Benson: The Autobiography by George Benson, Alan Goldsher | | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Benson: The Autobiography

Benson: The Autobiography

by George Benson, Alan Goldsher
     
 

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Over the span of his illustrious five-decade career, George Benson has sold millions of records, performed for hundreds of millions of fans, and cut some of the most beloved jazz and soul tunes in music history. But the guitarist/vocalist is much more than "This Masquerade," "On Broadway," "Turn Your Love Around," and "Give Me the Night." Benson is a flat-out

Overview

Over the span of his illustrious five-decade career, George Benson has sold millions of records, performed for hundreds of millions of fans, and cut some of the most beloved jazz and soul tunes in music history. But the guitarist/vocalist is much more than "This Masquerade," "On Broadway," "Turn Your Love Around," and "Give Me the Night." Benson is a flat-out inspiration, a multitalented artist who survived an impoverished childhood and molded himself into the first true—and truly successful—jazz/soul crossover artist. And now, on the heels of receiving the prestigious NEW Jazz Masters award, George has finally decided to tell his story. And what a story it is.

Benson: The Autobiography follows George's remarkable rise from the ghettos of Pittsburgh to the stages of South Africa, and everywhere in between. George Benson is an unparalleled storyteller, and his tales of scuffling on the Chitlin Circuit with jazz legend Brother Jack McDuff, navigating his way through the recording studio with Miles Davis, and performing with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Quincy Jones, Benny Goodman, Rod Stewart, Chaka Khan, Count Basie, and Lou Rawls will enthrall devotees of both music history and pop culture.

A treat for serious listeners, hardcore guitar aficionados, and casual music followers alike, George's long-awaited book allows readers to meet the man who is one of the most beloved, prolific, and bestselling musicians of his or any other era.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/18/2014
With a foreword by Bill Cosby, this memoir by guitarist and singer Benson is more than a mere rag-to-riches saga, but that of a determined young musician driven by ambition and professionalism to succeed on his own terms. Benson, a self-taught artist influenced by legend Charlie Christian, made his debut at age seven in 1950 in his native Pittsburgh, becoming a draw in local nightclubs and recording four sides for RCA Victor before 15. When the guitarist finally gets with the big boys, he falls under the spell of Brother Jack McDuff, a rowdy, soulful organist with an eye for talent, before signing with Columbia Records, later with the CTI label. One of the more interesting sections concerns his role of sideman to Miles Davis, jazz's Prince of Darkness, and the brilliant chaos of recording with the master trumpeter. Benson exceeded all his expectations when he had a string of smash albums and popular road shows in the late 70s, produced by the legendary Quincy Jones: "Breezing," "On Broadway," and "Give Me The Night." This inspiring memoir of a self-made jazz star is a story of hard work, endurance, and resilience in a quest to reach the top. (July)
From the Publisher
"George Benson has quite a story to tell, and I'm sure his life will be an inspiration to many. He's a formidable talent as a guitarist and singer, and the stories surrounding his rise to fame are quite intriguing."—Herbie Hancock

"For as long as I've known him—and we're talking over forty years—George Benson has demonstrated an uncanny ability to tell beautiful, exciting, interesting, musical stories with both his guitar and his singing, so it's no surprise that Benson: The Autobiography—a book that's been a long time coming—is full of beautiful, exciting, interesting, musical stories. To paraphrase George himself, this book will put you over the moon!"—Quincy Jones

"Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, entertainer: George Benson truly is a man of a thousand talents, each more wonderful than the last. And now you can add author to the list."—Al Jarreau

"The funny, colorful stories in George's wonderful memoir made me want to go and play some guitar and bass songs with him, just like in the old days."—Ron Carter

No Echo
“A perfect gift for the jazzbo in your life.”

The New York City Jazz Record, October 2014
“This is a breezy tome that reads with the elegant ease and straightforward earnestness of one of its author’s soulful guitar solos. Unsurprisingly, the jazz world’s best-known crossover artist presents his life story in an accessible, conversational manner akin to the relaxed delivery of his many Grammy Award-garnering vocalizations…insightful…entertaining….Benson: The Autobiography is fun from start to finish.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/28/14
“One might have expected Mr. Benson to focus primarily on his decades of stardom, touching only briefly on his roots. Fortunately for jazz and for Pittsburgh, it’s the other way around.”

Record Collector, December 2014
“An engaging read.”

Downbeat, December 2014
“It’s a breezy memoir…The book has a friendly, conversational tone throughout…fans who want to learn more about the career of one of jazz’s most popular artists will enjoy the ride.”

BackstageAxxess, 12/18/14
"Very well done and filled with amusing and informative anecdotes. Even if you don't know much about jazz, you'll come away with a greater sense and understanding of this important music.”

ARSC Journal, Fall/Winter 2015
“A light-hearted, anecdote-filled autobiography of the talented guitarist and vocalist…Enjoyable and informative.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306822292
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
08/26/2014
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
531,352
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

George Benson, a ten-time Grammy Award-winner and National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master, is one of the three bestselling jazz artists of all time. He lives in Arizona with his wife, Johnnie.

www.GeorgeBenson.com
Twitter: @GBguitar
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GeorgeBenson

Alan Goldsher is a music and culture writer and the author of eleven books. His music journalism has appeared in Bass Player and Guitar Player, and his sportswriting has been featured in ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, NBA.com, and ChicagoBulls.com. He lives in Chicago.

www.AlanGoldsher.com

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