Benson: The Autobiography

Benson: The Autobiography

by George Benson, Alan Goldsher
     
 

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Over the course of his fifty-year career, George Benson has performed for hundreds of millions of fans around the world, received ten Grammy Awards, and recorded with some of the most revered musicians of his era. In 2011, he earned a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters Award. And he has finally decided to tell his story.

Benson: The Autobiography

Overview

Over the course of his fifty-year career, George Benson has performed for hundreds of millions of fans around the world, received ten Grammy Awards, and recorded with some of the most revered musicians of his era. In 2011, he earned a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters Award. And he has finally decided to tell his story.

Benson: The Autobiography follows the musician’s remarkable rise from the ghettos of Pittsburgh to the stages of Dubai, and everywhere in between. His tales of scuffling on the road with jazz legend Brother Jack McDuff, navigating his way through the recording studio with Miles Davis, and emerging as the first true (and truly successful) jazz/soul crossover artist will enthrall devotees of both music history and pop culture.

An open and truthful raconteur, Benson discusses his near-arrest for domestic abuse, the tragic illnesses that afflicted his family, the secret lives of his musical cohorts, and racism’s effect on his life and art. His long-awaited book allows readers to meet one of the most beloved, prolific, and bestselling musicians of any 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:
9780306822308
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
08/26/2014
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
598,328
File size:
5 MB

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


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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