PRESS RELEASE ELVIS LEFT THE BUILDING – FORTY YEARS AGO!
A new biography published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the ‘King’s’ death on the 16 August 2017
Publication date: 3 August 2017
With a Foreword by RUSSELL WATSON
Spencer Leigh, renowned music historian, biographer and broadcaster has written another masterful account of a legend of our age, full of the insight and humour that we have come to expect from his books.
Not content to just write a biography purely focusing on the life of the protagonist, Spencer takes the reader on an evocative journey of time and place. He delves into the history of American’s Deep South and discusses how music became an integral part of the location that was to be Elvis’s birthplace.
Crammed with anecdotes and recollections from the musicians and singers who preceded Elvis, the stage is now set for this extraordinary performer.
His career was full of controversy and ELVIS PRESLEY: CAUGHT IN A TRAP sorts the facts from fiction. What separated him from his contemporaries, his bizarre relationship with his manager Colonel Parker, just how old was Priscilla when they first met, how did he reinvent himself for Las Vegas, did he have to die so young, and why does his legend endure?
To answer these questions Spencer Leigh spoke to band members, songwriters, friends, fans and many people who worked with the King, and he examines the evidence with the scrutiny of a forensic scientist.
Spencer Leigh was born in Liverpool in 1945 and still lives there. He is an acknowledged expert on popular music, both as a broadcaster and journalist. His On The Beat programme has been on BBC Radio Merseyside over 30 years and he is regularly featured in Record Collector, Now Dig This and Country Music People. His many books include Best of the Beatles: The Sacking of Pete Best, The Cavern Club, Love Me Do to Love Me Don’t: The Beatles on Record, Frank Sinatra: An Extraordinary Story and Simon and Garfunkel: Together Alone, all for McNidder & Grace.
For further information, a copy of ELVIS PRESLEY: CAUGHT IN A TRAP or to talk to Spencer Leigh please contact:
Linda MacFadyen Tel: 0191 280 1080 Mobile: 07768 390172 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LOVE ME DO TO LOVE ME DON'T : THE BEATLES ON RECORD PUBLISHED 25 SEPTEMBER 2016
After twenty-five years working at the BBC in Liverpool, Spencer Leigh has delved into his vast archive of interviews about the Beatles to analyse them in a new and unique way. His discussions will take you on a musical journey and leave you listening to the Beatles with fresh ears.
PRAISE FOR SPENCER LEIGH:
'A wonderful book!' - HAROLD KRÄMER, THE BEATLES MUSEUM, SIEGEN, GERMANY
'An accomplished writer of musical biographies, this is a typically authoritative book.' - CHOICE MAGAZINE
ISBN : 9780857161345
PUB DATE : 22/09/16
PAGES : 348
FORMAT : 230 X 152mm
MUSIC / STAGE & SCREEN
SIMON AND GARFUNKEL : TOGETHER ALONE - HOT OFF THE PRESS! PUBLISHED 22 SEPTEMBER 2016
SIMON AND GARFUNKEL is a definitive account of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel's career together. With unique material and exclusive interviews with fellow musicians, promoters and friends, acclaimed author Spencer Leigh has written a compelling biography of some of the world's biggest musical stars. With remarkable stories about the duo on every page, the book not only charts their rise to success but and the years of their fame, but analyses the personalities of the two men and the ups and downs of their often fraught relationship.
PRAISE FOR SPENCER LEIGH:
'Simon & Garfunkel have been a huge part of the soundtrack of my life. Thank you for the music, boys, and I have enjoyed reading about you. Your story here has been told with sensitivity and accuracy.' - SUZI QUATRO
ISBN : 9780857161505
PUB DATE : 22/09/26
PAGES : 268
FORMAT : 230 X 152mm
MUSIC / STAGE & SCREEN
PUB DATE : 22/09/26
PAGES : 268
FORMAT : 230 X 152mm
MUSIC / STAGE & SCREEN
SIMON & GARFUNKEL:TOGETHER ALONE by SPENCER LEIGH
with an introduction by Suzi Quatro
Published by McNidder & Grace on 22 September 2016
Fifty years after Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/8VNlBTxZVm0fQ re-mixed single was released, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, for the week ending January 1, 1966, Disturbed's https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/QW5RBsvrJEgID version entered the charts.
The resurgence of interest in the original version means that Simon & Garfunkel have been back in the news. Paul Simon’s solo album Stranger to Stranger recently entered the UK’s album charts at No.1 and Billboard’s Top 200 at No.3.
Featured in the heart-breaking final scene of Mike Nichols’ The Graduate, The Sound of Silence is just one of the iconic songs to be recorded by Simon & Garfunkel.
