Recommended Reading

September 1, 2007


Some of my music related book collection.

These are some of the great music related books in my personal library. I recommend them all to any old school soul music lover, especially those interested in the beginnings of Motown.

I will update the list as I make new purchases and/or organize my library of books that are not on shelves.

  • Abbott, Kinglsey, ed. Calling Out Around the World: a Motown Reader. London: Helter Skelter, 2001.
  • Aronson, Virginia. The History of Motown. First ed. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2001.
  • Benjaminson, Peter. The Lost Supreme – The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard. First ed. Chicago: Larence Hill Books, 2008. pgs. xiii-213.
  • Bond, Marilyn, and S R. Boland. The Birth of the Detroit Sound 1940 to 1964. Autographed First ed. Chicago: Arcadia, 2002.
  • Brown, Ashley, ed. and Michael Heatley, ed. The Motown Story. Reprinted ed. 1985. London: Orbis. 1981
  • Buckley, Gail Lumet. The Hornes: an American Family. New York and Scarborough, Ontario: Plume, 1986. 262 pgs. “In this intimate history, her daughter writes the story not only of Lena Horne’s dramatic life and career, but also the story of the Horne family of Brooklyn …”
  • Clapton, Eric. Clapton – The Autobiography. First ed. New York: Broadway Books, 2007. pgs. 1-343.
  • Cox, Ted. The Temptations. First ed. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1997.
  • Dahl, Bill. Photos by Weldon A. McDougal III, Motown: The Golden Years. First ed. Iola: Krause Publications, 2001.
  • Davis, Sharon. Marvin Gaye: I Heard It Through the Grapevine. 2000 ed. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1991.
  • Davis, Stephen. Bob Marley. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1985.
  • DeBarge, Bunny. The Kept Ones. First ed. autographed., 2008.
  • DeBarge, Etterlene. Other Side of the Pain. First ed. Self-Published: visit for more information, 2007.
  • Edmonds, Ben. What’s Going on?: Marvin Gaye and the Last Days of the Motown Sound. 2002 ed. Edinburgh: Canongate, 2001.
  • Freeland, David. Ladies of Soul. First ed. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001. pgs. ix-232. Special thanks to blog reader, O.P., for suggesting this book on 1/31/08. I located the book, purchased it will remain a permanent addition to my personal library. It profiles the female soul singers that O.P. lists in his comment post below. Thanks again Q.P. I loved the book and highly recommend it.
  • Gaye, Frankie, and Fred E. Basten. Marvin Gaye, My Brother. First ed. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2003.
  • George, Nelson. Where Did Our Love Go: the Rise & Fall of the Motown Sound. First ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985.
  • Gordy, Berry. To Be Loved: the Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown. an Autobiography. First ed. New York: Warner Books, 1994.
  • Green, Al, and David Seay. Take Me to the River. First ed. New York: Harper Entertainment, 2000.
  • Guralnick, Peter. Dream Boogie:the Triumph of Sam Cooke. Autographed First ed. New York & Boston: Little Brown & Company, 2005.
  • Halperin, Ian. Unmasked: the Final Years of Michael Jackson. New York: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2009. Print. This book is a piece of undocumented, poorly written trash that was rushed out to capitalize on MJJ’s death. Don’t waste your money on it.
  • Henning, Shawn. Michael Jackson: The Book The Media Doesn’t Want You To Read. Bloomington, IN:Author House, 2009. This book was evidently hurridly written and published with an online publisher by a true MJJ fan. I feel his passion in his writing and his hurt and anger, but it is a bit disorganized and the poor grammar and spelling  are distractions. I found it while browsing
  • Holiday, Billy with William Duffy. Lady Sings the Blues. Popular Library Edition, 1958. 192 pgs. Complete and Unabridged. Published by arrangement of Doubleday edition Published July 1956
  • Houston, Cissy with Jonathan Singer. How Sweet the Sound: My Life with God and Gospel. New York, NY 10036: Doubleday, 1998. 282 pgs. Foreword by Whitney Houston.
  • Jackson, La Toya, with Patricia Romanowski. La Toya: Growing Up in the Jackson Family. New York, NY: The Penguin Group, 1991. 261pgs.
  • Jacobs, George, and William Stadiem. Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra. First ed. New York: Harper Entertainment, 2003.
  • James, Etta with David Ritz. Rage To Survive: The Etta James Story. Da Capo Press, 2003.
  • Jesmer, Elaine. Number One with a Bullet. First ed. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1974.
  • Jones, Aphrodite. Michael Jackson Conspiracy. Lincoln, Neb.: ArphroditeJones, 2007. Print. Every MJJ critic needs to read this book to know and understand what this talent had to endure during his adult life. May he get the R.I.P. that eluded him in life.
