Ella Fitzgerald – My Funny Valentine (High Quality – Remastered)
Benny Goodman & Ella Fitzgerald – Goodnight My Love (1937)
Manhattan – Ella Fitzgerald lyrics
Ella Fitzgerald – The Very Thought Of You (lyrics on screen)
Ella Fitzgerald- “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” 1957 (RITY Archives)
Ella Fitzgerald – Midnight Sun – LIVE 1958
Ella Fitzgerald in Copenhagen 1965
Ella Fitzgerald – Summertime (1968)
And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high
Oh, Your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry
One of these mornings
You’re going to rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll take to the sky
But ’til that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mammy
Don’t you cry
Ella Fitzgerald How High is the moon
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Summertime
Ella & Louis – Cheek to Cheek
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Stars Fell On Alabama (1956)
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Tenderly (Verve Records 1956)
E.Fitzgerald & L.Armstrong, Duets and more (full album)
Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love) by Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald – Mack The Knife (High Quality)
Ella Fitzgerald – Misty
Ella Fitzgerald and The Inkspots – Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall
Ella Fitzgerald – Hello Dolly (live)
Ella Fitzgerald – The Girl From Ipanema
Ella Fitzgerald – For Once In My Life (Live in Berlin 1968)
Ella Fitzgerald – Live At Ronnie Scott’s (!974)
ELLA FITZGERALD LIVE IN TOKYO (1983)
Ella Fitzgerald LIVE IN MILANO, ITALY 1984
Ella Fitzgerald – Night and Day (w/ lyrics)
Frank Sinatra – The Lady Is A Tramp ft. Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald – Blue Skies (High Quality – Remastered)
Ella Fitzgerald – Cry me a river
Ella Fitzgerald-How deep is the ocean?
Ella Fitzgerald “One Note Samba”
How High The Moon 1958
Ella Fitzgerald British TV 1961 Mr Paganini
Ella Fitzgerald – Round Midnight
Ella Fitzgerald The Man I love
Ella sings “Stormy Weather” with Joe Pass, Hannover 1975
Ella Fitzgerald – Sammy Davis Jr. 60th Anniversary Celebration (1990)
Karen Carpenter/Ella Fitzgerald medley, recorded for “Music,Music,Music
Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass – Once in a While
Ella Fitzgerald – My Heart Belongs to Daddy
Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald sing “My Heart Belongs To Daddy”
Marilyn Monroe And Ella Fitzgerald Sing LAZY Together
Marilyn Monroe Talking About Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra And Sammy Davis jr
The Best Of Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald – All the Best (FULL ALBUM)
Ella Fitzgerald Greatest hits playlist – Collection HD/HQ
Ella Fitzgerald Interview 1974 Brian Linehan’s City Lights
Ella Fitzgerald kicked off a plane because of her race: CBC Archives | CBC
What’s My Line? – Ella Fitzgerald
Kennedy Center Honors Ella Fitzgerald 1979
ELLA FITZGERALD RECEIVES THE PRESIDENT’S AWARD
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 1
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 2
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 3
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 4
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 5
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 6
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 7
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 8
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 9
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 10
ELLA FITZGERALD BIOGRAPHY PART 11
Fitzgerald in November 1946
|Born||Ella Jane Fitzgerald
April 25, 1917
Newport News, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||June 15, 1996 (aged 79)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Diabetes mellitus|
(m. 1941; annulled 1943)
(m. 1947; div. 1953)
|Children||Ray Brown Jr.|
Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazzsinger often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
After tumultuous teenage years, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country, but most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Fitzgerald’s rendition of the nursery rhyme “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. Taking over the band after Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start a solo career that would last effectively the rest of her life.
Signed with manager and Savoy co-founder Moe Gale from early in her career, she eventually gave managerial control for her performance and recording career to Norman Granz, who built up the label Verve Records based in part on Fitzgerald’s vocal abilities. With Verve she recorded some of her more widely noted works, particularly her interpretation of the Great American Songbook.
While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career. These partnerships produced recognizable songs like “Dream a Little Dream of Me“, “Cheek to Cheek“, “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall“, and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)“. In 1993, Fitzgerald capped off her sixty-year career with her last public performance. Three years later, she died at the age of 79, following years of decline in her health. After her passing, Fitzgerald’s influence lived on through her fourteen Grammy Awards, National Medal of Arts, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and tributes in the form of stamps, music festivals, and theater namesakes.
Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia, the daughter of William Fitzgerald and Temperance “Tempie” Fitzgerald. Her parents were unmarried but lived together for at least two and a half years after she was born. In the early 1920s Fitzgerald’s mother and her new partner, a Portuguese immigrant named Joseph Da Silva, moved to the city of Yonkers, in Westchester County, New York, as part of the first Great Migration of African Americans. Initially living in a single room, her mother and Da Silva soon found jobs. Her half-sister, Frances Da Silva, was born in 1923. By 1925, Fitzgerald and her family had moved to nearby School Street, then a predominantly poor Italian area. She began her formal education at the age of six and proved to be an outstanding student, moving through a variety of schools before attending Benjamin Franklin Junior High School from 1929.
Fitzgerald had been passionate about dancing from third grade, being a fan of Earl “Snakehips” Tucker in particular, and would perform for her peers on the way to school and at lunchtime. Fitzgerald and her family were Methodists and were active in the Bethany African Methodist Episcopal Church, and she regularly attended worship services, Bible study, and Sunday school. The church provided Fitzgerald with her earliest experiences in formal music making, and she may also have had a short series of piano lessons during this period.
During this period Fitzgerald listened to jazz recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and The Boswell Sisters. Fitzgerald idolized the Boswell Sisters’ lead singer Connee Boswell, later saying, “My mother brought home one of her records, and I fell in love with it….I tried so hard to sound just like her.”
In 1932, her mother died from serious injuries she received in a car accident  when Fitzgerald was 15 years of age. This left her at first in the care of her stepfather but before the end of April 1933, she had moved in with her aunt in Harlem.This seemingly swift change in her circumstances, reinforced by what Fitzgerald biographer Stuart Nicholson describes as rumors of her stepfather’s “ill treatment” of Fitzgerald, leaves him to speculate that Da Silva might have abused her.
Regardless, following these traumas, Fitzgerald began skipping school and letting her grades suffer. During this period she worked at times as a lookout at a bordello and with a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner. Ella Fitzgerald never talked publicly about this time in her life. When the authorities caught up with her, she was first placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale, Bronx. However, when the orphanage proved too crowded, she was moved to the New York Training School for Girls in Hudson, New York, a state reformatory located about 120 miles north of New York City. Eventually she escaped and for a time she was homeless.
While she seems to have survived during 1933 and 1934 in part from singing on the streets of Harlem, Fitzgerald made her most important amateur singing debut at age 17 on November 21, 1934, in one of the earliest of the famous Amateur Nights at the Apollo Theater. She had originally intended to go on stage and dance, but, intimidated by a local dance duo called the Edwards Sisters, she opted to sing instead. Performing in the style of Connee Boswell, she sang “Judy” and “The Object of My Affection” and won the first prize of $25.00. In theory, she also won the chance to perform at the Apollo for a week but, seemingly because of her disheveled appearance, the theater never gave her that part of her prize.
In January 1935 Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. Around this same time, she was introduced to the drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, who had asked his recently signed singer Charlie Linton to help find him a female singer. Though Webb was, as The New York Times later wrote, “reluctant to sign her….because she was gawky and unkempt, a ‘diamond in the rough,'” he offered her the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University.
Met with approval by both audiences and her fellow musicians, Fitzgerald was asked to join Webb’s orchestra and soon gained acclaim as part of the group’s renowned performances at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom. Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs with them, including “Love and Kisses” and “(If You Can’t Sing It) You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)“. But it was her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” a song she co-wrote, that brought her wide public acclaim. Later that year Ella recorded her second hit, “I Found My Yellow Basket.”
Webb died of spinal tuberculosis on June 16, 1939, and his band was renamed Ella and her Famous Orchestra, with Fitzgerald taking on the role of nominal bandleader. Fitzgerald recorded nearly 150 songs with Webb’s orchestra between 1935 and its final end in 1942. In her New York Times obituary of 1996, Stephen Holder echoed the conventional critical view of the time in describing “the majority” of her recordings during this period as “novelties and disposable pop fluff”. In addition to her work with Webb, Fitzgerald performed and recorded with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. She had her own side project, too, known as Ella Fitzgerald and Her Savoy Eight.
In 1942, Fitzgerald left the band to begin a solo career. Continuing under contract to the Decca label that she had worked with while part of Webb’s orchestra, she had several popular hits while recording with such artists as Bill Kenny & the Ink Spots, Louis Jordan, and the Delta Rhythm Boys.
With Decca’s Milt Gabler as her manager, Fitzgerald began working regularly for the jazz impresario Norman Granz and appeared regularly in his Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) concerts. Her relationship with Granz was further cemented when he became her manager, although it would be nearly a decade before he could record her on one of his many record labels.
