Going way back to the Beverly Sills' books: who is the author of "Beverly Sills"; is that Kerby?
Sills' second memoir was entitled "Beverly" rather than "Beverly Sills" . It's subtitled "an autobiography" and the "with" writer is Lawrence Linderman.
Actually the two memoirs, very different in tone, nicely reflect the two personnas that Sills evidently had. I was a bit surprised, even shocked when "Beverly" was published. I never knew Sills except as a backstage fan and a follower in her operatic, concert, television, and also her many, many philanthropic efforts and the tone of "Bubbles" matched the person I had encountered. Sills was very generous with her time and helpful with young singers. And she was tireless in supporting the March of Dimes and other charities that dealt with birth defects, so close to home to her with both children being born with terrible genetic problems.
A close friend of mine asked her backstage at the opera for advise on pursuing a singing career and Sills was endlessly patient and generous
with her, giving her lots of very specific encouragement and suggestions. And one wonders how many, many times she ran into this same situation after singing a performance and greeting enthusiatic but time-consuming strangers in her dressing room.
I also recall a TV performance in the late 70s where Sills was doing a benefit performance (she did many, many of these) for a Midwestern music school. The young student playing the flute accompaniment to the piece Sills was singing was not really up to the level of expertise the piece required and could only get through the notes at a rather slow pace. Sills' carefully slowed down her own tempo and watched the young student carefully staying with her and smiling the whole time to encourage the young performer and not to undermine her confidence. Sills very warmly had the young flute player take all the bows with her.
And she made countless appearances on different TV shows during the 70s, almost always displaying the very charismatic, enthusiastic, charming person with a very generous sense of humor. I had heard her trademark hearty laugh many, many times myself backstage after her performances or when she was "visiting" the NYCO on her nights off.
So I was a bit surprised at the different side of the same person in "Beverly". But evidently that also accurately reflected another side of Sills, who after all was a Gemini. You didn't cross her professionally or try to cut her out of something she felt was her entitlement. In this situations she was tough and singeleminded. Ruthless could also probably be used accurately. And increasingly, as Sills got older, she had an ever greater need of public acknowledgement and attention. The repeated name dropping that crops up in "Beverly" became more and more pronounced as Sills acted as "host" on televised arts events. It was all progressively less and less about the performers she was interviewing and more, and more about her own career. Sadly, I cringed when she appeared on the tv screen, anticipating yet another rehash of "Beverly's" own triumphs rather the the unfortunate person who "thought" they were in the spotlight.
So to me, it's interesting to read both books. Which is the "real" person??? I think BOTH of them are.