A coming-of-age memoir about a young boy in rural Arkansas who searches for himself and his distant father through soul music
Growing up in rural Arkansas, young Rashod Ollison turned to music to make sense of his life. The dysfunction, sadness, and steely resilience of his family and neighbors was reflected in the R&B songs that played on 45s in smoky rooms.
Steeped in the sounds, the smells, the salty language of rural Arkansas in the 1980s, "Soul Serenade" is the memoir of a pop music critic whose love for soul music was fostered by his father, Raymond. Drafted into the Vietnam War as a teenager, Raymond returned a changed man, dead on the inside. After his parents volatile marriage ended in divorce, Rashod was haunted by the memory of his itinerant father and his mama's long forgotten sunshine smile. For six-year-old Rashod, his father's record collection the music of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, and others provided solace, coherence, and escape.