With the demise of the Swing era and the decline of the great touring big bands, a major change in jazz music occurred. The advent of bebop led to new developments in Fitzgerald’s vocal style, influenced by her work with Dizzy Gillespie‘s big band. It was in this period that Fitzgerald started including scat singing as a major part of her performance repertoire. While singing with Gillespie, Fitzgerald recalled, “I just tried to do [with my voice] what I heard the horns in the band doing.”
Her 1945 scat recording of “Flying Home” arranged by Vic Schoen would later be described by The New York Times as “one of the most influential vocal jazz records of the decade….Where other singers, most notably Louis Armstrong, had tried similar improvisation, no one before Miss Fitzgerald employed the technique with such dazzling inventiveness.” Her bebop recording of “Oh, Lady Be Good!” (1947) was similarly popular and increased her reputation as one of the leading jazz vocalists.
Fitzgerald was still performing at Granz’s JATP concerts by 1955. She left Decca and Granz, now her manager, created Verve Records around her. She later described the period as strategically crucial, saying, “I had gotten to the point where I was only singing be-bop. I thought be-bop was ‘it’, and that all I had to do was go some place and sing bop. But it finally got to the point where I had no place to sing. I realized then that there was more to music than bop. Norman … felt that I should do other things, so he produced The Cole Porter Songbook with me. It was a turning point in my life.”
On March 15, 1955 Ella Fitzgerald opened her initial engagement at the Mocambo nightclub in Hollywood, after Marilyn Monroe lobbied the owner for the booking. The booking was instrumental in Fitzgerald’s career. Bonnie Greer dramatized the incident as the musical drama, Marilyn and Ella, in 2008. It had previously been widely reported that Fitzgerald was the first black performer to play the Mocambo, following Monroe’s intervention, but this is not true. African-American singers Herb Jeffries, Eartha Kitt, and Joyce Bryant all played the Mocambo in 1952 and 1953, according to stories published at the time in Jet magazine and Billboard.
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook, released in 1956, was the first of eight Songbook sets Fitzgerald would record for Verve at irregular intervals from 1956 to 1964. The composers and lyricists spotlighted on each set, taken together, represent the greatest part of the cultural canon known as the Great American Songbook. Her song selections ranged from standards to rarities and represented an attempt by Fitzgerald to cross over into a non-jazz audience. The sets are the most well-known items in her discography.
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book was the only Songbook on which the composer she interpreted played with her. Duke Ellington and his longtime collaborator Billy Strayhorn both appeared on exactly half the set’s 38 tracks and wrote two new pieces of music for the album: “The E and D Blues” and a four-movement musical portrait of Fitzgerald (the only Songbook track on which Fitzgerald does not sing). The Songbook series ended up becoming the singer’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work, and probably her most significant offering to American culture. The New York Times wrote in 1996, “These albums were among the first pop records to devote such serious attention to individual songwriters, and they were instrumental in establishing the pop album as a vehicle for serious musical exploration.”
Days after Fitzgerald’s death, The New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote that in the Songbook series Fitzgerald “performed a cultural transaction as extraordinary as Elvis‘ contemporaneous integration of white and African American soul. Here was a black woman popularizing urban songs often written by immigrant Jews to a national audience of predominantly white Christians.” Frank Sinatra, out of respect for Fitzgerald, prohibited Capitol Records from re-releasing his own recordings in separate albums for individual composers in the same way.
Fitzgerald also recorded albums exclusively devoted to the songs of Porter and Gershwin in 1972 and 1983; the albums being, respectively, Ella Loves Cole and Nice Work If You Can Get It. A later collection devoted to a single composer was released during her time with Pablo Records, Ella Abraça Jobim, featuring the songs of Antônio Carlos Jobim.
While recording the Songbooks and the occasional studio album, Fitzgerald toured 40 to 45 weeks per year in the United States and internationally, under the tutelage of Norman Granz. Granz helped solidify her position as one of the leading live jazz performers. In 1961 Fitzgerald bought a house in the Klampenborg district of Copenhagen, Denmark, after she began a relationship with a Danish man. Though the relationship ended after a year, Fitzgerald regularly returned to Denmark over the next three years, and even considered buying a jazz club there. The house was sold in 1963, and Fitzgerald permanently returned to the United States.
There are several live albums on Verve that are highly regarded by critics. Ella at the Opera House shows a typical JATP set from Fitzgerald. Ella in Rome and Twelve Nights in Hollywood display her vocal jazz canon. Ella in Berlin is still one of her best-selling albums; it includes a Grammy-winning performance of “Mack the Knife” in which she forgets the lyrics but improvises magnificently to compensate.
Verve Records was sold to MGM in 1963 for $3 million and in 1967 MGM failed to renew Fitzgerald’s contract. Over the next five years she flitted between Atlantic, Capitol and Reprise. Her material at this time represented a departure from her typical jazz repertoire. For Capitol she recorded Brighten the Corner, an album of hymns, Ella Fitzgerald’s Christmas, an album of traditional Christmas carols, Misty Blue, a country and western-influenced album, and 30 by Ella, a series of six medleys that fulfilled her obligations for the label. During this period, she had her last US chart single with a cover of Smokey Robinson‘s “Get Ready“, previously a hit for the Temptations, and some months later a top-five hit for Rare Earth.
The surprise success of the 1972 album Jazz at Santa Monica Civic ’72 led Granz to found Pablo Records, his first record label since the sale of Verve. Fitzgerald recorded some 20 albums for the label. Ella in London recorded live in 1974 with pianist Tommy Flanagan, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Keter Betts and drummer Bobby Durham, was considered by many to be some of her best work. The following year she again performed with Joe Pass on German television station NDR in Hamburg. Her years with Pablo Records also documented the decline in her voice. “She frequently used shorter, stabbing phrases, and her voice was harder, with a wider vibrato”, one biographer wrote. Plagued by health problems, Fitzgerald made her last recording in 1991 and her last public performances in 1993.
Film and television
In her most notable screen role, Fitzgerald played the part of singer Maggie Jackson in Jack Webb‘s 1955 jazz film Pete Kelly’s Blues. The film costarred Janet Leigh and singer Peggy Lee. Even though she had already worked in the movies (she had sung briefly in the 1942 Abbott and Costello film Ride ‘Em Cowboy), she was “delighted” when Norman Granz negotiated the role for her, and, “at the time….considered her role in the Warner Brothers movie the biggest thing ever to have happened to her.” Amid The New York Times pan of the film when it opened in August 1955, the reviewer wrote, “About five minutes (out of ninety-five) suggest the picture this might have been. Take the ingenious prologue … [or] take the fleeting scenes when the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald, allotted a few spoken lines, fills the screen and sound track with her strong mobile features and voice.”Fitzgerald’s race precluded major big-screen success. After Pete Kelly’s Blues, she appeared in sporadic movie cameos, in St. Louis Blues (1958), and Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960). Much later, she appeared in the 1980s television drama The White Shadow.
She made numerous guest appearances on television shows, singing on The Frank Sinatra Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, and alongside other greats Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Mel Tormé, and many others. She was also frequently featured on The Ed Sullivan Show. Perhaps her most unusual and intriguing performance was of the “Three Little Maids” song from Gilbert and Sullivan‘s comic operetta The Mikado alongside Joan Sutherland and Dinah Shore on Shore’s weekly variety series in 1963. A performance at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London was filmed and shown on the BBC. Fitzgerald also made a one-off appearance alongside Sarah Vaughan and Pearl Bailey on a 1979 television special honoring Bailey. In 1980, she performed a medley of standards in a duet with Karen Carpenter on the Carpenters’ television program Music, Music, Music.
Fitzgerald also appeared in TV commercials, her most memorable being an ad for Memorex. In the commercials, she sang a note that shattered a glass while being recorded on a Memorex cassette tape. The tape was played back and the recording also broke the glass, asking: “Is it live, or is it Memorex?” She also starred in a number of commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken, singing and scatting to the fast-food chain’s longtime slogan, “We do chicken right!” Her final commercial campaign was for American Express, in which she was photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
- From 1943 to 1950, Fitzgerald recorded seven songs with the Ink Spots featuring Bill Kenny. Out of all seven recordings, four reached the top of the pop charts including “I’m Making Believe” and “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall” which both reached #1.
- Fitzgerald recorded three Verve studio albums with Armstrong, two albums of standards (1956’s Ella and Louis and 1957’s Ella and Louis Again), and a third album featured music from the Gershwin musical Porgy and Bess. Fitzgerald also recorded a number of sides with Armstrong for Decca in the early 1950s.
- Fitzgerald is sometimes referred to as the quintessential swing singer, and her meetings with Count Basie are highly regarded by critics. Fitzgerald features on one track on Basie’s 1957 album One O’Clock Jump, while her 1963 album Ella and Basie! is remembered as one of her greatest recordings. With the ‘New Testament’ Basie band in full swing, and arrangements written by a young Quincy Jones, this album proved a respite from the ‘Songbook’ recordings and constant touring that Fitzgerald was engaged in during this period. Fitzgerald and Basie also collaborated on the 1972 album Jazz at Santa Monica Civic ’72, and on the 1979 albums Digital III at Montreux, A Classy Pair and A Perfect Match.
