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Singers and the Song II 2nd Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195122084
ISBN-10: 0195122089
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lyricist and editor-publisher of Jazzletter, Lees is little known to the general public but highly esteemed by music professionals and those who appreciate highly literate criticism and accomplished storytelling. This collection of his Jazzletter essays perceptively examines the work of Johnny Mercer ("the finest lyricist in the English language") and composers Hugo Friedhofer and Francy Boland, the singing styles of Dick Haymes, Peggy Lee, Edith Piaf, Jo Stafford and Frank Sinatra ("our poet laureate, the best singer we've ever had"), the reasons why big bands were killed off and the implications for song writers of the influence of French on the English language. A long final chapter, "A Journey to Cologne," tells how an international group of people made an album of songs (with Sarah Vaughan as soloist) based on poems by Pope John Paul II. A feast for those who love surprises.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A collection of fascinating personal essays that have appeared in Jazzletter , a newsletter edited and published by lyricist Lees. The essays concern singers (Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Dick Haymes, et al.), composers, and lyricists of the World War II-Postwar era of popular music. In addition to examining the artistry involved in composing music and writing lyrics, Lees looks at the connections between popular music and social and historical trends; one essay, for example, looks at the differences between French and American language and culture, and the impact on lyric writing. Recommended for large music collections. M.J. Streiff, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (November 18, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195122089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195122084
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.4 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,608,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was simply overwhelmed by the sweep and depth of this book. It is much more than a collection of essays about Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mercer, Peggy Lee et al. It is a brilliantly written history of the great days of Amerian popular music -- circa 1935-1950 -- with side excursions into etymology, culture, the art of songwriting, geography, sociology, linguistics and, above all, musicality. Lees, himself a fine lyricist, shows and tells how it's done, who did it, where they succeeded and where they failed, and what finally happened to the era of American musicianship at its best. For those with the slightest interest in popular music, this book is a treasure.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gene Lees knew much about the Big Band era and those who participated: Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, the Dorsey Brothers, and renowned sidemen. If you don't mind the jazz elitism (slamming Rock and Roll every chance he gets) you will glean many insights into the world of the 40's and 50's.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gene Lees is the author of this book and I cannot say a bad thing about it. Lees was one of my favourite writers about jazz and individuals and I have everything he wrote. Yes I am biassed but this book is something one should have on their shelf if you are interested in songs and singers. Lees writes like no other. An excellent book.
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After reading other Gene Lees publications the knowledge within its covers was no surprise, just enthralling, Any student or lover of the art of song writing or singing would gain great pleasure and insight on this subject
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