IN THE GROVE: The Men Behind the Music by Ted Fox

IN THE GROVE: The Men Behind the Music

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Twelve interviews with pop record producers, by the author of Showtime at the Apollo. Fox, an astute interviewer, knows how to get out of the way of his interviewees and let them ramble in a directed way. His subjects, while interesting in themselves, have produced records for some pop musicians of the first rank. Fox leads off with an interview with the legendary John Hammond, renowned for discovering Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Bob Dylan, and Aretha Franklin among others. Hammond is still an anti-establishment figure, as much as he was while trying to break the color barrier in the 30's and 40's. Today he still strives for black recognition on MTV, which is far overbalanced in favor of white performers. Mitch Miller defends himself handily against a host of accusations by Frank Sinatra and others, while telling how he produced ""Charlie Parker with Strings,"" nurtured the careers of Vic Damone, Patti Page, Frankie Laine, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, and Johny Mathis, and achieved more hit records than anyone else. Milt Gabler tells about founding and building up Commodore Records with its fabled small, hot jazz combos and artists such as Lester Young and Billie Holiday. Alfred Lion describes putting out some 900 records on his Blue Note label. Lieber and Stoller play over their hundreds of titles for Elvis, their tie with Phil Spector, and the technicalities of recording, while Bob Thiele tells about recording Duke Ellington with Louis Armstrong and with John Coltrane, and his biggest smash, Buddy Holly. Others interviewed: Jerry Wexler, Clive Davis, Phil Ramone, Chris Strachwitz, Chris Blackwell, and Nile Rodgers. A down-and-dirty beauty for pop and jazz fans.

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 1986
Publisher: St. Martin's