In Together Alone Spencer Leigh follows the career paths of the unlikely duo from the early 60s when Simon was touring British folk clubs and Garfunkel was at university studying architecture to their recent renaissance.
Together Alone is crammed with fascinating facts.
With exclusive interviews with fellow musicians, promoters and those who knew him, and with much unique material, this will be the definitive account of Simon and Garfunkel and their careers.
About Spencer Leigh: The journalist, acclaimed author and broadcaster Spencer Leigh is an acknowledged expert on popular music and he has been broadcasting his weekly show, On the Beat, on BBC Radio Merseyside for 30 years. McNidder and Grace recently published Best of the Beatles: The Sacking of Pete Best and Frank Sinatra – An Extraordinary Life
Spencer has written over 25 books, hundreds of album sleeve notes and obituaries for The Independent, Guardian and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He is an Honoured Friend at Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA).
For a copy of the book, further information or to arrange an interview with Spencer Leigh, please contact:
Linda MacFadyen: 0191 280 1080 Mobile: 07768 390172
50 WAYS TO LOVE SIMON AND GARFUNKEL - and more!
Art Garfunkel charmed the audience at Glastonbury this year and Paul Simon is soon embarking on a massive European tour, with UK dates in November, including two nights at The Albert Hall http://www.paulsimon.com/events/
Spencer Leigh explores the history of the duo – the world liked them working together, but they didn’t!
Paul Simon was born on 13 October 1941 and Art Garfunkel on 5 November 1941.
1. Simon and Garfunkel made their first appearance together in a school production of Alice in Wonderland in 1953 – Art was the Cheshire Cat and Paul the White Rabbit.
2. In 1957 Paul and Art renamed themselves Tom and Jerry and had an American chart hit with ‘Hey Schoolgirl’.
3. Paul Simon made solo records as Jerry Landis and True Taylor, made demonstration records with Carole King and formed a studio band, Tico and the Triumphs.
4. Art Garfunkel recorded as Tom Graph and Artie Garr.
5. Paul Simon studied literature and law at university and Art Garfunkel mathematics and architecture.
6. Paul Simon wrote his first ‘protest’ song, ‘He Was My Brother’ about the death of a freedom worker in June 1963.
7. Paul Simon wrote in the bathroom of his parents’ house as the tiles acted as an echo chamber. Before he switched on the light, he would sing “Hello darkness my old friend” which became the opening line of The Sound of Silence.
8. When Columbia Records wanted to record ‘He Was My Brother’ with a promising folk group, the Pilgrims, Paul said that he and Art could do it better, which led to their first album, Wednesday Morning 3am.
9. Paul Simon performed in UK folk clubs in 1964/5, often going out for £10 a night.
10. In 1965 Paul recorded The Paul Simon Songbook in London and his songs were played with a social commentary on the BBC’s religious programme, Five to Ten.
11. Van Doonican was one of the first artists to record a Paul Simon song, ‘Carlos Dominguez’.
12. Paul Simon wrote several songs in England including ‘Kathy’s Song’ (for his girlfriend Kathy Chitty), ‘I Am A Rock’ and ‘Homeward Bound’ (written in Widnes and about wanting to get back to Kathy in London).
13. Paul Simon has an IQ of 155.
14. Paul Simon produced an album for his friend, Jackson C Frank, in London.
15. Without their knowledge or approval, electric guitars and drums were added to their version of ‘The Sound of Silence’, which replaced the Dave Clark 5 at the top of the US charts in January 1966.
16. ‘The Sound of Silence’ was a UK hit, not for Simon and Garfunkel but for the Irish trio, the Bachelors. Simon said, “I think it strange that Bachelors should record a very hip song when their style is so conflicting.”
17. The Seekers had a Top 20 hit with Paul Simon’s song, ‘Someday, One Day’.
18. The Hollies could not release ‘I Am a Rock’ as a single as EMI thought that a single containing the word ‘womb’ would not get airplay.
19. Recording engineer Roy Halee said, “I always insisted that they did the vocals together. The two of them on one mic is what gave them their sound.”
20. The Cyrcle climbed to No.2 on the US charts with ‘Red Rubber Ball’, written by Paul with Bruce Woodley from the Seekers.
21. ‘Scarborough Fair’ was their adaptation of an old English folk song that Simon had learnt from Martin Carthy.
22. When Paul Simon was walking across a New York bridge at 6am he had the idea for ‘The 59th Street Bridge Song’, also known as ‘Feelin’ Groovy’.
