Ronald Kidd - February 2019

Historical Novels Contest

If you like historical fiction, you may want to enter a new contest in which you can win 20 or more novels about the past, including Lord of the Mountain, my coming-of-age story featuring the Carter Family and the “big bang” of country music. Those who enter will also be eligible to win an eReader.

The contest is a “Historical Fiction & Family Sagas” sweepstakes, run by Booksweeps. It starts Monday February 18 and ends Wednesday February 27. Click here for information and signup.

Lord of the Mountain is the most recent in my ongoing series of middle grade novels that present some of the defining events and characters of the twentieth century. Previous novels include:

Monkey Town: the Scopes Trial (Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, H.L. Mencken)

On Beale Street: the birth of rock ’n’ roll (Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips)

The Year of the Bomb: the McCarthy era, horror films, and the atomic bomb (Richard Feynman)

Night on Fire: the Freedom Riders (Martin Luther King, Diane Nash, James Farmer)

Disney History 

In addition to books, I’ve had a second career producing media. One of my most gratifying jobs was as director of product development for Walt Disney Records. That job also involved history.   

When I arrived on the Disney lot in Burbank, one of my favorite places to hang out was the Walt Disney Archives, with founder Dave Smith (pictured) and archivist Paula Sigmon Lowery. There I explored the remarkable story of Walt Disney and his creations, and that story found its way into my job.   

With Dave and Paula’s guidance, I planned and produced Disney’s first compact disc, the digital soundtrack to Fantasia. The second and third CDs were a two-volume retrospective of Disney’s movie music, The Disney Collection. For all three projects we tracked down the earliest and best master recordings and wrote liner notes detailing the history of each.   

My favorite project was a lovingly edited and expanded soundtrack of Mary Poppins, which we produced for the first time on CD.   I collaborated with legendary recording engineers Shawn Murphy and Bruce Botnick and was privileged to work with the film’s songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman, two of the most delightful people you could ever hope to meet. 

History can be brought to life through stories and music, and it stops for no one, as recent events show:

Dave Smith died last Friday, February 15, 2019, having spent 40 years as the keeper of Walt Disney's legacy.

Shawn Murphy won a 2019 Grammy Award last week for Best Engineered Album, Classical, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Richard and Robert Sherman went on to write songs for “Winnie the Pooh,” “The Jungle Book,” “The Aristocats,” and dozens of other films, Disney and otherwise. Bob died March 6, 2012, but Dick appears in the closing credits of the recent movie “Christopher Robin,” singing two original songs.

Now Available

  • Lord of the Mountain
    The “big bang” of country music in 1927 at Bristol, Tennessee.
    Read more
  • Room of Shadows
    Edgar Allan Poe returns and gets the glorious death he deserved.
    Read more
Learn about my books, plays, and music at
Download a sampler of chapters from three of my latest books.

Copyright © 2019 Ronald Kidd, All rights reserved.

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