A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers

A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers

Book - 2010
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Will Friedwald's illuminating, opinionated essays--provocative, funny, and personal--on the lives and careers of more than three hundred singers anatomize the work of the most important jazz and popular performers of the twentieth century. From giants like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Judy Garland to lesser-known artists like Jeri Southern and Joe Mooney, they have created a body of work that continues to please and inspire. Here is the most extensive biographical and critical survey of these singers ever written, as well as an essential guide to the Great American Songbook and those who shaped the way it has been sung.
 
The music crosses from jazz to pop and back again, from the songs of Irving Berlin and W. C. Handy through Stephen Sondheim and beyond, bringing together straightforward jazz and pop singers (Billie Holiday, Perry Como); hybrid artists who moved among genres and combined them (Peggy Lee, Mel Torm#65533;); the leading men and women of Broadway and Hollywood (Ethel Merman, Al Jolson); yesterday's vaudeville and radio stars (Sophie Tucker, Eddie Cantor); and today's cabaret artists and hit-makers (Diana Krall, Michael Bubl#65533;). Friedwald has also written extended pieces on the most representative artists of five significant genres that lie outside the songbook: Bessie Smith (blues), Mahalia Jackson (gospel), Hank Williams (country and western), Elvis Presley (rock 'n' roll), and Bob Dylan (folk-rock).
 
Friedwald reconsiders the personal stories and professional successes and failures of all these artists, their songs, and their performances, appraising both the singers and their music by balancing his opinions with those of fellow musicians, listeners, and critics.
 
This magisterial reference book--ten years in the making--will delight and inform anyone with a passion for the iconic music of America, which continues to resonate throughout our popular culture.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375421495
0375421491
Branch Call Number: 782.42163 Friedwal
Characteristics: xiii, 811 p. ; 25 cm

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zal1
Sep 11, 2011

After reading the articles on some of my favorite singers - Lee Wiley, Eartha Kitt, and a couple more, I decided I must have this book. I ordered on line - Barnes and Noble for my copy and relish the other salacious stories of great vocalists, past and present. If you're a Streisand fan, you might not like....Mr. Friedwald didn't mince words on his overt dislike of her singing, persona - evrything about her. Thank goodness, I agree with him! Whether you're a fan of jazz or pop singers, the more famous ones, that is, you'll surely enjoy the author's encyclopedic knowledge on the subject.

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