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Download First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald for the Record epub

by Geoferey M. Fidelman

Chronicles the personal life and singing career of the well-known jazz artist and discusses her impact on contemporary music
Download First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald for the Record epub
ISBN: 0806517719
ISBN13: 978-0806517711
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Arts & Literature
Author: Geoferey M. Fidelman
Language: English
Publisher: Citadel (June 1, 1996)
Pages: 400 pages
ePUB size: 1298 kb
FB2 size: 1795 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 868
Other Formats: docx doc mobi rtf

This book really tells the story of Ella Fitzgerald. I totally recommend this book to anyone.
Reading this book left me feeling that while the author is passionate about is subject matter, he felt entitled to make snarky comments throughout and who proof read this book? Errors abound. This book was published before Ella's death so it ends paying tribute to her remarkable career more than the subject herself. There are two errors that I know of, one regarding a song and one a television appearance. Dinah! did have Lucille Ball as a guest on a referred episode and was quoted correctly a comment to Ella, but the broadcast featured not Elizabeth Taylor by satellite but Beverly Sills on set, the song "Ordinary Fool" was not recorded by Karen Carpenter for her last album, Karen recorded her version during the "Kind Of Hush" sessions in 1976, Ella recorded hers in 1977, it was impossible for Karen to follow Ella's vocal line as suggested and Ella couldn't follow Karen's because Karen's version wasn't released until 1983. The author credits himself as the writer of the liner notes for Ella's "First Lady Of Song" 3 disc set released by Verve in 1993, I feel this is unnecessary bragging on his part.
I've looked for this book for years not understanding why it went out of print until I found it at a book discount shop. It's giddy, self-congratulating, and arrogant. Who is he to refer to Ella as "Miss Fitz?" and the photo section has personal captions not unlike a photo album one would have at home. The one good section is the discography located in the back that contains every recording made including the outtakes.
This alleged biography of Ella Fitzgerald is seriously flawed and not recommended. At its most basic, the book is simply not a serious biography written in a professional manner. For example, the author CONSTANTLY interupts the narrative to give the reader HIS opinions of each and every song she sings, her weight and even her wigs. Even the captions to the photos are annoying ("Still hiding her figure for Verve"..."Oh those awful wigs") This is not acceptable or serious writing for a biography. He also seemingly attempts to convince the reader that he knew Ella personally, sometimes referring to her (annoyingly) as "Miss Fitz." Another complaint: the author talks knowingly about live recorded concert albums leading the reader to believe he has some inside knowlege of a concert, when in reality he is simply relating what is on the actual album for everyone to hear. He also refers to others he supposedly interviewed by their first names ("Keeter" Betts, "Danny" Kaye). Was he really on a first name basis with these people? Of course, we don't know who he interviewed, or when he interviewed them, because there aren't any notes in the book to prove it. If you want a serious bio of the great singer, instead of this thing, I recommend the much-respected "Ella Fitzgerald" by Stuart Nicholson.
Ella Fitzgerald is my favorite singer. I think that her best work is outstanding. I wish that this book was too. This is an okay biography of Ella's life and career. The author is clearly a fan and has some trouble being objective about some of Ella's work (especially her later work in which she had clearly lost a lot of her voice due to illnesses); however, the book gives you a detailed overview of Ella's numerous appearances on television, her performances with Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong, and her extensive recordings.

There is another book about Ella by Stuart Nicholson that you may want to read too. It is rather dry in comparison to this book, but I found that by blending Mr. Fidelman's almost-giddy prose with Nicholson's workman-like style, I did come away with a feeling for the woman who Ella was.
I'm a huge Ella fan, but not much is available about her personal life. This is a decent book if you want to know more about Ella's career; in that respect, it's pretty exhaustive and very detailed. I was a little disappointed in the overall quality of the book, however. It has a cheap feel to it, the paper is shoddy, the pictures look as though they were run through a copier, and there are many, many typos and punctuation errors. I also wasn't crazy about the writing style. But for you die-hard Ella fans, I would suggest that you read the book and get what you can out of it.
The reviews are a little unfair. This is accurate and written with passion. The tone has clearly offended. However I do believe that the definitive biography has yet to be written. I hope somebody is putting it together as I write; maybe Will Friedwald or David Ritz will do it.