It Wasn't All Velvet

Mel Torme, Author Viking Books $18.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-670-82289-8
At age 63, Melvin Howard Torme (originally Torma), Chicago-born son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, here looks back, mostly with pleasure, on his years of public appearances as an arranger, composer, lyricist, conductor, pianist, drummer, film actor, TV and radio emceeand especially as an award-winning vocalist whom Bing Crosby described as ``the best musical entertainer I've ever seen.'' Torme has also been an aviator, motorcyclist, novelist, biographer, collector of rare Colt guns and father of five children and two stepchildren born to four wives. In this fluent, intimate memoir he reviews his near-legendary onstage life, recalls his associations with Sammy Davis Jr., Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, Benny Goodman, Jerry Lewis, Buddy Rich and Frank Sinatra, describes his dates with Ava Gardner and Marilyn Monroe, and agonizes over custody fights with his former wives. Torme ends with reflections and afterthoughts about his children, friends and favorite people. His tone is somewhat self-pitying, but lively and candid. Photos. 50,000 first printing; $60,000 ad/promo; author tour. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 16 pages - 978-0-8217-2862-8
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