Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins

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Frog Books, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 341 pages
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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 Review

User Review  - TimBazzett - 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 ... Read full review

Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins

User Review  - Not Available - 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 ... Read full review


Introduction i
Well Past Hollywood
The Prodigy
A Seat Up Front
Nostalgia Rides Again
The Sinatra Years
Hits and a Miss
Nat Ella and Like That
On the Contrary
The Weavers
All Manner of Debauchery
On Songwriting
All is Lost Or Not
Selected Discography

The Cat Was Driving
The Sinatra Interview

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About the author (2005)

Bruce Jenkins has been a member of the San Francisco Chronicle sports staff since 1973 and a columnist since 1989. He has covered twenty-four World Series, fourteen Wimbledons, and many other major events, including the Super Bowl, World Cup soccer, the NBA Finals, the four major golf tournaments, and the U.S. Open tennis championships. He has been twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Chronicle: in 1992 for his columns on the Barcelona Olympics and in 2002 for baseball coverage. He has also won national awards for baseball, basketball, football, and tennis writing.

Born and raised in Malibu, California, Jenkins attended Santa Monica High School and the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated in Journalistic Studies in 1971. He has written three previous books, all published by North Atlantic Books/Frog Ltd.: Life After Saberhagen, a preview of the 1986 baseball season; North Shore Chronicles, about big-wave surfing in Hawaii, and A Good Man, the biography of basketball coaching legend Pete Newell. Jenkins lives in Montara, California, with his wife, sports photographer Martha Jenkins, and their daughter, Molly.

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