Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, the Music, the Seventies in San Francisco

Overview

Imagine a pied piper singing in falsetto, wearing sequins, and leading the young people of the nation to San Francisco and on to a liberation where nothing was straight-laced or old-fashioned. And everyone, finally, was welcome—to come as themselves. This is not a fairy tale. This was real, mighty real, and disco-sensation Sylvester was the piper.

Yale-trained sociologist Joshua Gamson uses Sylvester's life to lead us through the story of the 1970s, when a generation took off ...

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The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, the Music, the Seventies in San Francisco

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Overview

Imagine a pied piper singing in falsetto, wearing sequins, and leading the young people of the nation to San Francisco and on to a liberation where nothing was straight-laced or old-fashioned. And everyone, finally, was welcome—to come as themselves. This is not a fairy tale. This was real, mighty real, and disco-sensation Sylvester was the piper.

Yale-trained sociologist Joshua Gamson uses Sylvester's life to lead us through the story of the 1970s, when a generation took off its shame. Celebrity, sociology, and music history mingle in this endlessly entertaining story of a singer who embodied the freedom, spirit, and flamboyance of a golden moment in American culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Fabulous Sylvester is a well written, touching, dignified biography of a gay, black diva who never really fit into any minority but managed to achieve his dreams of stardom. Now that's what I call a man."—John Waters

"[A] superbly written, wildly entertaining, frequently hilarious, and finally bittersweet saga."—Time Out New York

"Delightful . . . I'm not sure I've ever read an account of a life that has so much sheer joy, raffishness, and humor on each page. . . . As fables go, this is a good one."—Newsday

"[Gamson's] prose is playful and furious . . . putting the singer's story into sociological context [and capturing] the astonishing scope of AIDS with grace and indignation."—Entertainment Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312425692
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 1/24/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 972,115
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Joshua Gamson teaches at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity and Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America. He lives in Oakland, California.

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Table of Contents

1 Get Ready for Me 1
2 Like an Angel Come Down, Honey 14
3 Sequins at Noon 41
4 Jaded Lady 61
5 Big City Blues 72
6 Scratch My Flower 88
7 Sundays at the Elephant Walk 106
8 I Feel Real 134
9 Flame (On the Dance Floor) 155
10 Everybody Is One 168
11 Sell My Soul 184
12 Living on the Legend 202
13 What's a Queen to Do? 221
14 Why Don't You Take Me 241
15 The Red Kimono 261
Notes 273
Acknowledgments 291
Index 295
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