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The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives [Hardcover]

The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives  by Ken Corday

Review by Suzanne Lanoue 2/18/12

I enjoyed reading this book. If you aren't a fan of Days of Our Lives, I don't know if you will or not. The first part of the book is all about the Corday family, not the show. Ted Corday created the show, and then he got sick and died, so his wife took it over. His son Ken took it over in 1980, and he is the one writing the book.

My only complaint about the book is that I wish there was more meaty material about the show and the actors, the behind-the-scenes things that happen on the show. Ken just seems like a very nice guy who mostly says nice things about everything. I can certainly understand why he wouldn't want to dish the dirt, but it does make the book seem a little toothless.

Still, it's an entertaining book for any Days fan. His writing skills are not the best in the world, but there were only a few boring parts. It's clear that he really loves his family.  Speaking of which, he treats his brothers's mental illness and other family troubles as if they're part of a soap opera, and that was a little odd.

If you are a Days of Our Lives fan, you should definitely read the book because there are some interesting and possibly enlightening things in there for you.

I was able to interview Ken last week, so I hope soon to be able to transcribe that and put it up. I will link to it here.

More Information:

Days of Our Lives: 46 Years and Still Going Strong

Executive Producer Ken Corday addresses decline of daytime dramas in memoir paperback release

With the cancellation of four long-running soap operas in recent years, only 50 percent of daytime dramas that were on the air two years ago are left standing. Days of Our Lives, which celebrates its 46th anniversary on November 8, is one of the survivors.

Executive Producer Ken Corday acknowledges the struggles and adjustments the show has made to maintain its longevity in a newly added chapter to the paperback release of his memoir, The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives (ISBN: 9781402260841; November 15, 2011; $14.99 U.S.: Television/Memoir, Trade Paper).

Corday blames two opposing, yet deciding, factors for the decline of aytime dramas. "One-the cost of producing a talk show or reality show, compared to a scripted drama, is easily half as much.  And two - more importantly - the death of the great storytellers, daytime head writers whose talents created and grew the art form."

In his memoir, Corday talks about his anxiety and ultimate triumph in getting Days of Our Lives renewed by NBC through September 2013, with an option for an additional year, and the recent refocus of the show on bringing back beloved characters and a return to the core values their fans want: love, adventure and family.

"Romance is the heartbeat of every successful soap," Corday writers, "Not trickery or, worst of all, portrayal of the ugliness of the real world. The soap opera audience wants romance, adventure, intrigue, mystery, and beauty. Nothing else will do."

"The Days of Our Lives" is the first insider account of the history behind one of the most beloved soap operas.  It is about the family that conceived it, believed in it, and sometimes seemed to live it along with millions of viewers, as they struggled to create and build one of the most successful and enduring TV shows in history.

For the first time, fans will discover the true stories that drove the fictional ones they loved on TV, a story of living a dream and raising a family while everything around you, even fate, seems to conspire against you.

About The Author:
Ken Corday was only a teenager when his parents, Ted and Betty Corday, first created NBC’s daytime drama Days of our Lives in 1965. A year after the show’s inception Ted passed away and it was up to Betty to carry on the show. Ken became his mother’s support system as she taught him everything he would need to know to continue on the family legacy.

Ken received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz before receiving a Master’s Degree in Composition from San Jose State University. His additional film and television credits include serving as Executive Producer for the “Rituals” pilot episode in 1983 and as producer for the Acme Video “The Big Fish.”

Prior to taking over as Days of our Lives Executive Producer in 1985, Ken worked on the show for almost ten years, first as a composer, then as Assistant Producer, and finally as Producer.

Ken’s first love is still music, and in addition to his role as Executive Producer, he continues to compose all of the original background score for the show. Ken lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.

About Sourcebooks
Sourcebooks is a forward-thinking, independent publishing house with a passion for books and a dedication to the belief that books change lives. We are committed to innovative publishing, where every book is personal and every author’s voice has a place. We are a group of passionate, energetic and enthusiastic book lovers, and we are committed to helping readers experience each book. Sourcebooks has over 70 employees, publishes over 300 new titles each year, and celebrates their success with 14 New York Times Bestsellers. Sourcebooks is proud to be a leading publisher of poetry, as well as the largest woman-owned book publisher in the country. Visit for more information, and check out the Sourcebooks blog.

Read our Interview with Ken Corday!

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Page update 5/16/12

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