Blind Boys of Alabama - Spirit of the Century In-store Booksigning

Blind Boys of Alabama - Spirit of the Century In-store Booksigning

Sunday, Apr 14, 2024 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

A Cappella Books
208 Haralson Avenue, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30307



An insider history of the Blind Boys of Alabama, the longest running group in American music, and the untold story of their world, written with band members and key musical colleagues.

A Cappella Books is honored to welcome the Blind Boys of Alabama members Ricky McKinnie and Joey Williams for a special in-store book signing event in honor of their recent book, "Spirit of the Century: Our Own Story" on Sunday, April 14, from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM.

Event Guidelines (Know Before You Go)

-Admission to the signing and photo line requires the purchase of a copy of the Blind Boys of Alabama's new book, "Spirit of the Century," from A Cappella Books via the preorder link below or at the event.

-To ensure that the signing line moves quickly, we ask that purchasers have no more than one other person with them in line.

-In addition to your copy of "Spirit of the Century," a limit of ONE non-book item, such as posters, albums, and other memorabilia will be permitted to bring to Mr. McKinnie and Mr. Williams for their signatures.

-Photos will be allowed from the line only; we will have booksellers on hand to take your picture with Mr. McKinnie and Mr. Williams at the signing table.

PLEASE NOTE: Street parking in Inman Park is extremely limited to the street and Roger Jordan Garage parking lot across from our store. We recommend using Uber, Lyft or taking MARTA. A Cappella Books is a short walk from the Inman Park MARTA Station and Little 5 Points.

If you cannot attend, we will keep your signed copy of "Spirit of the Century" at the counter for pick-up, or you may contact us to have it shipped.

About the Book

The Blind Boys of Alabama are the quintessential Gospel vocal group, and the longest-running musical institution in America. Their story intersects with pivotal moments and issues in American history and is an ideal prism through which to trace music, culture, history, and race in America. "Spirit of the Century" invites readers to follow along the Blind Boys’ eight-decade journey together from a segregated trade school, through the rough and tumble indie record game and grinding tour schedule of the golden age of gospel, to starring in an iconic Broadway musical, performing at the White House for three presidents twice, collaborating with Tom Petty, Lou Reed, and Ben Harper, among others, singing the theme song for “The Wire,” and winning five Grammys. More than just a story of the Blind Boys' illustrious career, "Spirit of the Century" also sheds new light on the larger world of African American gospel music, its origins, and the colorful characters at its center.

Though there have been several iterations of the group over the decades, "Spirit of the Century" rounds up all surviving members of the group as contributors to the telling of their own story, and a result, the book offers a unique and intimate perspective on the group's enduring success. Current drummer and road manager Ricky McKinnie has been with the group throughout its renaissance, while guitarist Joey Williams, the group’s sighted member, has been the eyes of the Blind Boys since 1992. Octogenarian Jimmy Lee Carter has a fascinating history, as a fellow student of the original but deceased Blind Boys Clarence Fountain, George Scott, Olice Thomas, Johnny Fields, J.T. Hutton, and Velma Traylor at the Talladega school. Carter is one of a few performers who have been in both the Blind Boys of Alabama and Mississippi. He fronts the Alabama group today as a classic quartet leader and fiery preacher. Along with extensive interviews of Fountain, these legendary musicians provide this book with the voice, firsthand perspective, and authenticity that bring their story the same inspirational power that you hear in their songs.

Thought-provoking, heartfelt, and deeply inspiring, "Spirit of the Century" is a fascinating and one-of-a-kind read that you won't be able to put down.

About the Authors

The Blind Boys of Alabama are the longest running group in American music and have been performing gospel music since 1939. In addition to being inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, they have won numerous honors for the music, including five Grammy Awards, and were presented with the coveted Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. This is their first book.

Preston Lauterbach (coauthor) is the author/co-author of numerous books, including "Brother Robert," "Bluff City," "Beale Street Dynasty," and "The Chitlin'Circuit." He lives near Charlottesville, Virginia.