This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with author James Gavin.
Author and journalist James Gavin’s third book, Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, 2009) is the impetus behind his current touring with Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project, a concert that stars former Supreme Mary Wilson, the Larry Dunlap Trio, and Gavin as narrator/host.
Gavin is Manhattan-born and a graduate of Fordham University. Aside from his dozens of features in the New York Times, he has written for Vanity Fair, Time Out New York, the Daily Beast, and the Huffington Post. His subjects have included Annie Lennox, Elizabeth Taylor, Nina Simone, John Legend, Peggy Lee, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Miriam Makeba, Marilyn Monroe, Gal Costa, Mae West, Ned Rorem, Edith Piaf, Karen Carpenter, and Jacques Brel. He has contributed liner notes to over 400 CDs, including many reissues he produced himself for Verve, Blue Note, and Koch Jazz. His essay for the GRP box set Ella Fitzgerald – The Legendary Decca Recordings earned a 1996 Grammy nomination.
Gavin also lectures, and has appeared in several documentaries, including the E! True Hollywood Story on Doris Day and Anita O’Day: The Life and Times of a Jazz Singer.
His forthcoming book, a biography of Peggy Lee, will also be published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster.