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Little Girl Blue is an intimate profile of Karen Carpenter, a girl from a modest Connecticut upbringing who became a Southern California superstar. Karen was the instantly recognizable lead singer of the Carpenters. The top-selling American musical act of the 1970s, they delivered the love songs that defined a generation. Karen's velvety voice on a string of 16 consecutive Top 20 hits from 1970 to 1976, including "Close to You," "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Superstar, and "Hurting Each Other," propelled the duo to worldwide stardom and record sales of more than 100 million. During their short musical career, the Carpenters released ten studio albums, toured more than 200 days a year, taped five television specials, and won three Grammys and an American Music Award. But that's only a part of Karen's story. Little Girl Blue reveals Karen's heartbreaking struggles with her mother, brother, and husband; the intimate disclosures she made to her closest friends; her love for playing drums and her frustrated quest for solo stardom; and the ups and downs of her treatment for anorexia nervosa. After her shocking death at 32 years of age in 1983, she became the proverbial poster child for that disorder; but the other causes of her decline are laid bare for the first time in this moving account. Little Girl Blue is Karen Carpenter's definitive biography, based on exclusive interviews with her innermost circle of girlfriends and nearly 100 others, including professional associates, childhood friends, and lovers. It tells a story as touching, warm, and involving as any of Karen's greatest songs.
Dionne Warwick made her singing debut in church at the request of her grandfather, the Reverend Elzae Warrick, when she was six years old. No one knew then that she would become an international music legend, but what she knew--as words of wisdom passed down from her grandfather--was that "if you can think it, you can do it." And she did it. Dionne released the first of more than fifty-six charted hits in 1962 with "Don't Make Me Over," followed by "Anyone Who Had a Heart," "Walk On By," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Alfie," and "A House Is Not a Home," to name a few. She received her first Grammy in 1968 for "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and later recorded the classic hit "That's What Friends Are For." She was considered the voice of Burt Bacharach/Hal David compositions, and the rest is here, in her first autobiography. Dionne tells the stories of her life from her childhood in East Orange, New Jersey, in a two-family home with her parents, brother, and sister, to now, as she celebrates her fiftieth year in show business. She came by her musical gifts honestly. Her mother, Lee Drinkard Warrick, was a founding member of the legendary Drinkard Jubilairs, which included her mother's siblings Cissy, Marie, Annie, Nick, and Larry. Cissy went on to become a celebrated recording artist in her own right; she lived in the Warrick household, got married, and later gave birth to one of the most popular singers of our time, Whitney Houston. Dionne went on to start her own gospel group with her sister, Dee Dee, called the Gospelaires. Her father, once a Pullman porter, became an accountant, went on to promote gospel records for Hob Records, and wrote a book on gospel music. She attributes her strong family, who are faithful and industrious Christians, for keeping her grounded and giving her the fortitude, as well as the talent, to earn her place among world-class performing artists without losing herself or her soul.
The Kansas City Monarchs, the Chicago American Giants, the St. Louis Stars, the Birmingham Black Barons, the Homestead Grays, and the Indianapolis Clowns; for over fifty years, they were the Yankees, Cardinals, and Red Sox of black baseball in America. And for over a decade beginning in the late 1940s, umpire Bob Motley called balls and strikes for many of their games, working alongside such legends as Satchel Paige, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Willie Mays.Today, Motley is the only living arbiter from the Negro Leagues. His personal account of the Negro Leagues is a revealing, humorous, and unforgettable memoir celebrating a long-lost league and a remarkable group of baseball players. In Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars Motley and his son Byron share the characters, adventures, and challenges faced by these amazing men as they enthusiastically embraced America's pastime and made it their own. Filled with stories of talented heroes, small miracles, and downright fun, this unique memoir is a must-read for any baseball fan.
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