The Life of Dick Haymes by Ruth Prigozy -- Book Review -- Movie Actor Biography

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The Life of Dick Haymes :
No More Little White Lies

By Ruth Prigozy
Hollywood Legend Series
ISBN 1-57806-551-8

Book Review
by Clive Fuller

Ruth Prigozy has written a balanced account of the life of a man who was tipped for mega stardom as a vocalist in his formative professional years but who then through bad judgement and sometimes fate was destined to struggle for the rest of his life.

Several marriages including to film beauties Joanne Dru and Rita Hayworth not to mention the sultry Fran Jeffries kept his name in the press but after a short term contract with Capitol Records in the middle 1950s failed to interest the public or music industry his career faltered. In the early 1960s after the failure of his marriage to Fran Jeffries he left the USA and headed for Europe, which was to be his home for almost a decade. Many saw him in cabaret or theatre shows and on a good night he was great but on a bad night that was another thing.

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Ruth Prigozy ,
The Life of Dick Haymes : No More Little White Lies

South African born BBC DJ and Record Producer Alan Dell rediscovered Haymes in 1969 and managed to get him into a recording studio for an album entitled "Then & Now" which was instrumental in getting him back to the USA and giving him another chance.

Ruth Prigozy unravels the story of a man who was a complicated gentleman almost from another age and a man who throughout his life could not comprehend his abandonment by a mother whose life style always seemed more important than her children.

A mix of facts, memories via interviews with family, friends and those associated with Haymes and even extracts from his own unfinished autobiography. Plenty of excellent pictures too. This is an "I couldn't put it down" book.

A compelling read full of highs and lows, surprises and sometimes despair this long awaited biography addresses many of the stories that had been circulating around Hollywood about Haymes and presents the facts for the first time. A must for any fan of the 1940s, musicals, crooners and film stars.

Published by the University Press of Mississippi on 1 June 2006, US price $30.00

Book Review by Clive Fuller
Birmingham, England

Book Description from the Publisher

About the Author

Ruth Prigozy is professor of English at Hofstra University and the executive director of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. She is the author of F. Scott Fitzgerald: An Illustrated Life and edited The Cambridge Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald.

- From the Publisher

There was a time when no one would have left Dick Haymes (1918-1980) out of the top class of his contemporaries such as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. But now the Argentine-born baritone is known only to those ardent fans and music historians who still claim him as one of the most talented popular singers of the twentieth century.

He worked with several great bandleaders, including Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey, before beginning a solo career that vaulted him to Hollywood stardom. In 1944, he worked with Twentieth Century Fox, headlining such hit musicals as Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe and State Fair. Popular recordings such as "Little White Lies," "The More I See You," "How Blue the Night," "For You, For Me, For Evermore," "Speak Low," and "Another Night Like This," made him a top draw at the box office.

In the 1950s, when television took over the media landscape and the appeal of musicals declined, Haymes's career suffered. Despite efforts in the 1970s, he never re-established success. In The Life of Dick Haymes: No More Little White Lies, Ruth Prigozy uses over forty personal interviews with singers, musicians, composers, arrangers, and Haymes's family members. She searches archival recordings of "The Dick Haymes Show," films, recordings, music studies, and histories to present a full portrait of this complicated man. Prigozy chronicles Haymes's childhood, his rise in the 1940s, his decline into alcoholism, his multiple marriages -- to such leading stars as Rita Hayworth and Joanne Dru -- and divorces, and the minor resurgence of his career in Europe during the last years of his life.

Book Information from the Publisher

This biography of the superstar crooner, his rise, fall, and struggle for a second act

  • Provides fans the first biography of Dick Haymes, a popular singer/actor who was the contemporary of Frank Sinatra, the Rat Pack, and Tony Martin
  • Argues that in his lifetime Haymes was considered a better singer than Sinatra, but Sinatra endured and became part of the establishment
  • Includes information gleaned from over 40 new interviews with Haymes's family members and acquaintances
  • Features over 30 rare photographs
  • Expands our Hollywood Legends Series

Book Dimensions

  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number): 1578065518 ; 1-57806-551-8
  • EAN (European Article Number): 9781578065516
  • Height: 8.1 inches, 20.6 centimeters
  • Width: 6.8 inches, 17.3 cm
  • Thickness: 1.03 inches, 2.6 cm
  • Package Weight: 1.26 pounds, 0.6 kilograms
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The Life of Dick Haymes : No More Little White Lies
by Ruth Prigozy