By Alec Wilder
Letters I by no means Mailed: Clues to a existence, via Alec Wilder, in a brand new, annotated variation with creation and supplementary fabric via David Demsey, foreword by way of jazz pianist Marian McPartland, and images through Louis Ouzer. Alec Wilder is an extraordinary instance of a composer who proven a name either as a prolific composer of concertos, sonatas, and operas, and as a favored songwriter (including the hit "I'll Be Around"). He used to be fearsomely articulate, and had a large and sundry circle of neighbors, starting from Graham Greene to Frank Sinatra and Stan Getz. Letters I by no means Mailed, hailed at its first e-book (in 1975, through Little, Brown), tells the tale of Wilder's musical and private lifestyles via "letters" addressed to numerous associates. In it, he stocks his insights-and occasionally salty opinions-on composing, musical lifestyles, and the stress among paintings and commercialism. This new, scholarly version leaves Wilder's unique textual content intact yet decodes the mysteries of the unique via an Annotated Index that identifies the letters' addressees, a biographical essay by means of David Demsey as an Epilogue, and pictures by way of well known photographer, and lifetime pal of Wilder, Louis Ouzer. David Demsey is Professor of tune and Coordinator of Jazz stories at William Paterson college and an lively jazz and classical saxophonist. he's co-author of Alec Wilder: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood Press) and has contributed to The Oxford spouse to Jazz.
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Extra resources for Letters I Never Mailed: Clues to a Life by Alec Wilder (Eastman Studies in Music)
Usually very informed men have the tendency to be pompous or humorless or both. James Maher is a truly modest and humble man. I’m sure I was a very difficult personality for him to adjust to, though he gave no signs of impatience. He advised, he suggested, he relinquished his own inclinations graciously, he put up with my unpredictable intuitive methodless ways of work. Without him there would have been no book. (“Life Story,” 176) Maher and Wilder met in Richmond’s offices for days at a time, surrounded by stacks of sheet music.
Such legends as Tony Bennett, Johnny Hartman, Mabel Mercer, Dick Haymes, Bobby Short, Margaret Whiting, George Shearing, Woody Herman, and younger artists such as Barbara Lea, Marlene VerPlanck, Mary Mayo, and Mark Murphy all came to South Carolina to take part. This time, Wilder songs were featured regularly in the repertoire. qxd 9/1/05 10:06 AM Page 25 Introduction 25 best-recorded showcases of popular song, and of Wilder’s personality. Wilder had just completed Letters I Never Mailed around this time, working with veteran literary editor HARRY SIONS at Little, Brown and Company publishers.
The last of Wilder’s long associations with lyricists was with composer/lyricist Loonis McGlohon, known for his composition “Songbird” and his many collaborations with fellow North Carolinian Charles Kuralt. Wilder and McGlohon collaborated on a number of songs, most notably the now-standard “Blackberry Winter,” as well as two productions: the church cantata Mountain Boy (1980), based loosely on Biblical themes, and an outdoor production called Land of Oz, which had ongoing presentations that most resembled a modern-day theme park in the North Carolina mountains each summer.