Hollywood Songsters: Singers Who Act and Actors Who Sing: A Biographical Dictionary / Edition 2

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For fans of musicals, singing, Hollywood history, and the lives of stars, no other work equals this new three-volume reference to the on- and off-camera careers of more than 100 performers who made major contributions to the American screen musical. From June Allyson to Mae West, Hollwood Songsters provides a detailed narrative-ranging from 2,000 to 5000 words each-of the lives and careers of stars forever etched in our memories. Each description is informative, engaging, and fun, yet the scrupulous attention to detail and accuracy ensures that even the most knowledgeable scholar will learn something new. Each entry includes a filmography, discography (of both albums and CDs), Broadway appearances, radio work, television appearances and series,and a full-page photo of the subject. A complete index of names of performers, films, and songs rounds out the work. This is the ideal reference work for everyone one from the mildly curious to the hard-core fan.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This greatly updated and expanded second edition (the first came out in 1991) focuses on 112 performers who have been successful as both singers and film stars of American movies. Many of the names are familiar-e.g., Fred Astaire and Nelson Eddy-but Parish and Pitts, the authors of several books on the entertainment industry, have also included lesser-known and/or forgotten personalities, such as the Dinning Sisters. A real surprise is the number of "singing cowboys" included, e.g., Gene Autry, Tex Ritter, and "Bronze Buckaroo" Herb Jeffries. Unfortunately, some singing actors simply do not make the cut, including Robert Preston and John Travolta, and it's sometimes unclear why one is "in" and another "out." But the final product is still well worth the price. Each entry includes a detailed biography ranging from 2000 to 5000 words; a filmography (including title, studio, and release date); a discography of both albums and CDs; Broadway, radio, and television appearances; and a full-page photo. The final volume comprises a complete index of performers, films, and song titles. Entries are uniformly well written, readable, and informative. Considering the scope and range of this title, all public and academic libraries should make it a high-priority purchase to complement Ken Bloom's Hollywood Song and Colin Larkin's The Virgin Encyclopedia of Stage and Film Musicals.-Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Parish and Pitts have written brief biographies of more than 100 Hollywood stars who had off-screen careers as vocal artists. What makes this bio-omnibus special is that although the individual entries are less than ten pages each, they have a depth and warmth not generally found in such concise or primarily factual summaries. Eminently readable, this functions equally well as an encyclopedic resource for screen and popular music scholars, or as entertaining reading for music and film buffs. The research behind the entries is impressive and extensive. Organization is alphabetical by performer. The two indexes comprise nearly 100 pages. The first covers films, TV, publications, the stage, and individuals, while the second lists songs and albums. Recommended for collections with large motion picture, stage, music, television, or pop culture holdings.--Robert Rayher, Sch. of the Art Inst. of Chicago
Substantial, well-rounded coverage of the lives, careers, and show business activities of 104 performers who have had success both as singers and as film stars, from the introduction of sound to movies in the late 1920s up to the present. Includes filmographies and discographies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415937757
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/28/2002
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 1000
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 4.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Author's Note
Key to Abbreviations
The Hollywood Songsters (entries listed alphabetically)
About the Authors
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2003

    Not Just A Great Reference Book

    'Hollywood Songsters' works on two levels. Firstly, as a thorough biographical reference source and, secondly, as an entertaining, browsable book. Highly recommended. Those who love Hollywood musicals are obviously going to appreciate 'Hollywood Songsters', but so will anyone interested in factoids about their favorite stars. Some of the entries are surprising: included are some actors not necessarily known for singing, and vice versa. Each star gets the full treatment of information: a filmography, discography, as well credits for theatre, radio and television.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2003

    A Treasure Trove of Delight

    Film historians James Robert Parish and Michael Pitts's 'Hollywood Songsters' have outdone themselves with this handsomely designed three-volume set that is worth every penny. Filled with rare photos, 'Hollywood Songsters' has comprehensive, accurate and fascinating entries on over 100 'singers who act and actors who sing.' The lives and careers of everyone from A to Z or June Allyson to Mae West are covered in intriguing and fact-filled detail. Who would have thought that such an indespensible reference book could also be a page-turner. Once you start reading this treasure trove of information it is hard to put down because of the insider tidbits and behind-the-scenes facts that fill the well-written pages. As theater and film critic and lover of musicals, I find this a most wonderful addition to my library and a great read. The filmography and lp and CD bibliography on each singer are unparalled. Bravo to Mr. Parish and Mr. Pitts!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2003


    This is an informative and delightful set that has information on Hollywood songsters that can be found no where else. Each entry has a wonderful picture accompanying. I have spent many, many happy hours pouring over the entries and learning facts about my favorite stars. This is a must have for all libraries and any scholar of musical theatre or musical film or just popular music of the 20th century. Well worth the money! It is clear that Parrish and Pitts have done their homework, but even clearer that they have a love for the subject matter and it shows on every page.

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