Sunday, March 26, 2006

Naked at the Feast - Josephine Baker

Last night I finished reading the book Naked at the Feast written by Lynn Haney. As the cover says: THE Biography Of Josephine Baker ( THE in capitols written by me).
To be honest .... the book is a disappointment, as it claims to be THE biography of Mrs. Baker. Due to the fact that I studies the career of Oscar Aleman I had hoped to find some info about the time he was the leader of the Baker Boys. No info at all, not even his name is mentioned in the register, although, as far as I know, Josephine and Oscar had a close relation. Very few information about her tours through Europe, about the songs she recorded, about her revues. A lot of info about her flirtations, her friends and her adoption children. Did it nothing add to my knowledge about her? Sure, I was touched by a picture of an incident she had to leave her house due to bankruptcy. The image shows her, 62 years old, sitting on on the back steps of her house, crying, between empty wine bottles and rubbish.

It remembers me that I sent a message, a year ago, to Ean Wood, author of The Josephine Baker Story, another Baker biography ( he had reserved some lines for Oscar I remember) about a private recording made by Josephine Baker on 19 Dec. 1933 at her tour through the Netherlands. He couldn't give me the info, but was happy with my information that Oscar became leader of the Baker Boys ( I wasn't even aware that he became the band's leader ( although I'm not surprised) EW) and he concluded with: In fact, you're ahead of me !!

This item is also posted at my Keep swinging web log


Blogger Jorgen said...

Regarding Baker a.o.
It seems to be the normal way of treating a famed star, unfortunately. Writers seem to have a view of the star as 'larger than life' thereby forgetting the details that round up the bare bones of the life and career of the actual person. As literature these kind of works range in the category of 'coffee table books', which means that you can have the book laying around your living room without giving the contents serious attention. The world is too filled with rubbish, now as ever.

2:01 PM  

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