My Unforgettable Jazz Friends
By Claire P. Gordon, with a foreword by Benny Carter
- In this book you will find out
- About my being Duke Ellington's secretary
- When Norman Granz borrowed my booking license
- About the night I almost killed Dizzy Gillespie
- The facts behind Nat Cole's recording "Unforgettable"
- How often I was in the right place at the right time
- Many other stories you've never heard before about jazz greats of the 30's and 40's
About Claire P. Gordon
Nothing in her middle-class Los Angeles childhood suggested that Claire Gordon would form an abiding interest in jazz. But by the age of 14, the signs were there. She discovered the music of Duke Ellington and other jazz artists while in her teens.
The first major artist to enter her life was singer Maxine Sullivan, who became a life-long friend. Others followed - Nat "King" Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, pianists Art Tatum and Mary Lou Williams, disc jockeys, song writers, more artists, and other jazz buffs.
She was Duke Ellington's band secretary, married songwriter Irving Gordon ("Unforgettable"), and was a friend of Norman Granz - the list goes on. She has written about the people she knew with a light touch and a smile. Through her eyes, a picture is drawn of this jazz era - the way it was in the 1930's and 1940's (and onward) in the United States.