+612 9045 4394
 
CHECKOUT
Trumpet Blues : Life of Harry James - Peter Levinson

Trumpet Blues

Life of Harry James

Paperback Published: 1st July 2001
ISBN: 9780195142396
Number Of Pages: 368

Share This Book:
This title is not in stock at the Booktopia Warehouse and needs to be ordered from our supplier.
Click here to read more about delivery expectations.

Swing is back in style, and with it a renewed interest in the Big Band Era. And few players dominated that era more than Harry James, whose soaring trumpet solos and romantic hit tunes influenced popular music for a generation. Now, Peter J. Levinson, who knew Harry James personally, has written a revealing biography of this jazz icon, based on nearly 200 interviews with musicians and friends.
Harry James led a truly colorful life, and in Trumpet Blues Levinson captures it all. Beginning with James's childhood in a traveling circus, we follow the young trumpeter's meteoric rise in the 1930s and witness his electrifying performances with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. We see how James formed his own band in 1939, an incubator for many pop music stars of the 1940s and '50s, including Frank Sinatra, Connie Haines, Dick Haymes, Helen Forrest, and Kitty Kallen. Combined with James's superb musicianship, peerless trumpet technique and talented sidemen, this stellar group dominated the war years and the immediate post-war period. And James himself, especially after his marriage to film goddess Betty Grable, became one of America's most famous personalities and lived like true Hollywood royalty. Levinson describes their twenty-two-year marriage with insight and sympathy. But he shows how James's marriage--and his triumphant late-1950s comeback in Nevada's casinos--were slowly undermined by his penchant for compulsive gambling, womanizing, and alcoholism. He gives us the inside story of James's sybaritic life style, and probes the profound psychological reasons for James's destructive behavior.
The first biography ever written on Harry James, Trumpet Blues is a scintillating portrait of Swing's brightest star--his life, his loves, and the music that defined an era.

"Trumpet Blues is an appropriate title for this book because it aptly describes Harry James' music and his troubled, tumultuous life....For all of its dark, personal detail, this is a lively read....It is a credit to Levinson's truthfulness and energy that he provides us with such a variety of assessments of Harry James from so many people who knew him."--The Mississippi Rag "While scattered stories have been written of James' personal life and professional life, it has taken Peter J. Levinson, a retired, respected entertainment-industry publicist, to write...the first and only account of the musician's life from start to finish.... Levinson has stitched together a fascinating profile of the tormented trumpeter."--North County Times "The book makes for fast and extremely interesting reading and appropriately concludes with a portion of the eulogy delivered at James' funeral by his erstwhile vocalist and dear friend Frank Sinatra."--Big Bands International "Long before there was sex, drugs, and rock and roll, there was sex, alcohol and big-band swing. And as this surprisingly absorbing biography suggests, trumpet player Harry James could have been the role model for Mick Jagger." --People Weekly "The surprise page-turner of the year is Peter Levinson's life of the swing-era star Harry James."--Gary Giddins, The Washington Post Book World "Trumpet Blues...[is] the first full-scale biography of James, who, at his peak in the '40s and '50s, was unquestionably the highest-paid trumpeter in American music."--Jazziz "Trumpet Blues is the biographical equivalent of a well-produced LP, with not a single weak or wasted track."--Daily News "Trumpet Blues is an appropriate title for this book because it aptly describes Harry James' music and his troubled, tumultuous life....For all of its dark, personal detail, this is a lively read....It is a credit to Levinson's truthfulness and energy that he provides us with such a variety of assessments of Harry James from so many people who knew him."--The Mississippi Rag "While scattered stories have been written of James' personal life and professional life, it has taken Peter J. Levinson, a retired, respected entertainment-industry publicist, to write...the first and only account of the musician's life from start to finish.... Levinson has stitched together a fascinating profile of the tormented trumpeter."--North County Times "The book makes for fast and extremely interesting reading and appropriately concludes with a portion of the eulogy delivered at James' funeral by his erstwhile vocalist and dear friend Frank Sinatra."--Big Bands International "Long before there was sex, drugs, and rock and roll, there was sex, alcohol and big-band swing. And as this surprisingly absorbing biography suggests, trumpet player Harry James could have been the role model for Mick Jagger." --People Weekly "The surprise page-turner of the year is Peter Levinson's life of the swing-era star Harry James."--Gary Giddins, The Washington Post Book World "Harry James was a jazz master. If you doubt it, read 'Trumpet Blues'."--Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal "One of the very few biographies of a musician I have read that not only told me much more than I thought I knew, but compelled me to listen right away to the music again."--Nat Hentoff, Jazz Times "One of the most engrossing and compelling jazz biographies in many years."--Tom Nolan, L.A. Daily News "Impressive...a fascinating read not only for fans of jazz, but for students of 20th-century history, Hollywood, and the music business.... Levinson hooks the reader immediately."--Kirkus Reviews "Encyclopedic and engaging...Harry James, his fabled horn, and the woman he won with it--Betty Grable--come to stunning life in this evocative tale of a time when big band music meant melody, virtuosity, and, yes, romance. Those were the good old days."--Mike Wallace, CBS News/Sixty Minutes "Levinson writes the way Harry James played, which makes Trumpet Blues an absolutely brilliant book, about an absolutely brilliant horn player."--Robert B. Parker, author of the popular Spenser mystery series "An ultimately depressing account of the life of a gifted American musician who, after trading his genuine musical talent for a tawdry parade of hollow perks, finds he has made a bad bargain. The marvel is that in spite of it all Harry James was able to live as long as he did. This tale of glitzy $ucce$$/exce$$ might well serve as a kind of contemporary American Tragedy."--Artie Shaw "In his well-researched and well-written study, Levinson advances James as an underappreciated musician..."--Booklist "This robust biography offers a heady plunge into the swing era and a vivid portrait of a daring and inventive artist."--Library Journal "James, for decades swing's brightest star and leading bandmaster, was a brilliant man whose chaotic personal life--including his alcoholism, gambling, womanizing and marriage to screen goddess Betty Grable--rivals that of any of today's pop stars."--Leila Cobo, Miami Herald "Peter Levinson has written the definitive biography of this high-living and high-loving musician whose marriage to Betty Grable inspired Bob Hope to dub them 'the Legs and the Lip'"--Playboy "Relentlessly candid.... A book that will be of interest primarily to big-band aficionados."--George Robinson, ew York Times Book Review "In this very fine biography, former jazz publicist Peter J. Levinson takes on James and sheds a very bright light on the man, warts and all."--T. Michael Crowell, San Diego Union-Tribune "An entertaining, revealing, and, inevitably, tragic storybook."--Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Everette and Maybellep. 3
Louise and Benp. 17
The Kingdom of Swingp. 31
Ciribiribinp. 59
You Made Me Love Youp. 81
Trees, the Legs, and the Lipp. 105
Hollywood Royaltyp. 137
The In-Between Yearsp. 163
Back to Basiep. 195
I Don't Want to Walk Without Youp. 239
Notesp. 285
Bibliographyp. 301
Indexp. 303
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195142396
ISBN-10: 019514239X
Series: Life of Harry James
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st July 2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.53