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January 25, 2017

In Conversation with Ava Astaire

Ava Astaire is the daughter of the Hollywood legend Fred Astaire. He made 31 musicals, was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of Old Hollywood by the American Film Institute, and introduced numerous standards to the Great American Songbook like The Way You Look Tonight, Puttin on the Ritz, Cheek to Cheek, Night and Day, They Can’t Take That Away to name a few.

In this interview Ava shares tells me about being her father’s chauffeur (before she could drive), where the top hat image came from, and why his was famous as a practical joker.

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  1. Gary,

    Your interviewing technique is flawless. Many’s the time whilst over the decades watching and listening to countless broadcast and online conversations, my frustration at the interviewer’s habit of either talking over their subject, failing to fully listen and follow up important leads, impose their own personality and demonstrate either a woeful lack of research or attempts to overly impress with their own knowledge – has had me endlessly reaching for the varying "Off" switches. You wear your detailed research lightly, combine an assured engagement with a natural lightness of touch and praise be … both LISTEN to what is being said and give your guests plenty of time to say it. I have only so far heard just two of your Podcast interviews – this one (Bobby Crush being the other)- and your skill is such that each time either Mrs (Astaire) McKenzie or Mr Crush mentioned something of potential interest as an aside from your original question, you unfailing followed them up. Fred’s daughter sounds as charmingly humble, modest and gently kind as her father was purported to have been. As a huge Astaire admirer, through your superb questioning, you have enabled me to learn so much more about her life with her father.
    Along with Parky, Whicker, Frost, Johns Freeman and Dunn and Mavis Nicholson, you really do have that specific knack in bringing out the very best in your subjects. All we need now is your "Astaire" tribute album.

    Ian.

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Ian. Kind of you. It took me a long time to learn to keep my mouth shut! 🙂 I’m going to check Mavis Nicholson out now. Don’t know her.

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