Giants of Jazz

Overview

A beautifully illustrated edition of Studs Terkel's timeless portraits of America's jazz legends, for readers of all ages.

Studs Terkel's first book, Giants of Jazz, is the master interviewer's unique tribute to America's jazz greats, now available in an affordable paperback edition with the original illustrations and discography.

The thirteen profiles in this "luminous" ...
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Overview

A beautifully illustrated edition of Studs Terkel's timeless portraits of America's jazz legends, for readers of all ages.

Studs Terkel's first book, Giants of Jazz, is the master interviewer's unique tribute to America's jazz greats, now available in an affordable paperback edition with the original illustrations and discography.

The thirteen profiles in this "luminous" (Jazzwise) collection weave together stories of the individual jazz musicians' lives with the history of the jazz era, and the music's evolution from the speakeasies of New York to the concert halls of the world's greatest cities. Terkel—a lifelong fan and friend of many of these legends—uses firsthand interviews with artists such as Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker to tell the human stories behind the giants who shaped this uniquely American music form. Some of the many fascinating details Terkel relates include Joe Oliver's favorite meal, Fats Waller's 1932 rendezvous in Paris with eminent organist Marcel Dupré, Dizzy Gillespie's childhood trip to a pawnshop to buy his first horn, and the origin of Billie Holiday's nickname. Paperback with French flaps, thirteen b/w illustrations.

Brief biographies of thirteen jazz musicians who have made major contributions to the development of this form of music.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565847699
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Studs Terkel is the author of twelve books of oral history, including, most recently, And They All Sang (The New Press). Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters, he was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. He lives in Chicago.

Biography

As a young boy in the early 1920s, Louis "Studs" Terkel moved with his family from New York to Chicago, the sprawling, high-energy city he would call home for the rest of his life. His parents managed hotels catering to a varied and colorful clientele. Listening to the conversations of the tenants, young Terkel developed an early interest in people and their stories and a wide-ranging intellectual curiosity that would lead him in many directions.

He received his law degree from the University of Chicago, but never became a practicing attorney, Instead, he worked briefly in Washington, D.C., then returned to Chicago to take a job in FDR's Works Progress Administration acting and writing plays. In 1939, he married Ida Goldberg. The marriage endured for 60 years, until Ida's death in 1999. He joined the Army during WWII but was discharged because of perforated eardrums. Around this time, he embarked on a long, varied broadcasting career as a sportscaster, news commentator, and disc jockey. He ventured into TV in the 1950s with a relaxed, breezy variety show that helped define the Chicago School of Television, but returned to radio in 1952 with the a daily program of music and interviews that continued for the next 45 years. Among a constellation of memorable guests were Buster Keaton, Billie Holiday, James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Tennessee Williams, Gloria Steinem, and Bob Dylan.

Although his first book Giants of Jazz was published in 1957, Terkel's writing career began in earnest a decade later with Division Street, a book of transcribed interviews with Chicagoans from every walk of life. Hailed by The New Yorker as "totally absorbing," this groundbreaking study paved the way for bestselling oral histories of the Great Depression (Hard Times), the working class (Working), WWII (the Pulitzer Prize winner The Good War), and growing old in America (Coming of Age). He also penned several memoirs, including Talking to Myself (1977), My American Century (1997), and Touch and Go (2007).

Active and engaged to the end, Terkel died in October of 2008 at the age of 96. In its obituary, the Chicago Tribune reprinted this epigrammatic quote from the iconic writer: "My epitaph? My epitaph will be, 'Curiosity did not kill this cat."

Good To Know

Terkel's famous nickname derives from the fictional character Studs Lonigan from James T. Farrell's 1930s coming-of-age trilogy.

Famously outspoken, Terkel was blacklisted from television during the McCarthy era for his "incendiary" political views. Fortunately, he found a wider audience when he was hired by Chicago's fine arts radio station WFMT, where his program was a daily staple for 45 years.

Instantly recognizable by his attire, Terkel always wore a red-checked shirt, grey trousers, and a blue blazer.

He appeared in Eight Men Out, John Sayles's 1988 film about the Chicago Black Sox Scandal of 1919.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Louis "Studs" Terkel
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 16, 1912
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, NY
    1. Date of Death:
      October 31, 2008
    2. Place of Death:
      Chicago, IL

Table of Contents

1 Joe Oliver, the King 1
2 Louis Armstrong, Ambassador of Jazz 18
3 Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues 33
4 Bix, Young Man with a Horn 47
5 Fats Waller, the Laughing Genius 61
6 Duke Ellington, Sounds of Life 75
7 Benny Goodman, King of Swing 94
8 Count Basie, "Jump for Joy" 112
9 Billie Holiday, "God Bless' the Child" 124
10 Woody Herman, Leader of the Herd 137
11 Dizzy Gillespie, Explorer of New Sounds 150
12 Charlie Parker, Yardbird 166
13 John Coltrane, the Search Continues 175
14 Jazz Is the Music of Many 182
Discography 191
Index 203
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