In this first biography of Taylor, James A. Pegolotti brings to life the remarkably multi-talented man within the context of his times. The captivating portrait recounts his formative years in the Bronx, his college years at New York University, where he composed four successive varsity musicals, his journalistic career first as a writer for the New York Tribune Sunday Magazine and then as the powerful music critic for the New York World, and his musical triumphs. Pegolotti also details Taylor's stints as editor of Musical America, president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), best-selling author of Of Men and Music and other books, collaborator with Disney and Leopold Stokowski on Fantasia, and even judge for the Miss America pageant. He describes how Taylor used his critic's pulpit to champion American music, opera, and musicians, and also chronicles his colorful personal life, including his third marriage at age sixty to a twenty-year-old costume designer.
Enlivened with such figures as George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ayn Rand, and Taylor's fellow Algonquin Round Table tastemakers, this in-depth, well-balanced, and objective biography will stand as the definitive work on the great American composer-critic.
A must-read for theater buffs and others who enjoy recent Americana.