Why I Recorded With Stars in My Eyes
With Stars in My Eyes, available as an e-book and audio from amazon, is an interesting account of the years in which I did promotional work for Billy Taylor and Duke Ellington at the height of the civil rights movement in the United States. Written as a journal covering the years 1967 to 1972 and picking up again in 1999, as the world celebrated Duke Ellington’s centennial, the tumultuous and exciting sixties and seventies come alive as I, the author, a young white graduate student at Rutgers University, decide to participate in the civil rights movement after observing firsthand the unfair treatment of African Americans in all aspects of their lives and society’s indifference to them.
After working with disadvantaged children in New Jersey and also trying to promote some jazz musicians I had met, my life suddenly changed one Sunday afternoon in October 1967 when I went to the Hickory House in New York to listen to Billy Taylor, one of the finest jazz pianists in the world. I met Billy during one of his breaks and he literally hired me on the spot to do some promotional work for him, which I would do for the next four and a half years.
Written and recorded at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, a few days before Dr. Taylor’s 89th and final birthday and as a gift from me, With Stars in My Eyes is filled with historic content and authentic dialogue between me and Billy as we discuss his career and the newsworthy events of this very rich period in American history, the 1960s and 1970s. During this time, I was also able to offer Duke Ellington unlimited book proposals at Simon & Schuster, where I worked as an editorial assistant, and Duke was interested!
My audio and e-book will appeal to three generations of jazz fans, from Ellington to Taylor to Marsalis, as well as anyone interested in learning more about African American history and culture. The epilogue alone is a treasure as I contrast the deplorable situation for jazz musicians in the sixties and seventies with the wonderful respect that is given to jazz today.
Quotes About The Audio Ebook
–Eric Cathcart, president and impresario of Potomac Talent, Silver Spring, Maryland
–Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, the White House
–Theresa Crushshon, president and founder of jassed.com