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Article

Howard Goldstein

[Wells, Julia Elizabeth]

(b Walton-on-Thames, Oct 1, 1935). English singer and actress. Her prodigious talents as singer and dancer were recognized early on by her mother (Barbara Morris Wells, a pianist), and stepfather (Ted Andrews, a Canadian vaudeville performer). After vocal lessons with Lilian Stiles-Allen and sporadic appearances in her parents' act, she made her solo début at the age of 12 in the Starlight Roof revue (1947), singing ‘Je suis Titania’ from Ambroise Thomas' Mignon. She repeated this feat at the Royal Command Performance of 1948.

Following engagements on BBC radio (‘Educating Archie’, 1950–52) and in Christmas pantomimes, she was asked to play the female lead in the Broadway production of Sandy Wilson's West End musical The Boy Friend (1954). This led to her portrayal on Broadway of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (1956), a role she repeated in London in 1958...

Article

Michael J. Budds

(b Kansas City, MO, May 12, 1928). American composer and pianist. He learnt the cello, drums and piano from an early age and developed a particular interest in jazz. He played as a night club pianist, and then served in the army, touring as a pianist (1950–52). He went on to study music at the Mannes College of Music, New York, the New School of Social Research, McGill University, Montreal and gained a scholarship to the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, California. His composition teachers included Milhaud, Martinů and Cowell. Bacharach became an accompanist for Vic Damone, subsequently working with such performers as Polly Bergen, Steve Lawrence, the Ames Brothers and Paula Stewart, to whom he was married from 1953 to 1958. From 1958 to 1961 he toured internationally with Marlene Dietrich. Bacharach began writing arrangements and composing songs in the mid-1950s, working at the Brill Building and collaborating with the lyricist Hal David (...

Article

(b Stratford-upon-Avon, June 27, 1963). English popular singer. He studied at the Guildford School of Acting before touring in Godspell, later gaining a leading role in the Manchester production of The New Pirates of Penzance. He created the role of Marius in the long-running Les misérables (1985) in London, introducing the song ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables’, and took over Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera. He played Alex in Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love in London (1989) and on Broadway (1990), and so introduced ‘Love changes everything’, which was arranged to demonstrate Ball’s full-bodied top range. The popular success of the number enabled his expansion into the popular field and into concert tours. In 1991 he released his first solo album and the following year represented the UK in the Eurovision song contest with One Step Out of Time. His concert repertory has become increasingly wide, and he performed on his ...

Article

Jon Alan Conrad

(b Flint, MI, March 30, 1933). American orchestrator, conductor and composer. He studied music at Michigan State University and then at the New England Conservatory, which included conducting with Neel and Stokowski, and the double bass. The latter led to performing engagements with numerous orchestras; from 1961 to 1967 he also conducted, particularly ballet orchestras. At this time he began conducting tours and concerts of musicals, and in the 1970s his orchestrations for musicals were first heard. These included orchestrations reconciling a variety of sources with the requirements for modern revivals or compilations (as with Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Carousel, Show Boat, and his contributions to the restoration of the Gershwins’ Strike up the Band). He has composed incidental music, arranged for television and film, provided arrangements for recording (for Mandy Patinkin, Plácido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade), and written songs and musicals, as well as concert and dance works. Additionally he has provided re-creations of Prokofiev’s film music (...

Article

Gerard Béhague

(Francisco)

(b Rio de Janeiro, June 19, 1944). Brazilian composer and singer-songwriter. The son of a prominent historian and intellectual, he began studying architecture at the University of São Paulo in 1963 but decided soon after to pursue a career in popular music. Although he was a great admirer of the bossa nova musician João Gilberto, his first hits, Pedro Pedreiro and Sonho de um Carnaval (both recorded in 1965), as well as Olê Olá, revealed innovative talents. The first piece is an early expression of his concern for and subsequent criticism of some of Brazil's urban social problems. The well-known poet-diplomat Vinicius de Morais, a family friend and fundamental figure of the bossa nova movement, exerted a strong influence on Buarque's music and poetry. Indeed the ‘master of the language’, as Jobim characterized him, went on to produce some of the most sophisticated popular songs of his generation, both poetically and musically. In ...

