Face the Music: A Memoir

Face the Music: A Memoir

by

, arc, Autobiography, Nonfiction

In this poignant memoir, the internationally celebrated bandleader reflects on family, illness, grief, and a bygone era of glamour, contemplating not just his career but the history of midcentury music and nightlife--and the enormously important role that the bandstand played in his life.


The internationally-famous bandleader Peter Duchin's six decades of performing have taken him to the most exclusive dance floors and concert halls in the world. He has played for presidents, kings, and queens, as well as for civil rights and cultural organizations. But in 2013, Duchin suffered a stroke that left him with limited use of his left hand, severely impacting his career.

Days of recuperating from his stroke--and later from a critical case of Covid-19--inspired Duchin to reconsider his complicated past. His father, the legendary bandleader Eddy Duchin, died when Peter was twelve; his mother, Marjorie Oelrichs Duchin, died when he was just six days old. In the succeeding decades, Duchin would follow his father to become the epitome of mid-20th Century glamour. But it was only half a century later, in the aftermath of his sudden illnesses, that he began to see his mother and father not just as the parents he never had, but as the people he never got to know; and at the same time, to reconsider the milieu in which he has been both a symbol and a participant.

More than a memoir, Face the Music offers a window into the era of debutantes and white-tie balls, when such events made national headlines. Duchin explores what "glamour" and "society" once meant, and what they mean now. With sincerity and humor, Face the Music offers a moving portrait of an extraordinary life, its disruptions, and revitalization.

Title:Face the Music: A Memoir
ISBN:9780385545877
Format Type:

    Face the Music: A Memoir Reviews

  • Morgan (not accepting new friends request at the m

    Son of Eddie Duchin celebrated jazz pianist and band leader of the 1930’s & 40’s Peter Duchin wrote a memoir in 1996 “Ghost of a Chance” which I have not read. I suspect it would have a very d...

  • Kasa Cotugno

    Eddie Duchin's son Peter has come to represent an era that was nearly passed when he started providing dance music for debutante balls and parties. Born into privilege, he became virtually an orphan d...

  • Natalie

    I read Peter Duchin’s earlier memoir, GHOST OF A CHANCE, and enjoyed it as both a personal story and a social history. The son of Eddy Duchin, Peter has lived a life that touched so many important, ...

  • Rhonda Lomazow

    Peter Duchin has written a memoir that shares with us his life today the illnesses he suffers from a stroke to COVID.He has recovered and enjoying life again.Peter Duchin at one point was the toast of...

  • Susan

    This was a nice, quick read. I knew absolutely nothing about Peter Duchin, nor the tragedy of his parents' early deaths, so it was all new. He has a great sense of humor and it was enjoyable to learn ...

  • Sheila

    I received an advance copy of, Face the Music by, Peter Duchin and Patricia Beard. I have never heard of Peter Duchin before, he seemed to live a great life until his stroke. I though Peter was a self...