Anthony Heilbut is a Grammy-winning record producer famous for his work with gospel music; he is also the author of The Gospel Sound, which celebrates the sound and contributors of the gospel scene. He is an agnostic with Jewish roots who adores gospel music. The Fan Who Knew Too Much, extends “…Heilbut’s fascination with outsiders, loners, and exiles in 20th-century American Culture (Ian Crouch).”
The book is comprised of eight essays that range from art to obsession. Heilbut explores the roles of gays in the gospel church, profiles the life and work of Aretha Franklin, discusses the rise of the soap opera and Irna Phillips, its most influential figure, detours to an expose on male sopranos, and explores the roles of émigrés from Hitler’s Germany to America. On this broad journey through American culture, “Anthony Heilbut has been a guide and a mentor… I know of no one who has the love and depth of knowledge of this extraordinary author (Paul Simon).”
Holds nothing back... [H]as up-to-the-minute implications beyond the pulpit... [A] must-read... intimate and informed.
Elegant and powerful... gloriously detailed... Heilbut’s fandom and sharp critical eye allow for an enthusiastic but well-balanced analysis. Shining a light on the outcast and downtrodden and telling the truth, Halibut embodies the gospel he never really believed in.