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Music Biographies

A Ship Without a Sail: The Life of Lorenz Hart
Gary Mamorstein
From "The Lady is a Tramp" to "My Funny Valentine", Lorenz Hart created some of the most memorable songs ever written. This is the story of his songwriting genius. An unforgettable portrait of an exhuberant yet troubled artist whose gift so enriched the American songbook. 510 pp. $30.00.

A Singer's NotebookA Singer's Notebook

Ian Bostridge
Ian Bostridge is one of the outstanding singers of our time, celebrated both for the quality of his voice and for the exceptional intelligence of the repertoire of the past and present alike. Yet his early career was that of a professional historian, and A Singer's Notebook takes a look at the multifaceted world of classical music through the eyes of someone whose career as a singer has followed a unique trajectory. Hardcover, 261 pp. $28.00.

Look, I Made a HatLook, I Made a Hat

Stephen Sondheim
The eagerly anticipated to Sondheim's best-selling, critically acclaimed Finishing The Hat. This volume covers the work done by this essentail artist between 1981 and 2011. In his own words, it is the "collected lyrics with attendant comments, amplifications, dogmas, harangues, digressions, anecdotes, and miscellany". The perfect gift for any musical theatre fan, lover of letters, or for anyone who appreciates genius and wit. Hardcover, 453 pp. $50.00.

Stephen Sondheim: A LifeStephen Sondheim: A Life
Meryle Secrest
The first and only full-scale and definitive biography of the most important composer-lyricist in musical theatre today. A fascinating and remarkable portrait of the man, the music, and the genius of Stephen Sondheim: star of his own fascinating and unfinished life. Softcover, 461 pp. $18.00.

No Regrets: The Life of Edith PiafNo Regrets: The Life of Edith Piaf

Carolyn Burk
The iconic French singer comes to life in this enthalling, definitive biography, which captures Edith Piaf's immense charisma along with the time and place that gave rise to her unprecedented international career. Hardcover, 282 pp. $32.00.

The HammersteinsThe Hammersteins

Oscar Andrew Hammerstein
The Hammersteins presents a multi-layered portrait of the family whose name has become synonymous with musical theatre. Complete with personal and professional highlights, as well as scandals and tragedies, and illustrated by a rich collection of photographs, programs, patents and more, this volume is at once a deeply personal story of a prolific family who made New York the centre of the theatrical world, and changed an art form forever. Hardcover, 236 pp. $41.95.

Patti LuPone: A Memoir

Patti LuPone
The legendary Patti LuPone shares the highs and lows of her extraordinary career on the stage and in film and TV. The unalloyed joy she has found in performing ultimately becomes a love letter to the theatre. She does not hesitate to share the intimate story of her life both onstage and off with the humour and outspoken candor that have become her trademarks. Cloth, $29.99.

Finishing the HatFinishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954 - 1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes
Stephen Sondheim
This promises to give the reader a rare unparralleled insight into the art, life and times of one of the geniuses of the modern American musical theatre. Rich with history, personal insights and intimate details, Sondheim discusses his relationship with his mentor Oscar Hammerstein II and his collaborations with legends like Bernstein, Laurents, Rodgers, Prince, Mary Martin, Angela Lansbury, Ethel Merman and countless others. All this and the lyrics for all his productions from 1954 - 81. Cloth, $47.00.

Victor Feldbrill: Canadian Conductor ExtraordinaireVictor Feldbrill: Canadian Conductor Extraordinaire
Walter Pitman
A former artistic director of the Winnipeg Symphony, a conductor with the Toronto Symphony, and a guest conductor of virtually every major symphony orchestra in Canada -- to name but a few of his achievements -- Victor Feldbrill is a major figure in Canadian music. This book tells the story of his life and his considerable cultural contributions. Hardcover, 430 pp. $40.00.

All of MeAll of Me

Anne Murray
In this revealing autobiography, Canada's first lady of song tells the whole story of her astonishing forty-year career in show business, for the first time ever. All of Me documents Anne Murray's whirlwind life, from her humble orgins in the tragedy-plagued coal-mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia, to her arrival on the world stage with her first gold record in 1970 and the string of top-selling hit singles and albums. Hardcover, 344 pp. $35.00.

