Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind The Song

Christina Aguilera, Melissa Etheridge, Lamont Dozier, Paul Anka, Kanye West, Richie Sambora & other top songwriters tell entertainment veteran Jo-Ann Geffen their inspiration and techniques.

Musicians love to say that every song tells a story, but they are usually tight-lipped about the story behind the song. Was it really scribbled on a napkin? What love interest was the real inspiration? If we knew the real story behind our favorite songs, would we ever listen to them the same way again?

Chicken Soup for the Soul® has partnered with veteran Hollywood publicist, talent manager and celebrity booker Jo-Ann Geffen for the first all celebrity book from the top selling brand. Geffen peels back the curtain on 101 songs, songwriters and artists with the upcoming release of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song (Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, November 10, 2009, 978-1-935096-40-5, $14.95). Jo-Ann Geffen is credited as editor along with Chicken Soup for the Soul co-founders Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. The foreword is by Lamont Dozier, who is credited as an architect of the Motown sound.

The book reflects on many of our favorite songs that trace our lives through music from rap trendsetter Kanye West to Top 40 hit-makers Richie Sambora, Christina Aguilera, Melissa Etheridge, John Legend, the Backstreet Boys’ Howie Dorough, and Jewel, classic rock performer/songwriters like Chicago’s Robert Lamm, and Foreigner’s Mick Jones, Daryl Hall and John Oates, alternative rockers Aaron Lewis of Staind to Corey Taylor of Slipknot and legendary punk rock hits such as Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” and Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains reflecting on his father’s tour in Vietnam and its aftermath in “Rooster, pop classics like those of Barry Manilow, Hal David, Diane Warren and Paul Anka who re-tells his history with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, R&B songmasters such as Nathan Morris for the Boyz II Men/Mariah Carey hit “One Sweet Day”, Walter Orange of the Commodores, Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind and Fire’s Philip Bailey, and country hits from Tracy Lawrence, .Ray Stevens, Pam Tillis.

Some bring laughter, others bring tears, but all are insightful and great reading for music fans, aficionados or people who just like a good story. Each of the tales is accompanied by a photo and the lyrics for the song that is discussed.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, publishes all the latest titles in the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series which are distributed through Simon and Schuster, Inc. Since 1993, books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have sold more than 112 million copies, with titles translated into more than 40 languages. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing also licenses the right to use its famous trademark to high quality licensees through IMG, the world's premier licensing agent. The company is currently implementing a plan to expand into all media, is working with TV networks on several TV shows and is developing a major Internet presence dedicated to life improvement, emotional support and inspiration.  In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable and impactful books in the last quarter century. For more information visit:

To receive a review copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song, or to schedule an interview, please contact Rusty Shelton (512) 478-2028 ext.220 or

Of Kings, Queens and Movie Stars

Of Kings, Queens and Movie Stars

“This is showbiz from the very intimate inside. How inside? Leonard was literally the third person on Cary Grant's honeymoon with Dyan Cannon...and writes all about it! Forty years in the film publicity trenches. You'll read all about life in the movies in the more glorious and glamorous 70s, 80s, and 90s... Steve McQueen, Peter Sellers, Warren Beatty, Barbra Streisand and on and on and on. A thousand times more interesting and sophisticated than today's gossip mongers. Morpurgo was right in there organizing, advising, encouraging and taking the heat for the cream of the movie crop as well as the heads of state from around the world. You love movies?... Don't miss Of Kings and Queens and Movie Stars.”

Sid Ganis, Producer and President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“This is a fun and fantastic reading experience. Leonard Morpurgo has worked with the famous, and his frank and entertaining stories about them are eye-openers. It’s an insider’s look at Hollywood egos, past and present.”

Henri Bollinger, founder, president of the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society and past president of the Publicists Guild of America.

“A truly gifted bard, Leonard Morpurgo proves once again that truth is indeed stranger than fiction --- even in Hollywood. Wonderfully entertaining and great reading.”

David A. Weitzner, Director, Summer Program, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

"An amusing and informative collection of stories about the author's adventures in the PR trade, told with an engagingly wry and self-deprecating good humor."

Michael York

"If you want to know what it is like to be a publicity pro from the days of Cary Grant to George Clooney this is a great read. It is interesting, funny and enlightening."

Robert J. Dowling, former editor-in-chief and publisher of The Hollywood Reporter.

“A longtime international film publicist, Morpurgo dishes celebs ranging from Cary Grant to the Duke of Windsor, at the same time skewering the decision-makers at the studios who—more often than most PR types will admit—are wayward or wacky in their calls.

“Never heavy-handed or tacky, Morpurgo provides a reminder of just how fractured the personalities he had to cater to were (and are). His word for them is ‘guarded,’ but often he managed to get behind the veil of one or another.

“The book has texture, and it made me realize how far we’ve come, or receded, since the heady, spendthrift days of the 1970s and ‘80s.”

Elizabeth Guider, current editor of The Hollywood Reporter.