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Burkhard Kippenberg

[Sonnenburg, Sunnenburc, Suneburg; Meister Friedrich von Sonnenburg]

(d before 1287). Austrian Minnesinger and composer. Coming from Sonnenburg in the Pustertal (Tyrol), probably from a ministerial family, he lived at the courts of Bavaria and Bohemia as well as in Tyrol and Thuringia. Sometimes included by the Meistersinger as one of their alte Meister, he should be counted as one of the most important Spruchdichter after Walther von der Vogelweide, Bruder Werner and Reinmar von Zweter. The 73 Sprüche (see Spruch) ascribed to him, mostly in the Jenaer Liederhandschrift ( D-Ju El.f.101, ff.63v–72), may not all be authentic, but they are clearly influenced by Reinmar von Zweter and seem to have been written between about 1247 and 1275; they concern religion, morality and politics, in which Friedrich supported the pope against Rudolf of Habsburg. The song on f.72v of the Jena manuscript (Ihc wil Singhen, ed. in Holz, Saran and Bernoulli as no.XXIII, 64) is probably by Wizlâv; but the remainder of the section devoted to Friedrich’s poems includes three melodies: ...


Charles K. Wolfe and Travis D. Stimeling

(Wayne )

(b West Plains, MO, Aug 12, 1927; d Nashville, TN, Oct 27, 2007). American country music singer, songwriter, and record producer. As a boy, he learned country songs of the 1920s from his mother and occasionally pretended to host the Grand Ole Opry. A performance on a local radio show in 1950 led to regular appearances on KWTO, a powerful station in nearby Springfield, and this in turn led to a regular job on Red Foley’s national Ozark Jubilee television show. He signed a recording contract with RCA Victor in 1952 and had early success with “Company’s Comin’” and “Satisfied Mind.” Gospel songs such as “What would you do?” became part of his repertory, and their success encouraged his penchant for including recitation in songs. During the 1960s, thirty-one of Wagoner’s recordings reached the charts, and, by the end of the decade, he produced his own television show, ...


Colette Simonot

(McGarrigle )

(b Rhinebeck, NY, July 22, 1973). Canadian American singer-songwriter. The son of folksingers Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, he spent his childhood in Montreal and attended high school at Millbrook School in New York. As a teenager, he performed with his mother and his aunt, Anna McGarrigle. His early musical influences include opera, Schubert lieder, Edith Piaf, Al Jolson, and Judy Garland. In 1989 he earned a Genie nomination for his song “I’m a-Runnin’,” performed in the film Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller. Wainwright studied piano briefly at Concordia and McGill universities in Montreal, and during this period wrote primarily for voice and piano. Later compositions are packed with strings, horns, and operatic choruses. While in Montreal, he sang regularly at the Café Sarajevo. After a brief stint in New York, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he recorded his critically acclaimed debut, Rufus Wainwright (...


Don Cusic

revised by Travis D. Stimeling

[Crosby, Ronald Clyde ]

(b Oneonta, NY, March 16, 1942). American folk and country singer, guitarist, and songwriter. A high-school dropout, he traveled around the United States playing banjo, guitar, and other instruments and singing a repertory consisting principally of songs by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Jimmie Rodgers. By the early 1960s, he was performing at Greenwich Village folk clubs and on college campuses across the country, finding particular success among Texan audiences in Houston, Dallas–Fort Worth, and Austin. In 1966, while in Austin, he met Bob Bruno, with whom he formed the folk-rock band Circus Maximus; it recorded an album for Vanguard in 1967.

Around the same time, Walker also earned success as a songwriter, notably with “Mr. Bojangles” (1968), a hit for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1971. Also in 1971, Walker relocated to Texas, where he became a luminary in Austin’s emerging progressive country music scene. In ...


Sophie Fuller

(b Belize City, Belize, April 10, 1958). British composer, pianist and singer of Belizean birth. Educated in the British Isles from the age of two, she trained as a dancer at the Maureen Lyons School of Dancing and the Urdang Academy before taking dance classes at the Dance Theater of Harlem (1976–8). She studied music at Goldsmiths College, London (BMus 1981) and composition with LeFanu and Lumsdaine at King’s College, London (MMus 1983). After working with the cabaret band Pulse, she co-established the Wallen Parr recording studio and music production company in 1986. As well as composing for film and television, she wrote many of her early works for Nanquidno (four players on two pianos) and her own Ensemble X. Her tribute to Nelson Mandela, In Our Lifetime for baritone and tape (1990), was later choreographed for the London Contemporary Dance Company. In ...


