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The International Sweethearts of Rhythm Paperback – October 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press; Rev Sub edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810831600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810831605
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Ms. Handy masterfully details the group's history and how it challenged racial, social and musical boundaries. A wealth of rare photographs, excerpts from vintage trade papers, and quotes from the Sweethearts help tell the story. (Past Times)

...examines, very interestingly, the state of race issues over the course of both the school's and the band's life...a good guide to an often overlooked part of Jazz history. (Cadence)

Handy has painstakingly dug up an immeasurable wealth of information (both ubiquitous and virtually unknown) from printed sources as well as personal letters and conversations to effectively document the trials and tribulations of this amazing orchestra...Handy's passion for her work clearly permeates her writing and this book will undoubtedly serve as a useful tool for those wishing to learn more about this phenomenal, all-female group...Handy has created a great resource here... (Rapport)

...[author] continues her impressive and valuable abilities in documenting the history of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm...We the intended audience are indebted to her for this well researched, extensive and unbiased book. (Counterpoise)

...[author] continues her impressive and valuable abilities in documenting the history of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm...We the intended audience are indebted to her for this well researched, extensive and unbiased book..... (Counterpoise)

About the Author

D. Antoinette Handy (1931-2002) was a flutist, music educator, and arts administrator. She was a humanities Fellow at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. She retired as Director of the Music Program, National Endowment for the Arts. Her previous Scarecrow Press books are Black Women in American Bands and Orchestras and Black Conductors.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is just an incredible piece of women's history -- adventure, danger, thrills, romance, and spectacularly good music. This could be an epic movie.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Antoinette Handy's book tells not only the story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, but also conveys informative insight to the beginning and significance of the school where it all began - Piney Woods Country Life School. At a mere six chapters, Handy provides an historical arc which includes a prologue, information about conditions and opportunities for African Americans, background of the school's founder, Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones, the importance of education in the Piney Woods area, and finally the history and an epilogue of the band. Handy's telling is obviously well researched, drawing from historical documents, as well as personal interviews with several former members.

I would suggest this book as a primer for the deeper telling of the band. The time line and major events related to the ensemble are told, but there are not specific stories told of - for example - life on the road, dealing with Jim Crow laws, interaction between members, fraternizing with fans, the USO trip, etc. For a more detailed account I suggest Sherrie Tucker's book, "Swing Shift" (read Handy's book first, then Tucker's). There is also a documentary about the band simply entitled "The International Sweethearts of Rhythm". It was produced by Jezebel Productions; if interested you'll have to search the Internet for contact info.

The accomplishments of these ladies deserve telling, and Handy's book is a good place to start.
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