Beale Street Dynasty

“…not even a bullet in the head could stop [Bob] Church, who became the star mega-mogul of Beale Street. Like many of the district’s czars, he was both valiant and corrupt, a charmer and a thug. In a startlingly rebellious move, he opened what Lauterbach — the author of ‘The Chitlin’ Circuit’ — calls ‘sex slavery plantations,’ brothels stocked with white women…. ‘Beale Street Dynasty’ adds a fascinating chapter to civil rights history. But for all the hatred it depicts, this gracefully written book never loses sight of the fun that made [W.C.] Handy exalt that stretch of dirt road.” New York Times

“After reading this, I dreamed all night about street hustlers, hoodoos, and snake oil salesmen on Beale Street, the Main Street of black America.” — Hampton Sides

“In his last book, The Chitlin’ Circuit, Lauterbach shone light into obscure, all but unknown rooms of the rock-’n’-roll story. This time he turns to a chapter we thought we knew well—Beale Street, one of the grounds zero of American culture, with Tin Pan Alley and Congo Square and Concord—and the result is every bit as illuminating.”— John Jeremiah Sullivan