THE CHIEFTAINS

THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY

Among Frank Zappa's last public statements was this: ``U2 is maybe the most popular and successful export coming from Ireland today, but there's no comparison between the musical quality of what they do and what the Chieftains do.'' Glatt ably explains why. Zappa is one of dozens of musicians, writers, and actors to go on the record for Glatt (Rage & Roll: Bill Graham and the Selling of Rock, 1994, etc.) in this heavily researched account of the career of 58-year-old Irishman Paddy Moloney, the band's leader and driving force, et al., from relative obscurity during the folk and rock eras of the '50s and '60s to their Grammy-winning albums of the '90s and their collaboration with several prominent musicians on The Long Black Veil. All along, the Chieftains have enjoyed the admiration of Seamus Heaney, Peter O'Toole, and the Rolling Stones, and Glatt's legwork is apparent in interviews not only with such diverse luminaries, but also with the the band's families, former members, and associates, and even with actor/director Ron Howard, whose film Far and Away is one of many scored by Moloney. Particularly amusing episodes feature the always cantankerous Ulsterian Van Morrison and a band visit to China that ultimately led to their being named the official musical ambassadors of Ireland. As an unofficial ambassador, Moloney has dabbled in the music of French Brittany and Spanish Galicia, and Glatt does a fine job of impressing upon the reader the Celtic heart of the Chieftains, from their fluency in the Irish language to their endless searches for links between Celtic culture and music in other corners of the world. And unlike other writers, Glatt avoids the temptation to slap a political label on this band that comes from such a politically torn country. Though he offers little to the uninitiated, Glatt has written an indispensable chronicle for the casual listener, the die-hard fan, and all levels in between. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: July 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-312-16605-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1997

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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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