Monday, August 18, 2008

ON BEALE STREET!

ON BEALE STREET!

Here’s a new twist to the Elvis lexicon. Thirty-one years gone and they’re still writing about the King – and they always will.

On Beale Street by Ronald Kidd is a super Y/A (young adult) novel about the birth of rock-and-roll. Like John Sayle’s last film, Honeydripper, On Beale Street is set in a time period when the blues were changing and rock-and-roll was rising – a time in America when more than the music was changing. There is fine writing here – and if you love Elvis, you’ll love this book.

ROCK AND ROLL IS ABOUT TO CHANGE JOHNNY ROSS' LIFE

Living in Memphis in 1954, Johnny's world is completely segregated -- until he starts sneaking out to Beale Street at night. Beale Street, with its music clubs, is on the wrong side of the tracks, but it's the only place Johnny can hear the blues, which is all he cares about. It's also near Sun Records, where Johnny finds himself working for Sam Phillips -- and witnessing history in the making when an up-and-coming musician named Elvis records his first song. Nobody has heard anything like it.

All at once Johnny is pulled into a storm of controversy around this new kind of music, just as racial tensions are reaching a breaking point. What started out as a part-time job and a way to get behind the scenes of a record label is now spinning out of control. As songs like Elvis's start rising up the charts, Johnny sees the power music has to bring people together -- while secrets from the past threaten to tear his black-and-white life apart.

In this searing, cinematic novel, acclaimed writer Ronald Kidd tells a coming-of-age story set against a backdrop of race conflict and the birth of rock and roll.


TO READ THE FIRST CHAPTER CLICK HERE

2 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

You've sold me on that book - I can imagine the effect hearing Elvis must have had during 58.

bish8 said...

Yes, if you have any feel for or connection to the time period, I think you really enjoy this novel. Hopefully, it will be published in the UK. If not, you can get it through amazon.com.