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Miss Shirley Bassey (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

JOHN L. WILLIAM , John L. Williams
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

Prix éditeur - format imprimé : EUR 13,03
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In 1954, Shirley Bassey was seventeen years old. She had just returned from a cheesy revue tour called 'Hot from Harlem'. Depressed, disillusioned and four months' pregnant, she decided that her dream of being a professional singer was over. A mere ten years later, she was one of the biggest stars in the world. She had sold more records than any other British singer of the day, and was poised to conquer America. Her latest hit, 'Goldfinger', was the theme tune to the year's blockbuster film. No longer the two-bit jazz singer from Cardiff, she was by now an international sex siren, as glamorous and unreal as Bond himself.
Miss Shirley Bassey explores this remarkable transformation, both of an individual and of the British society and British psyche that made it possible. From the vibrant, multicultural oasis of Tiger Bay in the Cardiff docklands through the club-lands of Soho and Las Vegas to New York's Carnegie Hall, it is a journey from mere mortal to international icon. Along the way she would encounter homosexual husbands, predatory managers, newspaper scandals, and a range of friends and acquaintances from Sammy Davis Jr to Reggie Kray.
John L. Williams draws on original research and interviews to provide a portrait of a young woman on the cusp of stardom, whose rise to fame was in many ways symbolic of a changing world. Brilliantly written non-fiction in the style of David Peace's The Damned Utd or Nick Tosches' Dino, this is the story of a woman who set out to be extraordinary and - against all the odds - succeeded.


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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Les débuts d'une super star 15 octobre 2011
Par Phil-Don TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Broché
"Miss Shirley Bassey" retrace la jeunesse et les débuts de l'artiste jusque vers la fin des années 60, après le succès international de Goldfinger. Ce n'est donc qu'une biographie très partielle, laissant de côté plus de la moitié de la vie de la chanteuse (âgée aujourd'hui de 75 ans mais dont la voix et le talent restent intacts!)

L'auteur s'attache à décrire le milieu d'où est issue la jeune Shirley (Tiger Bay, la communauté noire, des bars troubles, des marins, des prostituées, des musiques de tous horizons, ...) et nous fait part de ses recherches sur sa famille. Le parcours de la jeune chanteuse est passionnant, même s'il n'est pas toujours glorieux. Le livre est documenté - mais pas de vrai scoop, sauf sur le père - et ne déçoit pas. Cela reste une biographie non-officielle à laquelle Dame Shirley Bassey, farouchement réservée sur sa jeunesse et sa vie privée, n'a pas participé. Mais, finalement, en dépit de quelques vérités déplaisantes mises à jour, le livre est plutôt un hommage popur le chemin parcouru.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  7 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating 30 mai 2012
Par Sasha - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
John L. Williams is a crime writer from Cardiff. This is very important to note, as we are not talking about another star struck fan who is writing bout his favorite subject but about professional writer intrigued about celebrity with roots in his own neighborhood - this also means that he takes time to describe and paint the picture of what it was like to be mixed-race singer in 1950s, going so far to even add in appendix chapters about crimes and night life in Cardiff, minstrel shows (Bassey had her start in one) and touring revues with striptease (these were kind of shows she was singing in the beginning). Williams had certainly did some good research and if he got some negative reviews in UK media for unearthing old skeletons from the closet, well it depends on perspective of the reader - people who focused on scandals,secrets and dirty laundry lost the point author wanted to make - he was describing struggle to the top and what sacrifices young girl had to make along the way.

This also brings up another question: what do we expect from biographies? Celebrating someone's life without a hint of darkness would be described as "fawning" but if the author did research and found old police records & secrets it brings uproar for being indiscreet. Myself, I found the book fascinating in many ways, specially because of the writing style - it is hinted between the lines that Williams could have been far more indiscreet if he was inclined so while telling the story about young unknown girl trying to escape poverty and start in show business. Interestingly, Williams ends his story in 1967. when struggle was basically finished and his subject was definitely established - while many could wonder whatever happened in the next 40+ years I perfectly understand author's reasoning that it's only hungry years that count. While focusing on star with surprisingly long career (she started long before Beatles and is still around) Williams also brings in focus long forgotten names and atmosphere of the times. If you think 1950s were innocent years, think again.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Meh... 26 novembre 2012
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
As a stateside Dame Bassey fan, I'll take what I can get. I'd already read Shirley Bassey: Diamond Diva by Peter Hogan, and when I saw that there was another book about "the girl from Tiger Bay," I wanted very much to inhale that one too.

This book covers her early life and career. That's it. It's incomplete, and unfortunately, feels very much so. I'm not even sure that I can, in good conscience, recommend this book. Diamond Diva is the far superior of the two in that it's much more informative, and definitely feels to be the more thoroughly researched.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Girl from Tiger Bay 2 avril 2011
Par cduk2001 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
This is by far the best biography of Shirley Bassey written to date. Covering the years from Bassey's birth to the early 1970's, it is very well written and researched, and paints a very realistic and fascinating picture of life in Tiger Bay in the 1940's and 50's as well as show-business London of the 60's. A lot of Bassey's "private" life is already well known, but this author brings the characters from her past to life and helps us to understand what shaped DSB into the amazing performer she is today. A really good read regardless if you are a big Bassey fan or not.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Nothing exciting 15 août 2013
Par Carol - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Not much that I did not know. Nothing new and exciting. Would have liked more on the personal side of her life
5.0 étoiles sur 5 BASSEY IS 10 STARS ! 15 septembre 2012
Par simone sheffield - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The fact that this was unauthorized clearly the writer did his research. Shirley's story is nothing like i expected. I think she is the best female performer of her time....worth the read if you're a Bassey devotee. I know I AM.
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