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Best Theatrical Lyricist of All Time

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    1
    Woody Guthrie

    Woody Guthrie

    • Play Lyrics Written: Woody Guthrie's American Song
    Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land." Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression when Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned their traditional folk and blues songs, earning him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour." Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States Communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any. Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children, including American folk musician Arlo Guthrie. Guthrie died from complications of Huntington's disease, a
    7.45
    11 votes
    2
    Tom Lehrer

    Tom Lehrer

    • Play Lyrics Written: Tom Foolery
    Thomas Andrew Lehrer (born April 9, 1928) is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. He has lectured on mathematics and musical theater. Lehrer is best known for the pithy, humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and 1960s. His work often parodies popular song forms, though Lehrer usually creates original melodies when doing so. A notable exception is his song "The Elements", where he sets the names of the chemical elements to the tune of the "Major-General's Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. Lehrer's earlier work typically dealt with non-topical subject matter and was noted for its black humor, seen in songs such as "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park". In the 1960s, he produced a number of songs dealing with social and political issues of the day, particularly when he wrote for the U.S. version of the television show That Was The Week That Was. In the early 1970s, he retired from public performances to devote his time to teaching mathematics and music theatre at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He did two additional performances in 1998 at a London gala show celebrating the career of impresario Cameron Mackintosh. Lehrer was
    7.25
    8 votes
    3
    Louis Jordan

    Louis Jordan

    • Play Lyrics Written: Five Guys Named Moe
    Louis Thomas Jordan (July 8, 1908 – February 4, 1975) was a pioneering American jazz, blues and rhythm & blues musician, songwriter and bandleader who enjoyed his greatest popularity from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as "The King of the Jukebox", he was highly popular with both black and white audiences in the later years of the swing era. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him no. 59 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Jordan was one of the most successful African-American musicians of the 20th century, ranking fifth in the list of the all-time most successful black recording artists according to Billboard magazine's chart methodology. Though comprehensive sales figures are not available, he scored at least four million-selling hits during his career. Jordan regularly topped the R&B "race" charts, and was one of the first black recording artists to achieve a significant "crossover" in popularity into the mainstream (predominantly white) American audience, scoring simultaneous Top Ten hits on the white pop charts on several occasions. After Duke Ellington and Count Basie, Louis Jordan was probably the most popular and successful African-American
    6.63
    8 votes
    4
    Gavin Geoffrey Dillard

    Gavin Geoffrey Dillard

    • Play Lyrics Written: Bark! The Musical
    Gavin Geoffrey Dillard (born November 28, 1954) is an American poet and songwriter. He is the author of seven books of homoerotic poetry, two anthologies of poetry, and several popular songs. He wrote many of the lyrics for Bark! The Musical. Dillard was born in Asheville, North Carolina, on November 28, 1954. He was in the high school program at the North Carolina School of the Arts and also attended California Institute of the Arts. His first chapbook of poetry, Twenty Nineteen Poems, was published by Ian Young's Catalyst Press when Dillard was 20 years old. During the late 1970s, Dillard lived in Hollywood, California, and his experiences there figured heavily in his autobiography, In the Flesh: Undressing for Success, published in 1997 by Barricade Books. Dillard's portraits have been drawn by Tom of Finland and Don Bachardy. Photos of Dillard have appeared in Playgirl and many gay publications. Dillard is the author of seven books of homoerotic poetry, the first of which was published when he was 20. Dillard collected and published two anthologies of gay poetry, Between the Cracks, and A Day for a Lay: A Century of Gay Poetry. Many of Dillard's private letters, notes, and
    7.83
    6 votes
    5
    Noble Sissle

    Noble Sissle

    • Play Lyrics Written: Shuffle Along
    Noble Sissle (July 10, 1889 – December 17, 1975) was an American jazz composer, lyricist, bandleader, singer and playwright. Noble Lee Sissle was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on the 10th of July, 1889, around the time his father, the Rev George A. Sissle, was pastor of the city’s Simpson M. E. Chapel. His mother, Martha Angeline (née Scott) Sissle, was a school teacher and juvenile probation officer. As a youth Sissle sang in church choirs and as a soloist with his high school's glee club in Cleveland, Ohio. Sissle attended De Pauw University in Greencastle, Indiana on scholarship and later transferred to Butler University in Indianapolis before turning to music full-time. On October 1, 1918, Sissle joined the New York 369th Infantry Regiment at New York City where he helped Lieutenant James Reese Europe form the 369th Regimental Band. Sissle played violin and also served as drum major for the 369th that, under Europe as bandmaster, is now considered amongst the greatest jazz bands of all time. Sissle sang several vocals on the last album recorded by the band that was released in March 1919. He left the army after the war as a second lieutenant with the 370th Infantry Regiment and
    7.50
    6 votes
    6
    Phil Spector