Geniuses of the American Musical Theatre: The Composers and LyricistsGeniuses of the American Musical Theatre: The Composers and Lyricists

Herbert Keyser
For the first time, the biographies of Broadway's greatest songwriters, composers, and lyricists, including Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and many more are collected in a single volume. Fans of the theatre will not want to be without this wise, witty, and warmhearted new perspective. Hardcover, 305 pp. $29.95.

Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American MusicianLeonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician
Barry Seldes
This broadly accessible and impressively documented account of the celebrity maestro's life deepens our understanding of an entire era as it reveals important and often ignored intersections of American culture and political power. Hardcover, 276 pp. $32.95.

Callas Kissed Me...Lenny Too! A Critic's MemoirCallas Kissed Me...Lenny Too! A Critic's Memoir

John Gruen
From his extraordinary beginnings--his mother went into labour while gambling at a French casino--to escaping Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and ultimately hoping to conquer New York City, John Gruen writes a subtly revealing self-portrait in Callas Kissed Me...Lenny Too! Hardcover, 327 pp. $32.00.

I'm the Greatest StarI'm the Greatest Star: Broadway's Top Musical Legends from 1900 to Today

Robert Viagas
The brightest stars in Broadway's heavens shine anew in I'm the Greatest Star. Here in a single volume are the life stories of forty Great White Way luminaries who fascinated, moved, delighted, and intrigued five generations of audiences from 1900 to the present. Hardcover, 425 pp. $29.95.

Mainly On Directing Gypsy, West Side Story, and Other MusicalMainly On Directing Gypsy, West Side Story, and Other Musicals
by Arthur Laurents
Playwright, screenwriter, director, Arthur Laurents has been at the birth and rebirth of the American musical theatre's greatest creations for the past five decades. At the age of ninety one, he has just directed the wildly acclaimed new production of West Side Story on Broadway.
This book revels in the author's love for and understanding of, musical theatre, the people who make it and the audiences who attend.
He writes from experience, in rich detail about his work and the work of other great directors. There isn't a page in this book that doesn't entertain or give the reader a fascinating insight into the art of directing.
This is a book inspired by love, which we can be thankful for. Hardcover $28.95.

Kander and EbbKander and Ebb

James Leve
John Kander and Fred Ebb, one of the greatest and longest lasting composer-lyricist partnerships in Broadway history, created some of the most memorable musicals of all time, including Chicago, Cabaret, and Zorba. This book examines their artistic accomplishments as individuals and as a team. Kander and Ebb is essential reading for students of Musical theatre and lovers of Kander and Ebb's songs and shows. Hardcover, 365 pp. $49.99.

Elmer Iseler: Choral VisionaryElmer Iseler: Choral Visionary

Walter Pittman
In a career that spanned five decades, Elmer Iseler proved himself pivotal to the development of choral music in Canada. This detailed biography charts how Iseler became the most decorated musician, honoured nationally and internationally, and looks at the impact he has made at home and abroad. Hardcover, 351 pp. $40.00.

Piaf: A BiographyPiaf: A Biography

Monique Lange
Throughout an explosive and tempestuous career, Edith Piaf cast a spell over all who came into contact with her and heard her voice. After her, popular singing would never be the same. This biography document's Piaf's meteoric rise from unknown street urchin to living legend. Softcover, 255 pp. $25.99.

Put On A Happy Face: A Broadway MemoirPut On A Happy Face: A Broadway Memoir

Charles Strouse
In Put On A Happy Face, the man behind the hit shows Annie Get Your Gun and Bye Bye Birdie pulls back the curtain for a behind the scenes tour of his remarkable life and achievements. With a sparkling wit, Charles offers an inside glimpse of Broadway, Hollywood and beyond. With prose tuned to capture both soaring highs and operatic lows, the composer whose music has delighted audiences for decades now adds words to his repetoire. Hardcover, 326 pp. $21.95

Enchantress of NationsEnchantress of Nations: Pauline Viardot: Soprano, Muse and Lover

Michael Steen
Enchantress of Nations is a portrait of Pauline Viardot, one of music's most magnetic, colourful and brilliant female stars - but also a picturesque biography of tumultuous, artistic, ever-changing 19th-century Europe. Hardcover, 539 pp. $40.00.