  • Kluge, P. F. Eddie and the Cruisers. Reprint edition 2008. Woodstock and New York: The Overlook Press. Original 1980. I enjoy both of the cult-classic movies that were spawned form this book. Sure they might be corny but I love the musical soundtracks of both by The Beaver Brown Band. I bought the book as soon as I noticed it in film credits and rushed out to purchase it. Love the book and have to say that the films really don’t do the book justice IMHO. It’s a fast read I think you will enjoy.
  • Knight, Gladys. Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story. First ed. New York: Hyperion, 1997.
  • Labelle, Patti with Laura B. Randolph. Don’t Block the Blessings: Revelations of a Lifetime. New York, NY 10016: Riverhead Books, 1996. 305 pgs.
  • Love, Darlene and Rob Hoerburger. My Name is Love: the Darlene Love Story. First ed. New York: William Morrow & Co., Inc., 1998.
  • Montgomery, Ludie, and Vickie Wright. My Sister Tommie – the Real Tammi Terrell. First ed. New Romney: Bank House Books, 2005.
  • Nilsen, Per. Dance, Music, Sex, Romance – Prince: the First Decade. London: Firefly, 1999.
  • Posner, Gerald. Motown: Music. Money, Sex and Power. First ed. New York: Random House, 2002.
  • Reeves, Martha, and Mark Bego. Dancing in the Street: Confessions of a Motown Diva. First ed. New York: Hyperion, 1994.
  • Ribowsky, Mark. He’s a Rebel: Phil Spector, Rock and Roll’s Legendary Producer. New York: Cooper Square, 1989. 
  • Ridgley, John. A Conversation with the Mann – a Novel. First ed. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 2002.
  • Santiago, Eddie. Sly: the Lives of Sylvester Stewart and Sly Stone. [S.l.]:, 2008. Print.
  • Singelton, Raynoma Gordy. Berry, Me, and Motown: the Untold Story. First ed. Chicago: Contemporary Books, Inc., 1990.
  • Spector, Ronnie, and Vivian Waldron. Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness OR My Life as a Fabulous Ronette. First ed. New York: Harmony Books, 1990.
  • Taraborrelli, J. Randy. Call Her Miss Ross: the Unauthorized Biography of Diana Ross. First ed. New York: A Birch Lane P Book Published by Carol, 1989.
  • Taraborrelli, J. Randy. Diana Ross: A Biography. First ed. New York: Citadel Press Books published by Kensington Publishing Corp., 2007.
  • Taraborrelli, J. Randy. Motown: Hot Wax, City Cool & Solid Gold. First ed. Garden City: A Dolphin Book – Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1986
  • Turner, Steve. Trouble Man: the Life & Death of Marvin Gaye. Reprint 2000 ed. New York: The Eco P, 1998.
  • Turner, Tony, and Barbara Aria. All That Glittered: My Life with the Supremes. 1991 Paperback ed. New York: Onyx, 1990.
  • Turner, Tony, and Barbara Aria. Deliver Us From Temptation: the Tragic and Shocking Story of the Temptations and Motown. First ed. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1992.
  • Wald, Gayle F. Shout, Sister, Shout!: the Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007. i-252 pgs. This book was the pledge “gift” I received for my 2007 cash contribution to WPFW Pacifica Radio in Washington DC. A fantastic read about a remarkable woman!
  • Waller, Don. The Motown Story: The Inside Story of America’s Most Popular Music. First ed. New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1985
  • Warwick, Dionne with David Freeman Wooley. My Life, As I See It: An Autobiography. First ed. New York: Atria Books, 2010.
  • White, Timothy. Catch a Fire: the Life of Bob Marley. First ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1983.
  • Whithall, Susan. Women of Motown: an Oral History. Ed. Dave Marsh. First ed. New York: Avon Books, Inc., 1998.
  • Williams, Otis, and Patricia Romanowski. Temptations: Updated . First ed. New York: Cooper Square P, 2002.
  • Williams, Otis, and Patricia Romanowski. Temptations. New York: A Fireside Book by Simon & Schuster, 1988.
  • Wilson, Mary, and Patricia Romanowski. Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together. Autographed First ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1990.
  • Wilson, Mary, Patricia Romanowski, and Ahrgus Juilliard. Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme. Autographed First ed. New York: St. Martin’s P, 1986.
  • Wilson, Randall. Forever Faithful – a Study of Florence Ballard and the Supremes. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Renaissance Sound and Publications, 1999. pgs. i-87.
  • Wolff, Daniel, S R. Crain, Clifton White, and G. David Tenenbaum. You Send Me: the Life & Times of Sam Cooke. First ed. New York: Quill – William Morrow, 1995.

You can find most of these titles, new and/or used, at Amazon.Com

Thanks for reading.

Updated on 11/30/10. 03/09/10, 07/21/09, 12/29/08, 11/22/08, 02/28/08, 01/04/08, 09/09/07.


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