Article

William A. Everett and Lee Snook

[Leonard]

(b Winnipeg, MB, Sept 30, 1939). Canadian actor and singer. An accomplished actor on stage, film and television, Cariou’s Broadway credits include Bill Sampson in Applause (1970), Frederik in A Little Night Music (1973), and the title character in Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979). He reprised the role of Frederik in the 1977 film version of A Little Night Music; other film credits include The Four Seasons (1981). He has appeared in numerous television movies and has made guest appearances in various television shows, including the recurring role of Michael Hagarty in Murder, She Wrote, the series which featured his co-star from Sweeney Todd, Angela Lansbury. He possesses a wide range, excellent diction and a dramatic masculine sound, and his voice works effectively in both solo and ensemble settings. His true strength is as a character actor, and his voice quality enhances the theatrical effect of the wide variety of roles which he portrays....

Article

Geoffrey Block

[Kaufman, Seymour]

(b New York, June 14, 1929; d New York, Nov 18, 2004). American composer and pianist. The son of Russian immigrants, he began to play the piano at the age of four, and performed recitals at the Steinway and Carnegie halls by seven. He studied counterpoint and orchestration at the New York College of Music and developed a serious interest in jazz, within a few years performing in New York nightclubs with his trio and starting a long recording career as a jazz pianist. A collaboration with the lyricist Joseph Allan McCarthy yielded several song hits between 1952 and 1956, including Why try to change me now?, I'm gonna laugh you right out of my life and Tin Pan Alley, the last of which appeared in Coleman's first Broadway venture, the revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac (1953). By the late 1950s he had produced an impressive list of song standards with lyricist Carolyn Leigh, which included ...

Article

Lise Waxer

[Colón Román jr, William Anthony; ‘El malo’]

(b South Bronx, New York, April 28, 1950). American bandleader, composer, arranger, trombonist, popular singer, producer and actor. Dubbed ‘El malo’ (the ‘bad boy’) of salsa, he began playing the trumpet in 1963 with the teenage band the Dandees. Switching to trombone, he made his professional début at 17 with the album El malo (Fania, 1967). Both as a bandleader and a member of the Fania All-Stars, he quickly moved to the fore of the burgeoning New York salsa scene, cementing the raw, trombone-heavy ‘New York sound’ inspired by earlier artists such as Eddie Palmieri and Mon Rivera. Between 1967 and 1973 he made a series of important recordings with vocalist Hector Lavoe, which included the albums Asalto Navideño I and II (Fania, 1972 and 1973) with cuatro virtuoso Yomo Toro, where traditional Puerto Rican Christmas aguinaldos were fused with salsa. During his second period (...

Article

Howard Goldstein

(Nell)

(b Atlanta, GA, Oct 25, 1927). American singer and actress. After arriving in New York in 1948 she began to sing at clubs and resorts, eventually procuring an engagement at the Blue Angel club in 1950. Her Broadway début in the political satire Flahooley (1951) was followed by revivals of Oklahoma! in 1953 and Carousel in 1954, in which she played supporting roles; she would eventually play the leads in important revivals of Carousel (1956), The King and I (1961) and Show Boat (1966). Meanwhile, in 1954 her starring roles in original musicals began with Hilda Miller in Plain and Fancy, Cunegonde in Candide (1956), which featured the coloratura parody ‘Glitter and be Gay’, and Marian in Meredith Willson’s The Music Man (1957) in which her portrayal of the stern librarian was her greatest popular success on Broadway and earned her a Tony Award....

Article

Arnold Shaw

[Franconero, Constance]

(b Newark, NJ, Dec 12, 1938). American singer and actress. She began her career at the age of 12, appearing on the television programme ‘Startime’. She won her first gold record in 1958 with a revival of the 1923 ballad Who’s Sorry Now, and had further successes with a series of such songs, including ...

Article

Gerard Béhague

(do Prado Pereira de Oliveira)

(b Juazeiro, Bahia, June 10, 1931). Brazilian popular singer, composer and guitarist. He moved to Rio de Janeiro at the age of 18, singing mostly Romantic samba-canções in various groups and frequenting the nightclub Plaza in Copacobana and the Murray Recordshop in downtown Rio de Janeiro. His first solo recording came in 1952, but it was the July 1958 record containing Jobim's Chega de Saudade and his own Bim-bom that called attention to his new singing style, unassuming but secure and very intimate. In April 1958 he had accompanied on the guitar the pop singer Elisete Cardoso singing Chega de Saudade, and revealed for the first time his distinctive guitar beat that came to be known as the violão gago (stammering guitar), a trademark of the bossa nova made up of previously unknown syncopated patterns on the samba beat. In November of the same year he recorded Jobim's ...