Boy George: StraightBoy George: Straight

Paul Gorman
Boy George: singer, songwriter, theatre star, DJ, photographer, fashion designer, cultural icon. This book reveals his whole story, reappraising his rise to stardom and all the madness that followed. It is only now, many years on from the glittering, glossy eighties, that George makes an insightful and often hilarious assessment of the impact of that extraordinary era. Boy George has come far from those days of excess and addiction. This is his story. Softcover, 283 pp. $21.95.

The Musical World of Boublil and SchonbergThe Musical World of Boublil and Schonberg

Margaret Vermette
The Musical World of Boublil and Schonberg is the first book to offer a comprehensive look behind the closed doors of the two intensely private musical theatre giants Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg. Boublil and Schonberg take center stage and talk openly about their methods and the creative processes involved in writing the book, the music, and the lyrics of their shows. A Fact File gives information on all their productions in London, New York, and worldwide with plot synopses and details of the creative teams, casts, reviews, awards, and recordings as well as some intriguing trivia. Softcover, 345 pp. $25.95.

Lady Sings the BluesLady Sings the Blues

Billie Holiday & Wayne Dufty
This is the fiercely honest, no-holds-barred autobiography of Billie Holiday, the legendary jazz, swing, and standards singing sensation. Taking the reader on a fast-moving journey from Holiday's rough-and-tumble Baltimore childhood, to her emergence on Harlem's club scene, to sold-out performances with Count Basie Orchestra and with Artie Shaw and his band, this revelatory memoir is notable for its trenchant observations on the racism that darkened Billie's life and the heroin addiction that ended it too soon. Softcover, 231 pp. $21.00.

Elgar: Child of DreamsElgar: Child of Dreams
Jerrold Northrop Moore
Jerrold Northrop Moore pursues his quest for the essential Elgar and sets out the story of an extraordinary creative life. It shows themes of childhood, fantasy and vision fusing into a mature style of nobility and nostalgia. Above all it links the composer to the English landscape that informed all of his work from his earliest years. This powerful short book is the outcome of half a century's thought and reflection by a leading Elgar scholar. Softcover, 212 pp. $21.00.

Spreadin' Rhythm AroundSpreadin' Rhythm Around
Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930

David A. Jasen & Gene Jones
This is the classic work on a little-studied subject in American music history: the contribution of African American songwriters to the world of popular song. Richly illustrated with rare photographs from sheet music, newspapers, and other unique sources, the book describes an entire era of performance when black singers, dancers, and actors were active on the New York stage. For anyone interested in the history of jazz, pop song, or Broadway, this book will be a revelation. Softcover, 435 pp. $33.50.

Mario Lanza: Singing to the GodsMario Lanza: Singing to the Gods
Derek Mannering
Blessed with one of the greatest tenor voices of all time, Mario Lanza rose to spectacular heights in a film, recording and concert career that spanned little more than a decade. This is the story of a tremendous talent that was derailed by a self-destructive lifestyle, culminating with his death at the age of thirty-eight. Newly revised and updated, this is the definitive account of the remarkable life and times of one of the twentieth century's most beloved singing stars. Hardcover, 280 pp. $43.95.

Wondrous StrangeWondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould
Kevin Bazzana
In this brilliant and entertaining biography, the product of twenty years' research, Kevin Bazzana sheds new light on Glenn Gould's life, personality, and multifarious work as pianist, write, broadcaster, and composer. Looking past the legend of the self-taught recluse, he offers a balanced portrait of a complex figure who, while uniquely gifted and genuinely eccentric, was in many ways also a product of his time and place. Hardcover, 528 pp. $39.99.

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Musical Theatre

Frank LoesserFrank Loesser
Thomas L. Riis
Immensely prolific and a personally magnetic man, Loesser was a major figure during the Broadway golden age that included Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, and Bernstein. Here, Thomas L. Riis, in a deeply informed and lively discussion of Loesser's life and musical career, presents a critical look at one of the mmost important -- though often overshadowed -- Broadway composers. Hardcover, 329 pp. $47.95.

