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Bing Crosby Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940-1946
Bing Crosby dominated American popular culture in a way that few artists ever have. From the dizzy era of Prohibition through the dark days of the Second World War, he was a desperate nation's most beloved entertainer. But he was more than just a charismatic crooner: Bing Crosby redefined the very foundations of modern music, from the way it was recorded to the way it was orchestrated and performed.In this much-anticipated follow-up to the universally acclaimed first volume, NBCC Winner and preeminent cultural critic Gary Giddins now focuses on Crosby's most memorable period, the war years and the origin story of White Christmas. Set against the backdrop of a Europe on the brink of collapse, this groundbreaking work traces Crosby's skyrocketing career as he fully inhabits a new era of American entertainment and culture. While he would go on to reshape both popular music and cinema more comprehensively than any other artist, Crosby's legacy would be forever intertwined with his impact on the home front, a unifying voice for a nation at war. Over a decade in the making and drawing on hundreds of interviews and unprecedented access to numerous archives, Giddins brings Bing Crosby, his work, and his world to vivid life--firmly reclaiming Crosby's central role in American cultural history.
Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music
The long-awaited memoir from John Fogerty, the legendary singer-songwriter and creative force behind Creedence Clearwater Revival.Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of the most important and beloved bands in the history of rock, and John Fogerty wrote, sang, and produced their instantly recognizable classics: "Proud Mary," "Bad Moon Rising," "Born on the Bayou," and more. Now he reveals how he brought CCR to number one in the world, eclipsing even the Beatles in 1969. By the next year, though, Creedence was falling apart; their amazing, enduring success exploded and faded in just a few short years. FORTUNATE SON takes readers from Fogerty's Northern California roots, through Creedence's success and the retreat from music and public life, to his hard-won revival as a solo artist who finally found love.
Orson Welles: One-Man Band (Volume 3)
The third volume of Simon Callow's acclaimed Orson Welles biography, covering the period of his exile from America (1947-1964), when he produced some of his greatest works, including Touch of Evil.In One-Man Band, the third volume in his epic and all-inclusive four-volume survey of Orson Welles's life and work, the celebrated British actor Simon Callow again probes in comprehensive and penetrating detail into one of the most complex, contradictory artists of the twentieth century, whose glorious triumphs (and occasional spectacular failures) in film, radio, theater, and television introduced a radical and original approach that opened up new directions in the arts.This volume begins with Welles's self-exile from America, and his realization that he could function only to his own satisfaction as an independent film maker, a one-man band, in fact, which committed him to a perpetual cycle of money raising. By 1964, he had filmed Othello, which took three years to complete; Mr. Arkadin, the most puzzling film in his output; and a masterpiece in another genre, Touch of Evil, which marked his one return to Hollywood, and like all too many of his films was wrested from his grasp and reedited. Along the way he made inroads into the fledgling medium of television and a number of stage plays, of which his 1955 London Moby-Dick is considered by theater historians to be one of the seminal productions of the century. His private life was as spectacularly complex and dramatic as his professional life. The book reveals what it was like to be around Welles, and, with an intricacy and precision rarely attempted before, what it was like to be him, answering the riddle that has long fascinated film scholars and lovers alike: Whatever happened to Orson Welles?
Satan Is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers
The beautiful and tragic saga of the Louvin Brothers - one of the most legendary country duos of all time - is one of America's great untold stories. Charlie Louvin was a good, God-fearing, churchgoing singer, but his brother, Ira, had the devil in him and was known for smashing his mandolin to splinters onstage, cussing out Elvis Presley, and trying to strangle his third wife with a telephone cord. With a moving foreword by Kris Kristofferson, Satan Is Real is the incredible tale of Charlie Louvin's sixty-five-year career, the timeless murder ballads of the Louvin Brothers, and the epic tale of two brothers bound together by love, hate, alcohol, blood, and music.
David Spade is best known for his harsh “Hollywood” Minute Sketches on SNL, his starring roles in movies like Joe Dirt and Tommy Boy, and his seven-year stint as Dennis Finch on the series Just Shoot Me. Now, with a wit as dry as the weather in his home state of Arizona, the “comic brat extraordinaire” tells his story in Almost Interesting.
Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches
Although his career as a bestselling author and on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart was founded on fake news and invented facts, in 2016 that routine didn’t seem as funny to John Hodgman anymore. Everyone is doing it now. Disarmed of falsehood, he was left only with the awful truth: John Hodgman is an older white male monster with bad facial hair, wandering like a privileged Sasquatch through three wildernesses: the hills of Western Massachusetts where he spent much of his youth; the painful beaches of Maine that want to kill him (and some day will); and the metaphoric haunted forest of middle age that connects them.Vacationland collects these real life wanderings, and through them you learn of the horror of freshwater clams, the evolutionary purpose of the mustache, and which animals to keep as pets and which to kill with traps and poison. There is also some advice on how to react when the people of coastal Maine try to sacrifice you to their strange god.Though wildly, Hodgmaniacally funny as usual, it is also a poignant and sincere account of one human facing his forties, those years when men in particular must stop pretending to be the children of bright potential they were and settle into the failing bodies of the wiser, weird dads that they are.
West of Eden: An American Place
Jean Stein transformed the art of oral history in her groundbreaking book Edie: American Girl, an indelible portrait of Andy Warhol "superstar" Edie Sedgwick, which was edited with George Plimpton. Now, in West of Eden, she turns to Los Angeles, the city of her childhood. Stein vividly captures a mythic cast of characters: their ambitions and triumphs as well as their desolation and grief. These stories illuminate the bold aspirations of five larger-than-life individuals and their families. West of Eden is a work of history both grand in scale and intimate in detail. At the center of each family is a dreamer who finds fortune and strife in Southern California: Edward Doheny, the Wisconsin-born oil tycoon whose corruption destroyed the reputation of a U.S. president and led to his own son's violent death; Jack Warner, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who together with his brothers founded one of the world's most iconic film studios; Jane Garland, the troubled daughter of an aspiring actress who could never escape her mother's schemes; Jennifer Jones, an actress from Oklahoma who won the Academy Award at twenty-five but struggled with despair amid her fame and glamour. Finally, Stein chronicles the ascent of her own father, Jules Stein, an eye doctor born in Indiana who transformed Hollywood with the creation of an unrivaled agency and studio. In each chapter, Stein paints a portrait of an outsider who pins his or her hopes on the nascent power and promise of Los Angeles. Each individual's unyielding intensity pushes loved ones, especially children, toward a perilous threshold. West of Eden depicts the city that has projected its own image of America onto the world, in all its idealism and paradox. As she did in Edie, Jean Stein weaves together the personal recollections of an array of individuals to create an astonishing tapestry of a place like no other.
A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee
The definitive biography of the beloved - often controversial - co-creator of many legendary superheroes, A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee presents the origin of "Stan the Man," who spun a storytelling web of comic book heroic adventures into a pop culture phenomenon: the Marvel Universe.Stan Lee was the most famous American comic book creator who ever lived.Thanks, especially, to his many cameos in Marvel movies and TV shows, Lee was - and even after his 2018 death, still is - the voice and face of comics and popular culture in general, and Marvel Comics in particular. How he got to that place is a story that has never been fully told - until now.With creative partners including Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko - with whom he had tempestuous relationships that rivaled any superhero battle - Lee created world-famous characters including Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X–Men, the Avengers, and the Hulk!But Lee’s career was haunted by conflict and controversy. Was he the most innovative creator to ever do comics? Was he a lucky no-talent whose only skill was taking credit for others’ work? Or was he something else altogether?Danny Fingeroth’s A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee attempts to answer some of those questions. It is the first comprehensive biography of this powerhouse of ideas who, with his invention of Marvel Comics, changed the world’s ideas of what a hero is and how a story should be told.With exclusive interviews with Lee himself, as well as with colleagues, relatives, friends - and detractors - Fingeroth makes a doubly remarkable case for Lee’s achievements, while not ignoring the controversies that dogged him his entire life - and even past his death. With unique access to Lee’s personal archives at the University of Wyoming, Fingeroth explores never-before-examined aspects of Lee’s life and career, and digs under the surface of what people thought they knew about him.Fingeroth, himself a longtime writer and editor at Marvel Comics, and now a lauded pop culture critic and historian, knew and worked with Stan Lee for over four decades. With his unique insights as a comics world insider, Fingeroth is able to put Lee’s life and work in a unique context that makes events and actions come to life as no other writer could.Despite F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous warning that "There are no second acts in American lives," Stan Lee created a second act for himself that changed everything for him, his family, his industry, and ultimately for all of popular culture. How he did it - and what it cost him - is a larger-than-life tale of a man who helped create the modern superhero mythology that has become a part of all our lives.
Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: and Other Lessons in Life
Now in his 85th year, Hollywood legend Michael Caine shares wisdom and stories from his remarkable career in this "engrossing" memoir that "shines with positive energy" (Library Journal, starred review).One of our best-loved actors, Michael Caine has starred in over 100 films in his six-decade career, spanning classic movies like Alfie, Zulu, and The Italian Job (the inspiration for the book title) to playing Alfred opposite Christian Bale's Batman in Christopher Nolan's blockbuster Dark Knight trilogy. Caine has excelled in every kind of role--with a skill that's made it look easy. Caine knows what success takes. He's made it to the pinnacle of his profession from humble origins. But as he says, "Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it." Still working and more beloved than ever, Caine now shares everything he's learned-and "his fans will be rewarded, as will anyone seeking an enjoyable, inspirational read" (Library Journal).
Who Is Michael Ovitz?
If you're going to read one book about Hollywood, this is the one.  As the co-founder of Creative Artists Agency, Michael Ovitz earned a reputation for ruthless negotiation, brilliant strategy, and fierce loyalty to his clients. He reinvented the role of the agent and helped shape the careers of hundreds of A-list entertainers, directors, and writers, including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Sean Connery, Bill Murray, Robin Williams, and David Letterman.   But this personal history is much more than a fascinating account of celebrity friendships and bare-knuckled dealmaking. It's also an underdog's story: How did a middle-class kid from Encino work his way into the William Morris mailroom, and eventually become the most powerful person in Hollywood? How did an agent (even a superagent) also become a power in producing, advertising, mergers & acquisitions, and modern art? And what were the personal consequences of all those deals?   After decades of near-silence in the face of controversy, Ovitz is finally telling his whole story, with remarkable candor and insight.
The Dude and the Zen Master
“[A] truly incredible book about two friends talking about the good life.” —Huffington Post Zen Master Bernie Glassman compares Jeff Bridges’s iconic role in The Big Lebowski to a Lamed-Vavnik: one of the men in Jewish mysticism who are “simple and unassuming,” and “so good that on account of them God lets the world go on.” Jeff puts it another way. “The wonderful thing about the Dude is that he’d always rather hug it out than slug it out.” For more than a decade, Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges and his Buddhist teacher, renowned Roshi Bernie Glassman, have been close friends. Inspiring and often hilarious, The Dude and the Zen Master captures their freewheeling dialogue and remarkable humanism in a book that reminds us of the importance of doing good in a difficult world.
In this heartfelt, funny, and touching memoir, one of the stars of Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning smash-hit Queer Eye reveals how an Englishman raised in a traditionally religious home became a fashion icon—and the first openly gay, South Asian man on television—simply by being Naturally Tan.
Closer You Are: The Story of Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices
The authorized biography of Robert Pollard, indie rock icon and founder of the music group Guided By Voices.Robert Pollard has been a staple of the indie rock scene since the early '80s, along with his band Guided By Voices. Pollard was a longtime grade school teacher who toiled endlessly on his music, finding success only after adopting a do-it-yourself approach, relying on lo-fi home recordings for much of his and his band's career. A prolific artist, Pollard continues to churn out album after album, much to the acclaim of critics and his obsessive and devoted fans. But his story has never been faithfully told in its entirety. Until now.Author Matthew Cutter is a longtime friend of Pollard and, with Pollard's blessing, he's set out to tell the whole, true story of Guided By Voices. Closer You Are is the first book to take an in-depth look at the man behind it all, with interviews conducted by the author with Pollard's friends, family, and bandmates, along with unfettered access to Pollard himself and his extensive archives.Robert Pollard has had an amazing and seemingly endless career in rock music, but he's also established himself as a consummate artist who works on his own terms. Now fans can at long last learn the full story behind one of America's greatest living songwriters.
3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Hip-Hop's Multibillion-Dollar Rise
Greenburg, Zack O'Malley
Tracing the careers of hip-hop's three most dynamic stars, this deeply reported history brilliantly examines the entrepreneurial genius of the first musician tycoons: Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-ZBeing successful musicians was simply never enough for the three kings of hip-hop. Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z lifted themselves from childhood adversity into tycoon territory, amassing levels of fame and wealth that not only outshone all other contemporary hip-hop artists, but with a combined net worth of well over $2 billion made them the three richest American musicians, period. Yet their fortunes have little to do with selling their own albums: between Diddy's Ciroc vodka, Dre's $3 billion sale of his Beats headphones to Apple, and Jay-Z's Tidal streaming service and other assets, these artists have transcended pop music fame to become lifestyle icons and moguls.Hip-hop is no longer just a musical genre; it's become a way of life that encompasses fashion, film, food, drink, sports, electronics and more - one that has opened new paths to profit and to critical and commercial acclaim. Thanks in large part to the Three Kings-who all started their own record labels and released classic albums before moving on to become multifaceted businessmen-hip-hop has been transformed from a genre spawned in poverty into a truly global multibillion-dollar industry. These men are the modern embodiment of the American Dream, but their stories as great thinkers and entrepreneurs have yet to be told in full. Based on a decade of reporting, and interviews with more than 100 sources including hip-hop pioneers Russell Simmons and Fab 5 Freddy; new-breed executives like former Def Jam chief Kevin Liles and venture capitalist Troy Carter; and stars from Swizz Beatz to Shaquille O'Neal, 3 Kings tells the fascinating story of the rise and rise of the three most influential musicians in America.