Article

Peter Kemp

(b Carshalton, Feb 9, 1952). English soprano. She studied at the GSM under Arthur Reckless and Vilem Tausky, then gained widespread recognition touring the USA, Canada, Australasia and the UK in Gilbert and Sullivan operas, also performing principal roles in early French opera with the English Bach Festival. She made her operatic début with the ENO (1978) as Adele (Die Fledermaus), followed by principal roles with the Royal Opera, Scottish, Welsh and Canadian Opera, Lyric Opera of Singapore, New Sadler’s Wells, D’Oyly Carte and the new Carl Rosa company. She has performed in opera, oratorio and in concert at many of the major European festivals including the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Paris, Athens and Cologne, and has made regular appearances on television and radio.

Hill Smith is adept at a wide variety of musical styles, and her award-winning recordings range from Rameau to Lehár. She is most acclaimed for her interpretation of operetta and has made a noted contribution to the recording of rare works by Johann Strauss II. Her voice is warm yet silver-toned with an innate intelligence of phrasing and clarity of diction. Max Schönherr was an enthusiastic admirer, while Mary Ellis deemed her ability to sing in true Viennese style ‘a technique that is all but lost these days’....

Article

William A. Everett and Lee Snook

(b Charleroi, PA, Mar 31, 1934). American actress and singer. Her career as a singing actress on film and television began with starring roles in two Rodgers and Hammerstein film adaptations: Laurie Williams in Oklahoma! (1955) and Julie Jordan in Carousel (1956). Subsequent films included April Love (1957), Never Steal Anything Small (1959), Elmer Gantry (1960) and Two Rode Together (1961). She won an Academy Award as best supporting actress for her portrayal of a prostitute in Elmer Gantry, but it was the wholesome ‘girl next door’ which was the typical Jones character. In 1962, she played prim and proper librarian, Marian, in The Music Man opposite Robert Preston. From 1970 to 1974, she co-starred in the television series ‘The Partridge Family’ with her stepson, the singer and actor David Cassidy, in which she portrayed the widowed mother of a singing family, thus having the weekly opportunity to showcase her vocal abilities, albeit in a soft rock idiom somewhat distinctive from the Broadway style which established her career. She has continued to perform into the 1990s and is still in great demand....

Article

David Ades

(Maris Colman) [Colman, Gordon Maris]

(b Edgware, May 11, 1930). English arranger, composer and pianist. He was an accomplished pianist from childhood, playing a Mozart concerto in a public concert at the age of 11, and winning a Middlesex scholarship to the RAM where he also studied trombone. Early attempts at composition were influenced by Debussy and Ravel, and later by the Russian Romantics, Rachmaninoff and Skryabin. His first BBC broadcast as a pianist was in 1951 while serving with the Royal Artillery Band. By the 1960s, after a variety of engagements as both player and arranger, Langford had established himself as a respected pianist in concerts and on numerous broadcasts such as ‘Music in the Air’ and ‘Friday Night is Music Night’. His reputation as an arranger and composer also grew steadily.

In 1971 he won an Ivor Novello Award for his march from the Colour Suite, and became more involved in brass band music. At the same time he was increasingly in demand to orchestrate West End musicals and feature films, and also contributed mood music to publishers' recorded music libraries. He has written many arrangements for the King's Singers and the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. In ...

Article

(Kathleen Nancy)

(b Enfield, Feb 17, 1941). English soprano. She trained as an opera singer at the GSM and in the 1960s toured in operetta and musical comedy. She began a long association with the works of Stephen Sondheim when she took over the role of April in the first London production of Company in the early 1970s, and was in the original cast of the revue Side by Side by Sondheim in London (1976) and on Broadway (1977). She later appeared as Sally in the revised Follies in London (1987). Her light and flexible voice, combined with both elegant phrasing and a natural sense of comedy, made her ideal for Lily Garland in Coleman’s On the Twentieth Century (1980), and at the National Theatre she has played to consistent acclaim such roles as Adelaide (Guys and Dolls, 1982) and Mrs Lovett (...

