Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Summer Reads Part 2

Colored Lights (40 years of words and music, show biz, collaboration, and all that jazz) John Kander and Fred Ebb as told to Greg Lawrence

For this set of books, I plan to have an audio-visual experience: listen to their CDs on the mp3 player while reading their bios. Double the fun eh? I've done this before with the bios of Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Make that a triple treat for Kander & Ebb, the tandem who gave us Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, among others. When I reach the part of their bio referring to Cabaret & Chicago, I'll be going multi-media. While reading this book, I'll watch/listen to the film versions. I wonder if I'll have a sensory overload.

Angel on My Shoulder by Natalie Cole with Digby Diehl

I've read Nat "King" Cole's bio in the 80s and more than 20 years later, I'll be reading his daughter Natalie's bio.

Her CD Unforgettable featuring duets with her dad would make a perfect companion to this book.

It would be interesting to find out how she got out of the mess of a life she made for herself. A mess where a lot of singers before her got enmeshed in and never got out alive (e.g., Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, et. al.).

As Thousands Cheer (The Life of Irving Berlin) by Laurence Bergreen

I've browsed through this book in search of any reference to Imelda Marcos who claimed that her beauty inspired Irving Berlin (Israel Baline in real life) to compose a song (God Bless the Philippines daw) for her during the WW II. Result: Zilch, nada, nothing!

Berlin wrote a lot of memorable songs: God Bless America, White Christmas, Cheek to Cheek, There's no Business like Show Business, Always, Puttin' on the Ritz, Easter Parade, How Deep is the Ocean?, Let's Face the Music and Dance, You're Just in Love.


rolly said...

I loved Cabaret! Liked the songs and the story as well.

I have not tried going on a sensory overload. Seems like it's a cool idea.

Happy Easter!

Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

Speaking of Judy Garland, there is an exciting and popular new group on Yahoo called THE JUDY GARLAND EXPERIENCE. The group features amazingly rare audio files, great photo's, lively discussions and more. The membership includes Garland family members, new fans, old fans, authors, historians, everyone is welcome. Please come by and check out our little Judyville, you may never want to leave.

BatJay said...

berlin's a great composer.

BTW, i heard that story on imelda and berlin from that great documentary done by ramona diaz.