Prial, Dunstan 1970(?)-
Prial, Dunstan 1970(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1970 (some sources say 1963), in NJ.
ADDRESSES: Home— Bristol, RI.
CAREER: Journalist and writer. Worked as a reporter for the Associated Press.
The Producer: John Hammond and the Soul of American Music, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: Dunstan Prial is a journalist who became interested in music producer John Hammond because he produced records for one of Prial’s favorite artists, Bruce Springsteen. In The Producer: John Hammond and the Soul of American Music, the author recounts Hammond’s life and career producing records for some of the top recording artists of his time, who, in addition to Springsteen, included such wide-ranging talents as Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan. Prial reveals Hammond’s upper-class roots as part of the noted Vanderbilt family and explores his career as Hammond drops out of Yale University to follow his love of jazz music. The author also delves into Hammond’s leftist political beliefs and his fair treatment of the artists he produced. A Kirkus Reviews contributor referred to The Producer as a “sympathetic, admiring biography” and as being “informative, compelling and gleefully, unapologetically tendentious.” John Clarke, Jr., writing in Variety, commented that the biography “has a pitch-perfect story arc: rich boy discovers music and Harlem, gets job in record business, serves up historic talent to unreceptive, stone-faced record label brass, is mocked and ridiculed and later vindicated, if not canonized.” In his review in the Library Journal, James E. Perone wrote: “He brings Hammond to life in clear, insightful prose.” David Itzkoff, writing in the New York Times Book Review, noted: “The . . . triumph of The Producer is illustrating how . . . seemingly disparate phases of Hammond’s career are actually points on a single line, defined by his lifelong passion for social justice.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, June 1, 2006, Ray Olson, review of The Producer: John Hammond and the Soul of American Music, p. 29.
Christian Science Monitor, October 3, 2006, John Kehe, review of The Producer.
Entertainment Weekly, June 30, 2006, Raymond Fiore, review of The Producer, p. 167.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2006, review of The Producer, p. 510.
Library Journal, June 15, 2006, James E. Perone, review of The Producer, p. 73.
New York Times, August 11, 2006, Peter Keepnews, review of The Producer.
New York Times Book Review, October 1, 2006, Dave Itzkoff, review of The Producer.
Publishers Weekly, May 29, 2006, review of The Producer, p. 52.
Taipei Times, August 13, 2006, Peter Keepnews, review of The Producer, p. 19.
Twin Cities Reader Summer Books Issue, July 19, 2006, Jesse Berrett, review of The Producer.
Variety, August 21, 2006, John Clarke, Jr., review of The Producer, p. 30.
Forbes.com, http://www.forbes.com/ (July 14, 2006), Richard Hyfler, review of The Producer.*