Beyond My Dreams | Mel A. Tomlinson

Mel Tomlinson’s fascinating true story starts before his birth at his family’s home in the Chavis Heights Housing Project in Raleigh, NC. It starts with the struggles of his parents and grandparents in Jim Crow-era North Carolina and continues with his unexpected and meteoric rise through the ranks of the professional ballet world with almost no prior dance training. After years spent as a soloist and principal dancer in some of America’s top professional ballet companies, Mel finds himself placed in the House of Mercy AIDS Hospice in Belmont, NC, where his friends and family expect him to soon die a hideously painful death. But it seems that powers beyond his dreams had other plans for Mel Tomlinson, the once captivating, charismatic dancer.

A Biographical Memoir as Told to Claudia Folts. Foreword by Heather Watts.

  • ISBN 978-0-9973829-9-0

The first 200 Copies will be signed by the authors!

$29.95 plus $5.95 shipping = $35.90 total per book.

Jane Wilson | Photographs by John Jonas Gruen

Jane Wilson: Photographs by John Jonas Gruen, with an introduction by Sam Swasey, is a photographic celebration of the life and work of acclaimed American artist Jane Wilson (1924-2015) by John Jonas Gruen her writer/photographer husband of 67 years. More than 175 evocative and deeply personal images chronicle their extraordinary life together from first meeting at the University of Iowa, marriage, moving to New York City, work and play on the East End of Long Island, and abroad, along with their daughter, Julia Gruen, and their myriad friends who comprised a who’s who of American artists, musicians, writers, actors, filmmakers and dancers in the second half of the 20th century.

Leonard Bernstein | An Album of Family & Friends

Leonard Bernstein: An Album of Family & Friends by John Jonas Gruen. 176 pages of intimate photos, with quotes by Leonard Bernstein, his family, and photographer/ author John Jonas Gruen.

What was it like, people always ask, growing up in that high-energy environment? I look at the pictures and try to go back, all those decades ago. Really: what was it like to live amongst grownups who had such exciting, glamorous and — let’s face it – rather un-grownup lives? To be a sulky, uncertain teenager amid all of that… no, it was not easy, and the photographs do remind me. I often felt like I had one pinky’s worth of grip on a vehicle that was flying way too fast for me. Looking back on it now, I realize, of course, that most of the grownups in those pictures must have felt the same way. Everyone was hanging on by their pinkies – but what a ride.
 
From the Foreword by Jamie Bernstein

$39.95 plus $5.95 shipping = $45.90 total per book

Saving Radio City Music Hall | Rosemary Novellino-Mearns

The true story of how Radio City Music Hall, Art Deco masterpiece and one of New York City’s iconic tourist attractions and cultural landmarks, was saved from demolition is told at last.

Nearly forty years later, Rosemary Novellino-Mearns, Dance Captain of the legendary Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company during the 1970s, tells the amazing story of how she motivated a small group of dedicated colleagues, friends, media and political allies to join forces, challenge the Rockefeller establishment and, against all odds, save “the Showplace of the Nation.”

Hardcover: $28.95 plus $5.95 shipping = $34.90 total per book

Paperback: $22.95 plus $5.95 shipping = $28.90 total per book

Saving Radio City Music Hall also available for Kindle, Nook and iBooks

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Booklist Review by Carlyn Mulac

“The Rockettes are not the only dance company to call Radio City Music Hall home. For nearly 40 years, it was also home to the Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company. Novellino-Mearns was a member of that company for 12 years and would eventually become its dance captain. When this art deco masterpiece was threatened with demolition in the late 1970s, she took on a new role, as president of the Showpeople’s Committee to Save Radio City Music Hall, an organization that saved the music hall and had it declared a National Historic Landmark. Her heartfelt and very personal account of that effort provides a backstage glimpse of the drama that ensued and features a cast of characters that includes performers, politicians, the media, and some very heavy hitters in the world of New York real estate.

