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Coming Through the '60s : An American Rock 'n Road Story

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"Coming through the 60s: An American Rock 'n Rock Story" by William M. King I have often thought about my heritage, that distant family, the ones near- forgotten in the mountains of the deep south, the class battles that run from birth to present day, the poverty and hardships that bound them together. They were "Jesus believers," whose faith in grifters put their souls in the hands of the "glory-makers" in a south teeming with charlatans, "funky-ass" preachers, rainmakers, unscrupulous bankers, and carnies of every persuasion. To understand my place on earth, I questioned if it led to a downed spacecraft and my arrival from a distant galaxy, a child, born of counterpoint, rhythm, melody, and harmony, in a solar system presumed lifeless. 

Talk! Conversations in All Keys 

                                       The Artists (Vol.1) 

     The year was 1985, and an unexpected call came from Bob Mackowitz, the voice behind the 6 O’Clock Rock Report at Q -107 FM in Toronto. “Macko” as Bob was known and longtime friend and pal - El Mocambo doorman Reggie Bovaird and I would spend the occasional evening blowing a pipe of fine hashish - listening and talking music. Most times, we’d cross paths when I was playing clubs or just hanging out. Bob was rocking radio, Reggie was keeping the peace, and I was taking whatever gig paid the bills. 

That spring, Macko calls and asks if I’d be interested in hosting Q-Jazz the station’s Sunday morning concession to playing jazz. Rather than hesitate, I arrived for an audition. Tape rolled, and I stammered my way through a self-prepared script, and with a few edits, an acceptable recorded demo followed. A day later, station boss Gary Slaight hired me. 

There was no fast-track introduction to the world I was about to enter. As of today, that world has now circled the sun a good thirty-five times and not all of those years occupied with an on-air presence but a good many journalistic situations offering me access to the artists, industry, and components that have built, shaped and continue to support the Canadian music industry - which brings me to Talk! Conversations in All Keys.

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Bill King, a columnist for FYI Music News, an accomplished photographer, radio host (Toronto’s JazzFm, Newstalk and CIUT 89.5), music producer, composer, recording artist and jazz pianist whose 50-plus year career includes working as the musical director for Janis Joplin, Linda Ronstadt and The Pointer Sisters, received his shipment of his latest book, Talk! Conversations In All Keys, just as Toronto was going into lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic. Ed Note: I've got mine. Short Interviews. Ideal Bathroom Read. ”

Warren Cosford

I would love this book even if I weren't in it. I have known many of those included for a lot of years, but am learning things I did not know from reading these interviews. Bill King is a terrific interviewer. He makes you feel as comfortable as a big plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and gravy does, and as forthcoming as a bottle of tequila. Highly recommended. ”

Robert Segarini

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Bill King represents one of Indiana’s most precious gifts to the world of music. Accomplished and renowned in so many disciplines, Bill is a true polymath: composer, arranger, producer, festival director, radio host, and now published author with Talk! Conversations in All Keys. Talk! accomplishes a rare feat - extracting and revealing fascinating details about artists while not injecting the interviewer too deeply into the story. Bill’s questions bespeak a deep understanding of both popular music and the people who have created it. The diversity of subjects - from Ian Tyson to Bif Naked to Carol Welsman - is invigorating, and we can only hope for a sequel sooner than later. Intelligent, insightful conversations from an accomplished interviewer and generous musical spirit”

— Kevin Wynne