- Fitzgerald and Joe Pass recorded four albums together toward the end of Fitzgerald’s career. She recorded several albums with piano accompaniment, but a guitar proved the perfect melodic foil for her. Fitzgerald and Pass appeared together on the albums Take Love Easy (1973), Easy Living (1986), Speak Love (1983) and Fitzgerald and Pass… Again (1976).
- Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington recorded two live albums and two studio albums. Her Duke Ellington Songbook placed Ellington firmly in the canon known as the Great American Songbook, and the 1960s saw Fitzgerald and the ‘Duke’ meet on the Côte d’Azur for the 1966 album Ella and Duke at the Cote D’Azur, and in Sweden for The Stockholm Concert, 1966. Their 1965 album Ella at Duke’s Place is also extremely well received.
Fitzgerald had a number of famous jazz musicians and soloists as sidemen over her long career. The trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie, the guitarist Herb Ellis, and the pianists Tommy Flanagan, Oscar Peterson, Lou Levy, Paul Smith, Jimmy Rowles, and Ellis Larkins all worked with Ella mostly in live, small group settings.
Possibly Fitzgerald’s greatest unrealized collaboration (in terms of popular music) was a studio or live album with Frank Sinatra. The two appeared on the same stage only periodically over the years, in television specials in 1958 and 1959, and again on 1967’s A Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim, a show that also featured Antônio Carlos Jobim. Pianist Paul Smith has said, “Ella loved working with [Frank]. Sinatra gave her his dressing-room on A Man and His Music and couldn’t do enough for her.” When asked, Norman Granz would cite “complex contractual reasons” for the fact that the two artists never recorded together. Fitzgerald’s appearance with Sinatra and Count Basie in June 1974 for a series of concerts at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, was seen as an important incentive for Sinatra to return from his self-imposed retirement of the early 1970s. The shows were a great success, and September 1975 saw them gross $1,000,000 in two weeks on Broadway, in a triumvirate with the Count Basie Orchestra.
Later life and death
Fitzgerald had suffered from diabetes for several years of her later life, which had led to numerous complications. In 1985, Fitzgerald was hospitalized briefly for respiratory problems, in 1986 for congestive heart failure, and in 1990 for exhaustion. In March 1990 she appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England with the Count Basie Orchestra for the launch of Jazz FM, plus a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel at which she performed. In 1993, she had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee due to the effects of diabetes. Her eyesight was affected as well.
In 1996, tired of being in the hospital, she wished to spend her last days at home. Confined to a wheelchair, she spent her final days in her backyard of her Beverly Hills mansion on Whittier, with her son Ray and 12-year-old granddaughter, Alice. “I just want to smell the air, listen to the birds and hear Alice laugh,” she reportedly said. On her last day, she was wheeled outside one last time, and sat there for about an hour. When she was taken back in, she looked up with a soft smile on her face and said, “I’m ready to go now.” She died in her home on June 15, 1996 at the age of 79. A few hours after her death, the Playboy Jazz Festival was launched at the Hollywood Bowl. In tribute, the marquee read: “Ella We Will Miss You.” Her funeral was private, and she was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Fitzgerald married at least twice, and there is evidence that she may have married a third time. Her first marriage was in 1941, to Benny Kornegay, a convicted drug dealer and local dockworker. The marriage was annulled in 1942.
Her second marriage was in December 1947, to the famous bass player Ray Brown, whom she had met while on tour with Dizzy Gillespie’s band a year earlier. Together they adopted a child born to Fitzgerald’s half-sister, Frances, whom they christened Ray Brown, Jr. With Fitzgerald and Brown often busy touring and recording, the child was largely raised by his mother’s aunt, Virginia. Fitzgerald and Brown divorced in 1953, bowing to the various career pressures both were experiencing at the time, though they would continue to perform together.
In July 1957, Reuters reported that Fitzgerald had secretly married Thor Einar Larsen, a young Norwegian, in Oslo. She had even gone as far as furnishing an apartment in Oslo, but the affair was quickly forgotten when Larsen was sentenced to five months’ hard labor in Sweden for stealing money from a young woman to whom he had previously been engaged.
Fitzgerald was also notoriously shy. Trumpet player Mario Bauzá, who played behind Fitzgerald in her early years with Chick Webb, remembered that “she didn’t hang out much. When she got into the band, she was dedicated to her music….She was a lonely girl around New York, just kept herself to herself, for the gig.” When, later in her career, the Society of Singers named an award after her, Fitzgerald explained, “I don’t want to say the wrong thing, which I always do but I think I do better when I sing.”
Fitzgerald was a quiet but ardent supporter of many charities and non-profit organizations, including the American Heart Association and the City of Hope Medical Center. In 1993, she established the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.
Discography and collections
The primary collections of Fitzgerald’s media and memorabilia reside at and are shared between the Smithsonian Institution and the US Library of Congress 
Awards, citations and honors
In 1958 Fitzgerald was the first African American female to win at the inaugural show.
Other major awards and honors she received during her career were the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Medal of Honor Award, National Medal of Art, first Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award, named “Ella” in her honor, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement, UCLA Spring Sing, and the UCLA Medal (1987). Across town at the University of Southern California, she received the USC “Magnum Opus” Award which hangs in the office of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. In 1990, she received an honorary doctorate of Music from Harvard University.
Tributes and legacy
The career history and archival material from Ella’s long career are housed in the Archives Center at the Smithsonian‘s National Museum of American History, while her personal music arrangements are at the Library of Congress. Her extensive cookbook collection was donated to the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, and her extensive collection of published sheet music was donated to UCLA.
In 1997, Newport News, Virginia created a music festival with Christopher Newport University to honor Ella Fitzgerald in her birth city. Past performers at the week-long festival include: Diana Krall, Arturo Sandoval, Jean Carne, Phil Woods, Aretha Franklin, Victoria Wyndham, Charles Keating, Freda Payne, Cassandra Wilson, Ethel Ennis, David Sanborn, Jane Monheit, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ramsey Lewis, Patti Austin, Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Natalie Cole, Freddie Jackson, Joe Harnell, Roy Ayers and Ann Hampton Callaway.
Callaway, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Patti Austin have all recorded albums in tribute to Fitzgerald. Callaway’s album To Ella with Love (1996) features fourteen jazz standards made popular by Fitzgerald, and the album also features the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Bridgewater’s album Dear Ella (1997) featured many musicians that were closely associated with Fitzgerald during her career, including the pianist Lou Levy, the trumpeter Benny Powell, and Fitzgerald’s second husband, double bassist Ray Brown. Bridgewater’s following album, Live at Yoshi’s, was recorded live on April 25, 1998, what would have been Fitzgerald’s 81st birthday.
Austin’s album, For Ella (2002) features 11 songs most immediately associated with Fitzgerald, and a twelfth song, “Hearing Ella Sing” is Austin’s tribute to Fitzgerald. The album was nominated for a Grammy. In 2007, We All Love Ella, was released, a tribute album recorded for the 90th anniversary of Fitzgerald’s birth. It featured artists such as Michael Bublé, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Diana Krall, k.d. lang, Queen Latifah, Ledisi, Dianne Reeves, Linda Ronstadt, and Lizz Wright, collating songs most readily associated with the “First Lady of Song”. Folk singer Odetta‘s album To Ella (1998) is dedicated to Fitzgerald, but features no songs associated with her. Her accompanist Tommy Flanagan affectionately remembered Fitzgerald on his album Lady be Good … For Ella (1994).
“Ella, elle l’a“, a tribute to Fitzgerald written by Michel Berger and performed by French singer France Gall, was a hit in Europe in 1987 and 1988. Fitzgerald is also referred to in the 1976 Stevie Wonder hit “Sir Duke” from his album Songs in the Key of Life, and the song “I Love Being Here With You”, written by Peggy Lee and Bill Schluger. Sinatra’s 1986 recording of “Mack the Knife” from his album L.A. Is My Lady (1984) includes a homage to some of the song’s previous performers, including ‘Lady Ella’ herself. She is also honored in the song “First Lady” by Canadian artist Nikki Yanofsky.
In 2008, the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News named its brand new 276-seat theater the Ella Fitzgerald Theater. The theater is located several blocks away from her birthplace on Marshall Avenue. The Grand Opening performers (October 11 and 12, 2008) were Roberta Flack and Queen Esther Marrow.
There is a bronze sculpture of Fitzgerald in Yonkers, the city in which she grew up, created by American artist Vinnie Bagwell. It is located southeast of the main entrance to the Amtrak/Metro-North Railroad station in front of the city’s old trolley barn. A bust of Fitzgerald is on the campus of Chapman University in Orange, California. On January 9, 2007, the United States Postal Service announced that Fitzgerald would be honored with her own postage stamp. The stamp was released in April 2007 as part of the Postal Service’s Black Heritage series.
