Thursday, 21 April 2016

Like a Bird

Just in case you didn't know (or you've been living under a rock for the past few months), I've written a book, and it is officially out (in the UK, at least) from today.

Available from all good booksellers (it says here) Florence Foster Jenkins, the Life of the World's Worst Opera Singer is the first ever full-length biography of the infamous Diva of Din.

Here's some blurb from the press release: 'Madame Jenkins couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket: despite that, in 1944 at the age of 76, she played Carnegie Hall to a capacity audience and had celebrity fans by the score. Her infamous 1940s recordings are still highly-prized today. 

In his well-researched and thoroughly entertaining biography, Darryl W. Bullock tells of Florence Foster Jenkins’s meteoric rise to success, and the man who stood beside her through every sharp note.

Florence was ridiculed for her poor control of timing, pitch, and tone, and terrible pronunciation of foreign lyrics, but the sheer entertainment value of her caterwauling packed out theatres around the United States, with the ‘singer’ firmly convinced of her own talent, partly thanks to the devoted attention from her husband and manager St Clair Bayfield. Her story is one of triumph in the face of adversity, of courage, conviction and of the belief that with dedication and commitment a true artist can achieve anything. 

With a major Hollywood movie about her life currently due for release in May 2016 starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg, the genius of Florence Foster Jenkins is about to be discovered by a whole new audience."

Should you feel like investing in such a thing, links to your favourite online booksellers van be found here

Thanks for your time: I'll be back tomorrow with a proper blog post!


  1. Congratulations...I look forward to reading it.

  2. Congrats on the major accomplishment Darryl! One question-in your research, was there perhaps any mention of sheet music or transcriptions of McMoon's original compositions? I've always wondered if any copies exist.

    1. Thanks Jamie. No: I've found people who were pupils of McMoon, and references to people who performed his work but I'm afraid no evidence of any sheet music. Mark McMunn, his nephew, seems to have most of Cosme's effects and - outside of material written in Cosme's own hand - as far as I am aware there are no printed scores or other transcriptions.


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