BEYOND UHURA

STAR TREK AND OTHER MEMORIES

One of the first black women to star in a television series (``Star Trek'') provides a valuable commentary on racism in the business, along with numerous sugarcoated stories about friends, fans, and family. Growing up in Robbins, a black-populated and black-governed town just outside of Chicago, Nichols began her singing and dancing career at the age of 14, touring nightclubs for many years. Nichols met Gene Roddenberry, later the producer of ``Star Trek,'' in 1963 when she was cast in an episode of one of his early television series. Her friendship with the married Roddenberry quickly turned into an affair. Nichols ended it when she discovered he was seeing someone else, although by her account, Roddenberry never quite forgave her for walking away. Nichols faced numerous racial and sexist barriers throughout her career, including conflict with the stuffed shirts of NBC around her role in ``Star Trek.'' Only after Nichols agreed to sign the contract did NBC executives learn that Roddenberry intended to hire a black woman as fourth in command on the Enterprise. They refused to honor the contract, but Roddenberry was free to hire her on a daily basis, which he did throughout the series. Nichols admits having felt humiliated not to be working under the same terms as the rest of the cast. Nichols also reveals the rocky relationship she and the entire cast had with William Shatner. Even though she occasionally offers kind words about Shatner's character and abilities, for the most part he is portrayed as arrogant and bossy. Nichols occasionally takes herself too seriously. Her speeches at ``Star Trek'' conventions often addressed the future of the space program. By her account, ``often, by the end of my speech, the fans would be crying, and I would be crying. Then we'd all be laughing.'' Nichols's story just doesn't have the expected punch from the woman involved with the first televised interracial kiss. But Trekkers will love the gossip. (40 b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1994

ISBN: 0-399-13993-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1994

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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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