Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Gerri Hirshey's book was conceived, according to her preface, as a series of literary spotlights, illuminating the world of "Soul Music" and the musicians whose performances and recordings created it. In its final form, the book became a collection of semi-biographical sketches combining loosely connected narrative with quotations from the stars themselves, transcribed from Hirshey's many interviews. Her expressed intent was to create "a book of voices" speaking of their music, their lives, their hopes, fears and expectations. The title is taken from the song made famous by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas (1965) and reflects emotions expressed by many of the singers interviewed: impatience with the fickleness of the public and record companies, frustration with the relentless pace forced upon them by their careers, and, often, despair at their inability to control the careers that both enthrall and entrap them. "Soul music," Hirshey suggests, " ... for a few years ... gave many of us somewhere to run -- to get out of ourselves, to feel free, if only for 2 1/2 minutes a side."
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1987