Nobody Does it Better: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of James Bond
The ultimate oral history of the only gentleman secret agent with a license to kill... and thrill...telling the incredible, uncensored true stories of the James Bond franchise and spy mania.For over five decades, the cinematic adventures of James Bond have thrilled moviegoers. Now, bestselling authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross take you behind-the-scenes of the most famous and beloved movie franchise of all-time filled with reflections from over 150 cast, crew, critics and filmmakers who reflect on the impact of this legendary movie franchise as well as share their thoughts about their favorite (and least) favorite 007 adventures and spy mania which gripped fans the world over in the wake of the success of the James Bond films.From Russia - with love, course - to Vegas, from below the bright blue waters of the Bahamas in search of a missing nuclear weapon to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, from below the seas in Stromberg’s new Noah's Ark of Atlantis into orbit with Hugo Drax, Nobody Does It Better: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of James Bond tells the amazing, true story of the birth of James Bond through the latest remarkable James Bond adventures as well as the Spy mania classics that enthralled the world.It’s Bond and Beyond from the critically acclaimed authors of the bestselling The Fifty-Year Mission and So Say We All.
Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A.
The goddaughter of Igor Stravinsky and a graduate of Hollywood High, Eve Babitz posed in 1963, at age twenty, playing chess with the French artist Marcel Duchamp. She was naked; he was not. The photograph made her an instant icon of art and sex. Babitz spent the rest of the decade rocking and rolling on the Sunset Strip, honing her notoriety. There were the album covers she designed: for Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds, to name but a few. There were the men she seduced: Jim Morrison, Ed Ruscha, Harrison Ford, to name but a very few.Then, at nearly thirty, her It girl days numbered, Babitz was discovered—as a writer—by Joan Didion. She would go on to produce seven books, usually billed as novels or short story collections, always autobiographies and confessionals. Under-known and under-read during her career, she’s since experienced a breakthrough. Now in her mid-seventies, she’s on the cusp of literary stardom and recognition as an essential—as the essential—LA writer. Her prose achieves that American ideal: art that stays loose, maintains its cool, and is so simply enjoyable as to be mistaken for simple entertainment.For Babitz, life was slow days, fast company until a freak fire turned her into a recluse, living in a condo in West Hollywood, where author Lili Anolik tracked her down in 2012. Hollywood’s Eve, equal parts biography and detective story “brings a ludicrously glamorous scene back to life, adding a few shadows along the way” (Vogue) and “sends you racing to read the work of Eve Babitz” (The New York Times).
Brooke Hayward was born into the most enviable of circumstances. The daughter of a famous actress and a successful Hollywood agent, she was beautiful, wealthy, and living at the very center of the most privileged life America had to offer. Yet at twenty-three her family was ripped apart. Who could have imagined that this magical life could shatter, so conclusively, so destructively? Brooke Hayward tells the riveting story of how her family went haywire.
A Reporter's Life: Walter Cronkite
"Entertaining...The story of a modest man who succeeded extravagantly by remaining mostly himself...His memoir is a short course on the flow of events in the second half of this century-events the world knows more about because of Walter Cronkite's work." -the New York Times book Review. SC, 384 pages.
