McKuen, Rod (Marvin)
- Robert Skinner
(b Oakland, CA, April 29, 1933; d Beverly Hills, CA, January 29, 2015). American composer, poet, and singer. He ran away from home at the age of 11 and traveled for a few years working at odd jobs. By the time he was 17 he had settled back in Oakland and ran a popular radio show, “Rendezvous with Rod,” on which he read his own poems and sang his own songs. After serving for two years in the US Army he began a career as a performer and appeared in several films and on television. In 1959 he went to New York, where he worked as a singer and continued to write songs. During a stay in Paris (1963–4) he was influenced by such artists as Jacques Brel and began to develop his singing style after the French chansonniers. McKuen wrote more than 1,000 songs, many of which have become best-sellers in recordings by the Lime-lighters, the Kingston Trio, Glenn Yarbrough, Jimmie Rodgers, and Petula Clark. His music for films includes ...