Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nice review of my book

Here's another nice "bolt from the blue."  

Back in 2004 I had some correspondence with Jim Pegolotti, author of a biography of Deems Taylor (1885-1966)—the American composer, music critic and promoter of classical music.  I had enjoyed his book (Deems Taylor: A Biography, published by Northeastern University Press in 2003), and wrote inquiring if there had been any connection or interaction between my father and Taylor.  There hadn't. But Jim was kind and encouraging about my project.

At any rate, last month I had a nice letter from Jim, saying he had read my book, and here is what he wrote about it:

"You have written a uniquely compelling biography, for while your ostensible purpose is a chronology of th life of your father, you have written a fascinating story of three people: you father, your mother and you. A biography written by someone who lived with the subject provides a stronger emotional reaction on the reader than one written by a 'stranger.' With the exceptional letters of your mother covering the early years, the your recollections coming firmly in your father's final years, nothing could come closer to giving the reader the sense of a singer who ultimately lost control of himself. I suppose he gave in to the power of fame. And yet what a wonderful voice."

Thank you Jim!


  1. Mrs. Nutt my name is Tim Turner. My mother is Carol Levis (Turner). I came across some old photos of your father and mother to include a photo with my mother when she was younger in the 1940's. My grandfather C. Raymond Levis and your father were good friends and knew each other through antique cars. My grandfather use to restore them. When he was up in the New England area he would visit your parents. I thought it was cool to see these old photos.

  2. My name is Jean Drasky; my husband is Michael Drasky and we are from Norwalk, CT. We both remember visiting the Melton Museum here in Norwalk back in the day. My father-in-law owned an auto paint and body shop and he had often mentioned working on cars owned by James Melton. On page 149 of your book, there is a picture of your mother with an unidentified driver (1943). We think this driver bears a resemblance to my father-in-law. In your father's old documents, etc., is there any mention of having work done on his cars by Drasky & Gage? My husband has just finished reading your book and is now recommending to me. He really enjoyed it. I' not sure, but I think our daughter Kathy may have contacted you recently about a project she is working on and making mention of the Melton Museum. Thank you for ay information you may have to send us.

    1. Hi Jean--Nice to hear from you. No, I don't believe I've heard from Kathy. And I'm afraid I don't recall my father mentioning Drasky & Gage. My "archives" are sketchy in some areas, and this is one of them. Glad your husband liked my book! You can contact me directly at if you like.