What a Wonderful World: A Lifetime of Recordings

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9780195086294: What a Wonderful World: A Lifetime of Recordings

Music industry legend Bob Thiele will never forget the first time he heard a demo tape from a group of unknowns from New Mexico billed as Buddy Holly and the Crickets. "I was never as confident in my life anything would be a hit record as I was about 'That'll Be the Day'," remembers the record executive and producer who also worked with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jackie Wilson, Henry Mancini, and a constellation of other greats on some of their most memorable recordings. But Thiele's employers at Coral Records wouldn't touch Holly and his "hillbilly garbage," and neither would any of the big major labels. Finally Thiele convinced the powers that be at Coral that they just had to release "That'll Be the Day," if only to keep him happy. The result was a monster hit that launched Holly's career and stayed on the charts for half a year.
The discovery of Buddy Holly is just one of the riveting stories Thiele has to tell in What a Wonderful World, a rollicking, no-holds-barred account of an unforgettable life in music, as told to Thiele's friend and collaborator Bob Golden. Over a still-ongoing career spanning six decades, Thiele has been a musician, dance band leader, publisher of one of the first jazz magazines in the world, a record producer, a DJ, a record label owner (several times), an A & R man, and a songwriter. Indeed, Thiele's songwriting credits include the beloved Armstrong classic from which this book takes its title. From his precocious adolescence in Queens, where he began hosting his first radio jazz show at the tender age of 14, Thiele's career has been driven and defined by a genuine love and respect for great music. He tells how he discovered Jackie Wilson, jazz immortal Erroll Garner, Buddy Holly, and others, and takes readers behind-the-scenes to legendary recording sessions with Ellington, Armstrong, John Coltrane, Teresa Brewer (Thiele's wife of 26 years), Jack Kerouac, Steve Allen, the McGuire Sisters, Pat Boone, Frankie Laine, and many other artists. Thiele captures the free-wheeling, anything-could-happen-and-usually-did atmosphere of the jazz and pop recording worlds of decades gone by, and shares uproarious recollections of the heavy-hitting movers and shakers he has locked horns with over the years. Equally important, as an enduring and inventive force in American music, Thiele offers candid and perceptive observations on the increasing corporatization of the business he loves.
A fascinating journey from the days before rock 'n' roll to today, What a Wonderful World could only have been written by a true insider's insider. It will delight music lovers everywhere.

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About the Author:


About the Authors:
Bob Thiele is recognized as among the most influential record producers in the history of American music. The co-author of the beloved and enduring standard "What A Wonderful World," he has received numerous gold record awards and is still active in the music business today. A well-known record executive and producer, collaborator Bob Golden is currently the National Director of Marketing and Promotion for the Thiele-owned label, Red Baron Records.

From Publishers Weekly:

Taking the title of his entertaining memoir from a song he co-wrote for Louis Armstrong, record producer Thiele, aided by record executive and producer Golden, reminisces about his long career in the popular-music world. Having founded several private labels (the first in 1939, when he was 17) and been an executive at major recording companies, he knows almost everyone in the business, and anecdotes abound. Thiele describes battles with corporate bosses who wouldn't acknowledge such discoveries as Buddy Holly and the Crickets; the idiosyncrasies of stars he has recorded, among them Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Judy Garland, Johnny Mercer and Charlie Mingus; making a recording of Jack Kerouac reading his poetry; and numerous encounters with volatile personalities in the fast-paced record industry. He prides himself on making recordings of music he likes, not because he thinks they will be big sellers.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Bob Thiele
Editorial: Oxford University Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0195086295 ISBN 13: 9780195086294
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Thiele, Bob
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Bob Thiele, Bob Golden (Editor), Steve Allen (Foreword)
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