Alyn Shipton and Bill Dobbins

[Thomas Wright]

(b New York, May 21, 1904; d Kansas City, MO, Dec 15, 1943). American jazz and popular pianist, organist, singer, bandleader and composer.

Alyn Shipton

His father Edward Waller, a Baptist lay preacher, conducted open air religious services in Harlem, at which as a child Fats Waller played the reed organ. He played the piano at his public school and at the age of 15 became organist at the Lincoln Theatre on 135th Street. His father hoped that Waller would follow a religious calling rather than a career in jazz, but after the death of his mother, Adeline Waller, in 1920 he moved in with the family of the fellow African American pianist Russell Brooks. Through Brooks, Waller met James P. Johnson, under whose tutelage he developed as a pianist, and through whose influence he came to make piano rolls, starting in 1922 with Got to cool my doggies now...


(b Munich, July 18, 1724; d Dresden, April 23, 1780). German princess, composer, singer and patron. The eldest daughter of the Elector Karl Albert of Bavaria (later Emperor Karl VII) and of Archduchess Maria Amalia of Austria, she received her first musical training in Munich from Giovanni Ferrandini and Giovanni Porta. After her marriage in 1747 to Friedrich Christian, later Elector of Saxony, she continued her studies in Dresden with Nicola Porpora and J.A. Hasse. With the Seven Years War and the death of the elector in 1763 the cultural life at the Dresden court declined. Her lively exchange of letters with Frederick the Great of Prussia from 1763 to 1779 bears witness to her increasing sense of personal and artistic isolation; the musical ideals she had grown up with as a pupil and devotee of Hasse and a correspondent of Pietro Metastasio lost their validity, and new music, in particular the new Neapolitan operatic style, found no favour with her....


A. Lindsey Kirwan

revised by Lothar Hoffmann-Erbrecht

(b Dahlen, nr Meissen, c1610; d after 1652). German composer and singer. His varied career began with his appointment as bass singer in the court chapel at Gottorf on 1 October 1632. He seems to have left in 1636, when he went to Frankfurt and Darmstadt, among other places. He may also have gone to Königsberg and taken a master’s degree in philosophy there. He had settled in Stockholm by 1640 and was still there at the time of his second publication in 1645. Between 1647 and 1651 he worked at several churches in Danzig [now Gdańsk]. He then became vicar and succentor at Magdeburg Cathedral. He was an active member of the school of songwriters centred on Königsberg and Danzig. The influence of Heinrich Albert (whose songs were being published in Königsberg) is apparent in Weber’s work, which is somewhat Italianate, especially in the solo songs in the ...


John Warrack

revised by James Deaville

(b Dresden, July 25, 1780; d Leipzig, March 7, 1842). German Kantor, composer and teacher . He was the nephew of Christian Ehregott Weinlig (b Dresden, 30 Sept 1743; d Dresden, 14 March 1813), who was an organist in Leipzig (1767–73), a renowned Kantor at the Dresden Kreuzschule from 1785 and a composer of sacred and instrumental music. He first studied and practised law (1797–1803), then took music lessons (especially in composition) with his uncle (1804–6) and with Stanislao Mattei in Bologna (1806). He was Kantor of the Kreuzschule from 1814 to 1817, and in 1823 moved from Dresden to succeed Schicht as Kantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig: Weber’s letter of recommendation for this position described him as deeply devoted to his art and gifted with profound insight. In Leipzig Weinlig set himself to maintain the great tradition of the Thomaskirche and raised the standard of performance to a high level. Among others, Mendelssohn praised his activity at the Thomaskirche, where Weinlig remained until his death. A learned and conscientious teacher, he numbered among his pupils Clara Schumann, E.F.E. Richter and Richard Wagner. Though Wagner studied with Weinlig for only about six months (beginning about ...


(b Clapham, May 24, 1837; d Brighton, Jan 11, 1914). English soprano and composer . She married Captain Weldon in 1860, but they had separated before she met Charles-François Gounod (aged 53) in London in 1871. That year she sang in London at the St James’s Hall Popular Concerts, the Crystal Palace, the Philharmonic Society and elsewhere; Gounod invited her to Paris to take the solo soprano part in his patriotic cantata Gallia at Notre Dame, the Opéra-Comique and the Conservatoire. They returned to London in November and took up residence at her home in Tavistock House, Bloomsbury, which also housed the orphan children attending her National Training School of Music. When Gounod suffered a stroke in 1873, leaving him unconscious for extended periods, Weldon experienced visions and claimed to have heard Christ speak to her during her bedside vigils. Gounod recovered and returned to Paris in June 1874...