What is Wrong With Our Culture [Alan Watts] — Choice — Be The Change You Expect To See In The World — Videos
What is Wrong With Our Culture [Alan Watts]
Thought-provoking 5 minutes on the state of the world from the late, great Alan Watts, a man far ahead of his time.
Speech: Alan Watts – What is Wrong With Our Culture (AKA: Sex The Pleasurable Punishment)
Alan Watts – Choice
Alan Watts discusses choice and the thoughts process behind it. Our choices are fundamentally what shape our character, and more importantly our life as a whole.
What Do You Desire? Thought Provoking Motivation: By Alan Watts
Alan Watts breaks down what’s wrong with the world – Part 1 (1970)
UPDATE: Video now has full closed-caption (subtitles) in English. Allowing it to be viewed in many other languages through Google’s auto-translation captioning. Enjoy.
The very wise Alan Watts breaks down what’s wrong with the world at large, and does so back in 1970! His foreshadowing of the manipulation of the food supply through high yield crops is eery and so very true (i.e., Monsanto and their Ready Roundup crops).
He proposes a number of things we can do to change our attitudes towards life and the planet. I’m sorry to say he would be greatly disappointed if he were alive today, however we still have a chance to set things right and fulfill Watts’ dream of unity, peace, and love.
Alan Watts breaks down what’s wrong with the world – Part 2 (1970)
|Born||Alan Wilson Watts
6 January 1915
Chislehurst, Kent, England
|Died||16 November 1973 (aged 58)
Mt. Tamalpais, California, United States
|Nationality||British and American|
Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master’s degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.
Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion. He considered Nature, Man and Woman (1958) to be, “from a literary point of view — the best book I have ever written.” He also explored human consciousness, in the essay “The New Alchemy” (1958), and in the book The Joyous Cosmology (1962).
Towards the end of his life, he divided his time between a houseboat in Sausalito and a cabin on Mount Tamalpais. Many of his books are now available in digital format and many of his recorded talks and lectures are available on the Internet. According to the critic Erik Davis, his “writings and recorded talks still shimmer with a profound and galvanizing lucidity.”
Watts was born to middle class parents in the village of Chislehurst, Kent (now south-east London), in 1915, living at 3 (now 5) Holbrook Lane, which was subsequently lived in by author John Hemming-Clark in the early 2000s. Watts’ father, Laurence Wilson Watts, was a representative for the London office of the Michelin Tyre Company; his mother, Emily Mary Watts (née Buchan), was a housewife whose father had been a missionary. With modest financial means, they chose to live in pastoral surroundings and Alan, an only child, grew up playing at brookside, learning the names of wildflowers and butterflies. Probably because of the influence of his mother’s religious family the Buchans, an interest in “ultimate things” seeped in. But it mixed with Alan’s own interests in storybook fables and romantic tales of the mysterious Far East.
Watts also later wrote of a mystical dream he experienced while ill with a fever as a child. During this time he was influenced by Far Eastern landscape paintings and embroideries that had been given to his mother by missionaries returning from China. The few Chinese paintings Watts was able to see in England riveted him, and he wrote “I was aesthetically fascinated with a certain clarity, transparency, and spaciousness in Chinese and Japanese art. It seemed to float…”. These works of art emphasized the participatory relationship of man in nature, a theme that stood fast throughout his life, and one that he often writes about. See, for instance, the last chapter in The Way of Zen.
By his own assessment, Watts was imaginative, headstrong, and talkative. He was sent to boarding schools (which included both academic and religious training of the Muscular Christianity sort) from early years. Of this religious training, he remarked “Throughout my schooling my religious indoctrination was grim and maudlin…”
Watts spent several holidays in France in his teen years, accompanied by Francis Croshaw, a wealthy Epicurean with strong interests in both Buddhism and exotic little-known aspects of European culture. It was not long afterward that Watts felt forced to decide between the Anglican Christianity he had been exposed to and the Buddhism he had read about in various libraries, including Croshaw’s. He chose Buddhism, and sought membership in the London Buddhist Lodge, which had been established by Theosophists, and was now run by the barrister Christmas Humphreys. Watts became the organization’s secretary at 16 (1931). The young Watts explored several styles of meditation during these years.
Watts attended The King’s School, Canterbury next door to Canterbury Cathedral. Though he was frequently at the top of his classes scholastically and was given responsibilities at school, he botched an opportunity for a scholarship to Oxford by styling a crucial examination essay in a way that was read as presumptuous and capricious.
When he left secondary school, Watts worked in a printing house and later a bank. He spent his spare time involved with the Buddhist Lodge and also under the tutelage of a “rascal guru” named Dimitrije Mitrinović. (Mitrinović was himself influenced by Peter Demianovich Ouspensky, G. I. Gurdjieff, and the varied psychoanalytical schools of Freud, Jung and Adler.) Watts also read widely in philosophy, history, psychology, psychiatry and Eastern wisdom. By his own reckoning, and also by that of his biographer Monica Furlong, Watts was primarily an autodidact. His involvement with the Buddhist Lodge in London afforded Watts a considerable number of opportunities for personal growth. Through Humphreys, he contacted eminent spiritual authors (e.g. the artist, scholar, and mystic Nicholas Roerich, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, and prominent theosophists like Alice Bailey).
In 1936, aged 21, he attended the World Congress of Faiths at the University of London, heard D. T. Suzuki read a paper, and afterwards was able to meet this esteemed scholar of Zen Buddhism. Beyond these discussions and personal encounters, Watts absorbed, by studying the available scholarly literature, the fundamental concepts and terminology of the main philosophies of India and East Asia.
Influences and first publication
Watts’s fascination with the Zen (or Ch’an) tradition—beginning during the 1930s—developed because that tradition embodied the spiritual, interwoven with the practical, as exemplified in the subtitle of his Spirit of Zen: A Way of Life, Work, and Art in the Far East. “Work”, “life”, and “art” were not demoted due to a spiritual focus. In his writing, he referred to it as “the great Ch’an (or Zen) synthesis of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism after 700 CE in China.” Watts published his first book, The Spirit of Zen, in 1936. Two decades later, in The Way of Zen he disparaged The Spirit of Zen as a “popularisation of Suzuki‘s earlier works, and besides being very unscholarly it is in many respects out of date and misleading.”
Watts married Eleanor Everett, whose mother Ruth Fuller Everett was involved with a traditional Zen Buddhist circle in New York. Ruth Fuller later married the Zen master (or “roshi”), Sokei-an Sasaki, who served as a sort of model and mentor to Watts, though he chose not to enter into a formal Zen training relationship with Sasaki. During these years, according to his later writings, Watts had another mystical experience while on a walk with his wife. In 1938 Watts and his wife left England to live in the United States. Watts became a United States citizen in 1943.
Christian priest and after
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Watts left formal Zen training in New York because the method of the teacher did not suit him. He was not ordained as a Zen monk, but he felt a need to find a vocational outlet for his philosophical inclinations. He entered Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, an Episcopal (Anglican) school in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied Christian scriptures, theology, and church history. He attempted to work out a blend of contemporary Christian worship, mystical Christianity, and Asian philosophy. Watts was awarded a master’s degree in theology in response to his thesis, which he published as a popular edition under the title Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion. He later published Myth & Ritual in Christianity (1953), an eisegesis of traditional Roman Catholic doctrine and ritual in Buddhist terms. However, the pattern was set, in that Watts did not hide his dislike for religious outlooks that he decided were dour, guilt-ridden, or militantly proselytizing—no matter if they were found within Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism.
As recounted in his autobiography, Alan was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1945 (aged 30) and resigned the ministry by 1950, partly as a result of an extramarital affair which resulted in his wife having their marriage annulled, but also because he could no longer reconcile his Buddhist beliefs with the formal doctrine of the church. He spent the New Year getting to know Joseph Campbell and Campbell’s wife, Jean Erdman; as well as John Cage, the notable composer.
In early 1951, Watts moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco. Here he taught from 1951 to 1957 alongside Saburō Hasegawa (1906-1957), Frederic Spiegelberg, Haridas Chaudhuri, lama Tada Tōkan (1890-1967), and various visiting experts and professors. Hasegawa, in particular, served as a teacher to Watts in the areas of Japanese customs, arts, primitivism, and perceptions of nature. It was during this time he met the poet, Jean Burden whom he called an “important influence.” Alan placed a “cryptograph” crediting her in his book “Nature , Man and Woman” to which he alludes in his autobiography (P.297). Besides teaching, Watts served for several years as the Academy’s administrator. One notable student of his was Eugene Rose, who later went on to become a noted Orthodox Christian hieromonk and controversial theologian within the Orthodox Church in America under the jurisdiction of ROCOR. Rose’s own disciple, a fellow monastic priest published under the name Hieromonk Damascene, produced a book entitled Christ the Eternal Tao, in which the author draws parallels between the concept of the Tao in Chinese philosophy and the concept of the Logos in classical Greek philosophy and Eastern Christian theology.
