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B. B. King: There Is Always One More Time

Overview

(Book). The Lives in Music series meshes biography with discography. This debut title profiles the legendary King of Blues, B.B. King. An opening essay charts his life from childhood in the Mississippi Delta up to his first studio session. The author then takes an inside look at his distinguished career, album by album, offering a critical appraisal of each recording and a portrait of the making of each album. First-hand interviews with B.B. King, as well as producers, engineers, arrangers, and key musicians, bring these sessions to life and
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Overview

(Book). The Lives in Music series meshes biography with discography. This debut title profiles the legendary King of Blues, B.B. King. An opening essay charts his life from childhood in the Mississippi Delta up to his first studio session. The author then takes an inside look at his distinguished career, album by album, offering a critical appraisal of each recording and a portrait of the making of each album. First-hand interviews with B.B. King, as well as producers, engineers, arrangers, and key musicians, bring these sessions to life and provide readers a context for understanding B.B. King's recordings in light of his career and life events that shaped them. This definitive book also incudes a complete history of every B.B. King session.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
If any one artist embodies the blues for millions of music lovers around the world, it’s B. B. King. As of 2005, the year he turned 80, King was as consistent as ever, touring and recording with undiminished power. No blues artist has had such a long and productive career -- King hasn’t left the road for any extended time since he broke onto the scene in 1951 -- and therein lies the potential problem. The man has made so many albums, touching on so many aspects of the blues, that delving into his voluminous catalog poses a daunting challenge even for blues aficionados. Dave McGee’s comprehensive survey of King’s recording career comes straight to the rescue. An ace music journalist with a deep affection for American roots music, McGee not only examines each of King’s albums, he places King’s artistic career in the context of the blues genre as a whole. In other words, you learn everything you ever wanted to know about B.B., while also getting an introduction to the brilliant work of such influential blues figures as Bukka White, Muddy Waters, and T-Bone Walker, as well as R&B greats including Sam Cooke and Ray Charles, among many others.

Eliciting cogent commentary from such important King collaborators as producers Bill Szymczyk and Stewart Levine, McGee focuses on the details of significant recording sessions, providing a fuller picture of King’s artistic methods than we have ever have had before. A fair and astute critic, McGee acknowledges King’s failures as well as his triumphs. (A concluding “buyer’s guide” nails down McGee’s favorites.) Interspersed with King’s own comments, culled from earlier interviews, There Is Always One More Time opens the door to a monumental recording catalog while also sketching an enlightening portrait of a timeless American musical genius. Steve Futterman

Southland Blues
Never have I read any book on a musician's body of work that was so complete.
Blues & Rhythm Magazine
“There Is Always One More Time" is the first volume of Lives in Music, a new series of books from Backbeat that seeks to produce volumes that mesh biography with discography. If this one is an example of what is to follow, then they’re on a winner…the book is a well-written, occasionally fascinating and critically important document for anyone interested in King’s work or in the plethora of absorbing facts that accompany his life. …this is a valuable contribution to blues literature.
Library Journal
[C]oncentrates on King's music, tracing the influence of early artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, and Jimmie Rodgers on the budding blues singer. Subsequent chapters cover the different record labels and recording periods in King's long career. In exhaustive and enticing detail, McGee includes interviews and insights with key record producers...
Library Journal
B.B. King is considered by many to be the predominant blues artist of the post-World War II era, so it is only natural that his life has been chronicled thoroughly (see King's Blues All Around Me and Sebastian Danchin's Blues Boy). In this first volume of Backbeat's "Lives in Music" series, McGee (Go, Cat, Go!: The Life and Times of Carl Perkins, the King of Rockabilly) does not attempt to join those ranks. Instead, he concentrates on King's music, tracing the influence of early artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, and Jimmie Rodgers on the budding blues singer. Subsequent chapters cover the different record labels and recording periods in King's long career. In exhaustive and enticing detail, McGee includes interviews and insights with key record producers, including Bill Szymczyk and Stuart Levine; he also surveys in depth several classic albums, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses. And since only hard-core fans will seek out all of these albums, McGee includes a helpful section at the book's end that rates and compares greatest hits packages and anthologies. Recommended for academic libraries and larger libraries with comprehensive blues collections. [See also B.B. King's The B.B. King Treasures, left.-Ed.]-Bill Walker, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879308438
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 354
  • Sales rank: 980,405
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Barbara Ehrenreich

Barnes & Noble.com: Bait and Switch is the follow-up to your bestselling book Nickel and Dimed. Why did you decide to turn your focus towards the white-collar unemployed?