Bill C. Malone

revised by Stephanie Vander Wel

[Deason, Muriel Ellen ]

(b Nashville, TN, Aug 30, 1919; d Madison, TN, July 16, 2012). American country music singer-songwriter. Deemed the first “Queen of Country Music,” Wells started her radio career on Nashville’s WSIX as a member of the Deason Sisters in 1936 and then with her husband Johnny Wright and sister-in-law in Johnny Wright and the Harmony Girls in 1937. Adopting the stage name Kitty Wells from a well-known song in 1943, she performed at times as a soloist but more often as part of Wright and partner Jack Anglin’s group, Johnny and Jack, on various radio stations, namely Shreveport, Louisiana, station KWKH’s Louisiana Hayride (1948–1952).

Wells’s first recordings were with RCA, but she became the first woman to rise to the top of Billboard’s country charts when, in 1952, she recorded J.D. Miller’s “It wasn’t God who made honky-tonk angels” for Decca. Released as a response to Hank Thompson’s recording of “Wild Side of Life” (Capitol, ...


Peter Le Huray

revised by John Morehen

(b ?1575–80; d London, November 1643). English composer and singer . The Cheque Book of the Chapel Royal records that on 20 August 1604 he was sworn an extraordinary member of the Chapel Royal, in recognition of his services at ‘the great solemnity of the league of Spain’. He had for some time before this been involved in Chapel Royal business; his name was attached to a meeting of the Gentlemen on 19 May 1603. In 1605 Thomas Woodson sold his place in the choir to ‘Wm. West of Canterbury’, and West’s name thereafter appears regularly in lists of the Chapel Gentlemen up to 1643. On 25 November of that year William Howes succeeded West, ‘tenor deceased’. His extant compositions comprise a verse anthem, Have mercy, Lord, a full anthem, Save me O God, and a full Sharp Service (all GB-Lcm ). Both anthems are incomplete.

AshbeeR, iii, iv, viii...


Peter le Huray

revised by Ian Payne

[first name unknown]

(fl ?1575–?1612). English composer and possibly singer. He may be identifiable with the Thomas Wilkinson who was a lay clerk at Norwich Cathedral between 1575 and 1580 (the cathedral account for 1581–2 contains a payment to him for composing church music) and at King’s College, Cambridge, between 1580 and 1595, where in 1587–8 he was senior lay clerk and for a time he seems to have had some responsibility for teaching the choristers. With the appointment of Edward Gibbons in 1592–3 as Informator choristarum Wilkinson was moved to second place. The two rather dull full anthems O Jerusalem and Why art thou so full of heaviness? ( GB-Y ) may be by this composer and date from this period.

A man known only as ‘Wilkinson’ replaced John Hilton as organist and master of the choristers at Trinity College, Cambridge, sometime between March and September 1609; he was still there in ...


Olivia Carter Mather

(b Lake Charles, LA, Jan 26, 1953). American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Williams’s Americana style draws upon blues, country, folk, rock, gospel, and Cajun music. Born in Lake Charles, she spent her childhood in southern US college towns and in Latin America, and her lyrics reveal intimate knowledge of Southern small-town life. Other common themes include erotic love, failed romance, and death.

After a short period as a folksinger New York City, Williams moved to Texas and joined the singer/songwriter scenes in Houston and Austin in the early 1970s. Her first album, Ramblin’ (1979), recorded for Smithsonian Folkways, was devoted to blues and country covers accompanied only by acoustic guitars. Williams increasingly adopted a rock and electric blues aesthetic as her career progressed. She began to receive critical attention for her recordings in the 1980s, but her first commercial successes came as a songwriter. “Passionate Kisses” was a top five country hit for Mary Chapin Carpenter; other artists who covered her songs were Patty Loveless, Emmylou Harris, and Tom Petty....


Gillian Turnbull

(b Deadwood, SD, 1947). American singer and songwriter. Born in South Dakota, Williamson was raised in Colorado and Wyoming. At age 16 she released her first album, The Artistry of Cris Williamson, followed closely by A Step at a Time and The World around Cris Williamson; these albums were largely in the vein of her folk revival influences such as Judy Collins. After completing a degree at the University of Denver, Williamson went on to cofound Olivia Records in 1973, a female-run record label dedicated to releasing Women’s music [womyn’s music], a loosely defined genre of music created for and by women. Her album The Changer and the Changed (1975), considered to be the first of the women’s music genre, became one of the highest-selling albums on an independent label. Stylistically, Williamson tends towards acoustic folk and folk-rock, privileging her lyrics and strong vocals. She has experimented with other genres, notably country (on ...


