Carpenters: An Illustrated Discography book cover



An essential album-by-album retrospective of the legendary duo’s recordings

With more than 100 million records sold worldwide, the Carpenters are among the most beloved and enduring musical acts of the last 50 years. Randy L. Schmidt, author of the acclaimed bestselling biography Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter has assembled a team of commentators—journalists, authors, musicians, and other entertainment industry figures—for a series of in-depth, insightful, and opinionated conversations on every release. Beautifully presented with more than 200 images, many never before seen, the result is a must-have for pop music lovers.



Becoming Judy Garland book cover

“I, Judy Garland, was born when I was twelve years old.”

In 1939, the world fell in love with Judy Garland as “Dorothy” in The Wizard of Oz. The classic M-G-M film is one of the most beloved ever and its star became one of the greatest entertainers in show business history. Becoming Judy Garland (Tribal Clef Books; November 2017) is the new children’s book from bestselling author Randy L. Schmidt. Readers will discover how Frances Gumm, this “little girl with the BIG voice,” went from vaudeville to movie stardom and landed the role of a lifetime.

“I wrote this book because I feel Judy Garland is still relevant to children, even after all these years,” said Schmidt, a longtime music educator. “The timeless appeal of The Wizard of Oz speaks to today’s kids in the same way it has for nearly 80 years. The Library of Congress says it’s ‘the most watched film ever,” so most kids know Dorothy’s story, but not necessarily Judy’s. This book brings her extraordinary talent to life again for a new audience of adoring fans.”

“I don’t associate Frances Gumm with me,” Judy said in 1951. “She’s a girl I can read about the way other people do. I, Judy Garland, was born when I was twelve years old.” Becoming Judy Garland goes back to her roots as part of the Gumm Sisters, a family vaudeville act, and explores her early life and career. The book is illustrated in a scrapbook style with 20 sepia and color photographs from the archives of collectors and museums. Back matter includes an author’s note and recommendations for listening and further reading.

Becoming Judy Garland will be available soon through online booksellers and most independent bookstores in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats. A limited-edition hardcover book/CD set is available now through the author’s website. The CD features the audiobook, narrated by Grammy-nominated children’s musician Judy Pancoast, as well as rare recordings by the Gumm Sisters, two “lost” test recordings of Judy at age 12, and a live radio performance of “Over the Rainbow.” CLICK HERE for more information or to order the limited-edition set.


From the Introduction of

Nobody knows Dolly like Dolly.” By 1978, the country queen had crossed over to become a sensation in the pop music world when she sat with Star magazine’s John Latta to take verbal inventory of her new status as international superstar. “I’m still the same person,” she said, “but I’m happier now and I feel even more confident that I can accomplish the things I’ve dreamed of doing. . . . I’ve always planned to achieve total musical freedom for myself, and that’s where I’m headed.”

Dolly Parton had left The Porter Wagoner Show in 1974 after seven years of recording sessions, television tapings, and touring alongside Wagoner, who’d been her duet partner, mentor, and Svengali. “What I’ve always wanted [is] to be a singing star with my own show,” she told journalist Dave Hickey in Country Music magazine that same year. Hickey noticed a sparkle in her voice. “When Dolly says star it’s like you’ve never heard the word before,” he observed. “The idea has so much force for her, and its meaning is so obviously clear. . . . When she uses the word star, you know that, to her, it isn’t just a fantasy or a vague term denoting success. It’s what she’s going to be . . . will be . . . is.” Dolly and Wagoner maintained an amicable business relationship for the next two years, but the two severed ties completely in 1976. That’s when she broke free and began to put into place an extensive revamp of her image and music, one that would reach broad and new audiences, far beyond the field of country music. Backlash from some unhappy country fans led Dolly to repeatedly have to explain her makeover. “I’m not leavin’ country music,” she’d say, “I’m takin’ it with me!”

It was a time of musical, physical, and spiritual metamorphosis for Dolly, who was a self-proclaimed butterfly in spirit. “Butterflies remind me of myself,” she told the press, explaining why she’d chosen as her insignia. “They don’t bother anybody, they just go about their business, gentle but determined.”


Dolly on Dolly magnificently encapsulates Dolly Parton’s career through her own words. It’s a must read for fans of all ages.”
—Gary and Larry Lane, actors and filmmakers (Hollywood to Dollywood)

"Six decades into her career, Dolly continues to be a fountain of songwriting creativity. Randy L. Schmidt’s Dolly on Dolly reflects all of this. The book chronicles journalists’ encounters with this force of nature over forty-seven years. I was charmed by its very early stories, written when she was just beginning to establish her image. But I was equally enthralled by the stories written about Dolly as I know her today, as an American popular-culture icon. Love her. Love this book.”
—Robert K. Oermann, music journalist

"Dolly on Dolly is an indulgent journey through Dolly's life and career, giving fans a chance to relive interviews they haven't seen in decades, but moreover it is a study in excellent interview technique. Dolly Parton is one of the world's most skilled interview subjects, expertly navigating reporters' questions with humor and wit, remaining in control of the interview at all times and gently steering if where she wants it to go. Dolly on Dolly offers a fascinating overview of how her natural interview talent grew over time to a level that few in the public eye can match."
—Duane Gordon, publisher,

“This polished tribute will be candy for Parton fans, while readers with a casual interest in pop culture will find it highly browsable and full of good humor.”
Library Journal

"You don’t need to be a Dolly Parton devotee to appreciate these 25 in-depth interviews, spanning 1967 to 2014, which chronicle the journey of a talented woman coming into her own."
BUST magazine