Artie Shaw, King of the Clarinet : His Life and Times

Author(s): Tom Nolan


During America's Swing Era, no musician was more successful or controversial than the legendary big-band leader, virtuoso clarinetist and renegade in music and romance, Artie Shaw. He broke racial barriers by collaborating with African American musicians, had seven wives (including Lana Turner and Ava Gardner), cultivated fierce rivalries, then stopped playing at the height of his powers. Inveterate reader and author of three books, he befriended the best-known writers of his time. Tom Nolan interviewed Shaw between 1990 and his death in 2004 and spoke with one hundred of his colleagues and contemporaries. This "compulsively readable biography" (The Wall Street Journal) "follows Shaw's various zigzags with aplomb" (Ted Gioia, San Francisco Chronicle) capturing the man and his era with candour and insight, bringing the master to vivid life and restoring him to his rightful place in jazz history.


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Tom Nolan has a great story to tell and he knows precisely how to tell it, fast and deadpan, abetted by the irascible Shaw himself--a serial husband, detached father, and full time autodidact who may have been the finest clarinet virtuoso of all time.--Gary Giddins, author of Warning Shadows and Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams

Tom Nolan, the author of the critically acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated Ross Macdonald: A Biography, is a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal's Leisure & Arts page.

General Fields

  • : 9780393340105
  • : WW Norton & Co
  • : WW Norton & Co
  • : 0.37
  • : August 2011
  • : 209mm X 164mm X 28mm
  • : United States
  • : September 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Tom Nolan
  • : Paperback
  • : 788.62165092
  • : 448
  • : 16 pages of illustrations