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The Persian Room Presents: An Oral History of New York's Most Magical Night Spot Hardcover – March 13, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Some of my happiest days and nights were spent in the Plaza Hotel and the Persian Room. Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers packed them in every night. Great Memories!" —Andy Williams



"Within the first pages of reading this wonderful book I was transported back in time. Patty captures the innocence but also the elegance of an almost forgotten time and delicately places it in a bottle for us to experience all over again." - Tony Butala, The Lettermen



"A fabulous retrospective of the Persian Room in its heydey. People who never had the good fortune to experience the place firsthand will hear the music!" - Lainie Kazan

From the Author

If you have any personal memories of the Persian Room that you would like to share, contact the author at Pattyattheplaza@gmail.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Vantage Press; First Edition edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0533165113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0533165117
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,689,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ever since Patty Farmer was a little girl, she dreamed of living at the Plaza--just like Eloise of storybook fame. Decades later, she realized that dream when she moved into an apartment on the eighth floor of the famed hotel and became more passionate than ever about immersing herself in its history.

She soon discovered that one of the most magical places within the Plaza now exists only in memory: the nightclub known as the Persian Room. For more than forty years, from 1934 to 1975, the Persian Room was the place to be in New York City. An unparalleled array of performers graced its stage--everyone from the incomparable Hildegarde and Kay Thompson to Julie Wilson, Andy Williams, Lainie Kazan, and Michelle Lee. And, though more than three decades have passed since the final ovation, there are many from both sides of the footlights who remember this extravagant nightclub with great fondness.

To create this unique and memorable oral history, Farmer traveled far and wide to meet the Persian Room's most popular stars and collect their precious memories. Over the course of five years, these idols of the past and present opened their homes and hearts to her, relishing the opportunity to share cherished moments from their long careers. Many contributed photos and memorabilia from their personal collections as well, making The Persian Room Presents... a vivid journey through the club's elegant history.

Among the many stars who generously gave their time are Andy Williams, Marge Champion, Polly Bergen, Diahann Carroll, Connie Stevens, Lesley Gore, Patti Page, Carol Lawrence, Michelle Lee, Lainie Kazan, Julie Wilson, Tony Butala, Tony Sandler, Celeste Holm, Kaye Ballard, Jack Jones, and Roslyn Kind. Don Dellair shared funny and touching tales of both Hildegarde and Liberace. Hilary Knight--the legendary illustrator who brought Eloise to life spoke wistfully of Kay Thompson and Lisa Kirk. Each offered his or her own perspective on the club, but they all agreed on one thing: There was no place on earth like the Persian Room and there never will be.

Today, when not enjoying New York, the most fabulous city in the world, Patty Farmer, along with her constant companions Sabrina and Marina, can be found visiting their other special places: California, Texas, and France.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
Once I picked the book up I could not stop till I finished reading it.
Giant's Causeway
One thing I really enjoyed about this book was how Patty recounted each performer's stories.
Erica
The stories that Patty extracted from the Persian Room performers were delightful.
SueT

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard Skipper on February 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first became familiar with "The Persian Room Presents" by Patty Farmer after receiving a press release from publicist Harlan Boll. I immediately got excited because friends of mine: such as Julie Wilson, Celeste Holm, and acquaintances like Barbara Van Orden among others were telling their stories of appearing at this legendary nightclub, an era that no longer exists. I offered to do a blog interview on Parry Farmer in anticipation of this book. Talking with Patty was like talking to an old friend. After hanging up from Patty, I immediately pre-ordered the book. It arrived Saturday and it is FANTASTIC. I could not put it down. The stories are great and I felt as if I was in the presence of the great stars who appeared there. Over the course of several years, Patty has interviewed Kaye Ballard (her first for the book), Leslie Uggams, Michelle Lee, Connie Stevens, Lanie Kazan...too many to mention here.

I highly recommend this book. It made me nostalgic for the sophistication and love for an art form that still exists but boy, what it was! Brava Patty! YOU join the ranks of these legendary artists who were lucky enough to be part of the legendary Persian Room!
Richard Skipper Celebrates [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rose Klopf Tithof on November 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The prestigious Persian Room at the New York Plaza Hotel comes to life through shared memories from a large array of celebrities thanks to Patty Farmer's outgoing and kind personality. After meeting Patty at the Palm Springs Writers Guild, I could understand why so many Persian Room performers opened their hearts and shared memories with her. Talking to Patty is like talking to an old friend you haven't seen in a long while. While writing and marketing, "The Persian Room Presents", Patty kept most of the interviewees informed about her progress. It is evident that Ms. Farmer formed a warm bond with the celebs based on the large number of those interviewed stars who attended the book signing in New York.

Shortly after I purchased this delightful oral history from Amazon.com, I was swept into that elegant and magical time at the Persian Room. I did not want to put the book down. It will interest you to read such information as Leslie Gore's recording of "It's My Party" and how it had to be rushed to radio stations to beat a double deal. Leslie Uggams told of how her African American family was made to feel comfortable attending Leslie's performance at the Persian Room in New York even in 1963. These behind the scene stories and many more, sincerely and warmly told, will take you for a delightful ride into the past.

Thank you Patty and your cast. What a wonderful read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erica on April 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Learning about The Persian Room through Patty Farmer's book was like finding a rare gem of New York City's past. The performers and their stories retold an era of glamour where getting dressed up to go out was really an art. As a performer, if you booked the Persian Room you knew you had made it. It was the supper club to see and be seen with stars on the stage as well as in the audience (Carol Lawrence performed with Cary Grant in the crowd!).

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was how Patty recounted each performer's stories. You felt like you were right next to Patty talking to Celeste Holm, Julie Wilson, Tony Butala of The Letterman, Barbara Van Ordan, Carol Lawrence, Kaye Ballard, Leslie Uggams, Hildegarde's manager Don Dellair, Lanie Kazan, and many more while discovering what made The Persian Room the hottest ticket. Each star also happily shared their personal secrets to what made their performances stand out, to their personal life staying at the Plaza.

I greatly enjoyed this book; my only regret is that there is no Persian Room or modern day equivalent to let me relive these stories today. Bravo to Patty for allowing me to feel like I was able to experience this special era through her book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PauleyZ on February 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Finally got my hands on this book. Could not put it down. Some of the greatest entertainers in the world telling Patty about their experiences at the Persian Room as though she was their best friend. Amazing people, amazing venue, amazing memories.
Thanks Patty!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Y on April 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ms. Farmer has managed to transport me back in time - a less chaotic time - a more respectful time. While living in the Boston area during the late 70's and early 80's and commuting to Manhattan on a regular basis, I had the great pleasure of spending more than a "few" evenings at the Persian Room. It was always a very pleasurable event. Did not really care WHO was performing because they were all great. You knew you were going to meet interesting people and no one would even think about showing up without being properly attired. Chances were better than good that you were going to see celebrities in the audience but not with "entourages". Just to see whoever was performing that evening. Everyone was always polite and IF someone got a little "tipsy" and or "Loud" - the immediate stares and frowns from the other patrons would immediately solve the problem. AFTER ALL - this was the PERSIAN ROOM at the PLAZA.
Thank you Patty for the trip down memory lane and I sincerely hope that you keep on interviewing and sharing in future books. BRAVO !!
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