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Ella Fitzgerald : a biography of the first lady of jazz

Author: Stuart Nicholson
Publisher: New York : C. Scribner's Sons : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : 1st American edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The life of the very private and media-shy Ella Fitzgerald has long been shrouded in a mixture of half-truths and fiction. What emerges in Stuart Nicholson's groundbreaking biography - the first in more than a decade - is the remarkable and triumphant story of a poor black girl's determination to realize the American Dream in the face of constant racial and sexual prejudice. Now nearly eighty years old, Ella
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Nicholson, Stuart.
Ella Fitzgerald.
New York : C. Scribner's Sons : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994, c1993
(OCoLC)623199251
Named Person: Ella Fitzgerald; Ella Fitzgerald
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Stuart Nicholson
ISBN: 0684196999 9780684196992
OCLC Number: 28799762
Description: xv, 334 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Responsibility: Stuart Nicholson.

Abstract:

The life of the very private and media-shy Ella Fitzgerald has long been shrouded in a mixture of half-truths and fiction. What emerges in Stuart Nicholson's groundbreaking biography - the first in more than a decade - is the remarkable and triumphant story of a poor black girl's determination to realize the American Dream in the face of constant racial and sexual prejudice. Now nearly eighty years old, Ella Fitzgerald is the definition of jazz singer to millions around the world, and acclaimed as one of the greatest of all jazz musicians.

This is the fullest-ever account of Ella's life, and Stuart Nicholson draws almost exclusively on fresh research and on interviews with many of Ella's friends and colleagues who have not cooperated with other writers, including an interview with Norman Granz, Ella's longtime manager and the producer behind her legendary Songbook series. Within two years of her professional debut as a gauche sixteen-year-old, Ella had achieved stardom with a million-selling record. By the 1950s, she was feted by the rich and famous throughout the world and collaborating with all the greatest artists in jazz and popular music, from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Yet, as Stuart Nicholson shows, while hailed abroad as a cultural ambassador for her country, she had to endure vicious racism at home, including a sensational arrest scandal on trumped-up charges in the Deep South.

Nicholson examines the key influence upon Ella of bandleader Chick Webb, and provides the first in-depth analysis of Webb's career. He also considers Ella's complex relationship with Norman Granz, and traces her unhappy love life, involving two failed marriages and a series of casual affairs. But above all Nicholson celebrates Ella's music, live and on record, highlighting her finest work and considering her alongside her great rival and fellow icon, Billie Holiday. Supplemented by an authoritative discography by noted jazz historian Phil Schaap and illustrated with many unknown photographs, Ella Fitzgerald offers a rich and revealing portrait of one of the most popular American singers of the century, and the only artist in jazz history whose work spans seven decades.

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