Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song

Product Details
$40.00  $37.20
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.42 X 9.54 X 1.32 inches | 2.21 pounds

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About the Author
Judith Tick is professor emerita of music history at Northeastern University. She has published award-winning books and articles about American music and women's history in music, including Ruth Crawford Seeger: A Composer's Search for American Music.
In this radiant, rich, no-stone-unturned biography, Judith Tick shows us how Ella Fitzgerald 'became' not only one of America's greatest vocalists but a brilliant innovator who forever changed the status of 'the female singer' in her time and beyond.--Paula J. Giddings, author of Ida: A Sword Among Lions
Becoming Ella Fitzgerald is a treasure--a comprehensive, deeply researched, and documented biography that finally gives Ella the complexity and depth that she deserves. Placing Fitzgerald in the intersection of race and gender at mid-twentieth century and overturning often repeated half-truths about her life and career, Tick highlights the beauty and artistry of Fitzgerald's voice and the full range of her genre-crossing career. Becoming Ella Fitzgerald is essential reading for anyone interested in the Ella, jazz, or American popular culture.--Ingrid Monson, author of Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa
[Tick] exposes speculation, fills fissures with fact, and finds a fresh feminist heroine of transformative authority.--John McDonough, senior contributor, Down Beat
More than a decade in the making, Becoming Ella Fitzgerald is a biography truly worthy of the 'First Lady of Song'.--Ricky Riccardi, Grammy-winning author of What a Wonderful World
Remarkable.... [O]pens up whole areas of her story that have seldom been explored in print, and in the process reveals a woman whose exceptional artistry infused a bewildering variety of material with a touch of genius.--Alyn Shipton, host of BBC jazz programs and research fellow at the Royal Academy of Music
At last, we know where Ella came from and how she became our beloved First Lady of Song. Becoming Ella Fitzgerald is a first-rate job of research and a great read.--Dan Morgenstern, director emeritus, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University
Judith Tick's much-needed updated biography uses new research and keen musicology, and brings forth a revealing and fully convincing portrait of Lady Ella as visionary, social activist, and still-modern singer.--John Szwed, author of Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth
[A] comprehensive and fascinating biography of an American music titan....Essential for casual fans of jazz and music history and Fitzgerald aficionados alike, this thoroughly impressive work will be hard to equal. As masterful and wonderful as its subject.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
A magisterial biography...rendered in luxuriant prose.... This is a superior addition to the shelf on America's jazz legends.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
Tick illuminates the artist and her experiences with precision, insight, and fluency.... A defining, revelatory, and invaluable biography.--Donna Seaman "Booklist (starred review)"
Ella Fitzgerald made becoming a great artist seem effortless. She hid her will, her drive, and her originality behind the mask of a modest, soft-spoken woman. Now, at last, Judith Tick shows exactly how Fitzgerald explored and shaped every form of American popular music. In the process she thwarted all the boundaries of class, race, and gender that threatened to confine her. Tick's musical knowledge is impeccable; so are her reporting and her scholarship. 'I won't be left behind, ' Fitzgerald used to vow. This stirringly complete biography ensures that she never will be.--Margo Jefferson, author of Constructing a Nervous System
Thoughtful and thorough . . . trace[s] the singer through the vast variety of songs she sang, songs that not only defined Fitzgerald's career but which came to define what it is to be a jazz singer.-- "Wall Street Journal"
[I]ncisive, doggedly researched . . . [Tick] proves an ideal guide to Fitzgerald's perpetual progress. She translates what she hears with lyrical clarity.-- "Los Angeles Times"