Southern Man: Music & Mayhem In The American South: A Memoir (Paperback)

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Southern Man: Music & Mayhem In The American South: A Memoir By Alan Walden, S.E. Feinberg Cover Image

Southern Man: Music & Mayhem In The American South: A Memoir (Paperback)


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“We developed reputations real fast. We treated our entertainers right. We got them paid. Other agents and promoters and managers showed them the money. We got them the money. We brought respect to the African American artist in America. We brought them prestige. We really cared about our artists and those who worked for us, and it was obvious because we fought like hell for them. So when you listen to some of that music today—an Otis Redding record or Percy Sledge or anyone from our shop—you’re not just hearing music but also the sound of iron being hammered and bricks being laid for those—especially African Americans—who are in the business today.” Alan Walden

Southern Man is the memoir of a life in music during one of the most racially turbulent times in American history. It presents the voice of Alan Walden—a remarkable, sensitive, humble, and brilliant man; a boy from the country who, serendipitously, along with his brother Phil and best friend Otis Redding, helped to nurture a musical renaissance. It is the story of a son of Macon, Georgia, and his passion for R&B and rock’n’roll at a time when it took wits and a Southern persistence to overcome the obstacles on the hard scrabble road to success—the tragedy of loss, disappointment, and betrayal, along with the joy of victory, optimism, and hope—and taking a dream right over the mountain. That dream led him to work with and nurture the talents of a virtual who’s who of Southern music, from Sam & Dave and Percy Sledge to Boz Scaggs and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Anyone who was alive during the golden age of R&B and Southern rock remembers the music, but Alan’s narrative invites the reader to the centre of the story, into the studio and on the road, to backroom deals and backroom brawls. It wasn’t always peaches and cream. The music business is tough, and Alan Walden was one of the toughest kids on the street. He had to be, in order to survive in a world of guitars, guts, and guns. This is rock’n’roll noir—the story of a few pioneers who cut the rock and laid the pipe under the hard scrabble terrain so that the water of creativity can more freely flow today.

“Alan, I got to tell you … you’re one soulful guy … I don’t think I’ve ever met a white guy with more soul than you.” Quincy Jones

Alan Walden helped to forge, along with his brother Phil and best friend Otis Redding, the foundation of a musical renaissance that emerged from the American South. As a manager, publisher, promoter, and producer, Alan helped to bring scores of artists into the world's consciousness—from R&B to Southern rock, from Percy Sledge to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Alan is an inductee into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and is the recipient of numerous gold and platinum records. He was recently honoured by having a rehearsal room named after him at the newly restored Capricorn Studios. Alan currently resides on his ranch close to his beloved Macon, Georgia, with his wife Tosha, and continues to advise and encourage young people going into the music business.

S.E. Feinberg grew up in Boston and was trained at the American Center for the Performing and Creative Arts, at Boston Center for the Arts, where he began a life of writing, directing, and producing plays. His play The Happy Worker was first produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, later touring through Eastern Europe. His screenplay of The Happy Worker, executive produced by David Lynch, directed by Duwayne Dunham, and starring Thomas Haden Church and Josh Whitehouse, is now in postproduction. Steve is the co-author of What’s Exactly The Matter With Me?, the memoir of P.F. Sloan, one of the most mysterious and elusive composers in the history of rock’n’roll. He recently completed The Last Yiddish Pachuco, a musical comedy about the last Yiddish theatre in the Boyle Heights district of East Los Angeles.

Product Details ISBN: 9781911036715
ISBN-10: 1911036718
Publisher: Jawbone Press
Publication Date: November 9th, 2021
Pages: 288
Language: English
"Southern Man is a solid, insightful, and fun read. And a look at an era of music management that was a lot rougher than today’s scheduled-and-timelined-by-the-book tours and recording sessions. But it sure seemed like a lot more fun."—Bob Ruggiero, Houston Press

An invaluable primary document of the African American struggle that set the stage for not just the artists in the book, but the communities directly affected by this.—Gerrod Harris, Spill Magazine

An eye-opening, high-octane, fly-on-wall account of a volatile period of US music history.—Record Collector

A true Southern storyteller with a sharp memory and an even sharper wit.—Uncut