    Phil Spector

    • Play Lyrics Written: Leader of the Pack
    Phillip Harvey "Phil" Spector (born Harvey Phillip Spector on December 26, 1940) is a former American record producer and songwriter. The originator of the "Wall of Sound" production technique, Spector was a pioneer of the 1960s girl-group sound and produced over 25 Top 40 hits in 1960–1965. Some of his famous girl groups are The Ronettes and The Crystals. After this initial success, Spector later worked with artists including Ike and Tina Turner, John Lennon, George Harrison, and the Ramones with similar acclaim. He produced The Beatles' Academy Award winning album Let It Be, and the Grammy Award–winning Concert for Bangladesh by former Beatle George Harrison. In 1989, Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer. The 1965 song "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", produced and co-written by Spector for The Righteous Brothers, is listed by BMI as the song with the most U.S. airplay in the 20th century. In 2009 Spector was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, California home. He is serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life. Spector was born on December 26, 1940, to a lower-middle-class
    7.50
    6 votes
    7
    Lee Breuer

    Lee Breuer

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Gospel at Colonus
    Lee Breuer (born 1937) is an American academic, educator, film maker, poet, lyricist, writer and stage director. Lee Breuer is a founding artistic director of Mabou Mines Theater Company in New York City, which he began in 1970 with colleagues Philip Glass, Ruth Maleczech, JoAnne Akalaitis, David Warrilow, and Frederick Neuman. Breuer's most recent work with Mabou Mines was the puppet opera, Red Beads, created in collaboration with puppeteer Basil Twist and composer Ushio Torikai. Of the September 2005 New York City premiere, the New York Times said: "… theater as sorcery; it is a crossroads where artistic traditions meet to invent a marvelous common language. It is a fairy tale, a puppet play and a chamber opera… amazing work." His previous Mabou Mines production, Mabou Mines Dollhouse, a deconstruction of the Ibsen classic, won 2004 Obie Awards for Best Director and Best Performance. The production continues its international touring with upcoming featured engagements including Paris, Hong Kong, and tours in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Another production is being planned for production in Buenos Aires and touring in South America, and a high definition video production
    8.60
    5 votes
    8
    Stephin Merritt

    Stephin Merritt

    • Play Lyrics Written: Coraline
    Stephin Raymond Merritt (born 1966) is an American singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles (formerly in New York City), best known as the principal singer and songwriter in the band The Magnetic Fields. He is known for his distinctive and untrained bass voice. He created and played principal roles in the bands The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, The Gothic Archies and Future Bible Heroes. He briefly used the name The Baudelaire Memorial Orchestra as an attribution for a song written for Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, entitled "Scream and Run Away". Further music was recorded for the audiobook versions of the series and is attributed to The Gothic Archies. The Tragic Treasury was released by Nonesuch Records in October 2006 along with the 13th and final book of the series. Under his own name, he recorded and released the soundtracks to the films Eban and Charley and Pieces of April. The soundtrack to the Nickelodeon show The Adventures of Pete & Pete featured many of his songs. He and director Chen Shi-zheng have collaborated on three pieces of musical theatre; Orphan of Zhao (2003), Peach Blossom Fan (2004), and My Life as a Fairy Tale (2005) Select tracks from these
    8.40
    5 votes
    9
    Jim Steinman

    Jim Steinman

    • Play Lyrics Written: Dance of the Vampires
    James Richard "Jim" Steinman (born November 1, 1947) is an American composer, lyricist, and Grammy Award-winning record producer responsible for several hit songs. He has also worked as an arranger, pianist, and singer. His work has included songs in the adult contemporary, rock and roll, dance, pop, musical theater, and film score genres. Beginning his career in musical theater, Steinman's most notable work in the area includes lyrics for Whistle Down the Wind and music for Tanz der Vampire. His work includes such albums as Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, and producing albums for Bonnie Tyler. His most successful chart singles include Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart", Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing at All", Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)", The Sisters of Mercy's "This Corrosion" and "More", Barry Manilow's "Read 'Em and Weep" (originally released by Meat Loaf), Celine Dion's cover of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (originally released by Steinman's project Pandora's Box) and Boyzone's "No Matter What". The album Bad for Good was released in his own name in 1981. Steinman was born in New York,
    7.17
    6 votes
    10
    Pet Shop Boys

