Intimate Nights: The Golden Age of New York Cabaret

Overview

• Fully revised updated and expanded edition of an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award winner that sold more than 10,000 copies

• Cultural history plus celebrity anecdotes

• Up-to-the-minute look at the current New York cabaret scene

Intimate Nights is the definitive history of cabaret as it evolved in New York City in the years after World War II. But that doesn’t mean it's dry and academic. Good heavens, no! Settle in for racy tales of nightlife, revealed in interviews with dozens of the people who lived it: Bobby Short, ...

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Overview

• Fully revised updated and expanded edition of an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award winner that sold more than 10,000 copies

• Cultural history plus celebrity anecdotes

• Up-to-the-minute look at the current New York cabaret scene

Intimate Nights is the definitive history of cabaret as it evolved in New York City in the years after World War II. But that doesn’t mean it's dry and academic. Good heavens, no! Settle in for racy tales of nightlife, revealed in interviews with dozens of the people who lived it: Bobby Short, Eartha Kitt, Mabel Mercer, Bette Midler, and many more. Author James Gavin has tracked down rare, early stories about the legends who came out of New York nightclubs—and that means Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Nichols and May, Johnny Mathis, Carol Burnett, Lenny Bruce, among others. Part cultural history, part celebrity gossip, Intimate Nights offers an intimate look at the creatures of the nightclubs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gavin, in his first book, tells the story of New York's intimate nightclubs from their origins in Prohibition speakeasies and brothels through their heyday in the 1940s and '50s to their eventual decline in recent years as TV, rock'n'roll and diminishing audiences have taken their tolls. Deftly blending picturesque descriptions of the venues and lively characterizations of their often eccentric owners and performers, he recreates the colorful atmospheres of Le Ruban Blue, the Blue Angel, the Bon Soir, the Downstairs Room and many other clubs where such entrepreneurs as Herbert Jacoby, Max Gordon, Julius Monk and Spivy presided, and where stars Mabel Mercer, Hildegarde, Pat Carroll, Dorothy Loudon, Eartha Kitt, Kaye Ballard and Johnny Mathis beguiled audiences. This is a rich and intriguing history, entertainingly told. Photos not seen by PW. Sept.
Library Journal
Gavin provides an inside look at the New York cabaret scene from the 1930s to its present decline. From tiny piano lounges to lavish clubs that attracted the rich and famous, readers are afforded brief glimpses into the early careers of performers like Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, and Joan Rivers. Gavin also profiles the failures and successes of cabaret owners and managers like Herbert Jacoby and Julius Monk. The book is well researched through trade journals and theater columns, and enhanced by the author's personal observations. A discography is provided but an index would have been more useful. The book is well written and sometimes fascinating to read, but the subject does not have a wide audience. For larger collections.-- Tim LaBorie, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Library Journal
Gavin's 1991 volume provides a rich history of New York's cabarets, which came into being through a public looking for fun following the dark days of World War II. These nightclubs became the proving ground for some of the entertainment world's top celebs, attracting singers ranging from Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, and Barbra Streisand to comedians Woody Allen, Carol Burnett, and Phyllis Diller. This revised and updated edition takes the cabaret scene to its current stature. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823088256
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James Gavin
James Gavin has written for the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, New York, and other publications. His most recent book is Deep in a Dream. He lives in New York.
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