Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Phyllis Hyman - Her Story Is Finally Told In New Book

I can remember once during my teenage years hanging out in the basement and smoking weed back in Michigan with my girl-friend Sheila. Sheila was an amazing singer and that evening she soared to new heights, at least in my marijuana induced state, when she belted out Phyllis Hyman's Betcha By Golly Wow. She even looked like Phyllis, both classic beauties.

I absolutely love Phyllis Hyman. Her voice is part of the soundtrack of my generation.The ironic thing about that memory is that just like the legendary Phyllis Hyman, my girl Sheila is no longer with us, both gone too soon.

In his new book Strength of a Woman, Jason A. Michael, a native Detroiter and Spirit of Detroit award winner, earned his bachelors of journalism degree from Wayne State University before joining the staff of Between The Lines, a Detroit-based news and arts weekly, brings to light the struggle of singer Phyllis Hyman in the powerful new biography STRENGTH OF A WOMAN: The Phyllis Hyman Story (JAM Books; trade paperback; September 4, 2007).

Hyman’s 20-year career, which included the release of eight albums and a Tony nomination and Theatre World Award for her Broadway turn in Sophisticated Ladies, was brought to a tragic end by her suicide June 30, 1995, just hours before she was due to take the stage at the legendary Apollo Theatre.

In the spotlight, Hyman’s breathtaking voice and stunning beauty shone brightly. But off stage, after the applause and the laughter produced by her bawdy humor had faded, Hyman spent her days and nights engaged in an exhausting battle against bipolar disorder. Complicating its crippling effects was Hyman’s addiction to drugs and alcohol (which she tried repeatedly to kick) as well as the demands and constraints of being a female African-American entrepreneur in an industry controlled by white men.

Though she ultimately chose to extricate herself from the pain of her disease, she left behind a legacy of beautiful music that will live on forever as a true testament to the Strength of a Woman.

Thanks again for sending this to me Luther and thank you Jason for writing this important book.

To buy this book now, click here.

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