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Robertson, William
Toronto, ECW Press, 1992.112pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 1-55022-158-2. (Canadian Biography series). CIP

Grades 9 and up/ages 14 and up

Reviewed by Jean Farquharson

Volume 21 Number 2
1993 March

k.d. lang startled the music world when she introduced herself in her "punk haircut, old-fashioned metal-frame glasses and cut-off cowboy boots with work socks rolled down around her ankles." Defying categorization in more than her sexual orientation, with supreme confidence and talent, she belted out songs with a "spontaneous combustion" that combined jazz, blues, rockabilly and country music. Never taking herself too seriously, she always promised a good time to herself and her audience.

How she became this hot star is ably described by William Robertson, concert and record reviewer, starting with lang's childhood in Consort, Alberta, a town of 650 souls, where she loved to perform before an audience. Robertson describes how lang's career progressed, with her true personality unfolding as her creative imagination expressed itself uniquely in the arts as she moved from Edmonton and Calgary to Toronto and Los Angeles, through the world of show biz. Robertson refers frequently to the five pages of source materials he has collected. He concludes by predicting lang's future as she moves away from country music to easy-listening jazz, always following her true feelings, not others' expectations. Seventeen black-and-white photos enhance the text, and a chronology outlines the major events in lang's life.

This title in the "Canadian Biography" series is recommended for students from grade 9 up, or for general readers seriously interested in popular music.

Jean Farquharson is a retired teacher-librarian in Paris, Ontario
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