From the first white performer who painted his face black to Eminem, white America's obsession with black music spans centuries. In Souled American , author Kevin Phinney takes a thoughtful and thought-provoking look at how genres such as rock 'n' roll, jazz, blues, soul, country, and hip-hop emerged through changing social and political times and the dynamic black and white personalities that shaped them. It includes dozens of exclusive celebrity interviews and anecdotes from such music luminaries as: Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Donna Summer, Little Richard, B.B. King, Jerry Wexler, Sly Stone, Steve Cropper, George Clinton, Joe Cocker, Buddy Guy, Ken Burns, Donny Osmond, Eric Burdon, David Byrne, Kid Rock, Bonnie Raitt, Beck, The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Jackson 5.Equal parts social history and pop culture, the book argues that form of American music can be described accurately as ethnically pure, and fleshes out the tug-of-war between blacks and whites as they create, recreate, and claim each phase of popular music.
Kevin Phinney is an entertainment journalist he has worked in Hollywood covering film for Premiere magazine and later The Hollywood Reporter.