Stephen Bourne

stephen bourne

Elisabeth Welch – Soft Lights and Sweet Music

Foreword by Ned Sherrin
Scarecrow Press (2005)

A celebration of one of the greatest singers of all time who demonstrated she had no peer in the art of interpreting the lyrics of Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern.

"Stephen Bourne’s highly readable biography of Welch traces the life of this unique entertainer whose talent transcended the generation gap." (The Oldie)

"A sterling celebration of Welch as a musical artist and a vibrant personality, and as such is definitive." (What’s On in London)

"She had a longer recording career than Sinatra or Elvis, recording in every decade from the 1920s to the 1990s. In America she shared the stage with Josephine Baker, popularised Cole Porter’s Love for Sale and introduced Stormy Weather (in 1979 she sang it at the end of Derek Jarman’s The Tempest) to British audiences. She launched the Charleston for heaven’s sake, yet so few of us remember this massively important figure, Britain’s first black star. This timely biography by Welch’s close friend and fan, Bourne, should hopefully go some way to addressing her absence."(Gay Times)

"Welch led a fascinating life, all of which is captured in this charming biography…An affectionate tribute full of fascinating anecdotes, this will delight fans of the star, as well as those with an interest in popular song." (Film Review)

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