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The Last Holiday

A Memoir

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Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream. And Stevie Wonder had a dream. This is a book about dreams.'

In the autumn of 1980, Stevie Wonder invited Gil Scott-Heron to join him on a forty-one-city tour across America, ending in Washing­ton in January 1981, to gather popular support for the creation of a holiday in honour of the great civil-rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Scott-Heron uses this history-making tour as the backbone of his fascinating memoir.

Raised by his grandmother in Jackson, Tennessee, Scott-Heron's journey from humble beginnings to becoming one of the most uncompromising and influential musicians and songwriters of his generation is a remarkable one. Politically savvy and savagely satirical, socially conscious and tender-hearted, Gil Scott-Heron has been called the godfather of rap, and his unexpected death in May 2011 marked the loss of one of the world's most vocal and articulate artists. Chuck D of Public Enemy said of Scott-Heron, 'we do what we do and who we do because of you' and Eminem added, 'Scott-Heron influenced all of hip-hop'. And as Sarah Silverman said, "he mirrored ugliness with beauty, audacity, and valour'.

A compelling testament to Gil Scott-Heron's career and achievements, The Last Holiday is full of Scott-Heron's keen insights into the music industry, the civil rights movement, modern America, governmental hypocrisy and our wider place in the world.

From Publishers Weekly

02 January 2012 – Often called the godfather of rap, Scott-Heron released 20 albums and many singles, including the deeply influential “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” Now, even after his death, Scott-Heron continues to mesmerize us in this brilliant and lyrical romp through the fields of his life. He carries us from his birth in 1949 and childhood in Jackson, Tenn., just east of Memphis, to his coming-of-age in New York City and his many and varied musical adventures with recording industry executives such as Clive Davis of Columbia Records. Scott-Heron recalls his grandmother talking to the junk man one day and the next thing he knew, an upright piano was being carried into the house; his musical career commenced when he started learning to play hymns on that piano. When the family got a second radio, he was able to listen to WDIA in Memphis, where Carla and Rufus Thomas and B.B. King were on-air personalities. When the interstate highway paved over their neighborhood, Scott-Heron and his mother moved on to New York, where his musical career took flight and soared. Scott-Heron’s memoir also gracefully calls out Stevie Wonder and his initially attempts and eventually successful campaign to establish Martin Luther King’s birthday as a national holiday. In this captivating memoir Scott-Heron movingly gives thanks for the “Spirits,” those intangible influences in his life that moved him and helped direct his life and to whom he gives back so fully through his gift of lyrics and music.
The Last Holiday
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  • 8,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biography
  • Published: 06 January 2012
  • Publisher: Canongate Books
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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