Words About The Music Of Our Lives

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Music -- it's everywhere, on the radio, in the grocery store, schools and churches. At some point in time, it touches our lives. You get to choose what kind you like, many or one; it's your choice. Isn't it interesting, when you hear a certain song, it evokes a certain memory -- first love, high school dance, a special moment. There is a song for each and every memory. Let's take a look at just a few of the kinds of music and the artists that have helped create the musical world as we know it.

"Magical Mystery Tours -- My Life With the Beatles" by Tony Bramwell. Tony Bramwell's life began in a post-war Liverpool suburb where he was a childhood friend with three of the Beatles long before they were famous. He offers fresh insights into the Beatles' childhoods and families, their early recordings and songwriting, the politics at Apple and Yoko's pursuit of John and her growing influence over the Beatles' lives. From the first to the last, and from scraps of song lyrics to the discovery of the famous Mr. Kite circus poster, Tony Bramwell really did see it all. The ultimate Beatles insider finally shares his own version of the frantic and glorious ascent of four boys from Liverpool lads to rock 'n' roll kings.

"Merle Haggard's My House of Memories, For the Record" with Tom Carter. A riveting account of Haggard's extremely turbulent and successful life. In a thrilling narrative, he takes us on several high-speed getaways from the California law. On his 19th birthday, we follow him inside San Quentin. As one of the industry's most respected artists, he still makes music for music's sake. He plays for several hours a day. He remains the inspiration for many young, aspiring country western singers. This book is an exciting and moving account of the tumultuous life of a songwriter singer, guitarist and arranger whose words have earned him international renown as the poet of the common man.

"Irving Berlin Songs from the Melting Pot: The Formative Years 1907-1914" by Charles Hamm. This book traces the early years of this most famous and distinctive songwriter. His first piece, "Marie from Sunny Italy" was written in 1907. "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in 1914 attracted more public attention than any other song of its decade. Berlin wrote four or five songs a week, many of which were discarded. He nevertheless published 190 songs between 1907 and 1914, an astonishing number considering that when Berlin arrived in America, he knew not a single word of English. Hamm shows how Berlin emerged from the vital and complex social and cultural scene of New York to begin his rise as America's foremost songwriter.

"Bebop -- A Social and Musical History" by Scott DeVeaux. What was Bebop? How did it happen? Who really created it? The mid-1940s is a crucial period for the history of jazz. During the years 1940-1945 the first modern jazz style, shaped by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and others, came into being. This music was known as Bebop, or simply Bop. The book concerns itself primarily with the question of origins. It devotes much of its attention to the period usually known as the Swing Era. It is a fascinating, provocative read for any jazz enthusiast.

"James Brown -- I Feel Good -- A Memoir of a Life of A Soul." "Please, Please, Please" was the cry that first established James Brown as the embodiment of a social and musical revolution. We travel with Brown from his childhood memories to his musical triumphs as he journeys from gospel to R&B to soul, and then, eventually, funk. Though the legend of James Brown is well covered on the albums on the Top 10 charts and in the tabloids, there remains a story beyond the mere chronology of events that has yet to be told. This is the story of James Brown the man, told as no one else ever could tell it -- in his own words.

Attention Kids between the ages of 7 and 17 years -- the Library "Spy Club Book Club" wants you to come join in the fun -- book talk, games, pizza and prizes are yours for the taking. Next meeting is from 2 to 3 p.m., April 12. For more information, come in and talk to Harryette Stanley.

Miss Emily Arnold presents another great young adult book review below:

"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Reviewed by Emily Arnold

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of the most unique books I have ever read. Robert Louis Stevenson truly had a great imagination to think of a story like this.

The story is told from the point of view of a lawyer named Mr. Utterson, who is a friend of Dr. Jekyll. Utterson tells how Jekyll is becoming more and more secluded and secretive, hiding things from everyone, even his own servants. Utterson is concerned about his friend, and tries to call on him many times, but in vain.

Later in the story, Utterson meets a small, strange man named Mr. Hyde. Utterson has a feeling that Hyde is not a good person, so he keeps his distance but is still curious about him. Then one night, a maid in a house in town witnesses the murder of a distinguished and well-liked man named Sir Danvers. It's pretty obvious who the murderer is, isn't it? Mr. Hyde. When Utterson learns of this, he tries to search out Hyde and find out as much as he can about him. After he finds out where Hyde lives and a few other small pieces of information about him, he discovers that Hyde is a close friend of Dr. Jekyll. This puzzles Utterson. Why would his good and kind friend be connected with such a horrible person like Mr. Hyde? Why is Jekyll avoiding everyone? Who is Hyde? If you want to find out, you'll have to read this book.

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