Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins
Goodbye combines biography with a son's discovery of his father. Gordon Jenkins, one of America's most significant musical figures throughout his 50-year career, collaborated with many of the major talents in postwar pop and jazz. Modest by nature, he rarely spoke of his accomplishments, and there was much to discover when, on account of his father's death in 1984, Bruce Jenkins began his research. Paralleling the story of Gordon Jenkins's personal life is a veritable history of popular music, featuring luminaries from Irving Berlin to Billie Holiday. This richly anecdotal biography relates a wealth of heretofore untold stories of his encounters with icons like Sinatra, who was uncharacteristically awestruck by him, and Judy Garland, whom only Jenkins could convince to go onstage when she was crippled with anxiety. A concluding chapter documents Jenkins's slow, difficult death from ALS, leaving readers with an unforgettable image of a legend dying with dignity and unexpected good humor.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Bruce Jenkins' biography-cum-memoir about his father, the once-famous composer, conductor, orchestra leader and performer was, without a doubt, a true labor of love. It can't have been an easy job, trying to recreate a life twenty years after it had ended when so many of his father's closest friends and contemporaries were also gone. But apparently it was a long-term off-and-on project for Jenkins, long-time sports writer and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. You don't have to remember Gordon Jenkins to enjoy this book though. If you loved Sinatra, Nat "King" Cole, Judy Garland or numerous other pop music stars of the past 70 years or so, then you have undoubtedly heard the music of Gordon Jenkins, who was, for over thirty years, one of the most sought after arrangers and orchestra leaders in the business. There is much here about the different Sinatra camps, for example, as in which one of his arrangers was best. Was it Nelson Riddle, Don Costa, Billy May, or Gordon Jenkins? And Jenkins' son is surprisingly even-handed and objective in his treatment of such things here. He is also extremely candid and frank in his memories of his father, who could at times be a very surly and even crude individual. But there is no mistaking the love between this father and son either. The author is also very frank in telling of his father's last several years, when his star had fallen some, and then when he discovered he had Lou Gehrig's Disease - a fatal ailment which Gordon Jenkins endured with great grace and an unquenchable sense of humor to the end. In the end, this was a man with class, and his son portrayed this very well. My own first awareness of Gordon Jenkins came back in 1963 when I was 19 years old and serving in the US Army. I bought a Jenkins LP in the PX in Sinop, Turkey, a place where we had no access to radio or TV at the time. So records were one of our prime sources of entertainment. Although I was at the time primarily a fan of rock and roll (a genre Gordon Jenkins mostly despised), sometimes all those records would be gone by the time I could get to the PX. So that was the year I discovered the music of Frank Sinatra. This was a couple years before the now famous Sinatra-Jenkins collaboration on "The September of My Years." The Jenkins album I bought - almost on speculation - was a "mood music" LP called "In a Tender Mood," filled with lovely orchestra and chorus arrangements of standards like "When Your Lover Has Gone," "Gone with the Wind," "Begin the Beguine," "And the Angels Sing," and "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise." And every one of those songs contain brief, haunting piano solos of the "one finger" technique of the lower octaves - a distinctive sound that made a number immediately identifiable as Gordon Jenkins. His son talks of this characteristic of his father's music, something many musicians criticized him for, calling it too simple, "hunt and peck" piano playing. But by God it set a mood. It worked! My roommates and I, all of us only 19 or 20, and ignorant of who Gordon Jenkins was, loved the album right off, and it was a favorite choice to put on our small record changer when we came off a mid shift and had to sleep during the light of day. It soothed, it brought sweet dreams - maybe even a few erotic ones, in fact. Today I went looking for that album. I hadn't played a real vinyl record in several years, but upon finishing the Jenkins bio, I wanted to hear him again. I got rid of several hundred albums out of a collection that once numbered over a thousand, but I found the Jenkins album on my shelf, right between Tommy James and Earl Klugh. I'm so glad I kept it. The magic was still there. The chorus and orchestra, that one-finger, low register piano solo. It took me back. I'm so glad I kept it. Bruce Jenkins wrote of so many musicians and artists and song writers in this book that I simply devoured it, having been a music fan with pretty eclectic tastes for the past 40-some years. He told of Jenkins' discovery of The Weavers and Pete Seeger back in the late 40s, and how he helped...
Goodbye: In Search of Gordon JenkinsUser Review - Book Verdict
"Frank Sinatra once told me that he and my father were the two saddest men," writes Jenkins in his biography of his father, Gordon "Gor" Jenkins. As a top-notch composer, arranger, conductor and performer, "Gor" worked with many of the great singers of the 1940s through the 1960s, and is probably best known for the suites Seven Dreams and Manhattan Tower, as well as Frank Sinatra's hit, "It Was a Very Good Year," which earned Gor a Grammy in 1965. The book reads like a Who's Who of the period, with vignettes spotlighting Gor's work with Nat Cole, Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee and many others. Perhaps most surprising is the author's account of his father's obsession with The Weavers, and Jenkins's interview with Pete Seeger provides first-hand information on the folk group's 1950 recording sessions, Decca Records's confusion about how to market the group and the controversy over the lyrics for "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena." A highlight of the volume is Jenkins's interview with Sinatra. Jenkins, a San Francisco Chronicle sports columnist, writes in a relaxed, breezy style, and much of the book is quoted material from his interviews with the artists, providing a trove of fresh material for swing, jazz and folk fans.
Well Past Hollywood
A Seat Up Front
Nostalgia Rides Again
The Sinatra Years
Hits and a Miss
Nat Ella and Like That
On the Contrary
All Manner of Debauchery
All is Lost Or Not
North Atlantic Books - Goodbye
Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins is a story that will remain with you long after you have read it." - Ron Della Chiesa, Host of " Strictly Sinatra" on ...
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Son explores versatile musician Gordon Jenkins' life to say ...
Thus what emerges in this thoroughly comprehensive, well-written book, "Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins" (Frog, Ltd. $25.95), is the full picture of a ...
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Jenkins Reviews, Summaries, Synopses & Abstracts
Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins. Type: Book. Authors:Bruce Jenkins Summary by: Amazon Review · Read Summary. Published: January 3, 2006 Visits: 18 ...
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Black Oak Books' Calendar of Events
Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins, The Man Behind the Music of Frank Sinatra,. Judy Garland, and Nat King Cole places us at the center of the American ...
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Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins（Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins） ... タイトル：Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins：GOODBYE ...
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Gordon Jenkins – Wikipedia
aus Wikipedia, der freien Enzyklopädie. Wechseln zu: Navigation, Suche. Gordon Hill Jenkins (* 12. Mai 1910 in Webster Groves, Missouri; † 1. ...
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Robert Farnon Society
[Book Review] Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins by Reuben Musiker. # 170: Dec 2006, 21-22. JESSEN, Richard A People's Composer [Eric Coates[. ...
Bruce Jenkins libri - I Libri dell'autore: Bruce Jenkins - webster.it
Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins · Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins di Bruce Jenkins - Frog - October 2005. Prezzo: € 25.51 ...
Jenkins Bruce: Goodbye | ISBN: 9781583941263 (1583941266) | Naše ...
The Man Behind the Music of Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Nat King Cole. Combines biography with a son's discovery of his father
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