Ella Fitzgerald The Complete Biography (Paperback)
|Author: Stuart Nicholson|
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|Stuart Nicholson''s biography of Ella Fitzgerald is considered a classic in jazz literature. Drawing on original documents, interviews, and new information, Nicholson draws a complete picture of Fitzgerald''s professional and personal life. Fitzgerald rose from being a pop singer with chart-novelty hits in the late ''30s to become a bandleader and then one of the greatest interpreters of American popular song. Along with Billie Holiday, she virtually defined the female voice in jazz, and countless others followed in her wake and acknowledged her enormous influence. Also includes two 8-page inserts.|
From the Publisher:
Stuart Nicholson's biography of Ella Fitzgerald is considered a classic in jazz literature. Drawing on original documents, interviews, and new information, Nicholson draws a complete picture of Fitzgerald's professional and personal life. Along with Billie Holiday, she virtually defined the female voice in jazz, and countless others followed in her wake and acknowledged her enormous influence.
Beginning in the late 1930s, Ella Fitzgerald's long career spanned much of 20th-century jazz history, starting with her recording debut with Chick Webb's orchestra and reaching its apex with a celebrated series of albums she made with most of the leading figures in jazz, from Duke Ellington to Louis Armstrong. After a poverty-stricken childhood in New York, Fitzgerald was discovered singing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem by Benny Carter, and started with Webb's band soon after (although her disheveled appearance--she was homeless at the time--nearly lost her the gig). Her subsequent rise to national prominence was not without misfortune: she experienced both sexual and racial prejudice, her marriage to bass player Ray Brown collapsed due to the pressure of both their careers, and she also suffered from chronic depression. ELLA FITZGERALD, Stuart Nicholson's insightful study of the career of the "First Lady of Jazz," ties the threads of her complex personal and public lives together in a skillful blend of revealing intimate details and authoritative career analysis, from the loneliness that accompanied her fame to her fortuitous association with the impresario Norman Granz, who successfully guided her career for half a century.
'Stuart Nicholson's exhaustively researched biography of the late Ella Fitzgerald...demystifies a life hitherto shrouded in speculation....Nicholson reveals a woman who only really came to life when she sang." 11/22/1996 Publisher catalog
"One of the very best biographies of any great American singer ever published. . . . Stuart Nicholson's long-awaited book is everything we could have hoped a biography could be--thoroughly researched and revelatory about her personal and professional lives. Equally important, Nicholson is a fine writer and critic, with a keen musical sense that allows him to evaluate all the many milestones in Ella's oceanic recorded output. His fresh appreciation of Ella's music will be eagerly devoured by all lovers of great songs and great singing." - Will Friedwald