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November 2008 Archives

November 8, 2008

Willie Nelson : An Epic Life

An epic life and an epic book as well. Written by Joe Nick Patoski, this is not a Willie Nelson For Dummies. No, at 567 pages it is more of a textbook on all things Willie. The diehard fan (Willieologist) will love this book. A serious tome written by a serious writer. A former editor at Texas Monthly, his Texas connections serve him well as he has written about Nelson for 35 years. From reading the book some of the things we learn are: (1.) Nelson's gypsy lifestyle was probably influenced to a large extent by his wandering wayward parents. (2.) Throughout the low points of a long career, Nelson has remained tenacious, determined, and driven. This has served him well when others berated his singing, writing, and even his playing. (3.) It's hard for Willie to say no to any request. That's why he has people to say no for him. (4.) The genesis of the much celebrated Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnics. (5.) His love/hate relationship with fellow outlaw Waylon Jennings. (6.) Willie really does love the wacky weed, I mean really loves the weed. (7.) What you see is what you get, warts and all. (8.) There's no one better to play Willie in a movie role than the red headed stranger himself. (9.) The many humanitarian efforts and benefit concerts Nelson has undertaken for the downtrodden and disheartened. (10.) There's a lot more but hey you'll have to read the book.
Patoski has presented a well balanced portrait of one of America's favorite icons. From ex-wives to club owners to fellow troubadours to even a guy Nelson pumped gas with in his salad days - Patoski has tracked them all down. Don't be surprised if this doesn't turn out to be the definitive bio.
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November 18, 2008

Deconstructing Sammy

The lessons I learned after reading this book by Matt Birkbeck are: 1.) Pay your taxes 2.) Pay your taxes 3.) Pay your taxes and 4.) Pay your taxes dammit! We've all heard this story before. Most recently, actor Wesley Snipes was sentenced to the big house for IRS troubles. In this case, the book tells the story of one of the most beloved entertainers of the last century - Sammy Davis Jr. and his tax woes. Birnbeck also makes salacious and sensational claims concerning Davis, his troubled widow Altovise, Sinatra, and assorted cronies and associates. Perhaps the biggest bombshell dropped by the author is that Davis knew who killed JFK! Who would of thought? Sammy Davis Jr. knew the answer to the greatest mysteries of the last century all while singing Candy Man. A humorous tidbit mentioned in the book is that Donald Rumsfeld (yea that Donald Rumsfeld former secretary of defense) used to stay at Davis's pool house. Birkbeck does his best writing when he shines a light on Albert "Sonny" Murray who singlehandedly settled IRS claims on the Davis estate and resurrected the career and iconic stature of Davis years after he passed away. Murray's relationship to his parents and their historic resort in the Poconos is touching and endearing. If all lawyers were like Murray the world would indeed be a better place.

About November 2008

This page contains all entries posted to DR. BYNUM'S SHOW in November 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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