September in the Rain - The Life of Nelson Riddle
By Nelson Riddle. Book. Hardcover. Watson-Guptill #0823076725. Published by Watson-Guptill (HL.331378).
Item Number: HL.331378
ISBN 0823076725. 6.38x9.38 inches.
In this entertaining biography, Levinson highlights Riddle's song-writing accomplishments that had singers topping the charts. By 1953, Frank Sinatra's record sales had plummeted, his TV show was canceled, and MGM dropped him. But his career took on new life and artistic depth after he recorded a series of albums with Riddle, whose intelligent, seductive arrangements have become American classics. Aside from Sinatra, Riddle worked with Nat “King” Cole (on almost all of his most famous singles) and Ella Fitzgerald (in her American Songbook collections), as well as with Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney and Johnny Mathis. He scored such films as the original Ocean's 11, Can-Can and The Great Gatsby, for which he received an Oscar. Levinson, a longtime friend of Riddle and a respected jazz publicist, meticulously narrates Riddle's personal life and charts the importance and enormous breadth of the arranger's career. While the narrative covers salient aspects of Riddle's life (his relationship with his cold, autocratic mother, his affair with Rosemary Clooney, the disintegration of his once-happy marriage and an underlying depression throughout his life), Levinson's analysis of his work and the music industry give the book both its vitality and enormous value.