Searching for: "David Ritz"

  • David Ritz

    “Number One” was a phrase my father—and, for that matter, my mother—repeated time and time again. It was a phrase spoken by my parents’ friends and by their friends’ children. Whenever adults discussed the great Chinese painters and sculptors from the ancient dynasties, there was always a single artist named as Number One. There was the Number One leader of a manufacturing plant, the Number One worker, the Number One scientist, the Number One car mechanic. In the culture of my childhood, being best was everything. It was the goal that drove us, the motivation that gave life meaning. And if, by chance or fate or the blessings of the generous universe, you...read more

  • David Ritz

    From Paul Shaffer, lifelong music junkie, hipster, and longtime leader of David Letterman's band, comes a candid, endearing, hilarious, and star-studded memoir of a life in-and love of-show business.How does a kid go from a remote Canadian town at the tip of Lake Superior to the bright lights of Broadway and a gig leading the band on Letterman? This book is Paul Shaffer's answer to that question. From playing seedy strip joints in Toronto, to his first legitimate job out of college-which found him working with future stars (and friends) Gilda Radner, Martin Short, and Eugene Levy-to being first musical director of the nascent Saturday Night Live and helping to form the Blues Brothers, to...read more

  • David Ritz

    Show biz memoir at its name-dropping, bridge-burning, profane best: the music industry’s most outspoken, outrageous, and phenomenally successful executive delivers a rollicking memoir of pop music’s heyday. During the 1970s and '80s the music business was dominated by a few major labels and artists such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor. They were all under contract to CBS Records, making it the most successful label of the era. And, as the company’s president, Walter Yetnikoff was the ruling monarch. He was also the most flamboyant, volatile and controversial...read more

  • David Ritz

    In this intimate biography of the Prince of Soul, David Ritz provides a candid look at a star and a friend. Ritz had been collaborating with Marvin Gaye on his story for several years before the singer's tragic death and had conducted a series of extraordinary interviews in which Gaye discussed his deepest secrets. What emerges here is a full-scale portrait of a charming but tortured artist, a brilliant singer with a divided soul. Here is Marvin's story, from his early years in the slums of Washington, DC, to his rise to the top of the Motown industry, his fall from grace, his comeback, and finally his sudden, shocking end at the hands of his own father. But it is also the story of his...read more

  • David Ritz

    The definitive biography of the Queen of Soul from acclaimed music writer David Ritz. Aretha Franklin began life as the golden daughter of a progressive and promiscuous Baptist preacher. Raised without her mother, she was a gospel prodigy who gave birth to two sons in her teens and left them and her native Detroit for New York, where she struggled to find her true voice. It was not until 1967, when a white Jewish producer insisted she return to her gospel-soul roots, that fame and fortune finally came via 'Respect' and a rapidfire string of hits. She has evolved ever since, amidst personal tragedy, surprise Grammy performances, and career reinventions. Again and again, Aretha...read more

  • David Ritz

    Ray Charles (1930–2004) led one of the most extraordinary lives of any popular musician. In Brother Ray, he reveals his life story unsparingly, from the chronicle of his musical development to his heroin addiction to his tangled romantic life. Overcoming poverty, blindness, the loss of his parents, and the pervasive racism of the era, Ray Charles was acclaimed worldwide as a genius by the age of thirty-two. By combining the influences of gospel, jazz, blues, and country music, he invented, almost single-handedly, what became known as “soul.” And throughout a career spanning more than a half century, Ray Charles remained in complete control of his life and his music,...read more

  • David Ritz

    A perfect Christmas gift for music lovers, Pretty Paper is Willie Nelson’s inspiring Christmas fable, based on his holiday classic “Pretty Paper.”   More than fifty years ago, Willie Nelson’s beloved Christmas song “Pretty Paper” first hit the airwaves. And for all these years, Willie has wondered about the real-life Texas street vendor, selling wrappings and ribbons, who inspired his song. Who was this poor soul? What did his painful trials say about our loves, our hopes, our dreams in this holiday season—and in the rest of our lives? It’s the early sixties and Willie Nelson is down and out, barely eking out a living as a...read more

  • David Ritz

    Tip Harris, better known as Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling hip-hop artist and actor T.I., is at the top of his game. Now he displays yet another side of his remarkable talents with Power & Beauty, a love story of life on the streets. Set in the dangerous shadows of Atlanta, Georgia, Power & Beauty is a dark, gritty story of sex, violence, hustling, and redemption centered around Paul “Power” Clay and Tanya “Beauty” Long—two kids facing long odds and lethal temptations, yet whose miraculous, unbreakable bond ultimately becomes their salvation. A love story, a crime story, a survival story, Power & Beauty bristles with an electrifying authenticity born of Tip...read more

  • David Ritz

    According to Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy is the greatest blues guitarist of all time. An enormous influence on these musicians as well as on Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, he is the living embodiment of Chicago blues. Guy’s epic story stands at the absolute nexus of modern blues. He came to Chicago from rural Louisiana in the fifties—the very moment when urban blues were electrifying our culture. He was a regular session player at Chess Records. Willie Dixon was his mentor. He was a sideman in the bands of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. He and Junior Wells formed a band of their own. In the sixties, he became a recording...read more

  • David Ritz

    Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist, producer, and actor T.I. proved himself a powerful storyteller as well with the publication of his debut novel Power & Beauty. Now he follows up with his second riveting street-lit epic, Trouble & Triumph. T.I.’s explosive sequel picks up the story of Paul “Power” Clay and Tanya “Beauty” Long, as Power takes over his mentor-turned-arch-enemy’s street empire, looking to turn it legit, while Beauty rises ever-higher in a glamorous world of fashion and celebrity. An authentic voice of the street, in the vein of Sistah Souljah and other successful authors of contemporary African-American commercial fiction, T.I. is a rap music legend who has...read more

  • David Ritz

    A riveting cautionary tale about the ecstasy and dangers of loving Marvin Gaye, a performer passionately pursued by all—and a searing memoir of drugs, sex, and old school R&B from the wife of legendary soul icon Marvin Gaye. After her seventeenth birthday in 1973, Janis Hunter met Marvin Gaye—the soulful prince of Motown with the seductive liquid voice whose chart-topping, socially conscious album What’s Going On made him a superstar two years earlier. Despite a seventeen-year-age difference and Marvin’s marriage to the sister of Berry Gordy, Motown’s founder, the enchanted teenager and the emotionally volatile singer began a scorching relationship. One moment Jan was a high...read more

  • David Ritz

    A powerful chronicle of the sixteen weeks leading up to King of Pop Michael Jackson's death. Michael Jackson's final months were like the rest of his short and legendary life: filled with deep lows and soaring highs, a constant hunt for privacy, and the pressure and fame that made him socially fragile and almost -- ultimately -- unable to live. With the insight and compassion that he brought to his bestselling story of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s final year, Tavis Smiley provides a glimpse into the superstar's life in this emotional, honest, yet celebratory book. Readers will witness Jackson's campaign to recharge his career -- hiring and firing managers and advisors, turning to and...read more