Only the Strong Survive

Only the Strong Survive

Memoirs of a Soul Survivor
Jerry Butler and Earl Smith
Distribution: World
Publication date: 02/20/2004
Format: Paperback 41 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-21704-2
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... Butler’s recollections of the racially segregated ‘chitlin circuit,’ the early days of the civil rights movement and fellow performers like Dinah Washington, Little Willie John and Dionne Warwick are fascinating and insightful.... Only the Strong Survive makes one wish it came with a soundtrack." —The New York Times Book Review

[Only the Strong Survive] presents a portrait of a remarkable performer, as well as an up-close and personal look at the world of rhythm and blues from the perspective of an insider.... A moving chronicle of one of America’s music pioneers." —Chicago Tribune

More than an autobiography, Only the Strong Survive is also a glimpse at the political and social climate of the times which shaped the life of one man." —Ebony

Author Bio

An award-winning performer, producer, and composer, and one of the architects of Rhythm-and-Blues, Jerry "The Iceman" Butler has enjoyed a musical career spanning more than 40 years that produced over 50 albums, numerous hit songs, and three Grammy Award nominations. Butler is now in his fifth term as a Cook County Commissioner in Chicago, Illinois.

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Table of Contents


Part I: The Early Years
1. The Beginning
2. Starting Over in Sweet Home Chicago
3. Learning the Basics
4. Reality Sets In
Part II: The Vee Jay Years
5. What's in a Name?
6. Coming Apart
7. Picking Up the Pieces
8. Learning Experiences
9. Making My Mark
10. With a Little Help from My Friends
Part III: The Mercury Years
11. The Producers
12. "Kill or Be Killed"
13. Changing the World with a Song
Part IV: The Motown Years and Beyond
14. You've Got What It Takes
Part V: The Political Years
15. Summing Up