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High Times, Hard Times Paperback – 1 Aug 2004


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High Times, Hard Times + Anita O'Day - The Life Of A Jazz Singer [DVD] [2009] + Four Classic Albums: Anita Sings the Most/the Lady Is a Tramp/An Evening With Anita O'day/Anita
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Product details

  • Paperback: 16 pages
  • Publisher: Limelight Editions; Reprint edition (1 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879101180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879101183
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

High Times, Hard Times (Limelight). ..".in the tradition of the best jazz autobiographies...a fascinating travelogue through the jazz world, filled with vivid images of Gene Krupa, Stan Kenton, Roy Eldridge and Billie Holiday...Her prose is as hip as her music." The New York Times Book Review Full description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Delisser on 8 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you get to the end of this, you'll be a little in love - if you aren't already - with Anita O'Day. She was a genius, and a mad one, who stayed the course despite doing everything possible to finish herself off! It'll make you want to go out and buy all her recordings and then await the DVD of Jazz on a Summer Day in which she kicks the cr.. out of Sweet Georgia Brown. Oh so stunning. One of the great Jazz biographies. If you know nothing about the jazz of the forties, you will after reading this. Enjoy.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By HavaBanana on 23 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I've only recently become a fan of this amazing jazz singer, I only heard of her through some BBC4 documentary awhile ago, which I can't remember the title of; she is not as well known as the likes of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, in the UK anyway, which is a great shame.
I fell in love with her voice and her style of delivery. Wanting to find out more about her I watched the documentary 'The Life of A Jazz Singer' (which is also great btw) specifically about her.
This book is a worthwhile read to any fan of hers, or jazz in general, I was hooked the moment I started reading it, which is something! as I don't read that often.
What a life she led, unbelievable situations and struggles against the odds, makes me laugh all these little 'celebs'of today writing about their lives after 5 minutes of 'fame'.
She was around 60 when this came out in 1981, she 'had' something to talk about, pity she is not more widely known, an amazing life and singer too!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr. David Griffiths on 19 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many people I first became aware of Anita O'Day from the film Jazz on a Summers Day which I saw sometime in the late 1970s. After exploring some of her recordings from the 1950 and 60s I became a confirmed fan and have remained so ever since. She disliked being called a singer and preferred the title "song stylist" but however she is described Anita O'Day is among the greatest female jazz vocalists of all time and in my view the only white singer worthy to stand alongside Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday. Her autobiography is painfully frank, at times harrowing and sometimes laugh out loud funny. It's a real roller-coaster of a book, just like Anita's life, and I could hardly put it down. As well as being Anita's own story, High Times, Hard Times is a fascinating insight into the American jazz scene with dozens of famous musicians from Baby Dodds and Charlie Parker to Judy Garland and Benny Goodman drifting in and out of the picture. Many of them, though not Goodman whom Anita roundly disliked, were afflicted by the same drug addiction which so nearly cost her her life. Anita was mercurial, unpredictable, difficult and for 14 years hopelessly addicted to heroin (she estimates she shot about $400,000 into her arm) but she survived against all the odds, cleaned up and somehow reached the age of 87. This book is a worthy testament to a truly great musician and survivor. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is frankly a no bulls***, no holds barred expurgation of a life delivered with a directness, a wit, and a class that underscores much of her incredible vocal stylings. from horror stories of her youth (her epiglottis being mistakenly snipped off in a routine tonsil operation, rendering her in her future career unable to hit a couple of notes and forced her to learn a different vibrato technique, horrific abortion stories), to her successes as a teen dance marathon contestant, to burgeoning success in Gene Krupa's band, to full-on hardcore druggery for a good long part of her life and career. but all the while she somehow maintained her dignity and class, her iconic set at Newport in '58, a case in point, illustrating that jazz and smack can work for some pretty well. however you get the shocking downside too, she just tells it like it is, and makes no bones about a lifestyle the Richard Burton would wince at. this is a great read, from the only white broad that ever came close to Billie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anton on 28 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
Introduced to Anita in the 70's when I chanced upon the Jazz on a Summer's Day late one night on BBC 2 . I have been a fan even since. This is a great read, Anita tells it like it is or ...was. To me she is jazz, the attitude, the hell raising, the drug taking and the music.

Sex 'n' Drugs and Jazz.

Check out her recordings with Oscar Peterson she is dynamite.
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