Watts also studied written Chinese and practiced Chinese brush calligraphy with Hasegawa as well as with some of the Chinese students who enrolled at the academy. While Watts was noted for an interest in Zen Buddhism, his reading and discussions delved into Vedanta, “the new physics“, cybernetics, semantics, process philosophy, natural history, and the anthropology of sexuality.
After heading up the Academy for a few years, Watts left the faculty for a freelance career in the mid-1950s. In 1953, he began what became a long-running weekly radio program at Pacifica Radio station KPFA in Berkeley. Like other volunteer programmers at the listener-sponsored station, Watts was not paid for his broadcasts. These weekly broadcasts continued until 1962, by which time he had attracted a “legion of regular listeners”. Watts continued to give numerous talks and seminars, recordings of which were broadcast on KPFA and other radio stations during his life. These recordings are broadcast to this day. (For example, in 1970 Watts lectures were broadcast on Sunday mornings on San Francisco radio station KSAN; and in 2014 a number of radio stations continue to have an Alan Watts program in their weekly program schedules.) Original tapes of his broadcasts and talks are currently held by the Pacifica Radio Archives, based at KPFK in Los Angeles, and at the Electronic University archive founded by his son, Mark Watts.
In 1957 Watts, then 42, published one of his best known books, The Way of Zen, which focused on philosophical explication and history. Besides drawing on the lifestyle and philosophical background of Zen, in India and China, Watts introduced ideas drawn from general semantics (directly from the writings of Alfred Korzybski) and also from Norbert Wiener‘s early work on cybernetics, which had recently been published. Watts offered analogies from cybernetic principles possibly applicable to the Zen life. The book sold well, eventually becoming a modern classic, and helped widen his lecture circuit.
In the 1960s, Watts became increasingly interested in how identifiable patterns in nature tend to repeat themselves from the smallest of scales to the most immense. This became one of his passions in his research and thought.
Some of Watts’ writings published in 1958 (e.g., his book Nature, Man and Woman and his essay “The New Alchemy”) mentioned some of his early views on the use of psychedelic drugs for mystical insight. Watts had begun to experiment with psychedelics, initially with mescaline given to him by Oscar Janiger. He tried LSD several times in 1958, with various research teams led by Keith S. Ditman, Sterling Bunnell, Jr., and Michael Agron. He also tried marijuana and concluded that it was a useful and interesting psychoactive drug that gave the impression of time slowing down. Watts’s books of the ’60s reveal the influence of these chemical adventures on his outlook. He later said about psychedelic drug use, “If you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope, he goes away and works on what he has seen.”
For a time, Watts came to prefer writing in the language of modern science and psychology (Psychotherapy East and West is a good example),[tone] finding a parallel between mystical experiences and the theories of the material universe proposed by 20th-century physicists. He later equated mystical experience with ecological awareness, and typically emphasized whichever approach seemed best suited to the audience he was addressing.
Supporters and critics
Watts’s explorations and teaching brought him into contact with many noted intellectuals, artists, and American teachers in the human potential movement. His friendship with poet Gary Snyder nurtured his sympathies with the budding environmental movement, to which Watts gave philosophical support. He also encountered Robert Anton Wilson, who credited Watts with being one of his “Light[s] along the Way” in the opening appreciation of Cosmic Trigger. Werner Erhard attended workshops given by Alan Watts and said of him, “He pointed me toward what I now call the distinction between Self and Mind. After my encounter with Alan, the context in which I was working shifted.”
Though never affiliated for long with any one academic institution, he was Professor of Comparative Philosophy at the California Institute of Integral Studies (as mentioned above), had a fellowship at Harvard University (1962–64), and was a Scholar at San Jose State University (1968). He also lectured to many college and university students as well as the general public. His lectures and books gave him far-reaching influence on the American intelligentsia of the 1950s–1970s, but he was often seen as an outsider in academia. When questioned sharply by students during his talk at University of California, Santa Cruz in 1970, Watts responded, as he had from the early sixties, that he was not an academic philosopher but rather “a philosophical entertainer.”
Watts has been criticized by Buddhists such as Philip Kapleau and D. T. Suzuki for allegedly misinterpreting several key Zen Buddhist concepts. In particular, he drew criticism from those who believe that zazen must entail a strict and specific means of sitting, as opposed to a cultivated state of mind available at any moment in any situation. Typical of these is Kapleau’s claim that Watts dismissed zazen on the basis of only half a koan. In regard to the aforementioned koan, Robert Baker Aitken reports that Suzuki told him, “I regret to say that Mr. Watts did not understand that story.” In his talks, Watts addressed the issue of defining zazen practice by saying, “A cat sits until it is tired of sitting, then gets up, stretches, and walks away.”
Watts’s biographers saw him, after his stint as an Anglican priest, as representative of no religion but as a lone-wolf thinker and social rascal. In David Stuart’s warts-and-all biography of the man, Watts is seen as an unusually gifted speaker and writer driven by his own interests, enthusiasms, and demons. Elsa Gidlow, whom Alan called “sister” refused to be interviewed for this work but later painted a kinder picture of Alan’s life in her own autobiography, “Elsa, I Come With My Songs.”
However, Watts did have his supporters in the Zen community, including Shunryu Suzuki, the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center. As David Chadwick recounted in his biography of Suzuki, Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki, when a student of Suzuki’s disparaged Watts by saying “we used to think he was profound until we found the real thing”, Suzuki “fumed with a sudden intensity”, saying, “You completely miss the point about Alan Watts! You should notice what he has done. He is a great bodhisattva.”
Watts sometimes alluded to a group of neighbors in Druid Heights (near Mill Valley, California) who had endeavored to combine architecture, gardening, and carpentry skills to make a beautiful and comfortable life for themselves. These neighbors accomplished this by relying on their own talents and using their own hands, as they lived in what has been called “shared bohemian poverty”. Druid Heights was founded by the writer Elsa Gidlow, and Watts dedicated his book The Joyous Cosmology to the people of this neighborhood. He later dedicated his autobiography to Elsa Gidlow, for whom he held a great affection.
Regarding his intentions, Watts attempted to lessen the alienation that accompanies the experience of being human that he felt plagued the modern Westerner, and (like his fellow British expatriate and friend, Aldous Huxley) to lessen the ill will that was an unintentional by-product of alienation from the natural world. He felt such teaching could improve the world, at least to a degree. He also articulated the possibilities for greater incorporation of aesthetics (for example: better architecture, more art, more fine cuisine) in American life. In his autobiography he wrote, “… cultural renewal comes about when highly differentiated cultures mix”.
In his last novel, Island (1962), Aldous Huxley mentions the religious practice of maithuna as being something like what Roman Catholics call “coitus reservatus“. A few years before, Watts had discussed the theme in his own book, Nature, Man and Woman, in which he discusses the possibility of the practice being known to early Christians and of it being kept secretly by the Church.
In his writings of the 1950s, he conveyed his admiration for the practicality in the historical achievements of Chán (Zen) in the Far East, for it had fostered farmers, architects, builders, folk physicians, artists, and administrators among the monks who had lived in the monasteries of its lineages. In his mature work, he presents himself as “Zennist” in spirit as he wrote in his last book, Tao: The Watercourse Way. Child rearing, the arts, cuisine, education, law and freedom, architecture, sexuality, and the uses and abuses of technology were all of great interest to him. Though known for his Zen teachings, he was also influenced by ancient Hindu scriptures, especially Vedanta, and spoke extensively about the nature of the divine reality which Man misses: how the contradiction of opposites is the method of life and the means of cosmic and human evolution; how our fundamental Ignorance is rooted in the exclusive nature of mind and ego; how to come in touch with the Field of Consciousness and Light, and other cosmic principles. These are discussed in great detail in dozens of hours of audio that are in part captured in the ‘Out of Your Mind’ series.
Watts sought to resolve his feelings of alienation from the institutions of marriage and the values of American society, as revealed in his classic comments on love relationships in “Divine Madness” and on perception of the organism-environment in “The Philosophy of Nature”. In looking at social issues he was quite concerned with the necessity for international peace, for tolerance and understanding among disparate cultures. He also came to feel acutely conscious of a growing ecological predicament; writing, for example, in the early 1960s: “Can any melting or burning imaginable get rid of these ever-rising mountains of ruin—especially when the things we make and build are beginning to look more and more like rubbish even before they are thrown away?” These concerns were later expressed in a television pilot made for NET (National Educational Television) filmed at his mountain retreat in 1971 in which he noted that the single track of conscious attention was wholly inadequate for interactions with a multi-tracked world.
Watts disliked much in the conventional idea of “progress”. He hoped for change, but he preferred amiable, semi-isolated rural social enclaves, and also believed in tolerance for social misfits and eccentric artists. Watts decried the suburbanization of the countryside and the way of life that went with it. In one campus lecture tour, which Watts titled “The End to the Put-Down of Man”, Watts presented positive images for both nature and humanity, spoke in favor of the various stages of human development (including the teenage years), reproached excessive cynicism and rivalry, and extolled intelligent creativity, good architecture and food.
