Just in time for the Chairman's centennial, the endlessly absorbing sequel to James Kaplan's best-selling Frank: The Voice - finally the definitive biography that Frank Sinatra, justly termed "The Entertainer of the Century", deserves and requires. Like Peter Guralnick on Elvis, Kaplan goes behind the legend to give us the man in full, in his many guises and aspects: peerless singer, (sometimes) powerful actor, business mogul, tireless lover, and associate of the powerful and infamous.
In 2010's Frank: The Voice, James Kaplan, in rich, distinctive, compulsively understandable prose, told the story of Frank Sinatra's meteroic rise to fame, subsequent failures, and reinvention as a star of the stage and screen. The story of "Ol' Blue Eyes" continues with Sinatra: The Chairman, picking up the day after Frank claimed his Academy Award in 1954 and had reestablished himself as the top recording artist in music. Frank's life post-Oscar was incredibly dense: In between recording albums and singles, he often shot four or five movies a year; did TV show and nightclub appearances; started his own label, Reprise; and juggled his considerable commercial ventures (movie production, the restaurant business, even prizefighter management) alongside his famous and sometimes notorious social activities and commitments.
©2015 James Kaplan (P)2015 Recorded Books
This is an excellent addition to the previous Frank The Voice. Kaplan's attention to detail is astounding and he ties Sinatra's life into relevant historical events very well. Truly the definitive Sinatra biography, an inspiring second book to an already inspiring first.
This book is for those who want a lot of detail regarding Sinatra's life. Interesting, though plodding at times.
Way too long. Much more detail about musical arrangements than I cared for. Stuck with it because I wanted to hear about the celebrities in his life. I love his music but was so sorry to hear how mean he could be. It will be different now when I listen to him.
"Terrific biography and fabulous audio voice. The best book on Sinatra ever - both in terms of his biography and his music."
Terrific biography and fabulous audio voice. I read the previous book and loved it as well but this is the best book ever on Sinatra - both in terms of his biography and his music. Incredibly well researched. I will check other books by this reader as he added immensely to the overall experience,
You are on the set of every movie and in the recording studio for every song ever recorded.
Nice perspective from family and friends and enemies. You get it all.
I loved all the scenes with his conductors. How the work was done in the studio was fascinating.
Frequently laughed throughout. Lots of head shaking with Frank's behavior. The ending chapters are pretty sad to listen to.
Always though his marriage to Barbara Marx was happy. I guess not. Lots of the Kitty Kelley stories are repeated in this volume but most are detailed with supplemental insights that change the perspective a bit. Not a flattering portrayal but a fascinating story.
After first listening to The Voice and loving it, I was a little disappointed to find that The Chairman used a different narrator. It did take some time to get used to but after a chapter or two I grew to love this one just as much. Such a thorough, fair, and well written biography. Together, both volumes give the listener the breadth and depth of Sinatra's life, and for the life he lived, that is truly a complement of high order.
too many small details that led nowhere that could have easily been left out but seems they were added to lengthen the book, completely unnecessary. It dragged... I wanted to be done when I was halfway through.
It drags, right from the start. I would have preferred a chronological biography of Sinatra's life. 41 hours examining every nuance and detail of the middle part of his career (maybe the book gets to the end of his career, I didn't finish it) was just far too much for me. Fascinating guy, but covered in far too much detail for me here.
The jumps in recording from one session to another and/or the subsequent edits aren't very smooth, they're actually quite jarring, with changes in tone and/or volume.
Not for me, no.
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