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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...

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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 (...

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(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

(b London, June 21, 1938). English lyricist. In the 1950s his various jobs included that of a writer for the New Musical Express, a performer in the rapidly declining variety theatres (billed under such titles as ‘Donald Black, the young gangster’ and ‘Don Black, a living joke’) and a song-plugger. He began writing song lyrics in the mid-1950s, gaining success in the 1960s when Matt Monroe recorded his April Fool and Walk away, Black’s English version of the German Eurovision song contest entry Warum nur warum. Beginning with the James Bond film Thunderball (1965) he worked with the composer John Barry on many title songs for films, including Diamonds are Forever (1971), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), and Born Free (1966), for which Black received an Academy Award. Further collaborations with Barry include the musicals Billy (1974...

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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 (...

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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 ...

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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....

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Geoffrey Block

(b Boston, 1952). American composer and lyricist. Although he principally studied English, Finn received the Hutchinson Fellowship in musical composition when he graduated from Williams College (the same fellowship awarded to Stephen Sondheim 24 years earlier). At college Finn had composed three musicals on unconventional subjects, including the trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. By 1979 he had completed an early version of In Trousers, the first of a gradually evolving musical trilogy about the emotional and sexual evolution of Marvin, a neurotic urban professional. Having discovered his capacity for bisexuality in In Trousers, Marvin would leave his wife and son to live with another man in March of the Falsettos (1981). In contrast to most of Finn’s other projects as composer or lyricist, March of the Falsettos gained a strong critical and modestly popular following. Nearly a decade later, but only two years later in the life of its characters, he completed the final musical of his trilogy, ...

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

Geoffrey Block

(Frederick)

(b New York, June 2, 1944; d Los Angeles, CA, August 6, 2012). American composer. After demonstrating precocious talent, he became the youngest student to attend the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied piano reluctantly from 1950 to 1965; while still there, he worked as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl (1964). In 1965 he attained early success as a popular songwriter when two songs he composed with a high school friend, Howard Liebling, Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows and California Nights, were recorded by Lesley Gore; one other song he composed as a teenager, Travelin’ Man, was recorded years later by Liza Minnelli, another high school friend, on her first album. Concurrently with his studies in music at Queens College, from which he graduated in 1967, Hamlisch was employed for two seasons as a vocal arranger and rehearsal pianist for a wide variety of acclaimed performers on ‘The Bell Telephone Hour’. An engagement as a pianist at a private party for the producer Sam Spiegel led to ...

Article

John Snelson

[Gerald]

(b New York, July 10, 1933). American composer and lyricist. He was self-taught as a musician and studied drama at the University of Miami, where he also began writing for revue. He moved to New York, working as a night club pianist and writing for television, and reused some of his earlier material from Miami for the revue I Feel Wonderful, presented off-Broadway (1954). His next revue Nightcap (1958) was later revised as Parade (1960). His first full-scale musical was Milk and Honey (1961) which gave him a hit song in ‘Shalom’; it starred the opera singers Robert Weede and Mimi Benzell and the long-established Yiddish performer, Molly Picon. Hello Dolly! (1964) reinforced Herman’s breezy style and the show won ten Tony awards including those for Best Actress for Carol Channing’s famous portrayal of Dolly Levi and Best Composer for Herman. With ...

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’....

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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

Geoffrey Block

(Harrold)

(b Kansas City, MO, March 18, 1927). American composer . He studied music at Oberlin College, where he composed songs with James Goldman (a childhood friend) and at Columbia University, where he studied with composers Jack Beeson, Otto Luening and Douglas Moore, while working as a vocal accompanist. After serving as the dance music arranger for Gypsy (1959) and Irma La Douce (1960), Kander was given the opportunity to compose A Family Affair (1962) for Broadway with James Goldman and his brother William. Publisher Tommy Valando introduced him to Fred Ebb (b New York, 8 April 1932) in 1962, and the new team immediately produced two hit songs, My Coloring Book and I Don’t Care Much, both recorded by Barbra Streisand. From 1965 to 1997 Kander and Ebb produced ten musicals on Broadway, including the Tony Award-winning Cabaret (1966; revived ...