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Romany And Tom - By Ben Watt

By :Ben Watt

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Overview

Ben Watt's father, Tommy, was a working-class Glaswegian jazz musician, a politicised left-wing bandleader and composer, whose heyday in the late 1950s took him into the glittering heart of London's West End, where he broadcast live with his own orchestra from the BBC's Paris Theatre and played nightly with his quintet at the glamorous Quaglino's. His mother, the daughter of a Methodist parson, Romany, schooled at Cheltenham Ladies' College, was a RADA-trained Shakespearian actress, who had triplets in her first marriage before becoming a leading showbiz feature writer and columnist in the sixties and seventies. They were both divorcees from very different backgrounds who came together like colliding trains at a fateful New Year's Day party in 1957.


Romany and Tom is Ben Watt's honest, sometimes painful, and often funny portrait of his parents' exceptional lives and marriage, depicted in a personal journey from his own wide-eyed London childhood, through years as an adult with children and a career of his own, to that inevitable point when we must assume responsibility for our own parents in their old age. Covering several decades, and drawing on a rich seam of family letters, souvenirs, photographs, public archives and personal memories, it is a vivid story of the post-war years, ambition and stardom, family roots and secrets, the death of British big band jazz, depression and drink, life in clubs and in care homes, and a strange alliance with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. It is also about who we are, where we come from, and how we love and live with each other for a long time

 

Book Information
Format: Paperback
Published: 2014
Category: Non Ficiton, Memoir
Pages: 368
Dimensions: 215 x 135mm
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