Sassy: The Life of Sarah Vaughan

Leslie Gourse, Author Scribner Book Company $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19317-5
As a teenager Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) sang in the churches and nightclubs of Newark, N.J. At 19, she was signed by Earl ``Fatha'' Hines to sing with his band, amazing such performers as Billy Ekstine and Carmen McCrae with her easy mastery of complex vocalizations. ``I drink booze, I smoke cigarettes, I stay high, I stay up all night, I hang out,'' Vaughan once explained smartly. Music critic Gourse ( Unforgettable: The Life and Mystique of Nat King Cole ) offers no greater insight into Sassy's singular talent, but nonetheless provides an amicable, informative and fact-filled first biography of this unparalleled performer. Gourse relies on interviews with family and associates, newspaper and magazine articles and even album notes to describe her subject's 40-year career, from her discovery at Harlem's Apollo Theatre through her managers, lovers and husbands, her travels, recording sessions and critics' comments. A comprehensive (although not complete) discography is included. Photos not seen by PW. ( Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
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Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-306-80578-3
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