Rock ‘n’ roll author to visit Carson City Public Library

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 1:17 pm on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Susan Whitall

CARSON CITY — Award-winning author Susan Whiteall will be a special guest Thursday evening at Carson City Public Library to talk about her new book, “Fever: Little Willie John — A Fast Life, Mysterious Death and the Birth of Soul.”

Whitall will be at the library at 7 p.m. Thursday for storytelling, questions and answers and book signing as part of the Library of Michigan’s 2012 Michigan Notable Authors Tour.

“It’s a literary treat to have Susan Whitall in our community, sharing her captivating work with our friends and neighbors in such an open, accessible way,” said Beth O’Grady, director of Carson City Public

Library. “Michigan is home to some of the best stories and storytellers found anywhere in the country. An author of Susan Whitall’s  caliber here, in our library, will make it an evening to remember.”

Whitall has been writing about music since the 1970s, when she was a staff writer/editor for Creem magazine. She has been a feature and music writer at the Detroit News since 1983. Her book “Women of Motown” was published in 1998. She was awarded a Michigan Notable Book Award 2012 for “Fever.”

The subject of “Fever,” Little Willie John, lived just 30 years, but his dynamic and daring sound left an indelible mark on the history of music. His deep blues, rollicking rock ‘n’ roll and swinging ballads inspired a generation of musicians.

In this, the first official biography of one of the most important figures in rhythm and blues history, Whitall, with the help of Little Willie John’s eldest son Kevin John, has interviewed some of the biggest names in the music industry and delved into the personal archive of the John family to produce an unprecedented account of the Detroit legend who invented soul music.

“This year’s Michigan Notable Books delve into wonderfully diverse topics and offer something of interest for just about everyone,” said State Librarian Nancy R. Robertson. “The tour offers the opportunity for book enthusiasts in many corners of the state to join in the conversation about what constitutes ‘great writing’ and to hear from some of the Great Lakes region’s most beloved authors.”

For more information, call (989) 584-3680 or visit

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