First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald for the Record

Geoffrey Mark Fidelman, Author
Geoffrey Mark Fidelman, Author Carol Publishing Corporation $24.95 (379p) ISBN 978-1-55972-240-7
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Paperback - 978-0-8065-1771-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-1584-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4708-4707-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4708-4705-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4708-4704-3
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4708-4709-8
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In this unauthorized biography of legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald, freelance writer Fidelman provides a year-by-year account of her career from her debut at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in 1934 to her 1993 retirement because of failing health. He emphasizes Fitzgerald's complex relationship with Norman Granz, her longtime manager and producer, and her dedication to her art at the expense of her close friendships and health. But like all Fitzgerald biographies, this one suffers from its paucity of personal material, because the singer doesn't grant interviews and her associates are protective of her privacy. Lengthy discussions of her recordings and her stage, radio and TV performances do not make up for this lack as there is little in-depth analysis of her singing style. In addition, Fidelman is addicted to such irritating turns of phrase as ``Ella warbled on wax'' and ``she was scoring a hit almost every time at bat.'' Appendices listing Fitzgerald's top 10 albums, 100 songs she never recorded, media appearances and a complete discography are included. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
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