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It is time for a major change at Troy Street Publishing.

Troy Street Publishing LLC will continue to provide publishing and editorial services, but this website will no longer host my Boston jazz chronicles activities. The Boston Jazz Chronicles, What, and Give up Showbiz?, and the Troy Street Observer blog now reside on my new website,

Files will be available on this site for an as-yet undetermined time, but I encourage you to visit for all content, both new and old. You’ll also find what I believe is a far better user experience.

Why not give it a try now?

—Richard Vacca

The Troy Street Observer

The Fred Taylor Book at Last?

One year ago, I submitted the manuscript and artwork for the Fred Taylor book, What, and Give up Showbiz? to its publisher, Backbeat Books. Working with Fred had been a big part of my life for almost four years, and handing off the manuscript was a cause for celebration. Being the as-told-to guy on a book project is a long and sometimes tedious process. More on that some other time.

Book cover: What, and Give Up Showbiz?

Fred Taylor really wanted to see his story finished and in print, but it was not to be. He died in October 2019 of cancer. At that point I wondered if the project would even go forward, but the publisher was committed to Showbiz and determined to publish it. In February, Backbeat’s editor sent me her revisions to review. We resolved those, leaving me with only one more hurdle to jump to complete my work. All that remained was to review the page proofs, the last reading before the book goes into production. The publication date was set for May 2020.

Then came the virus, and the publisher furloughed the staff. Everything stopped. The release date was pushed back to July, then October, and now November. And finally, last week, the editor sent the page proofs for the final review. They looked just fine!

With my commitments to Fred and to the publisher complete, I am officially done with What, and Give up Showbiz? I look forward to seeing it in print at last come November. Better late than never, as the old saying goes.

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