33 episodes

The Rock N Roll Librarian: Our Monthly Rock N Roll Book Club, co-hosted by Shelley Sorenson and Christian Swain. Shelley picks a book, usually a Rock N Roll biography, she reads it and I purposely do not and then we dig into it together. Shelley is a rocker from way back, and a professional librarian from way back. She goes way back with us too - the Librarian was our first “spin off” show! Shelley sees Rock N Roll Librarian as an opportunity to combine her love of books and love of music into something new! Proud part of Pantheon - the podcast network for music lovers.

Rock N Roll Librarian Pantheon

    • Music
    • 4.0 • 40 Ratings

The Rock N Roll Librarian: Our Monthly Rock N Roll Book Club, co-hosted by Shelley Sorenson and Christian Swain. Shelley picks a book, usually a Rock N Roll biography, she reads it and I purposely do not and then we dig into it together. Shelley is a rocker from way back, and a professional librarian from way back. She goes way back with us too - the Librarian was our first “spin off” show! Shelley sees Rock N Roll Librarian as an opportunity to combine her love of books and love of music into something new! Proud part of Pantheon - the podcast network for music lovers.

    Searching for Jimmy Page:

    Searching for Jimmy Page:

    Shelley and Christian discuss this brooding coming-of-age mystery about 18-year-old Luna's search for her biological father, which leads her to England to find Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin's legendary guitarist. Luna comes to grips with repressed memories of her mother's suicide and the music and musician she was obsessed with. Fans of Led Zeppelin, in particular, will enjoy how the author has woven the band’s mythology through Luna’s odyssey.
    Part of Pantheon Podcasts
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    • 1 hr 35 min
    Shout, Sister, Shout! - The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe

    Shout, Sister, Shout! - The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe

    Praise the Lord! Shelley and Christian discuss the “Godmother of Rock and Roll”, whose obscure tale is told in the book Shout, Sister, Shout! The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe by Gayle F. Wald, 2007. Brought up in the Pentecostal church where congregants celebrated God with lively, joyful, rhythmic music using voice, trumpets, tambourines, pianos, organs, and guitars, Sister Rosetta brought rhythm and swing, her powerful voice, her charisma and her own brand of guitar playing out into the world. This Black woman’s achievements on the electric guitar have been minimized, but her distinctive fills and thrilling solos were revolutionary and influenced the likes of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and a host of British blues aficionados like Keith Richards and Eric Clapton. Join us to experience the story and music of Sister Rosetta, who was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
    This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts
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    • 1 hr 46 min
    So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley

    So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley

    In this episode of the Rock n Roll Librarian Shelley and Christian discuss the book So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley (2017).
    Roger Steffens, a respected historian and a leading Marley expert, has woven interviews of more than 75 friends, relatives, and lovers, music associates (including original Wailers Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer), into a rich testimony of the life of the reggae king―the full, inside account of how a boy from the slums of Kingston, Jamaica, became a cultural icon and inspiration to millions around the world. Over four decades of interviews tell dramatic, little-known stories about the writing of his beloved songs, his musical development and early sessions with the Wailers, and relationships with Rita Marley and Cindy Breakspeare. It also delves into controversies and mysteries, including the harrowing assassination attempt at 56 Hope Road in Kingston, his defiant performance two nights later with a bullet lodged in his arm, and the discovery and (mis)treatment of his cancer and ultimate tragic death. 
    The intimate voices and frankness of their revelations offer multiple perspectives on key events in the reggae icon’s life. Steffens voice guides the narrative, but So Much Things to Say is a collective accomplishment, a transformative slice of music history.
    https://www.amazon.com/So-Much-Things-Say-History/dp/039305845X
    This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
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    • 1 hr 44 min
    All I Ever Wanted: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir by Kathy Valentine

    All I Ever Wanted: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir by Kathy Valentine

    In this episode of the Rock n Roll librarian, Shelley and Christian chat about Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine’s story of what it took to find success and find herself, in ALL I EVER WANTED: A ROCK ‘n’ ROLL MEMOIR. 
    The Go-Go’s became the first multi-platinum-selling, all-female band to play instruments themselves, write and perform their own songs, and have a number one album. For Valentine, the band's success was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream―but it’s only part of her story.“Like a scorching guitar solo emerging from the prettiest pop song, Kathy Valentine’s All I Ever Wanted blows away every other music memoir out there. It’s the raw, real story of a Texas girl who raised herself and became a legend through sheer grit and talent, from raucous rocker to pop princess and back again. In prose that is powerful and relatable and unsentimental and funny and scary, Valentine takes readers from the depths of a dark childhood to the electric heights of superstardom. It’s a stunning journey, masterfully told.” —Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors and Toil & Trouble
    This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
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    • 2 hr 4 min
    Rage to Survive: The Etta James Story

    Rage to Survive: The Etta James Story

    On this episode of the Rock n Roll Librarian, Shelley tells Christian all about the book RAGE TO SURVIVE: THE ETTA JAMES STORY. 
    One of the great women of American music, Etta was equally at home singing blues, R&B, and jazz, and gave us such amazing songs as “I’d Rather Go Blind”, “Tell Mama”, and “At Last”. She regales us with riveting stories of her chaotic youth in Los Angeles, her teen years in San Francisco’s Fillmore district, and her troubled trip to stardom. From being discovered at age five singing in her church choir, to her first hit record, to her work and friendships with Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, and other stars of the Golden Age of Soul, Etta relates with brutal honesty her struggle with drugs, her childhood dealing with an elusive and unstable mother, and her lifelong trouble with brutal and controlling men. A riveting story told in Etta’s own unvarnished and humorously right-on words.
    By Etta James and David Ritz
    Da Capo Press, 1995
    #EttaJames #ChessRecords #Rhythm&Blues #JohnnyOtis #JohnnyGuitarWatson #FillmoreDistrict #MarvinGaye #SamCooke #LittleRichard #JackieWilson #TheMoonglows #ArethaFranklin #TinaTurner #BillieHolliday #Jazz #Blues #SouthCentral
    This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
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    • 1 hr 43 min
    No One Here Gets Out Alive: The Biography of Jim Morrison

    No One Here Gets Out Alive: The Biography of Jim Morrison

    In this episode of the Rock n Roll Librarian, Shelley and Christian discuss the life of Jim Morrison (The Doors), as told in the ground-breaking 1980 biography “No One Here Gets Out Alive”. Here is Morrison in all his complexity - singer, philosopher, poet, delinquent - the brilliant, charismatic, and obsessed seeker who rejected authority in any form, the explorer who probed "the bounds of reality to see what would happen..." Seven years in the writing, this definitive biography is the work of two men whose empathy and experience with Jim Morrison uniquely prepared them to recount this modern tragedy: Rolling Stone writer Jerry Hopkins, and Danny Sugerman, confidant of and aide to the Doors.
    Visit our sponsor Adam & Eve for 50% off almost any item, get tons of free gifts AND receive free shipping. Just go to adamandeve.com and type “ROCKLIB” at checkout.
    This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
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    • 1 hr 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

MLC-SF ,

Good stories

Shelley is excellent.
Why does the guy keep interrupting and trying to mansplain everything? (PS: I’m a guy, and I still notice this.) Dude - you don’t know as much as you think you do. Let the librarian talk!

virginia1882 ,

Shelley is sufficient

Shelley is informed, articulate, and quite enough to carry this podcast. Christian is rude and adds nothing of value. Five stars for her; one (zero) for him.

Redbeard1970 ,

What a great podcast.

I love the reviews of music biographies on this podcast. Every January I buy between 20-30 biographies to read. I’ve got some cool ideas for books to add to my list from this.

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