Saturday, January 28, 2017

Yup, Old-Guy Composer/Lyricists...but thank the theatre gods for 'em!

 Jerome Kern, born Jan. 27, 1885,
on Sutton Place
(when it was the brewery district, not the high-rent 'hood 
it is now),
started his career as a rehearsal pianist and
on Tin Pan Alley, plugging other people's songs.
His own songs found their way into The Earl and The Girl,
The Beauty of Bath, and silent films.
Between 1915 and 1920, 
he wrote 16 musicals.
Projects with P.G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton,and later
Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein.

Later in life,
at his doctor's insistence,
he moved to Hollywood to write movie scores...
as if that was less stressful than Broadway?
Below with Oscar,
with whom Jerome had his longest-lasting writing partnership
(unusual for Jerome, supposedly).
He died in 1945, having written (or contributed to)
over 60 musicals, and over 700 songs.

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart,
joined forces when they met at Columbia University;
their first song, "Any Old Place With You", was added to the
musical comedy, A Lonely Romeo.
1918 brought their break-thru show: The Garrick Gaieties.
Their partnership lasted for 20 years, 
having produced 26 musicals and scores for several films.
Hart passed away in 1943, at the age of 48.
Below, Richard with his "new" partner,
Oscar Hammerstein,
riding high after South Pacif...or The King and I...
or ...(insert R&H Smash here!

John Kander & Fred Ebb
(John at the keys)
were introduced by music publisher, Tommy Valando, in 1962,
and on the strength of their songs for Golden Gate
(never produced!)
they were hired to write the score for 
Flora The Red Menace.
Okay, so it was a flop (87 performances)
but it led to Cabaret, and a life-long connection with Liza.
The Happy Time, The Rink, Chicago, Curtains and more...
Fred passed away in 2004,
John will turn 90 in March of this year.
 David Shire and Richard Maltby, Jr. (in stripes!)
have written 2 Broadway musicals together (Big and Baby)
and 2 revues (Starting Here, Starting Now, and Closer Than Ever).
Separately, David has written for movies and television
(The Taking Of Pelham 123, Norma Rae, Alice
Shining Time Station, etc.), 
conducted symphonic orchestras, and
is a Buffalo native!
Richard has turned to directing and producing
(Ain't Misbehavin', Miss Saigon, Fosse, Ring Of Fire),
and is King of the Crossword.

 Leslie Bricusse,
lyricist, composer, and writer,
has a birthday on Sunday (1/29), when he'll turn 86 years old.
Above with Henry Mancini,
(with Cher and Placido?) 
receiving their Oscars for the score of Victor/Victoria.

 And Leslie with Anthony Newley,
with whom he created Stop The World,
and The Roar Of the Greasepaint, and
Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory.
Leslie (working alone or with partners) has created
almost 2 dozen scores for shows and movies,
including "Talk To The Animals" from Doctor Doolittle,
for which he received an Academy Award for Best Song.

No comments:

Post a Comment