Article

Craig A. Lockard

(b Prospect, nr Johannesburg, March 4, 1932; d Castel Volturno, Italy, Nov 10, 2008). South African folk and popular singer. As a child she learned traditional African tribal music and jazz-influenced popular music. She spent several years as a band singer and actress, and first attracted attention when she sang the leading role in the African opera King Kong in London in 1959. She then went to the USA, where she achieved a national reputation performing in New York night clubs and on television, introducing contemporary African music to enthusiastic American audiences. Her concerts and albums demonstrated an eclectic taste, including West Indian and Israeli folk music as well as Broadway show tunes. She became best known, however, for her interpretations of such traditional and modern songs of the Xhosa and Zulu peoples as the robust Click Song, where her strong, dynamic singing recreated the material in a powerful, sophisticated and Western urban idiom. She was also capable of sensitive interpretation in such gentle songs as the Indonesian lullaby ...

Article

Michael J. Budds

[Mathis, John Royce ]

(b San Francisco, Sept 30, 1935). American popular singer. He was trained as a singer and performed in a jazz sextet while a student at San Francisco State University. He won a recording contract with Columbia Records and engagements at prestigious New York clubs in the summer of 1955 after an audition in a San Francisco night club. He formed a smooth style of ballad singing that was tinged with black-American nuances and achieved great success despite the ascendancy at the time of rock and roll as the dominating form of popular musical expression. Mathis excelled in the performance of sentimental love songs in the Tin Pan Alley tradition, such as Wonderful, Wonderful (1956), Chances are (1957), The Twelfth of Never (1957) and Misty (1959). He remains a popular night club artist and has enjoyed considerable chart success, particularly in Britain. Two duets, one with Deniece Williams (...

Article

William A. Everett and Lee Snook

(May )

(b Los Angeles, Mar 12, 1946). American actress, singer and dancer, the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. She made her film début while still a toddler in the Judy Garland vehicle In the Good Old Summertime (1949). In her late teens she began to establish herself as a singer and dancer in nightclubs and on stage, and her New York début was as Ethel Hofflinger in the off-Broadway Best Foot Forward (1963). She toured as Lili in Carnival! (1964) before playing her Tony-winning title role in Flora, the Red Menace (1965). She also starred in a one-woman show Liza (1974) and substituted for Gwen Verdon in Chicago (1975). With her Academy Award-winning film role as Sally Bowles in Cabaret (1972), she solidified her reputation as an interpreter of the work of Kander and Ebb, whose stage musical ...

Article

[Bickerstaff, Elaine Mary]

(b Barnet, March 5, 1949). English popular singer. From a family of amateur musicians, she went to stage school in Golders Green, London, and to the Actor’s Workshop, Stratford. She toured in productions of several musicals before appearing in the West End in Hair (1968); further shows included Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), Grease and Billy (both 1974). With her creation of the role of Eva Peron in Lloyd Weber and Rice’s Evita (1978) she became one of the West End’s leading performers in musicals, subsequently creating Grizabella in Cats (1981), so introducing ‘Memory’, and Florence Dassy in Chess (1986), with whose ‘I know him so well’ she acheived chart success with Barbara Dickson in 1985. She co-produced and played Reno Sweeney in the major revival of Porter’s Anything Goes in London (1989). Although not originating the role, her performance as Norma Desmond in ...

Article

Lise Waxer

[Edward]

(b East Harlem, New York, Dec 15, 1936). American pianist, percussionist, bandleader, composer and arranger. Following his older brother Charlie, he took up the piano when he was eight, but at 13 he began playing the timbales in his uncle’s band, Chino y sus Almas Tropicales. Returning to the piano in 1951, he formed a nine-piece band with timbalero Joey Quijano. He replaced his brother Charlie in Johnny Segui’s band in 1955, then joined Tito Rodríguez in 1958. In 1961 he formed the ensemble La Perfecta. Modifying the flute-and-violin charanga format popular at the time, Palmieri used trombones in place of violins and coined the ‘trombanga’ sound that became his trademark and influenced later salsa bands. In his band were such leading musicians as the timbalero Manny Oquendo, the trombonist Barry Rogers and the vocalist Ismael Quintana. Complementing the group’s dynamic swing, Palmieri forged a percussive piano style, incorporating modal jazz influences from contemporary pianist McCoy Tyner. Among his representative tunes from this period are ...