Souled American by Kevin Phinney
How Black Music Transformed White Culture

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From Jim Crow to Eminem, white culture has been transformed
by black music. To be so influenced by the boundless
imagination of a race brought to America in chains sets
up a fascinating irony, and Souled American, an ambitious
and comprehensive look at race relations as seen through
the prism of music, examines that irony fearlessly—with
illuminating results. Tracing a direct line from plantation field
hollers to gangsta rap, author Kevin Phinney explains how
blacks and whites exist in a constant tug-of-war as they
create, re-create, and claim each phase of popular music.
Meticulously researched, the book includes dozens of exclusive
celebrity interviews that reveal the day-to-day struggles
and triumphs of sharing the limelight. Unique, intriguing,
Souled American should be required reading for every
American interested in music, in history,
or in healing our country’s troubled
race relations.

• Combines social history and pop culture
to reveal how jazz, blues, soul, country,
and hip-hop have developed

• Includes interviews with Ray Charles,
Willie Nelson, B. B. King, David Byrne,
Sly Stone, Donna Summer, Bonnie Raitt,
and dozens more

• Confronts questions of race and finds
meaningful answers

• Ideal for Black History Month

About Kevin Phinney

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Kevin Phinney, anentertainmentjournalist based inAustin, has writtenfor the Austin American-Statesman,Premiere magazine,and the HollywoodReporter. Currently, heis cohost of KGSRFM’smorning drive-time program, Kevin & Kevin.
Published September 1, 2005 by Billboard Books. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Souled American

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Musicians have always borrowed from their forebears, and white musicians have borrowed a hell of a lot from blacks.

Jun 15 2005 | Read Full Review of Souled American: How Black Mu...

Publishers Weekly

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Analyzing Nat King Cole's singing style and how it made him "one of the first modern artists to 'cross over' from black to white popularity," Phinney recounts how Cole, only months before the premiere of his 1956–1957 NBC television show, was assaulted onstage in Birmingham, Ala., by five white ...

Jun 27 2005 | Read Full Review of Souled American: How Black Mu...

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