How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music
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Playboy—the magazine, the empire, the lifestyle—is one of the world’s best-known brands. Since the launch of Playboy magazine in 1953, two elements have been remarkably consistent: the first, obviously, is the celebration of nubile, female flesh. The second, readers may be surprised to learn, is Playboy’s involvement in the music scene. The Playboy experience was never just about sex but about lifestyle. Music—particularly the finest jazz, a personal passion of Hefner’s—has always been an essential component of that lifestyle.
Playboy Swings focuses specifically on Playboy’s involvement in the music scene, its impact on popular entertainment (and vice versa), and the fabulous cadre of performers who took to the stages of the mythic Playboy Clubs and Jazz Festivals. Throughout Playboy Swings, Farmer demonstrates how Playboy helped change the world through music by integrating the TV shows, festivals, and the clubs.
Complied through interviews with hundreds of people who were on the scene throughout Playboy’s rise, fall, and on-going renaissance, Playboy Swings carries readers on a seductive journey through the history of the empire—all the while focusing on the musical entertainment that made it unique. Hef’s personal passion for music—and his belief in it as a cornerstone of the Playboy ethos—has expressed itself in a wide range of media over Playboy’s 60-year history, and all of it comes alive in these pages.
Famer takes the reader from the inception of the Playboy empire through the 1959 jazz festival, to the opening of club after club.
With approximately 60 black and white photos, and a complete Playboy music reference guide, readers will think of music, not just Bunnies, when thinking about Playboy.
Throughout the book, it is the artists who do most of the talking—and they have a lot to say about the golden era of Playboy entertainment.
- Beaufort Books, September 2015
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