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This for Remembrance: The Autobiography of Rosemary Clooney, an Irish-American Singer Hardcover – 1977

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Playboy Press; 1st edition (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671169769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671169763
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,224,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Although many have heard about Rosemary Clooney and have probably listened to her songs, few really know much about her. I was one of those people. Not now!
This book is an intimate portrayal of her life as a person and as a singer. Both aspects are skillfully combined. Beginning with a dramatic point in her life, she uses an excellent transition to begin the biography. After her life story, she transcends back into the dramatic episode. There were many interesting facts about other celebrities of her day as well.
This book is great for anyone who loves her songs. After reading it, you feel a greater appreciation for the songs and will want to listen to them more than ever. This book only left me wanting one thing: to read her new autobiography which came out last year!
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Format: Hardcover
One of the major problems with celebrity biographies and ghost written autobiographies is the fact that you might not care about their life. With Rosemary Clooney, the songs are the key. No matter how warm or interesting the book may be, it's essentially Clooney without singing.

Still this book has an interesting hook in that it devotes the first 100 pages to describing her breakdown in 1968 when her boyfriend left her and she divorced Jose Ferrer. She confesses to making crazy demands at two in morning, thinking that Robert Kennedy faked his death and getting locked up in an asylum.

It's an interesting hook but then it goes back to the rest of her life which follows the standard rags to riches life story that these books like to follow.

For me, the most fascinating part is her marriage in which she admits to putting her life on hold to be a wife and a mother. Even as Jose Ferrer is putting his career first, traveling the country and having affairs, she defines herself as a wife and a mother. Despite all of her achievements in music, she still had absorbed that 1950s belief that a woman was only fulfilled by making and raising babies. So it's no wonder that she had a breakdown in the 1960s when she reached her 40th birthday and realized that she had failed at being the perfect woman as defined in the time period.

There's not much else to the book. She does devote a few chapters to her post breakdown career including a nice memorial to Bing Crosby but it doesn't make for much compelling narrative.

So buy this book if you are a fan of Rosemary Clooney or you want to read about the kind of gender relations that you see on Mad Men accepted non-critically.
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Format: Hardcover
Next to Sarah Vaughn, Rosemary Clooney is my all-time favorite singer, and I have most of her albums. I really wanted to love this book, but found it only 'ok'. It wasn't well written, and here I blame the choice of a lackluster co-author Raymond Strait, who wasn't able to take Rosemary's 1000's of life experiences and craft them into a better book. I felt I was reading just a disjointed bunch of events, not necessarily in chronological order, that Rosemary had thought of in 'that days session' with her co-author. There was a lot of famous 'name-dropping' without useful purpose. Also the first 1/4 to 1/3 of the book details Clooney's descent from 'depression' to psychiatric breakdown so be prepared. I'm not sure this was the best way that Strait, with Clooney's permission (or vice-versa?) should have told her autobiography. In starting to read the book I it was interesting to see that behind all the smiles and great performances there was an emotionally-disturbed woman needing help, but.... but after awhile, with her (and her account of this) sinking into this worsening psychosis, the book got very tired, and I almost stopped reading. I kept thinking "I didn't sign up to read a book only about a star's mental illness!" It just took way too long to read something a little bit positive and life-affirming. As I said there are 1000's of 'bare-bone' anecdotes by Clooney about her family and friends, but she doesn't put much interesting meat on them to hold your attention... maybe she just didn't remember them all too well, and wasn't about to say anything which might get her into trouble, since most were still living?
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Format: Hardcover
The one show biz nugget in this collection of reminiscinces is her description of the tidal wave of public hysteria that followed her gigantic hit "Come On-na My House", a song that she had recoiled from, loathed as cheap and did only because Mitch Miller threatened to fire her if she didn't show up and belt it out the next morning. This was genuinely interesting as show biz lore and occupies about six pages of the book. The reason the working relationship between RC and Mitch Miller (it was also to produce "A-botcha Me", "This Old House" and "Hey, There") collapsed is only hinted at in a confusing and vague way. Our curiosity remains avid concerning this breakup of one of the most successful professional teams of all time. As RC writes, "I made a lot of records after that, but I never did have any more big hits. Nothing as mammoth as I'd had before." Was she really only a shadow without Mitch Miller to judge the market, find the songs to exploit that market and make her jump rope? She writes "my usual judgment of songs was bad". It seems beyond doubt that Mitch Miller discovered and insisted upon the dynamite songs that made her famous, and without his direction her career would've been entirely lackluster, improvisational and patchy. And there'd be no audience for this saggy book that doesn't add much to her profile in Wikipaedia or what can be gained by general net surfing. Time can be better spent delving into the career of Mitch Miller, perhaps the most dominant, market intuitive and powerful force on the adult pop scene prior to Elvis Presley --- allmusic.com provides a superb biographical capsule and a spacious horizon.
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