Young's charm, alcoholism, and the double-whammy ending should help this uninspired but competent book find readers.

FINAL GIG

THE MAN BEHIND THE MURDER

The story of Gig Young, suave player of burned-out cases and a severely burned-out case himself; told smoothly by the author of bios of Ginger Rogers, Robert Mitchum, Mae West, and others.

Drawing on private tapes Young left behind, Eells works up an analysis that shows believably how, as a child, Young came to play a victim's role, and, as an adult, that of a well-mannered boob. When he could not find love from his repressed, neurasthenic mother or dour Scottish father back in St. Cloud, Minn., shy Byron Ellsworth Barr turned to his older sister Genevieve—a pattern of turning to women for help that followed him all his life. More than once, he heard that he'd resulted from a ``leak in the safe'' (faulty condom), and his father always introduced him as a "little dumbbell.'' In the late 30's, Young had one of the first vasectomies, and later in life found himself married but unmanned by alcohol or drugs. He was nominated for an Oscar three times, won at last for brilliantly playing a whiskey-throated dance-hall emcee in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?. When things got tough he tried an LSD cure, or he'd go on the road with Harvey. But mental blanks bugged him; his attempt to play alcoholic Jamie Tyrone in Long Day's Journey into Night failed disastrously; Mel Brooks fired him from Blazing Saddles before he'd played his first scene. Physically and emotionally spent at 64, he married for the fourth time, to Kim Schmidt, an Australian script girl of 30, and then, apparently still impotent, shot her to death, then himself, three weeks after their marriage.

Young's charm, alcoholism, and the double-whammy ending should help this uninspired but competent book find readers.

Pub Date: July 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-15-130986-8

Page Count: 396

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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