In regards to his ethical outlook, Watts felt that absolute morality had nothing to do with the fundamental realization of one’s deep spiritual identity. He advocated social rather than personal ethics. In his writings, Watts was increasingly concerned with ethics applied to relations between humanity and the natural environment and between governments and citizens. He wrote out of an appreciation of a racially and culturally diverse social landscape.
He often said that he wished to act as a bridge between the ancient and the modern, between East and West, and between culture and nature.
In several of his later publications, especially Beyond Theology and The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Watts put forward a worldview, drawing on Hinduism, Chinese philosophy, pantheism or panentheism, and modern science, in which he maintains that the whole universe consists of a cosmic Self playing hide-and-seek (Lila); hiding from itself (Maya) by becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe and forgetting what it really is – the upshot being that we are all IT in disguise. In this worldview, Watts asserts that our conception of ourselves as an “ego in a bag of skin,” or “skin-encapsulated ego” is a myth; the entities we call the separate “things” are merely aspects or features of the whole.
Watts’ books frequently include discussions reflecting his keen interest in patterns that occur in nature and which are repeated in various ways and at a wide range of scales – including the patterns to be discerned in the history of civilizations.
In October 1973, Watts returned from a European lecture tour to his cabin in Druid Heights. Friends of Watts had been concerned about him for some time over what they considered his excessive drinking of alcohol. On 16 November 1973, he died in his sleep. He was reported to have been under treatment for a heart condition. His body was cremated shortly thereafter. His ashes were split with half buried near his library at Druid Heights and half at the Green Gulch Monastery.
Watts married three times and had seven children (five daughters and two sons). Watts met Eleanor Everett in 1936, when her mother, Ruth Fuller Everett, brought her to London to study piano. They met at the Buddhist Lodge, were engaged the following year and married in April 1938. A daughter, Joan, was born in November 1938 and another, Anne, was born in 1942. Their marriage ended in 1949, but Watts continued to correspond with his former mother-in-law.
Jean Burden, his lover and the inspiration for Nature, Man and Woman, remained in his thoughts to the end of his life.
In 1950, Watts married Dorothy DeWitt and moved to San Francisco in early 1951 to teach. They began a family that grew to include five children: Tia, Mark, Richard, Lila, and Diane. The couple separated in the early 1960s after Watts met Mary Jane Yates King while lecturing in New York. After a difficult divorce he married King in 1964. Watts lived with Mary Jane in Sausalito, California, in the mid-1960s. He divided his later years between a houseboat in Sausalito called the Vallejo,and a secluded cabin in Druid Heights, on the southwest flank of Mount Tamalpais north of San Francisco, California.
Watts’ eldest daughters, Joan Watts and Anne Watts, own and manage most of the copyrights to his books. His son, Mark Watts, serves as curator of his father’s audio, video and film and has published content of some of his spoken lectures in print format.
(ISBN’s for titles originally published prior to 1974 are for reprint editions)
- 1932 An Outline of Zen Buddhism, The Golden Vista Press (32 page pamphlet)
- 1936 The Spirit of Zen: A Way of Life, Work and Art in the Far East, E.P. Dutton ISBN 0-8021-3056-9
- 1937 The Legacy of Asia and Western Man, University of Chicago Press
- 1940 The Meaning of Happiness. (reprinted, Harper & Row, 1979, ISBN 0-06-080178-6)
- 1944 Theologia Mystica: Being the Treatise of Saint Dionysius, Pseudo-Areopagite, on Mystical Theology, Together with the First and Fifth Epistles, West Park, New York: Holy Cross Press
- 1947 Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71761-9
- 1950 Easter: Its Story and Meaning New York: Schuman
- 1950 The Supreme Identity: An Essay on Oriental Metaphysic and the Christian Religion, Noonday Press/Farrar, Straus & Giroux ISBN 0-394-71835-6
- 1951 The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety. Pantheon Books. 1951. ISBN 0-394-70468-1.
- 1953 Myth and Ritual in Christianity, Thames and Hudson, ISBN 0-8070-1375-7, including essay “God and Satan”
- 1957 The Way of Zen. Pantheon Books. 1957. ISBN 0-375-70510-4.
- 1958 Nature, Man and Woman, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-679-73233-0
- 1959 Beat Zen Square Zen and Zen, San Francisco: City Lights Books, ASIN B000F2RQL4
- 1960 This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71904-2
- 1961 Psychotherapy East and West, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71609-4
- 1962 The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness, Pantheon Books
- 1963 The Two Hands of God: The Myths of Polarity, George Braziller
- 1964 Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71923-9
- 1966 The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. Pantheon Books. 1966. ISBN 0-679-72300-5.
- 1967 Nonsense, illustrations by Greg Irons (a collection of literary nonsense), San Francisco: Stolen Paper Editions
- 1970 Does It Matter?: Essays on Man’s Relation to Materiality, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-394-71665-5
- 1971 The Temple of Konarak: Erotic Spirituality, with photographs by Eliot Elisofon, London: Thames and Hudson. Also published as Erotic Spirituality: The Vision of Konarak, New York: Macmillan
- 1972 The Art of Contemplation: A Facsimile Manuscript with Doodles, Pantheon Books
- In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915–1965. Pantheon Books. 1972. ISBN 9781577315841., Vintage Books pocket edition 1973, ISBN 0-394-71951-4, New World Library edition, 2007, ISBN 1-57731-584-7
- 1973 Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown: A Mountain Journal, Pantheon Books. Also published in Canada in 1974 by Jonathan Cape, ISBN 0224009729. ISBN 0-394-71999-9
- 1974 The Essence of Alan Watts, ed. Mary Jane Watts, Celestial Arts
- 1975 Tao: The Watercourse Way, with Chungliang Al Huang, Pantheon
- 1976 Essential Alan Watts, ed. Mark Watts,
- 1978 Uncarved Block, Unbleached Silk: The Mystery of Life
- 1979 Om: Creative Meditations, ed. Mark Watts
- 1982 Play to Live, ed. Mark Watts
- 1983 Way of Liberation: Essays and Lectures on the Transformation of the Self, ed. Mark Watts
- 1985 Out of the Trap, ed. Mark Watts
- 1986 Diamond Web, ed. Mark Watts
- 1987 The Early Writings of Alan Watts, ed. John Snelling, Dennis T. Sibley, and Mark Watts
- 1990 The Modern Mystic: A New Collection of the Early Writings of Alan Watts, ed. John Snelling and Mark Watts
- 1994 Talking Zen, ed. Mark Watts
- 1995 Become What You Are, Shambhala, expanded ed. 2003. ISBN 1-57062-940-4
- 1995 Buddhism: The Religion of No-Religion, ed. Mark Watts A preview from Google Books
- 1995 The Philosophies of Asia, ed. Mark Watts
- 1995 The Tao of Philosophy, ed. Mark Watts, edited transcripts, Tuttle Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-8048-3204-8
- 1996 Myth and Religion, ed. Mark Watts
- 1997 Taoism: Way Beyond Seeking, ed. Mark Watts
- 1997 Zen and the Beat Way, ed. Mark Watts
- 1998 Culture of Counterculture, ed. Mark Watts
- 1999 Buddhism: The Religion of No-Religion, ed. Mark Watts, edited transcripts, Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3203-X
- 2000 What Is Zen?, ed. Mark Watts, New World Library. ISBN 0-394-71951-4 A preview from Google Books
- 2000 What Is Tao?, ed. Mark Watts, New World Library. ISBN 1-57731-168-X
- 2000 Still the Mind: An Introduction to Meditation, ed. Mark Watts, New World Library. ISBN 1-57731-214-7
- 2000 Eastern Wisdom, ed. Mark Watts, MJF Books. ISBN 1-56731-491-0, three books in one volume: What is Zen?, What is Tao?, and An Introduction to Meditation (Still the Mind). Assembled from transcriptions of audio tape recordings made by his son Mark, of lectures and seminars given by Alan Watts during the last decade of his life.
- 2002 Zen, the Supreme Experience: The Newly Discovered Scripts, ed. Mark Watts, Vega
- 2006 Eastern Wisdom, Modern Life: Collected Talks, 1960–1969, New World Library
Audio and video works, essays
Including recordings of lectures at major universities and multi-session seminars.
