Claire P Gordon.
Claire Gordon, author of My Unforgettable Jazz Friends, Boy Meets Horn and Marshal Royal: Jazz Survivor
presents The Color Of Music.
You may know the name Claire P. Gordon through her books about jazz. Born in Los Angeles, as soon as she learned to
read Claire decided to be an author. She begged to stay home and write after graduating from high school but her parents
insisted that she get a real education. Dancing was the entertainment of the time and the beat of the music was important
during those college years, Claire learned to love jazz through the captivating music of Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington,
and her favorite singer Maxine Sullivan.
One afternoon she heard Maxine was being interviewed at a local radio station. Claire jumped into her car and drove to
the nearby Columbia studio. As she pulled near the front of the building, Maxine Sullivan walked down the steps. Claire
left the car in a red space, jumped from her car. "I am your number one fan," she told Miss Sullivan. Maxine sent her two
autographed photos, which Claire had framed. About that time, some cousins were transferring to UC Berkeley. Claire
persuaded her parents to let her transfer there, as well. While she was at the northern campus she learned that Maxine
Sullivan was singing at a posh San Francisco nightclub, renting a house in Oakland only a few blocks from her boarding
house. Afternoon visits made her well acquainted with her idol. Claire began to visit Maxine every afternoon after classes.
Just a few days before graduation, Maxine mentioned that she would be leaving for New York soon, in her Rolls Royce,
with the chauffeur and the maid. She invited Claire to travel with them. But her parents decided it was not the right thing
to do at that time.
Her first novel "The Color Of Music" is the story of mixed-race, separated, twins, their father a famous African-American jazz
musician and their mother, a blond European jazz fan, one raised as a white French Canadian and the other in California as
black (although his skin was light). The mother of the biracial twins is unable to raise her babies and they become separated
at an early age. Although one boy was raised as their white child by a French Canadian couple and the other as a black child
in California, both grew up to love and play jazz. Independently, each came to like jazz and became a musician.
Studies of identical twins that had been separated showed that many traits are inborn. Others the result of environment.
But what would happen if the twins were mixed race, one raised as white and one as black. Claire claims that the characters
came to life and the story wrote itself. Recently published, "The Color of Music" has been given 5 stars by Kindle readers,
and equally high praise by others. It is currently available for purchase through Amazon. This story is fictitious but the
names of real songs and real jazz artists flow through the book as well. The reviews have been terrific--5 star on Amazon
where the book is available as an ebook or paperback. Here's one " I read your book and loved every minute of it. I couldn't
put it down." Ruth Huffman Walnut Creek, California
Who in the world is more familiar with the issues of racial equality and jazz music than Claire Gordon? Although she
enjoyed her early work experience in record shops, where music played all day, in the evenings she sought live music.
An early favorite group who played in a little local nightclub was the King Cole Trio. This was where Claire became
acquainted with Nat King Cole.
Sometime later, through a fluke and stroke of luck, Claire became Duke Ellington's secretary. While working for
him she met a handsome young songwriter, Irving Gordon. They dated and were soon married. Among Irving's songs
were 'Mister and Mississippi,' 'Be Anything but Be Mine,' 'Me Myself and I,' the lyrics to 'Prelude to a Kiss,' and the song for
which he wrote words and music, 'Unforgettable.' It was Claire's friendship with Nat King Cole which led to his recording
that song, written for Claire Gordon by her husband.
Soon Claire had the good fortune to combine her love of writing with the love of jazz. Claire wrote 'Boy Meets Horn, the
Autobiography of Rex Stewart,' in 1991, and 'Marshal Royal, Jazz Survivor' in 1995. Then she penned her jazz memoirs
'My Unforgettable Jazz Friends,' published in 2004 in which she told the stories about meeting Nat King Cole, working for
Duke Ellington, the many years that Maxine Sullivan was a close friend, and other friends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Benny
Carter, Billy Strayhorn and many more.
“The Color of Music” is Claire's first novel. And, you guessed it, jazz is a major part
of the book as both twins become musicians.
Sent: Monday, October 03.2011
I did a book signing (both books) in August with a wonderful guitar player making music from start to finish.
I was a guest on a one hour jazz program on San Luis Obispo radio accompanied by recordings of people
mentioned in my book. Last week I spoke to the jazz orchestra and jazz choir youngsters at Santa Maria High
school about my jazz memoirs and was given a T-shirt. The kids all took my picture but I have no copy as yet.
Later this month I have been invited to speak to a library group about The Color of Music.
Please click on the photo below to read more about Claire's new book and her life with the jazz legends.
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This page was created for Universal Love ©2011 with the kind permission of Claire P. Gordon. All rights reserved.