Cover image for Morton Gould : American salute
Morton Gould : American salute
Goodman, Peter W.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Portland, Or. : Amadeus Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
382 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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ML410.G695 G66 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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(Amadeus). Morton Gould (1913-1996) was a dominant force in American music throughout most of the 20th century. This phenomenally talented composer, conductor, arranger, and pianist worked in vaudeville and on radio, from Tin Pan Alley to Broadway, all the while churning out jingles, symphonies, and everything in between. His popularity, however, may have been the reason that he never received due recognition for his concert music. Peter Goodman began working on this biography with Gould himself more than a year before his death and was allowed full access by the family to all of Gould's diaries and files.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Goodman, a journalist at Long Island Newsday, has written a welcome profile of American composer/conductor Gould (1913-96) that includes interviews with Gould, Gould's family and colleagues, and excerpts from the musician's recorded diaries. (Two earlier attempts at biography were abandoned, and the only other extended documentation on Gould appears to be in unpublished theses.) Weaving together analyses of compositions with (some unnecessarily vulgar) quotes evidencing Gould's family dynamics and self-effacing manner, Goodman traces Gould's artistic and personal development in minute detail, from his years as a radio pianist and bandleader in New York through his presidency of ASCAP to his winning the Pulitzer Prize for the composition "Stringmusic" in 1995. The misconception of Gould as merely a purveyor of light classicsDwhich Goodman succeeds in dispelling contributed to his resentment of and resulting depression over the recognition accorded more charismatic contemporaries such as Leonard Bernstein. Goodman's thoroughly researched volume is recommended for academic and public music collections to fill a gap in 20th-century American music scholarship. Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

A Newsday music critic who befriended Gould (1913-96) for the last decade of the composer's life, Goodman interviewed Gould, his family, and more than 100 of his associates for this in-depth biography. The author also combed newspapers for reviews of Gould's many compositions, conducting appearances, and other professional activities. The present-day reader may wonder if Gould's stature deserves such inclusive celebrity treatment--the author touches on both professional and intimate personal details much in the manner of Joan Peyser's Bernstein: A Biography (CH, Sep'87)--but such a question would not have been posed in the mid-20th century, when Gould was at the pinnacle of his fame thanks to weekly radio shows, conducting appearances with major orchestras, and recordings. Radio soon disappeared; recordings became fewer; and guest appearances were increasingly confined to the hinterland. Nevertheless, the composer persevered, becoming the president of the prestigious American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (1986) and receiving belated recognition with Kennedy Center honors (1994) and a Pulitzer Prize (1995). Goodman handles this life story skillfully, contrasting Gould's affable public demeanor with his stormy domestic life and his frustration in receiving so little recognition as a "serious" composer. Recommended for undergraduates, music specialists, and general readers. W. K. Kearns; University of Colorado at Boulder

Table of Contents

Tim Page
Forewordp. 9
Prefacep. 12
Chapter 1. Starting Overp. 17
Chapter 2. The Willful Prodigyp. 29
Chapter 3. A Teacher at Last!p. 38
Chapter 4. Ugh, Vaudevillep. 50
Chapter 5. Clipping the Wingsp. 60
Chapter 6. An End to Apprenticeshipp. 73
Chapter 7. From Radio City to Radiop. 78
Chapter 8. Between Two Firesp. 90
Chapter 9. Radio Daysp. 107
Chapter 10. Death of Young Lovep. 124
Chapter 11. Morton at Warp. 131
Chapter 12. "Shirley Two"p. 140
Chapter 13. Lenny, and Hollywoodp. 156
Chapter 14. Broadway and Beyondp. 171
Chapter 15. Clouds Around a Peakp. 187
Chapter 16. "Morton Gould and His Orchestra"p. 202
Chapter 17. Great Neck, Long Islandp. 217
Chapter 18. Fading Outp. 228
Chapter 19. Chicago, and Balanchinep. 243
Chapter 20. War at Homep. 258
Chapter 21. Bicentennialp. 266
Chapter 22. Revivals and Disastersp. 276
Chapter 23. "A Sort of Elder Statesman"p. 293
Chapter 24. ASCAPp. 309
Chapter 25. The Sweet and the Bitterp. 322
Chapter 26. Triumph, and Curtainp. 340
List of Intervieweesp. 359
Selected Discographyp. 361
Selected Bibliographyp. 368
Indexp. 371