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Chadwick Jenkins

[Johnson, Ivie (Marie); Ivy]

(b Gilroy, CA, July 10, 1905; d Los Angeles, CA, Dec 28, 1949). American jazz singer. She traveled abroad as Ivie Marie Johnson on two occasions; it is unknown whether Johnson was her married name or her given name at birth. She studied singing at a local convent and then for two years with Sara Ritt in Washington, DC. After returning to California, she worked with Curtis Mosby, Paul Howard, and Sonny Clay, and sang and danced in the vaudeville revues Fanchon and Marco and Shuffle Along. She toured Australia with Clay in 1928 before organizing her own show in the United States. After Duke Ellington heard her perform with Earl Hines, she worked with him from February 1931. Ellington thought highly of Anderson, and many critics consider her to be the finest singer to work in Ellington’s band. Certainly her vivacious sense of rhythm and dramatic delivery mark several noted Ellington recordings of the 1930s and early 1940s, including “It don’t mean a thing” (...

Article

Roxanne R. Reed

(b Anguilla, MS, March 21, 1919; d Hazel Crest, IL, 15 June, 1995). American gospel director, singer, composer, and publisher. Anderson established a career forming and training gospel groups in Chicago. His formative years were spent as one of the original Roberta Martin Singers, one of the premiere gospel groups of the 1930s and 1940s. He left briefly, between 1939 and 1941, to form the first of his many ensembles, the Knowles and Anderson Singers with R.L. Knowles. He rejoined Martin, but ultimately resigned because of the travel demands. In 1947 he formed Robert Anderson and his Gospel Caravan, but after several members left in 1952, he formed a new set of singers that recorded and performed under the name the Robert Anderson Singers through the mid-1950s. Throughout his career, Anderson recorded on a multitude of labels including Miracle and United with Robert Anderson and the Caravans; and later with the Robert Anderson Singers, on Apollo. Anderson wrote, and often sang lead on, many of the songs his groups performed, including “Why Should I Worry” (...

Article

Larry Palmer

(Theodore)

(b Chicago, IL, Oct 5, 1934; d Honolulu, HI, May 29, 2009). American educator and organist. He attended Illinois Wesleyan University and Union Theological Seminary (MSM 1957, DSM 1961), studying organ with Lillian McCord, Robert Baker, and, as winner of a Fulbright grant for two years, Helmut Walcha in Frankfurt, Germany. An exacting, demanding, and colorful organ teacher, Anderson spent his entire career (1960–98) in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, where he mentored a large number of prize-winning organists, served as organist of the school’s Chapel, and was honored with the highest academic rank, University Distinguished Professor. Three recordings for the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company’s King of Instruments series organized as three separate programs, one each of 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century organ music, illustrate a brilliant stylistic command of organ repertory spanning all periods from the earliest to the most contemporary. Holder of the highest certificate from the American Guild of Organists (FAGO), Anderson served that organization as National Councilor for Education and was program chair for two national conventions of the Guild in Dallas. He toured widely as a recitalist in the USA and Europe and was frequently employed as a competition adjudicator and organ consultant....

Article

S. Timothy Maloney

(Albert)

(b Ottawa, ON, July 30, 1941). Canadian singer-songwriter, naturalized American. He was singing for amateur shows and local radio stations by the age of ten and formed the Bobby Soxers vocal trio while still in high school. At 15 he recorded one of his own songs in Hollywood and in 1957 signed a songwriting and recording contract with ABC-Paramount in New York. His first single, “Diana” (EMI Columbia, 1957), was a number one hit and became one of the best-selling records in pop music history. Other hits followed, including “You are my destiny” (ABC-Paramount, 1958), “Lonely Boy” (ABC-Paramount, 1959), and “Put your head on my shoulder” (EMI Columbia, 1959). He also has more than 400 songs to his credit, many of which have been covered by other artists, among them, Buddy Holly, Johnny Mathis, Patti Page, Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis Jr., Barbra Streisand, and Michael Bublé. “My Way” (Reprise, ...

Article

Frances R. Aparicio

[Muñiz, Marco Antonio]

(b New York City, Sept 16, 1968). American singer, songwriter, and actor of Puerto Rican ancestry. Named after the famous Mexican singer Marco Antonio Muñiz (b 1933), Marc Anthony has become one of the most famous and important Latino singer-songwriters in the United States. Because of the excellence of his voice and his commitment to his Latino and Caribbean roots, he has become the biggest selling salsa artist of all time, with over 10 million albums sold worldwide. After singing house and freestyle music in English in his early career, Marc Anthony revitalized salsa music with a series of early 1990s musical hits that paved the way for the 1999 Latin pop explosion. He has successfully crossed linguistic borders, singing both in English and Spanish within the same album and thus contesting the label of “crossover.” His stage performances and the hybrid musical arrangements that have cast traditional Puerto Rican songs like “Preciosa” and “Lamento borincano” as salsa songs embody his Nuyorican identity in the public space, thus exemplifying the transnational nature of salsa music. Some of his best-known songs in English include “I Need to Know” and “You Sang to Me.”...