Growing Up Fisher: Musings, Memories, and Misadventures
Actress, director, entertainer Joely Fisher invites readers backstage, into the intimate world of her career and family with this touching, down-to-earth memoir filled with incredible, candid stories about her life, her famous parents, and how the loss of her unlikely hero, sister Carrie Fisher, ignited the writer in her.Growing up in an iconic Hollywood Dynasty, Joely Fisher knew a show business career was her destiny. The product of world-famous crooner Eddie Fisher and ’60s sex kitten Connie Stevens, she struggled with her own identity and place in the world on the way to a decades-long career as an acclaimed actress, singer, and director.Now, Joely shares her unconventional coming of age and stories of the family members and co-stars dearest to her heart, while stripping bare her own misadventures. In Growing Up Fisher, she recalls the beautifully bizarre twist of fate by which she spent a good part of her childhood next door to Debbie Reynolds. She speaks frankly about the realities of Hollywood - the fame and fortune, the constant scrutiny. Throughout, she celebrates the anomaly of a two-decade marriage in the entertainment industry, and the joys and challenges of parenting five children, while dishing on what it takes to survive and thrive in the unrelenting glow of celebrity. She speaks frankly about how the loss of her sister Carrie Fisher became a source of artistic inspiration.Fisher’s memoir, with never-before-seen photos, will break and warm your heart.
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon
When Warren Zevon died in 2003, he left behind both a fanatical cult following and a rich catalog of dark, witty rock-n-roll classics that includes "Lawyers, Guns, and Money," "Excitable Boy," and the immortal "Werewolves of London." He also left a trove of misadventures and anecdotes, a veritable rock opera of drugs, women, celebrity, high times, and hard ways. As Warren once said, "I got to be Jim Morrison a lot longer than he did." I'll Sleep When I'm Dead is an intimate and unusual oral history of one of our most original and distinctive rock-and-roll antiheroes. Narrated by his former wife and longtime co-conspirator, Crystal Zevon, the book draws on over eighty interviews with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Stephen King, Billy Bob Thornton, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and countless others who came under his mischievous spell. The result is a raucous and moving tale of love and obsession, creative genius and epic bad behavior. Told in the words and images of the friends, lovers, and legends who knew him best, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead captures Warren Zevon in all his turbulent glory.
The John Lennon Letters
Davies, Hunter (Edt)
John Lennon was one of the greatest songwriters the world has ever known, creator of "Help!," "Come Together," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Imagine," and dozens more. But it was in his correspondence that he let his personality and poetry flow unguarded. Gathered in this handsome volume are John Lennon's letters to family, friends, strangers, and lovers from every point in his life. Funny, informative, wise, poetic, and sometimes heartbreaking, these letters reveal a hidden side of the private genius. This collection of nearly 300 letters and postcards has been edited and annotated by Hunter Davies, whose authorized biography The Beatles (McGraw-Hill, 1968) was published to great acclaim. With unparalleled knowledge of Lennon and his contemporaries, Davies reads between the lines of the artist's words, contextualizing them and using them to reveal the man himself.
Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch
Still Here is the first full telling of Elaine Stritch’s life. Rollicking but intimate, it tracks one of Broadway’s great personalities from her upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to her fateful move to New York City, where she studied alongside Marlon Brando, Bea Arthur, and Harry Belafonte. We accompany Elaine through her jagged rise to fame, to Hollywood and London, and across her later years, when she enjoyed a stunning renaissance, punctuated by a turn on the popular television show 30 Rock. We explore the influential - and often fraught - collaborations she developed with Noël Coward, Tennessee Williams, and above all Stephen Sondheim, as well as her courageous yet flawed attempts to control a serious drinking problem. And we see the entertainer triumphing over personal turmoil with the development of her Tony Award–winning one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, which established her as an emblem of spiky independence and Manhattan life for an entirely new generation of admirers.In Still Here, Alexandra Jacobs conveys the full force of Stritch’s sardonic wit and brassy charm while acknowledging her many dark complexities. Following years of meticulous research and interviews, this is a portrait of a powerful, vulnerable, honest, and humorous figure who continues to reverberate in the public consciousness.
Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution
Purdum, Todd S.
A revelatory portrait of the creative partnership that transformed musical theater and provided the soundtrack to the American Century.
VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave
Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn (along with the late J. J. Jackson) had front-row seats to a cultural revolution—and the hijinks of music stars like Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Duran Duran. Their worlds collided, of course: John Cougar invited Nina to a late-night “party” that proved to be a seduction attempt. Mark partied with David Lee Roth, who offered him cocaine and groupies. Aretha Franklin made chili for Alan. Bob Dylan whisked Martha off to Ireland in his private jet.But while VJ has plenty of dish—secret romances, nude photographs, incoherent celebrities—it also reveals how four VJs grew up alongside MTV’s devoted viewers and became that generation’s trusted narrators. They tell the story of the ’80s, from the neon-colored drawstring pants to the Reagan administration, and offer a deeper understanding of how MTV changed our culture. Or as the VJs put it: “We’re the reason you have no attention span.”
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