Girl Singer by Rosemary Clooney
An Autobiography

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At the top of her form and topping the charts, Rosemary Clooney looks back at a life of triumph and tragedy more dramatic than any work of fiction.

Rosemary Clooney made her first public appearance at the age of three, on the stage of the Russell Theater in her hometown of Maysville, Kentucky, singing, "When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver," an odd but perhaps prophetic choice for one so young. She has been singing ever since: on local radio; with Tony Pastor's orchestra; in big-box-office Hollywood films; at the Hollywood Bowl, the London Palladium, and Carnegie Hall ; on her own television series; and at venues large and small across the country and around the world. The list of Clooney's friends and intimates reads like a who's who of show business royalty: Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, Tony Bennett, Janet Leigh, Humphrey Bogart, and Billie Holiday, to name just a few. She's known enormous professional triumphs and deep personal tragedies.

At the age of twenty-five, Clooney married the erudite and respected actor Jose Ferrer, sixteen years her senior and light-years more sophisticated. Trouble started almost immediately when, on her honeymoon, she discovered that he had already been unfaithful. Finally, after having five children while she almost single-handedly supported the entire family and endured Ferrer's numerous, unrepentant infidelities, she filed for divorce. From there her life spiraled downward into depression, addiction to various prescription drugs, and then, in 1968, a breakdown and hospitalization. After years spent fighting her way back to the top, Clooney is married to one of her first and long-lost loves- a true fairy tale with a happy ending. She's been nominated for four Grammys in six years and has two albums at the top of the Billboard charts. In the words of one of Stephen Sondheim's Follies showgirls, she could well be singing, triumphantly, "I'm still here!"

From the Hardcover edition.

About Rosemary Clooney

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When not performing elsewhere, Rosemary Clooney makes her home in Beverly Hills, California, and Augusta, Kentucky.Joan Barthel is the author of several award-winning nonfiction books, including A Death in Canaan. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.From the Hardcover edition.
Published April 23, 2002 by Crown Archetype. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The most poignant part comes when Clooney writes of her painful decision to leave her Uncle George (who chaperoned the girls) and Betty behind when she was offered her big break.

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The New York Times

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NOWADAYS any female singer who has logged a few Top 10 hits is routinely referred to as a ''diva.'' This promiscuous slapping of a label once reserved for temperamental opera stars onto pop singers who may still be in their teens is enough to make you pine for the good old days of ''chirpers,'' '...

Nov 14 1999 | Read Full Review of Girl Singer: An Autobiography

The New York Times

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Come gather round the kitchen table and soak in the showbiz tales of your wise and funny Grandma Rose: that describes the welcoming spirit of a typical late-career performance by the singer Rosemary Clooney, who died in June 2002.

Jan 09 2007 | Read Full Review of Girl Singer: An Autobiography

Publishers Weekly

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But for Clooney, there was a happy ending: she was reunited with the love she had dumped 20 years before and her revived recording career brought her greater critical acclaim.

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The first thing that needs to be said about this cabaret show is that the singer, Ellen Winters, is wonderful, as are her trio, Sam Steffke, Hal Miller, and Jim Ryan.

Nov 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Girl Singer: An Autobiography

Austin Chronicle

Three books chronicling three American musical entertainment icons offer us a variety of insights into three extraordinary lives.

Feb 15 2002 | Read Full Review of Girl Singer: An Autobiography

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