- 1960 Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life, television series, Season 1 (1959) and Season 2 (1960)
- 1960 Essential Lectures
- 1960 Nature of Consciousness (here)
- 1960 The Value of Psychotic Experience
- 1960 The World As Emptiness
- 1960 From Time to Eternity
- 1960 Lecture On Zen
- 1960 The Cross of Cards
- 1960 Taoism
- 1962 This Is It – Alan Watts and friends in a spontaneous musical happening (Long playing album – MEA LP 1007)
- 1968 Psychedelics & Religious Experience, in California Law Review (here)
- 1969 Why Not Now: The Art of Meditation
- 1971 A Conversation With Myself: on YouTube, on YouTube, on YouTube, on YouTube
- 1972 The Art of Contemplation, Village Press
- 1972 The Way of Liberation in Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts Journal, vol. 2, nr 1
- 1994 Zen: The Best of Alan Watts (VHS)
- 2004 Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives, Sounds True, Inc. Unabridged edition,
- 2005 Do You Do It, or Does It Do You?: How to let the universe meditate you (CD)
- 2007 Zen Meditations with Alan Watts, DVD (here)
- 2013 What If Money Was No Object? (3 minutes) on YouTube
- Furlong, Monica 1986 Genuine Fake: a Biography of Alan Watts. Heinemann. (or titled Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts as published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, ISBN 0-395-45392-5)
- Lhermite, Pierre 1983 Alan Watts, Taoïste d’Occident, éd. La Table Ronde.
- Stuart, David 1976 (pseudonym for Edwin Palmer Hoyt, Jr.) Alan Watts: The Rise and Decline of the Ordained Shaman of the Counterculture. Chilton Book Co, Pa.
In popular culture
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- Watt’s appears in two books written by Jack Kerouac. Due to the objections of his publishers, Kerouac was not permitted to use the real names of the people featured in his books. Therefore, Watt’s appears as Arthur Whane in the book The Dharma Bums and Alex Aums in Desolation Angels.
- Watts’ talks inspired Van Morrison to write the song “Alan Watts Blues” for his 1987 album Poetic Champions Compose.
- Psytrance artist Mekkanikka features samples of Watts describing the Chinese conception of nature, as that which proceeds involuntarily and in essence uncontrollably, throughout the 2006 song “Let Go”.
- The math rock band Giraffes? Giraffes! sample Watts in their song “I Am S/H(im)e[r] As You Am S/H(im)e[r] As You Are Me And We Am I And I Are All Our Together: Our Collective Consciousness’ Psychogenic Fugue”, off of their 2007 album “More Skin With Milk-Mouth”.
- Samples from lectures by Alan Watts are featured in the intros or endings of several of STRFKR songs, including 2008’s “Florida”, “Isabella of Castile”; 2009’s “Medicine”; 2010’s “Pistol Pete”; 2011’s “Mystery Cloud”, “Hungry Ghost” and “Quality Time”, and in their 2016 album ‘Being No One, Going Nowhere‘ on the song “Interspace”.
- Ott features samples of Alan Watts lectures in his 2011 album Mir, on the first track, “One Day I Wish to Have This Kind of Time”.
- The artist Will Cady included samples of Watts’ lecture “The Dream of Life” in a 2013 single “What Fills The Gap”.
- Around 2013, many Chillstep producers began sampling Alan Watts’ recorded speeches in their music, resulting in what is called Philosophystep.
- Nothing More‘s 2014 self-titled album has passages from Watts’s lectures incorporated into the background of two songs. Both Gyre and Pyre consist of instrumentals with Watts’ quotes used over the music.
- The progressive metal band The Contortionist features a sample of Alan Watts at the end of their 2014 album Language.
- In 2015, Logic sampled the “What Do I Desire (What If Money Was No Object)” lecture on his 2015 album The Incredible True Story in the title song. Watt’s lecture concludes the album before it transitions to an audio cut-scene consistent with the rest of the album.
- A sample of Watt’s lecture “The Spectrum of Love” begins the song “Intro/Spectrum” by the band HÆLOS on their 2016 album Full Circle
- The metalcore band Architects released an album in 2016 entitled All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, which includes Watts’ “The Mercy of Nature” quotes in the song Memento Mori.
- Sound Tribe Sector 9 features samples of Alan Watts in their live performances of the songs “World Go Round” and “Totem”.
- The 2013 film Her features Watts as an artificially intelligent operating system, portrayed by Brian Cox.
- The 2014 Red Bull Media House/Matchstick Productions skiing documentary Days Of My Youth uses Watts’ spoken word in a number of sequences through the film.
- In recent years[when?], portions of Watts’ lectures have been popularized by a series of animated internet videos.
- In the 2007-09 US-aired NBC TV series Life, Damian Lewis’ character often listens to Alan Watts’ recordings in his car and their significance as woven into the plot.
- James Craig Holte The Conversion Experience in America: A ‘Sourcebook on American Religious Conversion Autobiography page 199
- Watts, Alan W. (1973). In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915–1965. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 280.
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- Watts, Alan W. 1973, Part 1
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- “Alan Wilson Watts”. Encyclopedia of World Biography.
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- Ropp, Robert S. de 1995, 2002 Warrior’s Way: a Twentieth Century Odyssey. Nevada City, CA: Gateways, pp. 333-334.
- The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness (the quote is new to the 1965/1970 edition (page 26), and not contained in the original 1962 edition of the book).
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- Aitken, Robert. Original Dwelling Place. Counterpoint. Washington, D.C. 1997. ISBN 1-887178-41-4 (paperback)
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- Furlong, Monica, Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts Houghton Mifflin. New York. 1986 ISBN 0-395-45392-5, Skylight Paths 2001 edition of the biography, with new foreword by author: ISBN 1-893361-32-2
- Gidlow, Elsa, “Elsa:I Come With My Songs”. Bootlegger Press and Druid Heights Books, San Francisco. 1986.
- Kapleau, Philip. Three Pillars of Zen (1967) Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-5975-7
- Stirling, Isabel. Zen Pioneer: The Life & Works of Ruth Fuller Sasak, Shoemaker & Hoard. 2006. ISBN 978-1-59376-110-3
- Watts, Alan, In My Own Way. New York. Random House Pantheon. 1973 ISBN 0-394-46911-9 (his autobiography)
|Library resources about
|By Alan Watts|
- Clark, David K. The Pantheism of Alan Watts. Downers Grove, Ill. Inter-Varsity Press. 1978. ISBN 0-87784-724-X
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Alan Watts|
- AlanWatts.org run by Watts’ son Mark, who has produced a documentary about his father’s life called Why Not Now?
- Why Not Now? film trailer
- Alan Watts Mountain Center north of San Francisco
- Alan Watts Electronic University – Alan Watts’ audio and video courses, co-founded by Alan Watts, Mark Watts, and Henry Jacobs in 1973.
- Alan Watts Podcast – the official podcast
- Master Enlightenments Arts Seminars and Lectures by Alan Watts – looking at many different forms of enlightenment; recorded by Henry Jacobs in 1964/65.
- Alan Watts Online – Project Unicorn (also Archived 31 October 2004 at the Wayback Machine.)
- Works by or about Alan Watts in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Watts essay on Nothingness (This link no longer functions, but is available at“Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 31 August 2008. Retrieved 2013-03-10. .)
- Alan Watts Lectures and Essays audio, video, essays, and articles – resources from deoxy.org
- Alan Watts’ This Is It: The First Psychedelic LP essay by Patrick Lundborg
- Alan Watts Resource Compilation audio and video links of his lectures and essays
- “Alan Watts on YouTube, South Park”. Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 2009-09-09.interview with Mark Watts on the resurgence of his father’s work
- “What if money was no object?” interpretation of Watts’ lecture at ZenPencils.com
- Alan Watts on Cuke.com
- Alan Watts page on Facebook public discussion group
Harvey Molotch –Introduction to Sociology – Culture and Ethnocentrism – New York University — Videos
Introduction to Sociology – Culture and Ethnocentrism – Part 1
Introduction to Sociology – Culture and Ethnocentrism – Part 2
Harvey Luskin Molotch (born January 3, 1940) is an American sociologist known for studies that have reconceptualized power relations in interaction, the mass media, and the city. He helped create the field of environmental sociology and has advanced qualitative methods in the social sciences. In recent years, Molotch helped develop a new field—the sociology of objects. He is currently a professor of Sociology and of Metropolitan Studies at New York University. His Introduction to Sociology is featured as one of NYU Open Education’s courses available to stream freely. Other courses that he teaches include Approaches to Metropolitan Studies and Urban Objects. He is also affiliated with the graduate program in Humanities and Social Thought.
Molotch was born Harvey Luskin in Baltimore, Maryland, where his family was in the retail car business on one side and the Luskin’s home appliance business on the other. His father, Paul Luskin, died in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 during World War II. His mother remarried to Nathan Molotch. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan (1963), with a thesis on John Dewey. He received an M.A. (1966) and Ph.D. (1968) in Sociology from the University of Chicago. He served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Maryland and Virginia, 1961-62.
He taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1967 to 2003. He has also been a visiting professor at Stony Brook University, the University of Essex, and Northwestern University. In 1998-99 he was Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics.
His 1964 marriage to Linda Molotch ended with her death, by car accident, in 1976. The couple had two children, Shana (born 1969), now with two children and living in Northern California and Noah (born 1972), now with two children and living in Boulder Colorado where he is on faculty at University of Colorado as hydrological scientist, as well as research scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Molotch has lived with his domestic partner, Glenn Wharton, a conservator at the Museum of Modern Art and faculty member at New York University, since 1979.
