Madame Jenkins couldnt carry a tune in a bucket: despite that, in 1944 at the age of 76, she performed at Carnegie Hall to a capacity audience and had celebrity fans by the score, including Cole Porter and Tallulah Bankhead. Her infamous 1940s recordings are still highly prized today and, seventy years after her death, she maintains a cult following that includes Barbra Streisand and the late David Bowie. In this sparkling biography, Darryl W. Bullock shares the story of how socialite Florence Foster Jenkins financed her own meteoric rise to success, championed by her adoring friends, long-suffering accompanist, and devoted husband/manager St. Clair Bayfield, who stood by his wifes side through every sharp note and shielded her from her harshest critics.Florence was ridiculed for her poor control of timing, pitch, and tone, terrible pronunciation of foreign lyrics, and over-the-top choreographed routines and costumes; nevertheless, she achieved stardom from the sheer entertainment value of her caterwauling, which packed theatres around the country, firmly convincing the self-proclaimed diva of her own talent. Madame Jenkinss inextinguishable self-confidence can be summed up in her own words: Some may say that I couldnt sing, but no one can say that I didnt sing.
Darryl W. Bullock is a publisher, editor, and writer specializing in numerous areas including music and the arts. He is the author of The World's Worst Records and posts weekly on his popular blog, The World's Worst Records. Bullock helped launch We Are Family, the UK's first magazine for LGBT families and their friends. He is the author of David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music and Florence Foster Jenkins: A Life of the World's Worst Opera Singer.