(b Faversham, Kent, April 5, 1595; d Westminster, London, Feb 22, 1674). English composer, lutenist and singer. He was probably involved in the musical life of the court and the London theatre from an early age, apparently from 1614. There are songs by him for The Maske of Flowers and Valentinian, both of which date from that year, and he was connected with the King’s Men: songs by him survive for plays put on by them between 1614 and 1629. In view of this association it seems likely that he is indeed the ‘Jacke Wilson’ alluded to in the 1623 folio edition of Much Ado about Nothing, despite the lukewarm reception the suggestion has had since it was made in 1846 (the allusion need not be to the first performance of the play in 1604 but to some performance before 1623).

Wilson was recommended to the Lord Mayor of London by Viscount Mandeville on ...


[Johannes ]

(b Oschatz, Saxony; fl 1548–72). German composer, singer, copyist and teacher . In 1548 he was in the choir of the electoral Hofkapelle at Dresden. He attended the St Afra Fürstenschule at Meissen from 1551 to 1554, when on 16 April he entered the University of Wittenberg. In 1557 he is described as Rektor of the school at Borna, Saxony, in 1561 as a Kantor and musician at the Saxon electoral court and in 1563–5 as a copyist in the service of King Maximilian of Bohemia at Breslau. In 1565 he is referred to by the name Testorius, in 1571 as a musician at Oschatz with the name Hymaturgus and in 1572, as Johann Würker, as a singer. He may be the Johann Weber referred to in 1562 as ‘composer from Oschatz’. As a composer he is known by the Missa super ‘Castigans castigavit’ and the wedding motet ...


Andrew Flory

[William Harrison, Jr. ]

(b Slab Fork, WV, July 4, 1938). American rhythm-and-blues and pop singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. An African American performer, he entered the music business while in his 30s, after nearly a decade of service in the United States Navy. Signing with the Los Angeles independent label Sussex, he released his first album, Just As I Am, in 1971. His single “Ain’t No Sunshine” received national attention and won a Grammy award for Best R&B Song. His album Still Bill (1972) included the singles “Lean on Me” and “Use Me,” both of which rose to the top of the Billboard “Hot 100” and Soul Singles charts. He performed these deceptively simple songs in a direct vocal style accompanied by a funky backing group. As the most prominent artist to release records on the Sussex label, Withers’s career suffered following its demise in mid-1975. He recorded for Columbia beginning in the late 1970s, including the uplifting single “Lovely Day” (...



Burkhard Kippenberg

[Wizlaw von Rügen]

(fl c1300). German Minnesinger. 13 Minnelieder and 14 Sprüche are attributed to him in the Jena manuscript; 17 of them have melodies in this source. The Minnelieder are composed of traditional formulae and motifs, while religious and moralizing topics predominate in his Spruch poetry. He stated that he had learnt the art of poetry from ‘der Ungelârte’, none of whose poetry survives. A member of a later generation of poets, he seems to have emulated the forms and themes of other masters, notably Gottfried von Neifen, Steinmar, Ulrich von Winterstetten and Reinmar von Zweter. In rhythm and metre and in melodic style his poems exhibit an independently artistic and highly developed formal sense. His melodies, some of which are characterized by rich melismas, justify substantial study.

Since the beginning of the 19th century he has been identified with Wizlâv III, Prince of Pomerania and Rügen (d...


(b c1540; d Chichester, 1590). English singer, organist and composer . He was a lay clerk at King's College, Cambridge in 1562–3. In 1565 he was appointed a singer at Canterbury Cathedral, becoming a full lay clerk in 1568. About 1570 he left Canterbury to take up the position of organist and Master of the Choristers at Chichester Cathedral. He presumably took orders at this time since he acquired the position of priest vicar on 1 April 1574. He was granted the living of Rumboldswhyke, near Chichester, on 7 November 1589.

Of his five known compositions (all ed. in MB, xliv, 1979), all instrumental, four appear in GB-Lbl Add. 31390. This manuscript is dated 1578 and has Chichester connections. Woodcock may well have been involved in its compilation; he had already been paid a consultancy fee at Canterbury in connection with the copying of new music books there. However, the discovery of examples of his signature at Canterbury now seems to discount the previously suggested possibility that he copied the Chichester source....