Cover image for You gotta have heart
You gotta have heart
Adler, Richard, 1921-2012.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : D.I. Fine, [1990]

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


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.A235 A3 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Adler's usually remembered as half of the team that wrote the songs in the dazzling 1950s musicals The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees. The big first chapter of his glitzy, clich-ridden, wonderfully entertaining autobiography is about the short collaboration with Jerry Ross, who died at 29 from tuberculosis, and it starts the book out with a winning make-'em-laugh, make-'em-cry scenario right out of the movies. Succeeding chapters about events fore and aft of Ross are no less appealing. Son of a concert pianist who couldn't get his son to learn the keyboard, Adler met and melded with a lot of famous names in a variety of capacities. He married Sally Ann Howes, staged JFK's forty-fifth birthday bash in Madison Square Garden, and trysted with a panoply of big-deal ladies. Illness in the family as well as friends has brought plenty of pathos into his life, and his recent, miraculous recovery from cancer through the spiritual discipline of Siddha Yoga gives his self-chronicle an inspirational ending. The only grating thing about his narrative is all the sexual boasting. Adler's not crude or graphic, but to hear him tell it, he's been boffing every babe who came to hand since age eight. To be indexed. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

For composer-lyricist Adler, success came early, with The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees. But after the death of his partner, Jerry Ross, finding it impossible to write musicals without a collaborator, he turned from Broadway to a diversified career as a writer of jingles, organizer of White House galas and composer of concert music. Adler has been involved with the most glamorous names in show business, and they, as well as his numerous wives and lovers, all appear in this autobiography, written with David ( Of George We Sing ). The roster reads like a Who's Who of the entertainment world. The latter section of the book is the most interesting, however, with recollections of the impulses that led Adler to compose symphonic music; his relationship with his son, Christopher, who died of cancer in 1984; his own struggle with cancer; and his spiritual transformation through Siddha Yoga. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Adler's life reads like the scenario of a Hollywood film: the young, successful Broadway composer ( Pajama Game, Damn Yankees) tragically loses his partner and fails commercially at writing alone, but eventually beats serious illness and attains critical respectability as a producer and composer of ``serious'' orchestral music. In the authors' capable hands Adler's story is alternately heart-wrenching, humorous, and uplifting, as Adler details his relationships with his pianist father, his four wives, his children, and especially his partner, Jerry Ross. Adler is honest and self-critical, even when describing the peace he has found in Siddha Yoga, and his anecdotes are a refreshing change from the name-dropping often found in similar biographies. Essential for theater buffs, this book well deserves a spot in all biography collections. Highly recommended.-- Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of Bridgeport Lib., Ct. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.