Sigmund RombergSigmund Romberg
William A. Everett
Hungarian-born composer Sigmund Romberg arrived in America in 1909 and within eight years had acheived his first hit musical on Broadway. This early success was soon followed by others, and in the 1920s his popularity was unsurpassed. William Everett offers the first detailed study of this gifted operetta composer, examining Romberg's key works and musical accomplishments and demonstrating his lasting importance in the history of American musicals. Hardcover, 362 pp. $58.95.

Before the Parade Passes ByBefore the Parade Passes By: Gower Champion and the Glorious American Musical
John Anthony Gilvey
During the Golden Age of the Broadway musical, few director-choreographers could infuse a new musical with dance and movement in quite the way Gower Champion could. From his earliest Broadway success with Bye Bye Birdie to his triumphant and bittersweet valedictory, 42nd Street, Champion's musicals filled the proscenium with life. In this lively biography, John Anthony Gilvey tells the story of this most American of Broadway musical director-choreographers. Hardcover, 371 pp. $39.95.

The Amazing Story of The FantasticksThe Amazing Story of The Fantasticks
Donald C. Farber & Robert Viagas
Frequently called the "miracle on Sullivan Street," The Fantasticks has been the most often performed musical around the world, setting more national and international longevity records than any musical in theatre history. This is the detailed history of how this fabulously successful show came into being and how and why it succeeded. Softcover, 263 pp. $24.95.

Harold Prince and the American Musical TheatreHarold Prince and the American Musical Theatre
Foster Hirsch
Here is the complete look at the outstanding career of Harold Prince, the most honoured and influencial producer/director in the history of postwar American musical theatre. Foster Hirsch has updated the original edition of this book adding new interviews with Prince. He also analyzes Prince's more recent work, including Kiss of the Spider Woman, Parade, and the award-winning revival of Show Boat. Softcover, 269 pp. $23.95.

Noel & Coel: The Sophisticates Noel & Cole: The Sophisticates
Stephen Citron
Based on access to previously unpublished manuscripts, lyrics, scores, and letters, plus dozens of interviews, this book offers an elucidating treatise on the parallel careers and frequent collaborations of Noel Coward and Cole Porter. Noel & Cole skillfully fuses their biographical strands, giving the reader a clear insight into both men's private lives, illuminating their musical achievements, including a frank discussion of their homosexuality. Softcover, 360 pp. $21.95.


Ray: A Tribute to the Movie, the Man, and the MusicRay: A Tribute to the Movie, the Man, and the Music
Various authors
Born into abject poverty in the segregated South, Ray Charles way raised by a single mother, witnessed the tragic drowning of his brother, and by the age of seven, was totally blind. Yet despite these adversities, he rose to the pinnacle of his profession, revolutionized American music, and became the first recording artist to own his master recordings. This book chronicles the journey of filmmakers Taylor Hackford and Stuart Benjamin in bringing Ray Charles's life to the screen. Softcover, 208 pp. $44.95.

Portraits of JohnnyPortraits of Johnny: The Life of John Herndon Mercer
Gene Lees
Moon River
, Laura, That Old Black Magic, Satin Doll, Days of Wine and Roses -- the list of Johnny Mercer's indelible songs is endless. This intimate biography of the great songwriter is also a deeply affectionate memoir by one of his best friends, music historian and songwriter Gene Lees. Both poignant and candid, this intimate portrait reveals a conflicted artist -- a man of immense talent who, despite being much admired and loved, was never truly understood. Hardcover, 360 pp. $39.95.

Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The LegendElvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend
Pamela Clarke Keogh
That voice, those eyes, that hair, the cars, the girls -- Elvis Presley revolutionized American pop culture when, at the age of twenty-one, he became the world's first modern superstar. This richly illustrated volume compellingly examines Elvis' life and style to reveal the generous, complex, spiritual man behind the pop culture icon. Hardcover, 263 pp. $49.95.

