Bobby Short, the Life and Times of a Saloon Singer

Front Cover
C. Potter, 1995 - African American singers - 265 pages
Bobby Short is the Astaire of saloon singers, an internationally admired symbol of style and glamour. Bobby Short, The Life and Times of a Saloon Singer traces his life and career from poor-but-proud midwestern roots to world-class celebrity, from child performer to cabaret icon. Along the way, the book offers a vivid, clear-eyed picture of what it was like to be young, talented, and black in the nightclub world of the thirties, forties, and early fifties - the backstage camaraderie, the thrill of working with musical idols, the pain and humiliation of cross-country racism. It takes the now-polished professional through the good times/bad times cabaret doldrums of the next decade - a mix of one-night stands, never-ending travel, and surprise opportunity - and relates in detail his triumphant longtime tenure at Manhattan's Hotel Carlyle. In a truly synergistic collaboration with writer Robert Mackintosh, Bobby Short tells his story with wit, grace, and perception. There are pointed impressions of his peers and heroes - among them Art Tatum, Maber Mercer, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, and Pearl Bailey. Vignettes capture the special flavor of post-World War II life in Paris, London, and Los Angeles. His memories include total-recall accounts of White House parties with three presidents and their first ladies. And, with delight that readers will surely find contagious, Bobby Short shares his encyclopedic knowledge of show tunes and supper club songs - along with the quintessential New Yorker's love affair with his town.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

BOBBY SHORT: The Life and Times of a Saloon Singer

User Review  -

Frothy observations on life and art by this singer-pianist going on his 27th consecutive year performing at New York City's Cafe Carlyle. Readers searching for basic biographic information should ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

12 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information