a lost world, a truncated life, and the music that triumphantly managed to survive them both."

Aug 28 2007 | Read Full Review of Dream Boogie: The Triumph of ...

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