Chanteuse in the CityChanteuse in the City
Kelley Conway
An icon of working-class feminity and the underworld, the realist singer signaled the emergence of new cultural roles for women as well as shifts in the nature of popular entertainment. Chanteuse in the City provides a genealogy of realist performance through analysis of the music hall careers and film roles of Mistinguett, Josephine Baker, Frehel, and Damia. Above all, this volume offers a fresh interpretation of 1930s French cinema, emphasizing its love affair with popular song and its close connections to the music hall and the cafe-concert. Softcover, 246 pp. $37.95.

Cher: If You BelieveCher: If You Believe
Mark Bego
This engaging biography looks beyond the public glitz and outrageous costumes into the tumultuous private life of Cher. Here is the full story behind her dazzling four-decade professional career as well as her turbulent personal relationships with Sonny Bono, Gregg Allman, and her daughter Chastity. Cher: If You Believe is the definitive portrait of this most flamboyant, multitalented entertainer. Softcover, 407 pp. $24.95.

Jerry Herman: Poet of the ShowtuneJerry Herman: Poet of the Showtune
Stephen Citron
Drawing on extensive interviews with Jerry Herman and his theatrical colleagues, collaborators, and close friends, this revealing biography tells the full story of Jerry Herman's life and career. Stephen Citron provides insights into Herman's music and lyrics -- including voluminous examples from each of his musicals -- in a way that is instructive, edifying and entertaining. Hardcover, 338 pp. $45.00.

Kurt Weill On Stage: From Berlin to BroadwayKurt Weill On Stage: From Berlin to Broadway
Foster Hirsch
In Kurt Weill On Stage, the focus of the biography is on Weill's career in the United States, but Hirsch's primal aim is to explore the truth in the comment made by Weill's wife, the unforgettable Lotte Lenya: "There is no American Weill, there is no German Weill. There is no difference between them. There is only Weill." Hirsch is able, in this book, to give the reader a multifaceted portrait of a man who fought critics, collaborators and prejudice to ensure that his theatrical vision was executed down to the smallest detail. Softcover, 403 pp. $29.00.

Positively 4th StreetPositively 4th Street:
The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Farina and Richard Farina
David Hajdu
Positively 4th Street
is that rare book with a new story to tell about the 1960's: the story of how some of the greatest American popular music arose out of the lives of four gifted and charismatic figures. It is a mesmerizing account of how Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi Baez Farina and Richard Farina gave rise to a modern day bohemia creating the enduring sound and style of the 60's.Hajdu, whose biography of Billy Strayhorn set a new standard for books about popular music, tells it as a story of a colourful foursome who were drawn together in the Greenwich Village in the early 60's and inspired a generation to gather around them.

Jacques Offenbach and the Paris of His TimeJacques Offenbach and the Paris of His Time
Siegfried Kracauer
In this remarkable book, Siegfried Kracauer brilliantly reconfigures the biography form into an insightful work of social and cultural history. Offenbach's operrettas, and their social significance, are the focus of this discussion which should be essential reading for anyone interested in modern critical and cultural studies. Hardcover, 418 pp., $57.95.

Glenn Gould: A Life in PicturesGlenn Gould: A Life in Pictures
Tim Page
The life of renowned Canadian musician Glenn Gould is told pictorially in this spendidly illustrated large-format book. Included alongside press photographs, are rare snap-shops from the Gould family archive. With a foreword by Yo-Yo Ma, and an introduction by Tim Page. Hardcover, 192 pp., $50.00. 

A Jazz OdysseyA Jazz Odyssey: The Life of Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
The legendary jazz pianist's autobiography is as monumental as the man himself and his six-decade career in jazz. Beginning with Peterson's early years in Canada, and going on to trace in detail not only his musical development but much of the social and political background that underscored it. Hardcover, $45.00.

Rolling With The StonesRolling With The Stones
Bill Wyman
Music fans will rejoice over this remarkable chronology of the career of The Rolling Stones which includes an unprecedented compendium of Rolling Stones memrobilia and never-before-published photos. Based on the personal diary and extensive archives of Bill Wyman and featuring over 3000 photographs, this is the first complete biography of the band told from the inside. Essential and authoritative. Hardcover, 512 pp. $80.00.

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Last modified July 18, 2012.
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