Monday, May 14, 2012

The “Mamma-Jamma…Behind a Typewriter” – Four Important Prince Journalists

"Geroge [Clinton] told me how much he liked Around the World in a Day. You know how much more his words mean than those from some mamma-jamma wearing glasses and an alligator shirt behind a typewriter?" --Prince, Rolling Stone, 1985

That’s definitely one of my favorite Prince quotes. Of course there are some music journalists who, as Prince would also say in that Rolling Stone interview, write for each other and relish tearing artists apart. However, we’re all not like that. Some of us genuinely care about the music, and are committed to telling the truth—not just being clever.

I don’t know enough about the following writers to comment about the integrity of all of their work, but I know that they have a lot to offer as far as covering Prince. I’ve already interviewed others who have written about Prince, and here are four more journalists whom I think will be useful sources for my book:

  1. C.J.—C.J. is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. CJ has been covering all things Prince for a number of years, and she seems to be “in-the-know” about Prince’s family, friends and associates who live in Minneapolis.
  2. Jon Bream—Bream is another columnist for the Star Tribune; he covers popular music. He also wrote one of the first —if not the first—Prince biographies, “Prince: Inside the Purple Reign.” The book has been well-received and cited by other Prince biographies that I’ve read.
  3. Neal Karlen—Karlen is a former contributing editor for Rolling Stone who interviewed Prince for two important cover stories in 1985 and 1990. He is also based in Minneapolis.
  4. Lynn Norment—Norment is the former managing editor of Ebony who wrote all of the magazine’s features over a 20-year period. Prince opened up to Norment about his spiritual beiliefs.
As I mentioned last week, I’ve been focusing on learning more about Prince’s family and religious roots. I think that the Minneapolis-based journalists above could provide great insight.

I’ve also received affirmation that my blog is really proving to be useful in my journey! As you’ll remember, this blog is on both Blogger and on my website. A reader from Park Avenue United Methodist Church left comments on the latter site, offering to help me get in touch with some of the members who remember Prince! I am especially excited about this because I could not get access to or attendance information from the church records.

Thanks for reading, mamma-jammas! Until next week….

What other journalists should be a part of the list?

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