23. Paul Simon was part of the organising committee for the first record great rock festival at Monterey.
24. The line “Good morning, Mr Leitch’ in ‘Fakin’ It’ is a nod to their friend, the Scottish singer, Donovan.
25. Paul Simon wrote ‘Mrs Robinson’ for the soundtrack of The Graduate starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft.
26. Paul Simon said, “Mrs Robinson was the first time that Jesus was mentioned in a popular song.” Frank Sinatra wouldn’t record the song with the original lyric and it was changed to Jilly, his favourite restaurant owner.
27. Baseball star Joe DiMaggio said to Paul Simon, “What does that song ‘Mrs Robinson’ mean? I haven’t disappeared. I’m doing coffee commercials.”
28. Paul Simon was amazed to win a Grammy for Mrs Robinson as he was sure Hey Jude would win.
29. Simon wrote a suite of songs about ageing for the first side of their album, Bookends.
30. Despite the reference to Kathy, Paul Simon never took a trip across America with Kathy for his song ‘America’.
31. In June 1968 Simon and Garfunkel had the Top 3 albums in America – The Graduate, Bookends and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
32. On the back cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water, Paul and Art parody the look of Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy.
33. In the Robert Altman’s satire on Hollywood, the actor Buck Henry is seen making a comic pitch for Graduate 2.
34. In 1969 Art asked an attractive brunette who walked by him, “Will you marry me?” She became his girlfriend and then his wife.
35. The single of ‘The Boxer’ was recorded in three different locations.
36. Bob Dylan covered ‘The Boxer’ for his Self Portrait album.
37. ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ was inspired by a 1959 gospel record, ‘O Mary Don’t You Weep’ by the Swan Silvertones.
38. The reference to ‘silver girl’ in ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ was to Paul’s wife Peggy who was going grey.
39. Art Garfunkel said, “I’m not a fan of Aretha Franklin’s version of Bridge Over Troubled Water. I thought I topped them all.”
40. The Bridge Over Troubled Water album topped the UK charts for 41 weeks. Only the soundtrack albums for The Sound Of Music and South Pacific have done better.
41. Art Garfunkel appeared with Alan Arkin and Orson Welles in the film of Catch-22 butt Paul Simon’s role was dropped.
42. Garfunkel would often hitchhike across America to his concerts while Simon would fly.
43. A political song, ‘Cuba Si, Nixon No’, was dropped from the Bridge Over Troubled Water album.
44. When Simon wrote ‘El Condor Pasa (If I Could)’, he thought he had based it on an 18th century Peruvian melody, but it had been written in 1929 and he had to settle out of court.
45. Art Garfunkel starred in the film Carnal Knowledge with Jack Nicholson and Ann-Margret.
46. Paul Simon saw a dish of chicken and eggs on a menu at a Chinese restaurant and wrote a song around it, ‘Mother And Child Reunion’.
47. Paul Simon’s US hit, ‘Kodachrome’, was banned by the BBC for advertising.
48. Garfunkel’s first solo album, Angel Clare, was named after a character in the Thomas Hardy novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
49. In 1975 Simon and Garfunkel got back together for ‘My Little Town’.
50. Art Garfunkel was inspired by the Flamingos’ 1959 doo-wop arrangement of ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’.
51. When Simon was playing with his son Harper, he devised the childish rhymes which made up ‘50 Ways To Leave Your Lover’.
52. Paul Simon played a drug-taking record producer in Woody Allen’s film, Annie Hall.
53. Paul Simon married Carrie Fisher, the daughter of singers Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
54. Author Richard Adams hated the song ‘Bright Eyes’ that had been written for the animated Watership Down film.
55. Paul Simon took Art Garfunkel’s voice off the album, Hearts and Bones, and issued it as a solo work.
56. Amidst political controversy, Paul Simon made the first tracks for Graceland album in South Africa and then brought the musicians to New York.
57. When Paul Simon went to a party in New York, the host called him Al. He immediately had a new song title, ‘You Can Call Me Al’.
58. Simon heard a group of drummers on a street in Brazil. He recorded them in the open and it became the rhythm track for ‘The Obvious Child’.
59. Art Garfunkel walked from New York to Portland, Oregon, over 4,000 miles.
60. Art Garfunkel lists every book he reads on his website.
61. In 1998, Paul Simon’s musical, The Capeman, had bad reviews on Broadway.
62. Simon and Garfunkel toured with the Everly Brothers in 2004.
63. Paul Simon collaborated with Dion on a tribute to their home city, ‘New York Is My Home’.
64. In 2015 Art Garfunkel called Paul Simon an idiot and a jerk for not doing more reunions.
65. In 2016 Paul Simon said there will be no more reunions, although he has said it before.