Peter Guralnick


Born
in Boston, Massachusetts, The United States
December 15, 1943

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Peter Guralnick is an American music critic, writer on music, and historian of US American popular music, who is also active as an author and screenwriter. He has been married for over 45 years to Alexandra. He has a son and daughter, Jacob and Nina.

Guralnick's first two books, Almost Grown (1964) and Mister Downchild (1967), were short story collections published by Larry Stark, whose small press in Cambridge, Larry Stark Press, was devoted to stories and poems. Mona Dickson, writing in MIT's The Tech (May 13, 1964) gave Almost Grown a favorable review.

After Guralnick graduated from Boston University in 1971 with a master's degree in creative writing, he began writing books chronicling the history of blues, country, rock and roll and soul.
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Elvis Day by Day: The Defin...

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“He constructed a shell to hide his aloneness, and it hardened on his back. I know of no sadder story.”
Peter Guralnick

“Perkins was doing basically the same sort of thing up around Jackson, and I know for a fact Jerry Lee Lewis had been playing that kind of music ever since he was ten years old. You see, from the honky tonks you got such a mixture of all different types of music, and I think what happened is that when Elvis busted through, it enabled all these other groups that had been going along more or less the same avenue—I’m sure there were hundreds of them—to tighten up and focus on what was going to be popular. If they had a steel guitar they dropped it. The weepers and slow country ballads pretty much went out of their repertoire. And what you had left was country-orientated boogie music.”
Peter Guralnick, Lost Highway: Journeys and Arrivals of American Musicians

“He would return again and again to the same themes over the years, with different details and different emphases, but always with the same underlying message: the inherent nobility not so much of man as of FREEDOM, and the implied responsibility - no, the OBLIGATION - for each of us to be as different as our individuated natures allowed us to be. To be different, in Sam's words, IN THE EXTREME.”
Peter Guralnick

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