Artie Shaw

Icon of Swing


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About the Book

A remarkable bandleader, composer and clarinetist, Artie Shaw’s popularity defined the American music scene from 1938 to 1945, the Swing Era. Shaw led a fascinating, tumultuous personal life, including a difficult childhood and marriages to starlets such as Lana Turner and Ava Gardner. This biography covers Shaw’s life and career, and is based in part on interviews with Shaw conducted by the author during the 1970s and 1980s. Chapters cover the Swing Era, his time in the Navy during World War II and the Shaw Orchestra. Some analytic chapters dig deeper into the meaning behind his recordings, highlighting the growth within his music.

About the Author(s)

Barnett Singer is professor emeritus of history, Brock University. He has published a number of other books in the fields of French history and biography.

Jesse Read is professor emeritus and the former director of the School of Music, University of British Columbia. He also taught at the University of Delaware, has played concerts around the world, and was a studio musician for feature films in Hollywood.

Bibliographic Details

Barnett Singer and Jesse Read
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 201
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8970-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5025-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
One. Reaching the Top in the Swing Era 21
Two. Shaw at His Apex: 1939 43
Three. The Second Great Shaw Orchestra: 1940-41 74
Four. More (and Less) of the Same: 1941-42 99
Five. Bringing Music to the Troops 109
Six. Swing Sunset and a Last Great Shaw Band 113
Seven. Toward Musical Retirement 141
Eight. The Long Coda 158
Chapter Notes 173
Bibliography 181
Index 185