Three Chords for Beauty's Sake: The Life of Artie Shaw

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W. W. Norton & Company, May 16, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 430 pages
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“The two sides of Shaw . . . are at the center of . . . [this] compulsively readable biography.”—Daniel Akst, Wall Street Journal

During America’s Swing Era, no musician was more successful or controversial than Artie Shaw: the charismatic and opinionated clarinetist-bandleader whose dozens of hits became anthems for “the greatest generation.” But some of his most beautiful recordings were not issued until decades after he’d left the scene. He broke racial barriers by hiring African American musicians. His frequent “retirements” earned him a reputation as the Hamlet of jazz. And he quit playing for good at the height of his powers. The handsome Shaw had seven wives (including Lana Turner and Ava Gardner). Inveterate reader and author of three books, he befriended the best-known writers of his time.

Tom Nolan, who interviewed Shaw between 1990 and his death in 2004 and spoke with one hundred of his colleagues and contemporaries, captures Shaw and his era with candor and sympathy, bringing the master to vivid life and restoring him to his rightful place in jazz history. Originally published in hardcover under the title Three Chords for Beauty's Sake.
 

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Contents

Avenue C
1
Dreamy Melody
8
Im Sitting on Top of the World
17
Why Was I Born?
23
The Girl Friend
28
Just One More Chance
37
A Deserted Farm
44
Broadway Rhythm
52
Dearly Beloved
183
Jumpin on the MerryGoRound
187
Little Jazz
192
The Grabtown Grapple
200
The Glider
210
Bedford Drive
216
A Table in a Corner
223
Its the Same Old Dream
228

Theres Something in the Air
58
No Regrets
62
It Aint Right
67
Got Rhythm
74
If Its the Last Thing I Do
79
Green Key Jump
88
Begin the Beguine
92
NonStop Flight
99
Indian Love Call
102
King for a Day
107
One Foot in the Groove
114
Nightmare
121
Over the Rainbow
131
Summit Ridge Drive
139
In the Mood
147
Concerto for Clarinet
156
This Time the Dreams on Me
162
Someones Rocking My Dreamboat
170
Ask the Stars
176
Changing My Tune
236
Innuendo
243
Mucho de Nada
248
The Shekomeko Shuffle
255
Blue Again
261
Hes Gone Away
266
It Could Happen to You
274
Sunny Side Up
279
Stop and Go Mambo
284
Yesterdays
288
More ThanYou Know
295
Connecticut
302
WouldYou Like to Be the Love of My Life
322
Autumn Leaves
339
Dont TakeYour Love from Me
356
Acknowledgments
371
Select Bibliography
407
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Tom Nolan, the author of the critically acclaimed and Edgar Award–nominated Ross Macdonald: A Biography, is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s Leisure & Arts page. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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