Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Release Day! Crescendo by Allen Cheney with Julie Cantrell ~ My Thoughts #Crescendo #TallPoppy #NetGalley

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Congrats Allen & Julie
on the release today of

Crescendo: The True Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern Town by Allen Cheney & Julie Cantrell
Print and ebook, 336 pages
Published July 16th 2019 by Thomas Nelson

A hidden story of human triumph, Crescendo takes you on the rare journey of a musical prodigy who changed an entire community forever.

More than eighty years ago, a musical prodigy with a brilliant mind was born into a poor, uneducated, and abusive family in rural South Georgia. At three years of age, Fred Allen could play Mozart sonatas on the piano without missing a note. But in spite of his obvious talent, Fred’s parents discouraged him from expressing his creativity and intelligence, even going so far as locking him away from the old piano in their home. Forced to fend for himself through his adolescent years, Fred knew that if he was ever to make something of himself, he would need to find a way to rise above his broken background. With incredible effort, and a few miracles along the way, Fred managed to do just that, eventually earning acceptance into The Julliard School in New York City. While simultaneously attending Julliard, Union Theological Seminary, and Columbia University, he also began directing a local church choir, where he caught the attention of the music industry.

During the musical revolution of the 1960s, Fred earned numerous Grammy nominations and built a growing reputation within the industry. But just as his new career was beginning to take off, Fred was faced with an impossible decision. His wife announced that she no longer wanted to raise their daughter in New York City and was heading home to the South. Fred had come so far from the pain and brokenness of his past, he couldn’t imagine giving up everything just to return to his childhood home.

Trying not to think about what could have been, Fred took a job as a high school music teacher in his hometown of Thomasville, Georgia, a community of only 30,000 people. Far from the executive suites of RCA and the allure of Broadway, Fred never could have imagined that his new role would not only transform his life but also change an entire community forever.

My thoughts about Crescendo ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"It has been said that we are lucky if we can find one person who restores our hope when it is lost. One who sees something of worth in us, even when we fail to see it in ourselves, or one who helps push us to be better than we thought we could be."

Crescendo starts as a heartbreaking, sad story about a very talented, abused little boy which turns into an upbeat and inspiring tale of a brilliantly successful and admired man. This book is based on real people and is a real accounting of their lives but it reads like a wonderfully woven work of fiction. 

Fred Allen and his wife, Winnie are amazing people who have lived a beautiful life together, making a difference in so many people's lives. It wasn't always an easy life, but their love for each other and their shared love of music helped get them through the hard times. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Crescendo and learning as much as I did about these two very special people. This is a story that let me delve deeper into the music world and left me with an appreciation for the good that people can do if they follow their passion.   

I received an ARC of Crescendo from NetGalley and this is my honest opinion of the book.

About the authors

Allen Cheney
Allen Cheney

Allen Cheney was born and raised in Thomasville Georgia. Ever close to his southern Georgia roots while navigating through his many creative endeavors in Los Angeles, Allen Cheney finds sharing his grandparents, Fred and Winnie Allen's life story the pinnacle project for his career. “I have always had an unbelievable bond with my grandparents, Fred and Winnie Allen. They instilled in me a creative drive and dedication to excellence that has been the cornerstone for my success,” ~ Goodreads

Connect with Allen

Website | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

Julie Cantrell
Julie Cantrell

Julie Cantrell is an award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, teacher, and TEDx speaker. She has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and has earned starred reviews by both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Cantrell is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship and was named a finalist for the 2017 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction Award. Her published work has crossed many genres and includes everything from poetry and essays to children's books, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and creative nonfiction. Learn more: www.juliecantrell.com ~ Goodreads

Connect with Julie


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