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Florita, Kira 1957-

FLORITA, Kira 1957-

PERSONAL: Born November 8, 1957, in Denver, CO; daughter of Ralph E. Strouf (a music professor) and Constance Stephan (a concert violinist); married Richard C. Florita (divorced, 1988); children: Richard M., Marrah Christine. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Attended University of Wisconsin, University of Wyoming, and Belmont University. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Historical music and its preservation.

ADDRESSES: Home—3506 General Bate Dr., Nashville, TN 37204. Agent—Amy Williams, Collins McCormick Literary Agency, 10 Leonard St., New York, NY 10013.

CAREER: Music executive. Hastings/Western Merchandising, Amarillo, TX, vice president of accounting, 1980–89; Mercury Records, Nashville, TN, vice president of catalog and marketing, 1990–2001; Lost Highway Records, Nashville, TN, vice president of marketing, 2001–02; Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN, director of special projects, 2002–.

MEMBER: National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, Leadership Music.

AWARDS, HONORS: Grammy Award for best historical reissue and best boxed package, Recording Academy, 1998, for The Complete Hank Williams; three Nashville Music Awards.

WRITINGS:

(With Colin Escott) Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway, Da Capo Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Author of liner notes for music CD's for Mercury Records, 1993–98.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Projects in conjunction with Country Music Hall of Fame.

SIDELIGHTS: Kira Florita coproduced, with Colin Escott, the Grammy Award-winning ten-CD set The Complete Hank Williams. Williams, a country music legend, was known for such songs as "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and "Your Cheatin' Heart."

While working on the boxed set, Florita and Escott amassed a large collection of documents, artifacts, and memorabilia, including Williams's birth certificate, dozens of private photographs, store receipts, letters, and lyrics to thirty unrecorded songs. Florita and Es-cott have used those materials to produce Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway, a heavily illustrated biography of the singer and songwriter.

The book received praise from reviewers. People critic Ralph Novak stated that Hank Williams "goes far in celebrating" the singer's "extraordinary but tragically brief life." "Composed of captions by the authors and excerpts of interviews with Williams and his family and friends, the text is somewhat sparse but to the point and well written," according to Library Journal contributor James E. Perone. Miriam Pace Longino, writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, observed that "Snapshots is certainly voyeuristic. But in the end, these ordinary documents of a life and death help us understand why—after nearly fifty years—Williams is still in our hearts and minds."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 16, 2001, Miriam Pace Longino, "Snapshots from Life of a Lonesome Legend," p. C4.

Booklist, September 15, 2001, Ryan Olson, review of Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway, p. 175.

Entertainment Weekly, November 2, 2001, Karen Valby, review of Hank Williams.

Library Journal, December, 2001, James E. Perone, review of Hank Williams, p. 126.

People, November 12, 2001, Ralph Novak, review of Hank Williams.

Publishers Weekly, October 15, 2001, review of Hank Williams, p. 62.

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