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Minstrel Magic: George Mitchell - A Lovely Man (Paperback)
  • Minstrel Magic: George Mitchell - A Lovely Man (Paperback)
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Minstrel Magic: George Mitchell - A Lovely Man (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 390 Pages / Published: 13/06/2017
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Choirmaster George Mitchell hated the limelight, yet was responsible for a worldwide show business phenomenon - the George Mitchell Choirs and ultimately the Black and White Minstrel Show, which won the first-ever Golden Rose of Montreux, becoming the world's Best Light Entertainment show. Sold to television companies worldwide, including many in Africa and the Caribbean, it was the first television show to invade and capture the live theatre, running on the London stage, the provinces, Australia and New Zealand from 1962 until 1987. George remains the only artiste simultaneously to hold 1st, 2nd and 4th places in the album charts. Yet, twenty years later, the BBC airbrushed the show from history. But deeply embedded in the world consciousness, it refused to die and is part of the world's collective consciousness, its 'racial' aspect now unthinkingly defining a show that was so much more, as indeed was George's career. Recent documentaries have retold the story, concentrating on the perceived racial aspect. None has told the full unbiased story, not just of the Minstrels but of George and his singers, at the top of the tree for fifteen years before the Minstrels.Now, thanks to unprecedented access to their archives and with the full co-operation of George's widow, the story of these singers' forgotten role in British light entertainment can be told, set against a backdrop of post-war Britain and rising racial tensions. Appealing to entertainment, history and biography lovers, the book reclaims George's rightful place in the history of entertainment.

Publisher: Saron Publishing
ISBN: 9780995649545
Number of pages: 390
Dimensions: 228 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

It's a biography. A twentieth-century biography. A twentieth-century show-business biography. The sort of thing I usually skim through in a short afternoon. And here it is, cocktail time, and I'm only up to page 93 of a whopping 450. Why? Several reasons.

This is the sort of biography I like. Chuckle. The sort of biography I write. Not all jolly theatrical anecdotes and dubious stories, and bother the facts, but a real piece of history, freely-told non-fiction for the generations to come. The author even goes as far as to debunk some of the publicity stories surrounding ... oh, did I say the biography is the great George Mitchell, the inventor and soul of the show known for decades last century as The Black and White Minstrel Show. The most popular light entertainment show of British stage and screen of its time, winner of the Golden Rose of Montreux ...

It's a biography. A twentieth-century biography. A twentieth-century show-business biography. The sort of thing I usually skim through in a short afternoon. And here it is, cocktail time, and I'm only up to page 93 of a whopping 450. Why?

Several reasons.

Kurt Ganzl (kurtofgerolstein.blogspot.com.au): This is the sort of biography I like. The sort of biography I write. Not all jolly theatrical anecdotes and dubious stories, and bother the facts, but a real piece of history, freely-told non-fiction for the generations to come. The author even goes as far as to debunk some of the publicity stories surrounding ... oh, did I say the biography is the great George Mitchell, the inventor and soul of the show known for decades last century as The Black and White Minstrel Show. The most popular light entertainment show of British stage and screen of its time, winner of the Golden Rose of Montreux ...it comes out as a thoroughly satisfying read and a totally satisfying record of the history of the most remarkable variety show ever to come out of Great Britain. This excellent book records the whole career of the man, his music and his musicians in charming detail for posterity. Bravo!

John Henshall:

I've just spent the entire weekend being entertained and informed by a lady I've never met and whose name I didn't even know until a few days ago. And the whole weekend only cost me thirteen quid.

Before you get the wrong idea, I'm referring to Eleanor Pritchard's (aka Penny Reeves) superb book, "Minstrel Magic - The Story of the George Mitchell Choirs." I just couldn't put it down.

Eleanor/Penny's book is full of the most incredible detail and the spirit which made the George Mitchell Choirs feel more like a close-knit family. Of course, you've all read this superb book already, haven't you? So I'm preaching to the converted. If you haven't, I strongly advise you to order it now, before it goes out of print. It deserves to be a best seller.

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