This volume is embellished with personal photos and mementos and augmented with appendixes that provide facts and figures about Radio City Music Hall as well as a detailed list of all the films shown and shows staged there from December 1932 through April 1979. Public libraries with robust arts collections will want to add this title, which will delight readers interested in the performing arts and their history in the U.S.”

Reviews

“. . . . Her heartfelt and very personal account of that effort provides a backstage glimpse of the drama that ensued and features a cast of characters that includes performers, politicians, the media, and some very heavy hitters in the world of New York real estate.

This volume is embellished with personal photos and mementos and augmented with appendixes that provide facts and figures about Radio City Music Hall as well as a detailed list of all the films shown and shows staged there from December 1932 through April 1979. Public libraries with robust arts collections will want to add this title, which will delight readers interested in the performing arts and their history in the U.S.”

Carolyn Mulac, BOOKLIST

“I promised myself I would read one chapter at a time, savoring each and reflecting. Well, I couldn’t, I read it in one sitting, like I was there with you, very compelling story!”

Belle Koblentz, Former Rockette

“I’m so proud of my friend-turned-author, Rosie Novellino-Mearns. Her book launch party was a touching success this evening. She’s the former Radio City ballet dancer who challenged the big boys, gathered good forces on her side, and saved one of NYC’s most famous tourist attractions — Radio City Music Hall — from being torn down. Her story is a fascinating read.”

Bobby Rivers

Amazon Review Excerpts

amazon stars  Saving Radio City Music Hall – a Must Read!

By Bruce Michael on July 11, 2015

I just re-read “Saving Radio City Music Hall.” This is a must read for anyone that loves our beloved “Showplace of the Nation.” From 1989 – 2005, I was the VP/Creative Producer of the Rockettes and to this day thank Rosie for heading the Committee that saved the Hall from demolition. For me and the many people that worked and performed at the Hall since its almost closure in 1978 as well as the millions of Music Hall patrons that have since attended the myriad of spectaculars, concerts, special events, and television broadcasts that have graced the great stage, “Saving Radio City Music Hall” is an important document of an era in New York City that saw the demise of many landmarks.
 
amazon stars  One of New York’s greatest unsung heroines tells a shocking tale, indeed!
Should be filed under “SCIENCE FICTION”…and yet it REALLY HAPPENED! This has got to be the most under-reported near-disaster in New York City history! New York….with no Radio City? No Rockettes? It seems almost unimaginable–but at the depth of NYC’s dive into economic despair, Radio City Music Hall was actually in very serious peril–of not just being closed…but being DESTROYED! One woman “called bulls***” on this ludicrous situation–and WON!! You MUST read Rosie’s just-released memoir, of that awful time, and how the determination of just one Radio City dancer (and a few less-recognized others, including her now-husband, Bill Mearns, among others) saved one of New York’s most treasured landmarks. A beautiful and inspiring book, by a wonderful and courageous lady! Someone? ORGANIZE A RCMH SALUTE TO ROSIE, ALREADY!!
 

Press

Interview on John LaBarca’s Italian House Party Radio Program

YouTube Saving Radio City Music Hall – A Dancer’s True Story from TurningPointPress

Photos

My New York | John Jonas Gruen

John Jonas Gruen shares his enduring love of New York City in this lavish 275-page coffee table book showcasing more than fifty years of his extraordinary photographs that celebrate every aspect of New York life, from the monumental to the mundane, the anonymous to the celebrated, the titillating to the tragic. Edited by Sam Swasey.

$49.95 plus $7.55 shipping = $57.50 total per book.

Sixteen Tons | A Novel by Kevin Corley

Sixteen Tons takes the reader down into the dangerous coal mines of the early 1900s, as Italian immigrant Antonio Vacca and his sons encounter cave-ins and fires deep below the earth’s surface. Above ground, the fiery women join their husbands to battle gun thugs and corrupt sheriffs at Virden, Matewan and Ludlow in an epic struggle to form a union and make the mines a safer place to work. An epic novel in the tradition of The Grapes of Wrath.

$15 per book. Shipping Included.