Free biographies and memoirs Kindle books for 03 Aug 16

The Influential Legends of Soul Music: The Lives of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Includes the artists’ quotes about their lives and careers

*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

If Sam Cooke, one of the greatest African-American soul singers in the genre’s history, had been Irish, he might have kept company with the likes of the great balladeer and classical tenor John McCormack. If he had been born Italian, he might have starred in the refined, lyrical Mozart opera roles usually reserved for those with an extreme musical sensitivity. Such was the level of excellence in Cooke’s inner understanding of his own voice, which was capable of exquisite classical precision and a finesse in phrasing that lay far beyond the norm. He could have prospered and attained greatness in any genre of his choice, but considering the timing of the American audience, and his African-American heritage, Sam Cooke instead pioneered a new genre and became its greatest practitioner by blending black musical traditions that incorporated all the refinement and beauty of European classical genres yet still spoke from the heart of his rural American roots.

To some, the Stax Records model may have lagged behind Motown in terms of modernity, with its adherence to older musical and technological modes, but in actuality, Otis Redding and his musical circle represented a preservation movement of sorts, and “exemplified to many listeners the power of Southern â??deep soul’ – hoarse, gritty vocals, brassy arrangements, and an emotional way with both party tunes and aching ballads.” Such was the perfect conduit for an artist like Otis Redding, who felt compelled by the lifelong urge to sing, years before his dreams of a professional life would ever be realized. And, as the edifice of soul broke further into sub-styles, Redding seemed able to succeed in every one of them.

Among the many stars gathered by Berry Gordy’s Motown Records during the latter half of the 20th century, one of the most famous and successful was Marvin Gaye, even though the rigidity of the studio’s operating procedures constantly collided with his capacity for stubbornness and insistence that he be given the independence to pursue his own artistic vision. Of course, it’s easy to see it from both sides; despite the ceaseless thread of masterpieces emerging from Motown studio artists (many of them performed and recorded by Gaye), it might also be said in his defense that as part of the record company’s mission statement, Motown operated in a state of near artistic lockdown where creative input by the artist was concerned.

A certain inevitability characterizes the rise to fame of Aretha Franklin. Indeed, while it is true that neither of her parents were pop singers, they were each talented vocalistsâ??Aretha’s father, C.L., was a particularly famous preacher, with a voice so melodic that his sermons effectively doubled as musical performances. Moreover, in an age in which economic opportunities were particularly limited for African-Americans, Aretha was fortunate enough to grow up in a household of relative comfort. Not only was she exposed to music on a daily basis in her household, but her father was a savvy enough businessman to orchestrate her career during its nascent stages, helping her navigate the challenges of entering the music industry. To be certain, in many respects, Aretha Franklin was from an early age the beneficiary of opportunities that are simply unavailable to most aspiring vocalists.

Among the most innovative and independent artists to come out of Motown in the latter half of the 20th century, along with colleagues Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, and Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder was said by many to possess three distinct obstacles to fulfillment in the music industry. He was poor, and worse, he was black and blind. Wonder, however, refused to shrink from or acknowledge any of these realities as barriers, asserting that he had not been in any way disadvantaged.

Laurence Olivier and Richard Burton: The Lives and Careers of Britain’s Most Famous Shakespearean Actors

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Includes the actors’ quotes about their lives and careers

*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

Of all the great actors of the 20th century, none personifies acting royalty more than Laurence Olivier, and some of this is simply due to the fact that he was actually knighted in 1947, along with a lengthy list of other honors that include being named a life peer in 1970 and admission to the Order of Merit in 1984. To speak of The Right Honourable Lord Laurence Olivier is not a figure of speech but rather a fact. Of course, in addition to the literal sense of the term, there is undeniably a manner in which Laurence Olivier qualifies as acting royalty, as it is not for nothing that Spencer Tracy once referred to Olivier as “the greatest actor in the English-speaking world” (Bacall). It is also important to note that Tracy refers to Olivier not as a film or theater actor specifically, because much of Olivier’s lofty standing derives from his ability to successfully navigate different mediums like stage, film, and television. The breadth of mediums in which he worked, the various roles he inhabited within them (actor, producer, director), and the formidable time span of his career lend Olivier’s career a scope of perhaps unmatched magnitude.

