Singers and the Song

Singers and the Song

4.16 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This book is a celebration of the generation of popular singers which emerged during and after the war: singers such as Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and Sarah Vaughan. Universally praised as intuitive performers, Gene Lees's expert analysis also shows them to be intelligent, skilful artists, didicated to their work. Sinatra is singled out for special praise: Lees describes him as 'our Poet Laureate, and best singer we've ever heard', and points out his technical virtuosity and his unique style of phrasing. The book also looks at some of the composers and lyricists whose material was finely tuned to suit the abilities of these new popular stars. A lyricist himself, Lees gives us an illuminating account of the language used by writers such as Johnny Mercer, their choice of subject matter, and their extraordinary gifts for rhyme and rhythm.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 138 x 214 x 18mm | 381.02g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195060873
  • 9780195060874

Back cover copy

Far from being the simple intuitive performers the public thought it knew, these people emerge as intelligent, skillful, and fully conscious artist dedicated to their work. Lees's insight and analysis reveal Sinatra in particular as we've never seen him before.show more

About Gene Lees

Lees is a leading lyricist, singer, and writer on popular music.show more

Review quote

'Gene Lees shows how our anemic language can be transfused with emotion by turning words into song ... he cherishes words as much as he loves music' New York Times Book Review 'beautifully crafted essays ... Few rock writers begin to approach his grasp of the evolution of his chosen music.' Q 'Lots of amusing and fascinating stories emerge about the creation of particular songs' Colin Cooper, Beat Scene 'the best book on popular singers that I have ever read ... he writes like a dream, combining scholarship with insight, musicianship with approachability for the layman' Stage & Television Today 'Gene Lees, a lyric writer himself, is not only an extraordinarily perceptive reporter and analyst of jazz performance, jazz history and jazz people, but also one of those writers who's a joy to read on any subject at all.' Bookworld 'The way the essays flow together, Singers and the Song has the sweep of a jazz-orchestral suite organized around recurrent motifs.' The New York Times 'A collection of fascinating personal essays that have appeared in Jazzletter.' Library Journal 'Lees is writing some of the best popular commentary on jazz, classic American popular song, their practitioners, and their milieu that ever has been written.' Booklist 'a treasure of essays that explores the technique of lyric writing.' Newsday 'Lees is a superb writer, erudite, compassionate, sensitive and knowledgeable.' Ray Comiskey, Irish Times `A book to be enjoyed...I recommend it' Gene Kellyshow more

Rating details

12 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 42% (5)
4 33% (4)
3 25% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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