Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone (Volume 1)

The other day, DJ T. Michael Jordan sent us a line telling us about a brand new book coming out called "Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone?, Volume One":
A good friend of mine (Jeff March) co-wrote a just released book called “Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone.”  I thought the folks that populate this blog would be very interested.  Jeff has an extensive radio background, but left the industry several years ago to go into business for himself.  This is Volume One of what will be a series delving into the past history, and present lives of many of the super stars of the past.  Each chapter is dedicated to one of the “greats” from years gone by, with subsequent chapters about the individuals (if the target chapter is about a group) involved.  Others are singular chapters, if artist was a solo a performer.  All the details come from personal interviews with those involved.  I found it an excellent read.  Hopefully others in the group will, too.
Really love the blog and the website. 
T. Michael Jordan (Tom Nefeldt)
I talked with co-author Jeff March and asked if we might be able to share a few more details ... and maybe even a short excerpt from the book ... with our readers.
He was kind enough to send us the official press releases ... as well as the preface to the book (which will run on our site tomorrow.)  In addition, he let me know that GoogleBooks has assorted excerpts for display at http://books.google.com/
I think that most of our readers will find something of interest here ... so please take a moment to check this out!
Hello, Kent,
I am co-author of a new book titled "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1."
My friend Tom Nefeldt (T. Michael Jordan) told me that he told you about the book, and that you thought you might like to mention it to the followers of your Forgotten Hits website -- which is superb. I applaud you for helping to perpetuate memories of the recording artists and songs of the 1950s and '60s.
Tom said you would like some information about the book, and perhaps a segment to post as an excerpt. I'll paste our news release here to give you some background about the book. The news release contains links to an image of the cover, and to a photo of me and my co-author, Marti Childs; feel free to download and post either, if you wish. In a separate message, I'll e-mail the book's Preface section, which sets the tone for book and explains the contents. Excerpts of the book can be viewed at Google eBooks (http://books.google.com/). Google randomly extracted 10 percent of the contents of the book for display; we had no control over the choice of segments there.
Marti and I would like to thank you as well for helping us to keep these great musical memories alive through your website efforts.
Best regards,
Jeff March
"Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1"

Here's the official news release:
New book contains authorized firsthand accounts of the adult lives of 26 singers and musicians who recorded top hit songs in the late 1950s and ’60s
DAVIS, CALIF., U.S.A. (Aug. 5, 2011) -- A singer-songwriter who had been a member of America’s most successful and influential musical group of the late 1950s and early ’60s and wrote one of the biggest-selling songs of the 1960s revealed late in his life that he was bipolar. One ’60s era singer, who initially established himself as a rock-and-roller before re-emerging as a smooth balladeer, recently divulged a secret that not even his mother knew: as a youth, he had spent a night in jail. Another popular teenage heartthrob, who amassed 38 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1960s, hired a then-obscure backup piano player by the name of Elston Gunnn (with three n’s) -- who later became known to the world as Bob Dylan. The guitarist for a record-breaking American band, who severed part of his thumb in later life while building a boat, was able to resume performing by switching to bass guitar. After the breakup of one of the most revered “British Invasion” groups, its financially struggling lead singer reluctantly took a job with an insurance brokerage, then re-emerged as a singer under a different name before finally reverting to the name by which his fans knew him.
A new authorized biographical book vividly and accurately chronicles the lives of these five performers and 21 other solo singers and band members who collectively recorded 82 of the most memorable Top 40 hit songs of the late 1950s and 1960s. The book, titled Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1, describes the childhood experiences and adult lives of these performers, many of whom stepped away from the stage and recording in order to raise their families and pursue other careers and interests. It describes the ways in which many of them confronted and resolved troubling obstacles in their personal lives.
Authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March collaborated closely with the performers, their family members, managers and friends, who took part in refining the content of the book to ensure accuracy. Compiled through conversations spanning more than a decade, Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1 contains personal recollections, including some that had not been revealed publicly before. The performers entrusted Childs and March to describe poignant, sometimes painful aspects of their lives. Their accounts also are laced with wit and laugh-provoking humor. All of the chapters offer insight into the minds and lives of creative people who attained and coped with fame in their own ways.
Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1 contains chapters about seven musical groups or soloists. Each chapter begins with an introductory essay recounting the hit-making achievements of each soloist or band, then is subdivided into "epilogues" about the lives of each of the performers. The featured performers are:
• The Association, a six-man group whose songs include three gold records -- "Cherish," "Windy" and "Never My Love." The band amassed record sales exceeding 100 million. In 1967, the Association was voted the No. 1 group by the radio Program Directors of America, becoming the first group to unseat the Beatles after three years. Their reputation for polished performances brought them concert dates at prestigious venues that had catered to mature audiences and had never before hosted a self-contained rock group.
• Herman's Hermits, whose extensive string of hits includes three gold records -- "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter," "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" and "There's a Kind of Hush." The British band, fronted by lead singer Peter Noone, also earned gold status for four albums, and has sold more than 60 million records since 1964.
• The Kingston Trio, an enormously popular group that earned seven gold albums and triggered the folk music craze of the early '60s. The Trio's hits included million-selling "Tom Dooley," along with "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Greenback Dollar." The Kingston Trio is recognized for transforming the college "lecture circuit" into a viable venue for folk and rock performers, and inspired the musical careers of Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Smothers Brothers, and members of Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, and the Allman Brothers. The group also pioneered changes in the configuration of live-concert contractual agreements.
• Chris Montez, whose hit tunes included "Let's Dance," "Call Me" and "The More I See You." The late Ritchie Valens, whom Montez met briefly, inspired Montez to pursue a career as a singer -- first as a rocker, later as a crooner under the tutelage of Herb Alpert, and eventually cultivating a large following in Latin America.
• The Spiral Starecase, who recorded "She's Ready," "No One For Me To Turn To" and the smash hit "More Today Than Yesterday." Lead singer Pat Upton, celebrated for his soaring vocals, later became a member of Rick Nelson's touring band and owned the nightclub at which Nelson made his last stage appearance, the night before Nelson's December 1985 fatal plane crash.
• Bobby Vee, with 30 hit records to his credit, including "Take Good Care of My Baby," "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" and the million-selling "Come Back When You Grow Up." He began his career by filling in onstage the evening after the February 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.
• The Zombies, famous for recording "She's Not There," "Tell Her No" and the gold record "Time of the Season." While the Beatles were the first Britons to hit the top of the American charts with their own material, the Zombies were the very next. In October, 2010, BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) accorded “Time of the Season” a lofty distinction for surpassing 6 million logged radio plays in the United States.
Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1 contains 58 photos, 40 of which are rare or never previously published. In addition to being enjoyable and engaging, Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1 is historically significant. Five of the people whom Marti and Jeff interviewed for the book have since died. Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1 is available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, through bookstores and online sellers.
The book, crafted as a caring tribute, offers fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpses into the lives of these talented people who attained great popularity. Readers are invited to join the conversation about the book at http://www.facebook.com/WHATPSG on the Web.
Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 1 is available in print and digital (e-book) form through most online sellers, from some of the performers featured in the book, and from chain and independent bookstores.
Publisher: EditPros LLC (www.editpros.com)
Trade paperback, 6x9 in., 320 pages; ISBN-13: 978-1-937317-00-3
United States, $19.95 USD; Canada, $19.95 CAD; U.K., £12.99 GBP; Australia $23.95 AUD
Distributors in North America: Ingram Book Co.; Baker & Taylor; and NACSCORP.
E-book: ISBN-13: 978-1-937317-01-0
United States, $6.99 USD; Canada, $6.65 CAD; U.K., £4.30 GBP; Australia $6.35 AUD
About the authors:
Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March are authors of Echoes of the Sixties (ISBN 0-8230-8316-0; Billboard Books, 1999). They own and operate EditPros LLC, a company they established in 1993 to perform writing, editing and publication services.