Indeed, Laurence Olivier worked for so long and was so successful that few actors receive the level of visibility that he still enjoys, even more than two decades after his death. While his theatrical performances exist only as memories, his cinematic adaptations of several of Shakespeare’s most famous plays remain the most canonical even to this day. Hamlet, for example, has been produced for the screen by several famous directors, but his version, released in 1948, is the most well-known and best-received. It is through his films that viewers also gain a full appreciation of his creative style, as Olivier assumed full authorial control (from actor to director to producer) over many of his films, particularly the Shakespearean ones. In this sense, it is appropriate to claim that Laurence Olivier was not only a storied actor but also an artist who worked best when enjoying full authority over his productions.

In the 1960s, the most popular actor in the world was Richard Burton, a hard-drinking Welshman who was nevertheless so professional that he was one of the preeminent stage performers of his day. In fact, he performed Shakespeare so magnificently that he was compared to British legend Laurence Olivier, and that success ultimately led to a film career that earned him 7 Academy Award nominations, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for Best Actor.

Given his accomplishments on the stage and in Hollywood, Burton became one of the world’s most recognizable leading men, so it seemed fitting that he engaged in one of Hollywood’s most legendary romances with Elizabeth Taylor while on the set of Cleopatra, one of the era’s most notorious movies. In fact, his tumultuous relationship with Taylor, which included two marriages, dominated tabloids and remains the one thing most people associate with Burton today, despite the rest of his accomplishments.

Burton’s high-profile marriage to Taylor helped bring attention, but it also led to more self-destructive behavior, and in a sense it represented the peak of Burton’s career. Over the last decade of his life, Burton began appearing in mediocre films, and due to his declining health and constant drunkenness, his performances were mediocre as well, often involving incoherent slurring. The fast life ultimately caught up with him in 1984, when a cerebral hemorrhage killed him at the age of 58. Fittingly, it was the same cause of death that befell his alcoholic father in 1957, just as Burton was at the precipice of Hollywood stardom.

Cruel Irony: Triumphs and Tragedies of a Modern Woman

by Gary W. Clark

By her 21st birthday, Esther Johnson’s world was assaulted by a sudden death, violent betrayals, and a brutal murder. Where does a simple farm girl from Kansas find happiness and peace?

Esther was born into the horse and buggy era and grew up on prairie farms; then made the leap to become a complex and independent woman during the Roaring Twenties. As a 1921 graduate in nursing, she experienced the modern era first hand; the right to vote, new roles for women, and social controversy. Judged by traditional biases, her adoption of a modern lifestyle would cultivate new problems, and even family banishment.

Follow Esther Eleanor Johnson from 1896 through life-altering 20th century changes and see how her ancestral strengths empowered her to meet every challenge head on. She did it her way. Her rewards were few, but each of immeasurable value. Her ultimate fate, a cruel irony indeed.

Donald Trump, the Lucky Sperm Club, and the It Factor:: An Analysis of What Is Wrong and Right with the Assaultive Seven-Year-Old to Out-of-Control Adolescent to Exploding Septuagenerian

by Gieseril

Whether you love him or hate him, Donald Trump is the Republican front-runner for the 2016 presidential election. Author Gieseril invites you to form an educated opinion as he breaks down the science behind Trump’s often controversial behaviors.

Gieseril provides a critical analysis on Trump’s actions and verbal messages revealed in his books, interviews, and debates, and he explains how these approaches might apply to Trump’s potential role as president.

Trump has made famous claims attributing his success to belonging to the “lucky sperm club” and having the “it” factor. His prosperous qualities may very well have been inherited, but is it possible that his weaknesses and aggressive temperament also stem from his genetics?

Donald Trump, “Lucky Sperm Club,” and the “It” Factor offers an in-depth critique of the Republican candidate, allowing voters to gain a better understanding of the man and judge for themselves whether Trump’s eccentricities make him the best option for presidentâ??or perhaps the worst.

With the Help of God and a Few Marines: The Battles of Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood

by Albertus W. Catlin

The Battle of Belleau Wood (1-26 June 1918) occurred during the German 1918 Spring Offensive in World War I, near the Marne River in France. The battle was fought between the U.S. Second (under the command of Major General Omar Bundy) and Third divisions along with French and British forces against an assortment of German units including elements from the 237th, 10th, 197th, 87th, and 28th divisions. The battle has become a key component of the lore of the United States Marine Corps.

True Crime Stories

by Grey H.