Article

Antony  

Shana Goldin-Perschbacher

[Hegarty, Antony]

(b Chichester, England, 1971). American singer-songwriter and pianist. After the Hegarty family moved to San Jose, Ccalifornia, in 1981, Antony studied experimental theater at New York University, formed a performance collective with Johanna Constantine, and collaborated with filmmaker William Basinski (Life on Mars, 1997) and rock icon Lou Reed (The Raven, Sire, 2003; Animal Serenade, RCA, 2004). Antony has become the world’s most famous transgender musician. Male-bodied and feminine-identified, Antony retains his birth name and uses masculine pronouns professionally. His band, Antony and the Johnsons (formed in 1996), is named after the murdered African American transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson.

Antony’s vocal depth, resonance, and melismatic grace evoke African American musical traditions. His tremulous vibrato and seemingly self-imposed limitations (also evident in his amateurish piano playing) express the grave earthly burdens of his lyrics. His eclectic work has been influenced by the AIDS-ravaged New York art scene (Peter Hujar), British synth-pop (Marc Almond), soul (Nina Simone, Boy George), and experimental underground music (Diamanda Galás). His band includes vocals, piano, drums, guitar, bass, cello, violin, and horns, he regularly appears with an orchestra, and he released an album of live symphonic performances with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra featuring arrangements by Nico Muhly, Rob Moose, Maxim Moston, and himself (...

Article

Jay W. Junker

[Afat, Alfred Aiu]

(b Honolulu, Mar 19, 1919; d Honolulu, Jan 30, 1960). Hawaiian pop singer. In many ways, Apaka was the first modern pop star in Hawaiian music. His warm baritone reflected the enormous impact of Bing Crosby’s crooning in Hawaii during the 1930s, but also evoked comparisons with Elvis Presley and Marty Robbins a generation later, especially when they sang Hawaiian repertoire. Apaka’s good looks, trademark red carnation lei and easygoing charm attracted mainstream media, and he was one of the few Hawaiian artists to appear regularly on national programs in the 1950s. Romantic ballads were Apaka’s forte, especially hapa haole songs such as “Beyond the Reef” and “Lovely Hula Hands.” Much of his Hawaiian-language repertoire was similarly nahenahe (sweet) though he also performed up-tempo songs and novelties. Instrumental support tended to reflect the then-thriving Waikiki lounge scene with amplified steel guitar, ukulele, rhythm guitar, string bass and sometimes vibraphone and percussion....

Article

Lori Burns and Jada Watson

[Richards, Jann (Arden Anne)]

(b Springbank, AB, March 27, 1962). Canadian singer-songwriter. Her songs are characterized by a lyrical emphasis on heartbreak and introspection, set to seamless pop and rock arrangements featuring smooth vocals and catchy rhythmic riffs. She began writing songs at the age of 13 and released her debut single “Never Love a Sailor” as Jann Richards in 1980. Arden busked and performed with rock bands in clubs and at festivals before signing with A&M Records and releasing her debut album Time for Mercy (A&M, 1993), which included the single “I would die for you.” The album garnered her a Juno Award for Best New Solo Artist in 1994 and she subsequently received two more, for Songwriter of the Year, in 1995 and 2002.

Arden’s success continued with Living under June (A&M, 1994), which featured three of her biggest singles “Insensitive,” “Could I be your Girl,” and “Good Mother.” Arden has continued to release studio albums as well as a greatest hits album (...

Article

Charles Garrett

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Liz Thomson

(b 9 Dec, 1950, St Kitts, Leeward Islands). English singer-songwriter. One of five children, she spent the first few years of her life with her grandparents in the West Indies, following the rest of her family to Birmingham in 1958. An introverted youngster, she taught herself piano and guitar and as a teenager, inspired initially by Marianne Faithfull, she began writing and performing her own songs in clubs. While singing in the touring production of Hair, she met Pam Nestor with whom she recorded an album, Whatever's for Us (Cube, 1972). Produced by Gus Dudgeon, who had also worked with David Bowie and Elton John, it was a critical success but a commercial failure. Back to the Night (A&M, 1975) established Armatrading as a solo artist. However, she gained both critical and popular acceptance with her next album, Joan Armatrading (A&M, 1976), which included her best-known hit single ...