The Sanest Guy in the Room
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
‘. . . a compelling memoir. Breezy and unpretentious, The Sanest Guy in the Room is a delightful collection of memories, insider information and after-dinner anecdotes’ The Times
‘Brilliant stories and wonderful behind-the-scenes glimpses of a life and career in show-business . . . It’s bloody brilliant . . . Read it!’ Michael Ball
Don Black is the songwriter’s songwriter, a composer’s dream collaborator, and the man behind some of the twentieth century’s greatest musical numbers.
Black made his first foray into the glittering world of showbiz as a stand-up, before realising his error and focusing on his lifelong passion instead – music. Shirley Bassey, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini and Barbra Streisand are just some of the artists Black has worked with over the years – not to mention his frequent collaborator, West End legend Andrew Lloyd Webber – in what can only be described as a remarkable musical career. Yet, never one to court fame, Black has always remained what Mark Steyn coined as ‘the sanest guy in the room’.
Interwoven with the stories behind songs such as ‘Diamonds are Forever’ and ‘Born Free’ are vignettes of Black’s life with his beloved wife Shirley, who died in March 2018, after almost sixty years of marriage. Black writes movingly about how the enormity of his grief changed his life, and how the dark days are slowly turning into dark moments.
The Sanest Guy in the Room is a rich and delightful paean to a life lived through song. It reveals the essence of Black’s craft, looks at those who have inspired him and allows us to understand what made those icons tick. It is also a poignant tribute to Shirley, his biggest inspiration. Told with wit, warmth and great humour, this is Don Black’s astonishing musical journey and an insight into a life behind the lyrics.
He sprinkles his memoir with warm reminiscences and self-deprecating anecdotes . . . you'll come away from this entertaining book with a new appreciation for a craft that's too often overlooked * Mail on Sunday * Deeply moving * Radio Times * Breezy memoir . . . good, fast read * Jewish Chronicle * Somewhere between a memoir and an extended love letter to his late wife, Shirley - who died in 2018, after a marriage that lasted 60 years - it details his remarkable career as a songwriter . . . as down-to-earth and charming as the book's title suggests * Guardian * . . . a compelling memoir. Breezy and unpretentious, The Sanest Guy in the Room is a delightful collection of memories, insider information and after-dinner anecdotes * The Times * Emotional and poignant * Jewish Telegraph * Remarkable life story . . . entertaining new memoir . . . Refreshingly for a showbiz autobiography, the book is as economical and fat free as his lyrics * Waitrose Weekend * One of the joys of Black's memoir is his close-up view of the abnormality of the people he has worked with. He has a sharp eye and turn of phrase . . . Black may well be one of the sanest guys in the room. He's one of the kindest too * Herald * Warm, unpretentious and never lacking in humour * Mojo * Among the brilliant stories and wonderful behind-the-scenes glimpses of a life and career in show-business is some great advice, the best of which is don't use fifty words when you can use five. So I won't. Here's what I think of Don's book . . . It's bloody brilliant . . . Read it! * Michael Ball *
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