Florence Foster Jenkins : The Life of the World's Worst Opera Singer
"Probably the most complete and absolute lack of talent ever publicly displayed." -Life MagazineMadame Jenkins couldn't carry a tune in a bucket: despite that, in 1944 at the age of 76, she played Carnegie Hall to a capacity audience and had celebrity fans by the score. Her infamous 1940s recordings are still highly-prized today. In his well-researched and thoroughly entertaining biography, Darryl W. Bullock tells of Florence Foster Jenkins meteoric rise to success and the man who stood beside her, through every sharp note. Florence was ridiculed for her poor control of timing, pitch, and tone, and terrible pronunciation of foreign lyrics, but the sheer entertainment value of her caterwauling packed out theatres around the United States, with the 'singer' firmly convinced of her own talent, partly thanks to the devoted attention for her husband and manager St Clair Bayfield. Her story is one of triumph in the face of adversity, courage, conviction and of the belief that with dedication and commitment a true artist can achieve anything.
- Hardback | 198 pages
- 146 x 216 x 25mm | 372g
- 07 Jun 2016
- Overlook Press
- New York, United States
Bullock admiringly relates [Florence's] remarkable life and story with great verve. Darryl W. Bullock's charming FLORENCE! FOSTER!! JENKINS!!! is just about right for those who want to know more about the world's worst opera singer . . . thoroughly readable and entertaining. This appealing little biography--which arrives just as a film version of its heroine's story, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, has been released in the US--is warmhearted and delightful. At its core is a touching love story, as well as a message about the human spirit.--Alexander McCall Smith It's a fascinating, exquisitely written book that will make you a fan if not of her singing, than of her times of when Americans could redefine themselves and make themselves into whatever they wanted to be. It's quite a beauty.--Tony Norman Just in time for the Hollywood blitz, author Darryl Bullock's biography of the 'world's worst opera singer' digs into Jenkins' ancestry, marriages, social life, opera career, and her hilariously scathing reviews...she sounds like a piano falling down the stairs. But what she lacked in talent, she made up for with moxie. This is an entertaining little biography, well grounded in cited research . . . of the wealthy New York socialite who made herself into a musical cult figure
About Darryl W. Bullock
Darryl W. Bullock is a publisher, editor, and writer specializing in numerous areas including music and the arts. He is the author of The World's Worst Records and posts weekly on his popular blog, The World's Worst Records. Bullock helped launch We Are Family, the UK's first magazine for LGBT families and their friends. He is the author of David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music and Florence Foster Jenkins: A Life of the World's Worst Opera Singer.