Share Let the Music Play: 6 Must-Read Memoirs by Famous Musicians

Let the Music Play: 6 Must-Read Memoirs by Famous Musicians

Stu Smith is a California native, raised on healthy doses of John Steinbeck and Jack London. When asked about his formative years, he is likely to respond “the only good things to ever come out of Sacramento were me and Joan Didion.”  Now a proud resident of New York City, he can be found on warm days lounging in Central Park with his dog on his lap and a manuscript in his hand.

Musicians often have a way with words. They understand rhythm and pace as well as timing and attention to detail. It’s no wonder that many musicians have become successful writers of their own stories. Often praised for their candor and openness, these books give new meaning to bare your soul.


Chronicles: Volume One
by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan has always been a master composer of lyrics. His music career has spanned five decades. And in that time, he has received nearly every accolade one can think of. In CHRONICLES, he takes a look back at Greenwich Village in the 1960s where his music career began to take shape. He recounts stories of New York in a particularly divisive era with witty observations and sincere passion. It is no surprise that Dylan was the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Read the full review of CHRONICLES.
Chronicles: Volume One
Bob Dylan

By turns revealing, poetical, passionate and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan's thoughts and influences. Dylan's voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.

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Born to Run
by Bruce Springsteen
The phenomenal bestselling memoir of Bruce Springsteen set the world on fire when it was released. Fans couldn't get enough of Bruce's recollections from his early days and throughout his career. Reviewers were startled at his candor and confessions. Some stories even inspired his sold-out Broadway show. He describes growing up Catholic in New Jersey amid danger and darkness. It is those troubling surroundings that instilled his intense and unstoppable drive to make it in the music industry. BORN TO RUN will have your heart swelling and pounding until the very end.
Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen

During his 8 years in office, the former president didn't kept his love of The Boss a secret. Bruce Springsteen sang his hit song “The Rising” at the first inauguration, and “The Land of Hope and Dreams” closed out President Obama’s farewell address. And while he was in office, Obama awarded Springsteen both a Kennedy Center Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Remembering Whitney
by Cissy Houston with Lisa Dickey
There are many documentaries and stories about the often tragic and turbulent life of Whitney Houston. In REMEMBERING WHITNEY, we get a firsthand account of her life through her mother's eyes. Cissy Houston, also music legend in her own right, takes us on an emotional journey of raising a superstar in her home and ultimately watching the star fall. But through her daughter's incredible music career, high-profile marriage, and the terrible night she learned that her daughter had drowned in a bathtub in California, Cissy talks about keeping her faith in God and how she used that faith to get through one of the greatest challenges of her life.
Remembering Whitney
Cissy Houston with Lisa Dickey

MENTIONED IN:

Let the Music Play: 6 Must-Read Memoirs by Famous Musicians

By Stu Smith | September 26, 2018

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Ordinary Girl
by Donna Summer with Marc Eliot
Before she was queen of Studio 54, Donna Summer was a shy girl singing at church every Sunday in Boston. She was touring with the musical Hair when a producer approached her in Germany asking to make a record with her. When "Love to Love You Baby" came out, it catapulted Summer into stardom with a sex goddess-like persona. Underneath this fabricated image, the shy girl stood waiting patiently for her time to shine. Throughout the 70s and 80s, Summer would have a string of hits including "On the Radio," "Last Dance," and "MacArthur Park," but through it all she struggled to remain true to herself. In this heartfelt and often humor-filled memoir, Summer takes you behind the scenes to show the girl behind the legend.
Ordinary Girl
Donna Summer with Marc Eliot

MENTIONED IN:

Let the Music Play: 6 Must-Read Memoirs by Famous Musicians

By Stu Smith | September 26, 2018

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The Soundtrack of My Life
by Clive Davis
Legendary music producer Clive Davis takes us on an incredible journey of his multifaceted career in the music industry. From his days with Janis Joplin to his influence on American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, Davis takes his readers through decades of music. You'll hear about how he convinced Aretha Franklin to play with her sound in order to stay relevant during a decline in her career. You'll hear about his professional molding of Barry Manilow from his early days in New York and you'll read pieces of his heartfelt letter to his treasured Whitney Houston as he pleads with her to seek help for substance abuse. It's all here and it's all gold.
The Soundtrack of My Life
Clive Davis

MENTIONED IN:

Let the Music Play: 6 Must-Read Memoirs by Famous Musicians

By Stu Smith | September 26, 2018

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Unbreak My Heart
by Toni Braxton
The "Un-Break My Heart" singer takes a look back on an often-trying life in the music industry. From early on, Toni Braxton had to make a very difficult decision when the Braxton family auditioned for a recording contract: Executives only wanted Toni as a solo artist and she had to become one without her beloved sisters. The guilt would haunt Toni for most of her early professional life. Coupled with bankruptcy filings, bad marriages, and the discovery of her youngest son's autism, Braxton triumphed through it all and remains one of the top selling R&B stars of our time. In her candid and heartwarming memoir, you'll root for Toni as she grows into the strong superstar that we know and love today.
Unbreak My Heart
Toni Braxton

MENTIONED IN:

Let the Music Play: 6 Must-Read Memoirs by Famous Musicians

By Stu Smith | September 26, 2018

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