Queen of Bebop by Elaine M. Hayes
The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan

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Informative and well-intentioned but sometimes pedestrian and lacking the elegant effervescence of Vaughan’s singing.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017

Washington Post Best Book of 2017

Amazon Editors' Top 100 Pick of the Year

Queen of Bebop brilliantly chronicles the life of jazz singer Sarah Vaughan, one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the twentieth century and a pioneer of women’s and civil rights

Sarah Vaughan, a pivotal figure in the formation of bebop, influenced a broad array of singers who followed in her wake, yet the breadth and depth of her impact—not just as an artist, but also as an African-American woman—remain overlooked.  

Drawing from a wealth of sources as well as on exclusive interviews with Vaughan’s friends and former colleagues, Queen of Bebop unravels the many myths and misunderstandings that have surrounded Vaughan while offering insights into this notoriously private woman, her creative process, and, ultimately, her genius. Hayes deftly traces the influence that Vaughan’s singing had on the perception and appreciation of vocalists—not to mention women—in jazz. She reveals how, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Vaughan helped desegregate American airwaves, opening doors for future African-American artists seeking mainstream success, while also setting the stage for the civil rights activism of the 1960s and 1970s. She follows Vaughan from her hometown of Newark, New Jersey, and her first performances at the Apollo, to the Waldorf Astoria and on to the world stage, breathing life into a thrilling time in American music nearly lost to us today.

Equal parts biography, criticism, and good old-fashioned American success story, Queen of Bebop is the definitive biography of a hugely influential artist. This absorbing and sensitive treatment of a singular personality updates and corrects the historical record on Vaughan and elevates her status as a jazz great.

 

About Elaine M. Hayes

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Published July 4, 2017 by Ecco. 455 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment.
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Critic reviews for Queen of Bebop
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
on Apr 30 2017

Informative and well-intentioned but sometimes pedestrian and lacking the elegant effervescence of Vaughan’s singing.

Read Full Review of Queen of Bebop: The Musical L... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Lew Whittington on Jul 05 2017

Elaine Hayes’ vivid portrait of Sarah Vaughan’s life, times, and indelible musical legacy reveals why she was indeed called The Divine One.

Read Full Review of Queen of Bebop: The Musical L... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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