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Bing and Billie and Frank and Ella and Judy and Barbra

Dan Callahan

Regular price $40.00


Bing and Billie and Frank and Ella and Judy and Barbra by Dan Callahan is a beautiful thing: a series of devilishly readable snippets that coalesce to form a picture of how these stars' lives intersected, and how they each left their mark on the American songbook. -DM

Crosby, Holiday, Sinatra, Fitzgerald, Garland, and Streisand were the major interpreters of the American songbook, and this is the interlocking story of their lives and careers.

Here is the epic tale of how these artists dominated American popular music over a fifty-year period, a roller coaster ride that gains momentum through the 1930s and ’40s, reaches a crest of magical creativity in the 1950s and early '60s, and then crashes down by the early 1970s, a half century when the great American songbook dominated the airwaves and the fight for racial equality came to the forefront.

Ella was beloved in her time, and she is still beloved. Frank is still the king of the songbook, but Bing’s legacy is just as vital once you start listening to his unprecedented 1930s output. The best songs from Judy’s greatest triumph, her 1963–64 TV series, are shared endlessly online. The legend of Billie grows by the year, and the basis of this should be appreciation and wonder for her own great artistry in the 1930s. Barbra is a living legend and still a commercial force to be reckoned with, the last exemplar of the songbook and its glories. All six of these singers reach out to us and show us new ways of expression and new ways to dream.

Their song is largely ended but the melody lingers on.

Hardcover | 384 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"