This week, Ira spoke with James Gavin.
Author and journalist James Gavin , whose latest book, “Is That All There Is-The Strange Life of Peggy Lee,”, 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.
Gavin has contributed liner notes to more than 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.
He 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.
Gavin’s third book, “Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, 2009) was the impetus behind his touring with Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project, a concert that starred former Supreme Mary Wilson, the Larry Dunlap Trio, and Gavin as narrator/host.
His biography of Peggy Lee is published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster.