Cover image for September in the rain : the life of Nelson Riddle
Title:
September in the rain : the life of Nelson Riddle
Author:
Levinson, Peter J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Billboard Books, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
320 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780823076727
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library ML410.R47 L48 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library ML410.R47 L48 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

September in the Rain is the first-ever biography of the most highly respected arranger in the history of American popular music. This fascinating book is based on more than 200 personal interviews with Riddle s closest friends, family, and colleagues. Readers will receive an inside look at his inspirations, his work, and his creative genius...how he revived his own career after the abrupt change in popular music during the 70s...and the story of his brilliant association with singer Linda Ronstadt, which resulted in three gold and platinum albums, sold a grand total of 6.1 million records, and earned him one of his three Grammy awards. September in the Rain is the first-ever biography of the most highly respected arranger in the history of American popular music. This fascinating book is based on more than 200 personal interviews with Riddle s closest friends, family, and colleagues. Readers will receive an inside look at his inspirations, his work, and his creative genius...how he revived his own career after the abrupt change in popular music during the 70s...and the story of his brilliant association with singer Linda Ronstadt, which resulted in three gold and platinum albums, sold a grand total of 6.1 million records, and earned him one of his three Grammy awards. For readers who are fans of such great stars as Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis, and Judy Garland, September in the Rain provides an exclusive, inside look at the creative genius who helped build these singers into musical legends.


Author Notes

Biographer Peter J. Levinson was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey on July 1, 1934. He graduated from the University of Virginia and served in the Army during the Korean War. After the war, he worked as a freelance writer before taking a job with Columbia Records as a music publicist. He eventually opened his own publicity firm. He wrote the following biographies: Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James (1999); September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle (2001); Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big Way (2005); and Puttin' on the Ritz: Fred Astaire and the Fine Art of Panache - a Biography (2009). He died due to injuries suffered from a fall on October 21, 2008 at the age of 74.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this entertaining biography, Levinson (Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James) highlights Riddle's song-writing accomplishments that had singers topping the charts. By 1953, Levinson writes, "the only thing about Frank Sinatra that sparkled was the superb cap job done on his teeth ten years earlier" record sales plummeted, his TV show was canceled, and MGM dropped him. But his career took on new life and artistic depth after he recorded a series of albums with Riddle, whose intelligent, seductive arrangements have become American classics. Aside from Sinatra, Riddle worked with Nat "King" Cole (on almost all of his most famous singles) and Ella Fitzgerald (in her American Songbook collections), as well as with Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney and Johnny Mathis. He scored such films as the original Ocean's 11, Can-Can and The Great Gatsby, for which he received an Oscar. Levinson, a longtime friend of Riddle and a respected jazz publicist, meticulously narrates Riddle's often strife-torn personal life and charts the importance and enormous breadth of the arranger's career. While the narrative covers salient aspects of Riddle's life (his relationship with his cold, autocratic mother, his affair with Rosemary Clooney, the disintegration of his once-happy marriage and an underlying depression throughout his life), Levinson's analysis of his work and the music industry give the book both its vitality and enormous value. Always lively and written with a deep understanding of the economic, political and emotional complexities of the music business, this is an important addition to the history of American popular culture. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Levinson (Trumpet Blues: The Life of Harry James) has written the first full-length biography of the man The Encyclopedia of Popular Music calls "probably the finest arranger/leader of modern times." Well rounded and fascinating, the book charts Riddle's evolution from Big Band trombonist to premier arranger to film and TV composer. Much of Nat "King" Cole's and Frank Sinatra's best work was done in collaboration with Riddle. Since he worked with so many pop music icons, the book also serves as an important general history of popular music from the Big Band era to the mid-1980s, when Riddle worked with Linda Ronstadt. Riddle himself emerges as a sad, dour man who, while self-effacing in the main, was capable of viciousness in his relations with those nearest to him. The book is especially valuable for the light it sheds on the place of the arranger in pop music as well as the sometimes murky matter of credit (early in his career, Riddle ghostwrote several hit arrangements and later may have used ghostwriters himself). Recommended for all libraries with an interest in popular culture. Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 8
Prefacep. 12
Chapter 1 The Jersey Yearsp. 15
Chapter 2 The Apprenticeship Continuesp. 31
Chapter 3 The Sentimental Gentleman of Swingp. 45
Chapter 4 Hollywood Callingp. 63
Chapter 5 Nat "King" Cole Was a Merry Old Soulp. 83
Chapter 6 "The Voice" Becomes a Cellop. 109
Chapter 7 A Flourishing Careerp. 165
Chapter 8 The Difficult Yearsp. 219
Chapter 9 Linda Ronstadt and the Last Hurrahp. 259
Chapter 10 The Final Chorusp. 291
Notesp. 304
Indexp. 309

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