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Barry Singer
Over the course of a distinguished writing career, Barry Singer has been a regular contributor to The New Yorker, New York magazine, The New York Times Magazine and, for more than a decade, to The New York Times Arts & Leisure section, writing regularly on theater, opera and popular music.

His book BLACK AND BLUE: The Life and Lyrics of Andy Razaf was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is also the author of EVER AFTER: The Last Years of Musical Theater and Beyond; and ALIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD, which won an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music writing.

Barry Singer is the proprietor of CHARTWELL BOOKSELLERS in New York City, the only standing bookshop in the world devoted to the writings of Winston Churchill. His latest book is CHURCHILL STYLE: The Art of Being Winston Churchill, published in 2012 by Abrams Image.

Entries by Barry Singer

Churchill's Passing and a Marketplace Pierced By Lies

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 12:07 PM

Winston Churchill's epic state funeral on January 30, 1965, following his death on January 24 at the age of 90, is an occasion that I have commemorated now for at least thirty-two years, since opening my Churchillian bookstore, Chartwell Booksellers, in...
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Artistry in Dance: 'American Dance Machine' & 'Noises Off'

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2016 | 4:48 PM


We struck gold twice in a matter of weeks -- my daughters, Lea and Sara, and I -- intoxicating artistry in dance at a pair of performances spanning the old and new year. Just on the cusp of New Year's Eve, we caught...

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New Year's Eve at The Beaufort Bar Searching for The Savoy Orpheans

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 10:25 AM

I want to spend New Year's Eve at the Savoy Hotel in London dancing to the Savoy Orpheans. But they're long gone. The Orpheans were the resident dance band at the Savoy from 1923 to 1927, and on and off thereafter throughout the...
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'School of Rock' Comes to My House

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 8:51 AM


Most kids today grow up in homes that are childproofed for their own protection. My kids grew up in a household that was Andrew Lloyd Webber-proofed. Not a note of Lord LW's lugubrious bombast ever penetrated my daughters' defenseless ears. This was not...

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The Churchillian Sinatra

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2015 | 2:56 PM


Frank Sinatra and Winston Churchill met only once, so far as I know. On June 14, 1958, Sinatra was in Monte Carlo for the world premiere of his World War II film, Kings Go Forth. Winston Churchill...

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Gilbert and Brown Immemorial

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 6:17 PM


I've been thinking about the memorial service that I attended recently for my late friend and mentor, Sir Martin Gilbert; Winston Churchill's official biographer and so much more. I am, I confess, not a great one for memorial services. To begin with, they're...

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A Churchill Painting: "Silver Life"

(1) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 11:40 AM

I recently held one of Winston Churchill's paintings in my hands. It was a first for me. And a story worth telling.

Winston Churchill completed exactly 537 paintings. They are relatively easy to count; nearly all of them still reside at Chartwell, his...

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Harold Arlen at 110: Before It's Too Late

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2015 | 12:27 PM

Ten years ago, I was paid the most money I have ever been paid for a magazine article (still). The payer was Vanity Fair magazine; the subject was the composer Harold Arlen; the occasion, the centennial of his birth. My story was bought, paid for and then killed just before...

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Enter An Adult: A Visit from George Mitchell

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 5:07 PM

The adults, it nearly seems, have all gone from the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., leaving behind a playpen teeming with delinquents. One wise, early escapee, former-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, came to Chartwell Booksellers on September 30 to talk about his new book, The Negotiator....

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Not-Cumberbatch: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Outdoors in London

(0) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 12:07 PM


I am just back from London, where Cumberbatch's the thing and the rest is silence, insofar as London theater is concerned. Normally, I would have been scrambling like everyone else to score a ticket to see his Hamlet. In fact, I did ask...

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London: Churchill's Tailor

(2) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 7:15 PM

Winston Churchill had a very hard time holding onto money, throughout his life, yet he wore bespoke...well, everything. Henry Poole & Co. was not Churchill's first bespoke tailor but it was his longest-lasting tailoring relationship. Henry Poole himself was long gone...
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London: Churchill's Bedroom

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 5:48 PM


I am in London. I have come largely on Churchill business. My daughters, Lea and Sara, are with me, sharing the singular pleasures that are to be savored seeing London through a Churchillian prism -- as well as other fun stuff.

Touring The...

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Finding Neverland: My Impersonal Revelation

(2) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 12:06 PM

Just about 29 years ago (Lordy!), after pulling every theatrical string I could yank to secure tickets in London for the then-spanking new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, I found myself at evening's end heaving myself up the aisle...
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Book Reviewing for USA Today

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 2:57 PM

For almost a year now, I've been writing occasional book reviews for USA TODAY. Like just about everything else in USA TODAY, the reviews are brief. I've barely mentioned them to anyone I know, partly because I haven't yet written a rave. Why tout a bunch of lukewarm reviews, I...

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Preludes: Taming the Past

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 4:22 PM


I wanted to see Preludes at Lincoln Center Theater the minute I heard about it. A musical about Sergei Rachmaninoff's three-year writer's block brought on by the botched premiere of his first symphony, and the hypnotherapist who saved him? That's for me.


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The Jazz Singer Off Road: Kurt Elling

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 11:03 AM


Jazz singers have always traveled. To make a living as a jazz singer has always meant hitting the road. Bessie Smith did it and literally died on the road after an automobile accident. Billie Holiday did it; even more so after her cabaret...

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The Tonys, 'Fun Home' and Kids

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2015 | 6:37 PM


I am not one for predictions, particularly where the Tony Awards are concerned. In fact, I can't remember the last time I watched a Tony broadcast. I know the last ceremony that I attended personally was when...

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Thank Heaven for Grownup Ladies

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 4:59 PM

I've been away -- I mean psychically, mourning a friend; an employee at my bookstore who died very tragically two weeks ago. Her name was Cindi DiMarzo. You can read about Cindi HERE, if you'd care to; a remembrance of her...
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'An American in Paris': Who Got 'Rhythm'?

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2015 | 12:06 PM

Do songs have feelings? I am just crazy enough about a great many songs to take this preposterous question to heart. If you prick a song, does it bleed? If you tickle it, does it laugh? If...
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Churchill's Books: Chartwell Booksellers at 32

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 5:21 PM


Tomorrow is the 32nd Birthday of Chartwell Booksellers, my small, independent bookstore in midtown Manhattan devoted to the writings of Winston Churchill. For thirty-two years, people (well, a few) have been asking me: 'Why a Churchill bookshop...

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