Barbara Ehrenreich: Since writing Nickel and Dimed, I've gotten hundreds of letters from people in poverty. A lot of the people I've been hearing from don't fit the profile of the "unskilled," undereducated, low-wage person. They're college educated and, in most cases, were doing well until they lost their jobs, usually due to downsizing or outsourcing. I think I shared the common belief that if you're college educated, hardworking, and not a crack addict, you're pretty much set for life. So hearing from former white-collar, middle-class people who are facing destitution made me curious -- and concerned. I decided to investigate.

B&N.com: Did you think finding a corporate job would be as hard as it turned out to be?

BE: I knew it would be hard. I just didn't know how hard. I had certain disadvantages -- like being middle aged and lacking corporate contacts -- so I don't pretend my experience was typical. On the other hand, though, my age didn't show in my fake resume (coaches advise you to omit any experience from more than ten years ago), and people who had plenty of corporate contacts from previous jobs didn't seem to be doing so well either.

B&N.com: You wind up spending a lot of time dealing with "career coaches." Are they on the level, or are they preying on the vulnerable?

BE: Since the mid-'90s, a whole industry has sprung up to help -- or, depending on your point of view, prey upon -- white-collar job seekers. The "professional" coaches in this business are usually entirely unlicensed and unregulated. Some gave me what seemed at the time very useful advice -- e.g., on how to improve my resume. But others ranged from merely annoying to seriously whacked out. Like the guy who illustrated his "lessons" with Wizard of Oz dolls and advised me, on the basis of a personality test, that I am not suited to be a writer.

B&N.com: How much is the current outsourcing trend affecting the plight of the middle-class job seeker?

BE: A lot -- middle-class job seekers are unemployed because of outsourcing. I heard of people who'd been forced to train their (usually Indian) replacements before being laid off, which is like being forced to dig your own grave before you're shot.

B&N.com: Is going undercover at all fun, or just really hard work?

BE: It was more fun when I was working on Nickel and Dimed. The work was physically exhausting, but I enjoyed the camaraderie of my co-workers. A lot of them were funny, bright, and very generous. In contrast, my fellow white-collar job seekers in this project often seemed depressed, withdrawn, and guarded. But the worst of it was that I had to try to fake the attitude and personality that are universally recommended to white-collar job seekers: upbeat, always positive, perky, and "likeable." This did not feel at all natural to me or to many of the job seekers I met. Nor is it easy to "sell yourself" as if you were some sort of commodity.

B&N.com: Was it difficult to have to suck up to the corporations you're usually investigating?

BE: Ha -- good question! The answer is yes, but fortunately a lot of the coaching you get is really training in how to suck up. For example, I was told that if you read a flattering article about some executive you should write him or her a sycophantic little note about how impressed you are -- in fountain pen, on expensive stationery -- and request 20 minutes of his time to learn more about his brilliant career. You should also be fully suited up even on weekends and, if you are lucky enough to meet a potential networking contact, prepared to grovel.

B&N.com: How has the Internet affected the job-search experience?

BE: You'd think it would make job searching easy. You post your resume on the numerous job sites and wait for a potential employer to notice you. And wait, and wait…because no matter how spiffy your resume is, it's competing for attention with thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of others. Then I found out that big companies don't even bother having someone read resumes posted on the job sites; they have computer programs to scan the resumes for "key words," and who knows what they are?

B&N.com: What was the biggest surprise you encountered along the way?

BE: What surprised me most, right from day one of my job search, was the surreal nature of the job-searching business. For example, everyone, from corporations to career coaches, relies heavily on "personality tests" that have no scientific credibility or predictive value. What does "personality" have to do with getting the job done, anyway? There's far less emphasis on skills and experience than on whether you have the prescribed upbeat and likable persona. I kept wondering: Is this any way to run a business?

I was also surprised -- and disgusted -- by the constant victim blaming you encounter among coaches, at networking events for the unemployed, and in the business advice books. You're constantly told that whatever happens to you is the result of your attitude or even your "thought forms" -- not a word about the corporate policies that lead to so much turmoil and misery.

B&N.com: What's the fate of all the middle-class unemployed who can't get jobs? Did you start to relate to them?

BE: After losing a job, the first thing people do is cut back on their expenses -- eliminating "luxuries" like cable TV, meals out, vacations, and movies. As their savings, if any, shrink, they may have to sell their homes and move into a smaller place or with their parents. Eventually, most end up having to take what white-collar people call a "survival job": working in a big-box store, for example, at seven or eight dollars an hour. That may be where they get stuck, because the survival job interferes with the search for a more appropriate one. Wal-Mart, or wherever you're employed, doesn't give time off for you to go to interviews. And of course a low-wage job isn't something you want to put on your resume.

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