Racial Segregation: Rethinking “White Flight”
Molotch’s early work on “white flight” overturned conventional wisdom on neighborhood change, showing that normal mobility makes neighborhood racial change possible. When blacks constitute the bulk of those who move into the vacancies that result, racial change is made inevitable. The implication of this finding, based on Molotch’s systematic studies of matched neighborhoods (and since replicated by others on large data sets), was that it is the reluctance of whites to move into a changing neighborhood that makes racial integration so difficult to achieve. From a policy perspective, Molotch concluded that while stabilizing neighborhoods would not be easy,the focus needs to be on getting white people to replace the whites who are leaving, rather than talking people who are leaving into staying.
The Santa Barbara Oil Spill and Environmental Sociology
On January 28, 1969, there was a massive eruption of crude oil from Union Oil’s Platform A in the Santa Barbara Channel–an eruption which was to cover much of the coast line of two counties with oil. Molotch saw in this disaster a research opportunity. His article “Oil in Santa Barbara and Power in America” became a founding document of the new field of environmental sociology, and a key contribution to political sociology.
Molotch argued that accident research at the local level might be capable of revealing what political scientists called the “second face of power.” This is a dimension of power ordinarily ignored by traditional community studies which fail to concern themselves with the processes by which bias is mobilized and thus how issues rise and fall.
Molotch’s findings highlighted the extraordinary intransigence of national institutions in the face of local dissent, but more importantly, pointed out the processes and tactics which undermine that dissent and frustrate and radicalize the dissenters. Molotch called for comparable studies of the agriculture industry, the banking industry, and for more accident research at the local level, which might bring to light the larger social arrangements which structure the parameters of such local debate. In this way, research at the local level might serve as an avenue to knowledge about national power. Molotch ended, “Sociologists should be ready when an accident hits in their neighborhood, and then go to work.”
The Mass Media and the Social Construction Framework
Molotch helped introduce the social construction framework to the study of news media. Whereas news accounts had been treated, however critically, as “failed” representations of a presumed reality, Molotch and Marilyn Lester held that every account is a product of the social organization that goes into its production. In founding papers in the sociology of the mass media, Molotch and Lester applied the insights of ethnomethodology to the Santa Barbara oil spill and the way it was covered. They argued for an approach to the mass media which does not look for reality, but for practices of those having the power to determine the experience of others.
In addition, Molotch and Lester recognized that this social construction of the news had a crucial political component, a perspective later endorsed by such media sociologists as W. Lance Bennett. In normal times, Molotch and Lester said, the news is merely the ritualized presentation of the stories of powerful corporate and governmental organizations. Only in certain contexts does the veil of this ruling elite consensus get pushed aside to reveal other possible constructions of the facts. Molotch and Lester pointed to such disruptive contexts as scandals and accidents like the Santa Barbara Oil Spill, while Bennett pointed to significant social issues that break through the normally ritualized conflicts of the two political parties.
Molotch’s work has inspired studies of the social construction of news, of the particular ways that the content of presentation is contingent on the social setting of its production, including the occupational workplace of news professionals as well as the larger societal setting. His more recent work on mass media has included studies of war protest and the stock market.
The City as a Growth Machine
Molotch is probably best known for his book Urban Fortunes (1987, with John Logan), which won sociology’s most prestigious prize for scholarship in 1990. Urban Fortunes builds on Molotch’s 1976 classic paper, “The City as a Growth Machine.” In this body of work, Molotch took the dominant convention of studying urban land use and turned it on its head. The field of urban sociology (as well as urban geography, planning, and economics) was dominated by the idea that cities were basically containers for human action, in which actors competed among themselves for the most strategic parcels of land, and the real estate market reflected the state of that competition. Out of this competition were thought to come the shape of the city and the distribution of social types within it (e.g. banks in the center, affluent residents in the suburbs). Long established notions such as central place theory and the sectoral hypothesis were claims that are more or less “natural” spatial geography evolved from competitive market activity.
Molotch helped reverse the course of urban theory by pointing out that land parcels were not empty fields awaiting human action, but were associated with specific interests—commercial, sentimental, and psychological. Especially important in shaping cities were the real estate interests of those whose properties gain value when growth takes place. These actors make up what Molotch termed “the local growth machine” — a term now standard in the urban studies lexicon. From this perspective, cities need to be studied (and compared) in terms of the organization, lobbying, manipulating, and structuring carried out by these actors. The outcome—the shape of cities and the distribution of their peoples—is thus not due to an interpersonal market or geographic necessities, but to social actions, including opportunistic dealing. Urban Fortunes has influenced hundreds of national and international studies. A twentieth anniversary edition was issued by the University of California Press in 2007 with a new preface.
Molotch has also conducted a series of studies in conversation analysis on mechanisms such as gaps and silences in human conversation that reveal the way power operates at the micro-interactional level. This work includes a notable collaboration with Mitchell Duneier on talk between men on the street and women passersby. His research builds on writings of Don Zimmerman, Harvey Sacks, Gail Jefferson, and Emanuel Schegloff. Molotch was among the first to utilize ethnomethodology and conversation analysis in the study of traditional sociological topics, bridging what had been regarded as a highly esoteric and specialized approach to micro-sociology with mainstream, macro-level sociological issues such as hegemony and power.
More recently in Where Stuff Comes From, Molotch builds on the work of Howard S. Becker and Bruno Latour, to show how objects and physical artifacts are joint result of various types of actors, most particularly product designers operating within frameworks of technology, regulation, mass tastes, and corporate profits. While neo-Marxists and others have treated “commodity fetishism” as a signal of oppression, repression, and delusion, he uses goods to understand, in a more comprehensive way, just what makes production happen and how artifacts reveal larger social and cultural forces.
Honors and awards
- Fred Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award, Section on Environment and Technology, American Sociological Association (2009)
- Lifetime Career Achievement in Urban and Community Scholarship, American Sociological Association Urban and Community Studies Section (2003)
- ASA Journal Article of the Year in Political Sociology (2001)
- Robert E. Park Award of the American Sociological Association (1988) (Urban Fortunes)
- Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award of the American Sociological Association (1990) (Urban Fortunes)
- Scholar in Residence, Russell Sage Foundation, 2008-2009.
- Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA (2000)
- Resident Fellow, Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Center, Como Italy (1999)
- Stice Lecturer in the Social Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle (1996)
- Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Lund, Sweden (1995)
- Toilet: The Public Restroom and the Politics of Sharing. [co-edited with Laura Noren] New York: New York University Press (2010).
- Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come to Be as They Are. New York and London: Routledge (2003).
- Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place. (With John Logan.) Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 1987.
- “The City as a Growth Machine: Toward a Political Economy of Place.” The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 82, No. 2 (Sep., 1976), pp. 309–332.
- “News as Purposive Behavior: On the Strategic Use of Routine Events, Accidents, and Scandals,” American Sociological Review, Vol 39, No. 1 (Feb., 1974), pp. 101–112.
- Managed Integration: Dilemmas of Doing Good in the City. Berkeley: University of California Press (1972).
Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis , Sociology
Ph.D. 1968 (Sociology), M.A. 1966 (Sociology), University of Chicago; B.A. 1963 (Philosophy), University of Michigan.
295 Lafayette Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10012
Areas of Research/Interest:
Urban development and political economy; the sociology of architecture, design, and consumption; environmental degradation; mechanisms of interactional inequalities.
PROSE Award (American Association of Publishers, 2012), Best book in sociology and social work, for Against Security.
Fred Buttel Distinguished Career Contribution to Sociology of Environment and Technology, (ASA Section on Environment and Technology).
Mirra Komarovsky Book Prize, for Where Stuff Comes From, Eastern Sociological Society, 2004.
Helen and Robert Lynd Award for Distinguished Career Achievement in Urban and Community Studies (2003).
Award for Distinguished Contribution to Sociological Scholarship (with John Logan) American Sociological Association (for Urban Fortunes, 1990).
Robert Park Award, Book of the Year in Urban and Community Studies (with John Logan) for Urban Fortunes, (1988).
2001 ASA Outstanding Journal Article of the Year in Political Sociology; Honorable mention, Robert Park Journal Paper Award, Urban and Community Studies Section, American Sociological Association (2000); Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA (2000); Resident Fellow, Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Center, Como Italy (1999); Stice Lecturer in the Social Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle (1996); Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Lund, Sweden (1995); Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contribution to Sociology, American Sociological Association (1990).
Against Security: How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger. Princeton University Press, 2012; Paperback edition, 2014.
Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing (edited with Laura Noren). New York University Press, Fall 2010.
Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come to Be as They Are. New York and London: Routledge, 2003.
“History Repeats Itself, but How?: City Character, Urban Tradition, and the Accomplishment of Place.” (with William Freudenburg and Krista Paulsen), American Sociological Review, vol. 65 (December: 791-823) 2000.
Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place (with John Logan). Berkeley and Los Angeles:University of California Press. 1987.