On The Bookshelf: Doo-Wop, Diltz a Dreamgirl and more

By  Susan Sliwicki

CaliforniaDreaming.jpg“California Dreaming”: From its beautiful, gold-edged pages to its lovely leather binding, “California Dreaming” by Henry Diltz is clearly a book to be treasured.

But the real treasure lies within this 344-page volume: the rich color photographs of music stars that, literally, no photographer other than Diltz —a musician turned photographer — would’ve been able to capture.

While the breathtaking images are a beauty to behold, the commentary that accompanies them adds tremendous depth to what was captured on film. From America to Frank Zappa, the photos in this collection are basically the ABC’s of “who’s who” in the California music scene, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s.

Contributors who share their recollections include Bernie Leadon, Dan Fogelberg, Glenn Frey, Jackson Brown, Joni Mitchell, Michelle Phillips, Micky Dolenz, Robby Krieger, David Crosby and Ray Manzarek.

Adding to the book’s charm are handwritten notes and calendar entries, shown in Diltz’ distinctive penmanship. A gorgeous fold-out section showcases a selection of album covers Diltz has shot through the years for artists including The Eagles, The Doors, James Taylor and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. This coffee table book is one you’ll have a hard time putting down.

“California Dreaming” is available now via Genesis Publications’ Web site, www.genesis-publications.com.

(Hardcover, 344 pages, ?225 plus shipping and handling for limited edition; ?595 plus shipping and handling for deluxe edition, Genesis Publications, http://www.genesis-publications.com.)


DooWop.jpg“Doo Wop: The Music, The Times, The Era”: When it comes to doo-wop, “Cousin Brucie” Morrow is a renowned expert.

It comes as no surprise that his new book, “Doo Wop: The Music, The Times, The Era” would be a thorough —and loving — look at the music style he cherishes. For the first time, the radio legend — along with his friends Neil Sedaka and T.J. Lubinsky —bring the music, the era and the generation to life.

The text is well crafted, and the book itself is visually stunning. The pages teem with archival photography, posters, album covers, newspaper articles, magazine covers, lyrics and more.

Lavish illustrations with duotone and full-color imagery carry readers back in time to this period rich in cultural events and iconic performances.

“Doo Wop: The Music, The Times, The Era” is available now.
(Hardover with jacket, 352 pages, $24.95, Sterling Publishing Co., www.sterlingpublishing.com)


LostSupremeBook.jpg“The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard”: As one of the original members of the Supremes, Florence Ballard traveled the world in luxury, was celebrated by millions and hobnobbed with celebrities, royalty and other luminaries.

But by the time of her early death at 32, Ballard was a cautionary tale. She was living in obscurity in Detroit, struggling to support three children on her own. “The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard” by Peter Benjaminson is the personal account of Ballard, the spunky teen who founded and named the Supremes.

In the months leading up to her untimely death in 1976, Ballard told her side of The Supremes’ saga — and the captivating story of her life —to Benjaminson in a series of taped interviews. For the first time, Benjaminson shares Ballard’s revelations, in her own words. In addition to offering details about her early life (including the identify of the man who raped her when she was a young teen), Ballard recounts her bitter memories of battles among her, Diana Ross and Motown founder Berry Gordy over who would be The Supremes’ lead singer, and delves into Ballard’s ultimate ousting from the group she created.

“The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard” hits store shelves in April.

(Hardcover with jacket, 240 pages, $24.95, Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press, www.lawrencehillbooks.com/www.ipgbook.com)


Promote Tour Book.jpg“This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring: A Practical Guide to Creating, Selling, Organizing and Staging Concerts”: Concerts are part art and part party, but all business. So say authors Ray Waddell, Rich Barnet and Jake Berry in their new how-to volume. These experts walk readers through all of the aspects of the concert business, from creating a show to selling it, organizing and staging it.

Information on college shows, festivals, artist showcases, club gigs, arena shows and international tours is included, as well as tips on working with venues, hiring personnel, booking, promoting and marketing. “This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring: A Practical Guide to Creating, Selling, Organizing and Staging Concerts” is available on bookshelves now.

(Hardcover with jacket, 272 pages, $24.95, Billboard Books, www.watsonguptill.com)

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