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Gary U.S. Bonds joins host Robin Milling to talk about his new book, By U.S. Bonds, That's My Story. Written with a foreword by Steven Van Zandt, it's an autobiography that's a love story, according to co-writer Stephen Cooper who helped Gary organize his life into 20 chapters.
Impossible as that seems, the stories are classic such as meeting Bruce Springsteen and forming a friendship that still thrives. As Gary recalls Bruce came to his show in New Jersey circa '76 and years later called him to record Dedication. Gary tells Robin he repaid the favor, gifting Bruce a '57 Chevy with 'Dedication' emblazoned on the fender. Bruce still proudly drives it around Jersey.
Gary's career began during the racially charged '50s where music might be color blind but the world certainly wasn't. He says he'd perform at all-white clubs, painfully aware of the segregation, but blended in as an entertainer and never had a problem. It was only touring with Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars in the early '60s that he experienced racism when he couldn't stay at the same hotel as white bands like Bobby Rydell.
At 74, Gary has lived a life of music and still does celebrating his birthday at BB Kings in NYC where musicians come to honor his musical legacy. There's plenty more story to be told.
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It's good to talk.