Delta Lady: A Memoir (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Rita Coolidge's memoir is a fascinating look into her life in music and relationships with famous men like Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. Almost too short of a read, this book would be great interest to any fan of the music of the '70s. Also includes stories about Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Delaney and Bonnie, and Sammy Davis, Jr.

— Len, Chicago ORD


The two-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter bares her heart and soul in this intimate memoir, a story of music, stardom, love, family, heritage, and resilience.

She inspired songs—Leon Russell wrote “A Song for You” and “Delta Lady” for her, Stephen Stills wrote “Cherokee.” She co-wrote songs—“Superstar” and the piano coda to “Layla,” uncredited. She sang backup for Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, and Stills, before finding fame as a solo artist with such hits as “We're All Alone” and “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher.” Following her story from Lafayette, Tennessee to becoming one of the most sought after rock vocalists in LA in the 1970s, Delta Lady chronicles Rita Coolidge’s fascinating journey throughout the ’60s-’70s pop/rock universe.

A muse to some of the twentieth century’s most influential rock musicians, she broke hearts, and broke up bands. Her relationship with drummer Jim Gordon took a violent turn during the legendary 1970 Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour; David Crosby maintained that her triangle with Stills and Graham Nash was the last straw for the group. Her volatile six-year marriage to Kris Kristofferson yielded two Grammys, a daughter, and one of the Baby Boom generation’s epic love stories. Throughout it all, her strength, resilience, and inner and outer beauty—along with her strong sense of heritage and devotion to her family—helped her to not only survive, but thrive. Co-written with best-selling author Michael Walker, Delta Lady is a rich, deeply personal memoir that offers a front row seat to an iconic era, and illuminates the life of an artist whose career has helped shape modern American culture.

About the Author

Rita Coolidge is a two-time Grammy Award winner. She began her music career in Memphis before moving to Los Angeles, where she became one of the most popular backup singers in the business, recording with Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, and other artists. Signed to A&M Records as a solo artist in 1971, she released more than two dozen albums in the years that followed, including the multiplatinum Anytime . . .Anywhere, and continues to record and tour. She lives in Fallbrook, California.

Michael Walker is the bestselling author of Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood and What You Want Is in the Limo: On the Road with Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, and the Who in 1973, the Year the Sixties Died and the Modern Rock Star Was Born. He has written about popular culture for the New York Times and is a contributing editor at the Hollywood Reporter. He lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For…

“Candidly tells the ups and downs of her life story, including her romantic relationships with Leon Russell, Stephen Still, Graham Nash and Kris Kristofferson.”

“Unusually frank and compelling.”
San Diego Union-Tribune

“DELTA LADY is so intimate, you feel you are in a room with Rita Coolidge as she confides her experiences as backup singer, songwriter, star — and muse to some of rock’s greatest talents. An extraordinary, moving, and insightful journey through the minefields of musical talent, ego and glamour.”
— Sheila Weller, author of GIRLS LIKE US: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon — and the Journey of a Generation

“Lyrical…. Exhibits a deep understanding of human nature…. Authentic and intimate.”
Publishers Weekly

“Surprisingly rich… in a manner that rarely seems gossipy and never salacious, the author presents her perspective on the sea changes that rock underwent in the early 1970s, an era in which she played a key role…. This illuminating autobiography exceeds expectations.”

“It’s funny how one person’s memory can wake yours up, transporting you instantly to that particular time in your life. The life story of this beautiful, strong, elegant woman takes me back to a happier place in my past and I hope others get the same feeling reading Rita’s story, the story of a life well worth living.”
— Graham Nash

“The personal saga of a young woman who was driven to sing and the account of a time in which pop music itself was finding a new version of itself…. A positive, uplifting life story…. For Coolidge’s legion of fans, this is a must-read.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062372055
ISBN-10: 006237205X
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 11th, 2017
Pages: 256
Language: English