Patty Farmer: Playboy Swings

So, first Playboy announces that they are discontinuing putting nude pictures in their magazine. Now, author Patty Farmer puts out a book chronicling Hugh Hefner’s commitment to jazz. What’s next, Barbi Benton singing at the Blue Whale?

Truth be told, Hugh Hefner has always had a deep commitment to melding jazz as part of the suave male lifestyle. He had annual “Best Jazz Artist”polls, and his interviews with the likes of Miles Davis were legendary. In fact, I snuck in under the card of some stranger to be able to catch Earl Hines perform at the Century City club back in the 70s. Still one of my fondest musical memories…

This book tells the background story of how Hefner brought top flight artists into his clubs in Chicago, LA, New Orleans and Miami, as well as giving the story behind the annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. There aren’t a lot of details about the latter, as Farmer focuses mostly on the vibe of each city that the club was stationed in. The cultural stories are very intriguing, as well as some insight into personalities like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. No centerfolds of Diana Krall, but plenty of stories about how Hefner changed the culture in more ways than one.

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