True Crime Stories: 16 Best of True Crime

1. Tylenol Murders

2. The Princes in the Tower

3. The Murder of Valerie Percy

4. The West Memphis Three

5. Alton Coleman & Debra Brown: Odyssey of Mayhem

6. Drugs, Sex, and Murder in 1920s: Tinseltown

7. The Deadly Professor

8. Andrew Cunanan: After Me, Disaster

9. The Murder of Theo Van Gogh

10. Apartheid: Biological and Chemical Warfare Program


12. The Birmingham Church Bombing: Bombingham

13. Buddhist Temple Massacre

14. Carnival of Death: Lynching in America

15. The Cathouse Murders

16. Charles Starkweather & Caril Fugate

Moments of Choice: My Path to Leadership

by Linda L. Singh

Adversity is often the catalyst for growth and positive change as we can’t always control what happens to us in life, but we can choose our response. Major General Linda L. Singh did just that after experiencing such hardships as teenage homelessness and abuse, however, she made a decision not to be defined by those negative experiences and to rise above them.

Moments of Choice: My Path to Leadership is a true story of how a girl from humble beginnings who experienced abuse, quit school at 16-years of age, was suddenly homeless when her parents kicked her out and, was determined that no matter what, she was going to make it and use her experiences to grow and learn from.

Upon discovering the National Guard at a young age, she quickly realized she had options she never knew existed. The author’s decision to join the military was a pivotal moment in her life and that decision allowed many doors of opportunity to open.

As the author, “When a branch would break (as it often did along the way), I simply reached for the next one.” The message is to keep reaching for the next branch in your life and don’t let fear and limiting beliefs hold you back from your dreams and goals. Live life on your terms and know that nothing is permanent. If you are willing to work, you can create the life you want.

Major General Linda L. Singh life changed dramatically because of a series of moments. She made a choice to do things differently and to stand out. No matter what obstacles she faced, she would not let fear control her destiny. She was never content with being too comfortable or mediocrity, she was always in the process of transforming herself into the best self she could possibly be.

Through her life and this book, she has inspired hundreds and thousands of people to do the same. All of our lives are filled with moments of choice, some good and some bad.

Reading Moments of Choice: My Path to Leadership will inspire you to rise above your current circumstances and to become the best that you can be!

Snowstorms & Music: The Resonance of the Night

by Mahmoud Kambris

“All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.”

James Thurber

A Life Journey in Poetry

by Pieter Malan

Throughout our lives we grow both physically and as human beings. This process eventually embodies itself in adulthood. “Adult”. A very relative term in itself! In no other person’s life was this more clearly illustrated than in my own. This is about a journey which I thought was over, when it hadn’t yet started! This is dedicated to everyone along the way. I’ll be giving the reader insight into my world through the stages of my creative writing. I’ve selected poems about the more significant people, happenings and times in my life. These I believe to have helped define who I am today. Favourite quotes : “Every day, do one thing that scares you.”,

” Life contains an element of pain. Pain which is brought on by desire. The only way to avoid pain is to have no desire.”

The Notting Hill Rapist

by Rachel James

The Notting Hill Rapist

Women living alone in Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove areas of west London locked their doors and windows each night in fear. A savage rapist, who committed brutal attacks at knifepoint, was on the loose. Police knew that he had to be caught before his assaults turned to murder.

It was late at night on 12 August 1982 when the woman who was to become the Notting Hill Rapist’s first victim arrived home from an evening out with friends. She was a successful solicitor and lived in a comfortable flat in Clarendon Road, one of the wealthier streets in the west London district of Notting Hill.

She let herself in through the front door and turned on the light. It didn’t work. A rough hand grabbed her throat, and a rasping voice warned her not to scream. The intruder dragged the woman down the hallway into her flat and began to assault her. She was terrified, but managed to kick out at her attacker, who swore at her, then fled.

Tales of the Peanut Butter Kid: Stories of a Colorado farm boy in the 1950’s and 1960’s (Adventures of the Peanut Butter Kid)

by Larry Miller

Set in the northeastern plains of Colorado, these are coming of age tales about a country boy’s life on a hard-scrabble farm in Weldon Valley, Colorado in the 1950’s and 1960’s. These stories will make you laugh and make you cry, they will surprise and uplift you. Hear the strains of an old Gospel hymn being whistled in the dark, and learn how Larry got the nickname, “The Peanut Butter Kid.” You will learn a little about farming and a lot about neighborliness. Most of all, you will read this book from cover to cover, and then read it again.

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