December 10 - Inventing A Genius

The book 'Inventing Elvis - An American Icon in a Cold War World' by Mathias Haeussler - an Assistant Professor of Modern European History at Regensburg University, Germany - was released. 

From the press release: Elvis Presley stands tall as perhaps the supreme icon of 20th-century U.S. culture. But he was perceived to be deeply un-American in his early years as his controversial adaptation of rhythm and blues music and gyrating on-stage performances sent shockwaves through Eisenhower's conservative America and far beyond.

This book explores Elvis Presley's global transformation from a teenage rebel figure into one of the U.S.'s major pop-cultural embodiments from a historical perspective. It shows how Elvis's rise was part of an emerging transnational youth culture whose political impact was heavily conditioned by the Cold War. As well as this, the book analyses Elvis's stint as G.I. soldier in West Germany, where he acted as an informal ambassador for the so-called American way of life and was turned into a deeply patriotic figure almost overnight. Yet, it also suggests that Elvis's increasingly synonymous identity with U.S. culture ultimately proved to be a double-edged sword, as the excesses of his superstardom and personal decline seemingly vindicated long-held stereotypes about the allegedly materialistic nature of U.S. society.

Tracing Elvis's story from his unlikely rise in the 1950s right up to his tragic death in August 1977, this book offers a riveting account of changing U.S. identities during the Cold War, shedding fresh light on the powerful role of popular music and consumerism in shaping images of the United States during the cultural struggle between East and West.

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The Record Producer Whose Genius Changed American Music 

The Sartoris Literary Group released of the 350-page hardcover book 'Chips Moman: The Record Producer Whose Genius Changed American'. 

Synopsis: Chips Moman's genius began in the studio, where he instituted technical innovations that forever changed the recording industry, but it expanded from there with an uncanny ability to recognize hit songs when he heard them as rough demos, and then blossomed with an unsurpassed string of hit records. 

He  was a co-founder of Memphis' Stax Records. Moman rescued Elvis Presley's career with his recordings of 'Suspicious Minds' and 'In the Ghetto', and he provided Willie Nelson with one of his most memorable signature songs, 'Always on My Mind'. Not bad for a Georgia country boy who dropped out of school in the eighth grade and hitch-hiked to Memphis in search of the American Dream.

By any measure-sales, multi-genre capability, number of hit records, technical innovation, artistry, etc.-Lincoln "Chips" Moman was the most important record producer in American history. With several hundred hits to his credit in pop, country, rhythm & blues, and rock, both from record production and songwriting, Chips Moman is legendary within the music industry. This biography is the story of his life.

(Source: Bloomsbury / Amazon)