    Pet Shop Boys

    • Play Lyrics Written: Closer to Heaven
    Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards. One of the world's best-selling music artists, Pet Shop Boys have sold 50 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records. Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1986 they have achieved 42 Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four number ones: "West End Girls", "It's a Sin", "Always on My Mind" and "Heart". At the 2009 BRIT Awards, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. The band's eleventh studio album, titled Elysium (continuing their tradition of single word titles), was released in September 2012, the first single of which, titled "Winner", was released on 2 July 2012. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe met in an electronics shop on Kings Road in Chelsea, London in August 1981. Recognising a mutual interest in dance music, they began to work on material together, first in Tennant's flat in Chelsea and from 1982, in a small studio in Camden Town. It was
    7.00
    6 votes
    11
    Kurt Weill

    Kurt Weill

    • Play Lyrics Written: LoveMusik
    Kurt Julian Weill (March 2, 1900 – April 3, 1950) was a German composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht. With Brecht, he developed productions such as his most well known work The Threepenny Opera, a Marxist critique of capitalism, which included the ballad "Mack the Knife". Weill was a socialist who held the ideal of writing music that served a socially useful purpose. He also wrote a number of works for the concert hall, as well as several Judaism-themed pieces. Kurt Julian Weill was born on March 2, 1900, the third of four children to Albert Weill (1867–1950) and Emma Weill née Ackermann (1872–1955). He grew up in a religious Jewish family in the "Sandvorstadt", the Jewish quarter in Dessau, Germany, where his father was a cantor. At the age of twelve, Kurt Weill started taking piano lessons and made his first attempts at writing music; his earliest preserved composition was written in 1913 and is titled Mi Addir. Jewish Wedding Song. In 1915, Weill started taking private lessons with Albert Bing, Kapellmeister at the "Herzogliches
    8.00
    5 votes
    12

    Stephen Sondheim

    • Play Lyrics Written: West Side Story
    Stephen Joshua Sondheim ( /ˈsɒnd.haɪm/; born March 22, 1930) is an American composer and lyricist known for his contributions to musical theatre. He is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award. Described by Frank Rich of the New York Times as "now the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater", his most famous works include (as composer/lyricist) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. Sondheim has written material for movies, including the 1981 Warren Beatty film Reds, for which he contributed the song "Goodbye For Now". He also wrote five songs for the 1990 movie Dick Tracy, including "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)" which won the Academy Award for Best Song. He was president of the Dramatists Guild from 1973 to 1981. In celebration of his 80th birthday, the Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on
    8.00
    5 votes
    13

    Andrew Lippa

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Addams Family
    Andrew Lippa (December 22, 1964) is an American composer, lyricist, book writer, performer, and producer. He is a resident artist at the Ars Nova Theater in New York City. Lippa was born in Leeds, England. to English parents. He emigrated to the US in October, 1967 and grew up in Oak Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He attended Oak Park High School in Oak Park, Michigan. While at Michigan, Lippa studied vocal performance but eventually transferred into music education and received his bachelor’s degree in music education. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Lippa moved to New York City in 1987 and became a middle school music teacher at Columbia Grammar and Prep School (CGPS) on the Upper West Side. He was promoted his second year at (CGPS) to dean of 7th and 8th grade students – an assistant principal position – and held that post, in addition to teaching music, until June 1991. In 1988 Lippa was accepted into the celebrated BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop as a composer. There he met his future collaborator Tom Greenwald (John & Jen) He later pursued a music career. Lippa began his professional theatrical career at the Goodspeed Opera House in East
    6.83
    6 votes
    14
    Dorothy Parker

    Dorothy Parker

    • Play Lyrics Written: Candide
    Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed as her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist. Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a "wisecracker." Nevertheless, her literary output and reputation for her sharp wit have endured. Also known as Dot or Dottie, Parker was born Dorothy Rothschild to Jacob Henry and Eliza Annie Rothschild (née Marston) at 732 Ocean Avenue in the West End village of Long Branch, New Jersey, where her parents had a summer beach cottage. Dorothy's mother was of Scottish descent, and her father was of German Jewish descent (but not related to the Rothschild banking dynasty). Parker wrote in her essay "My Hometown"
    6.83
    6 votes
    15
    Cy Coleman

    Cy Coleman

    • Play Lyrics Written: Welcome to the Club
    Cy Coleman (June 14, 1929 - November 18, 2004) was an American composer, songwriter, and jazz pianist. He was born Seymour Kaufman on June 14, 1929, in New York City to Eastern European Jewish parents, and was raised in the Bronx. His mother, Ida (née Prizent) was an apartment landlady and his father was a brickmason. He was a child prodigy who gave piano recitals at Steinway Hall, Town Hall, and Carnegie Hall between the ages of six and nine. Before beginning his fabled Broadway career, he led the Cy Coleman Trio, which made many recordings and was a much-in-demand club attraction. Despite the early classical and jazz success, he decided to build a career in popular music. His first collaborator was Joseph Allen McCarthy, but his most successful early partnership, albeit a turbulent one, was with Carolyn Leigh. The pair wrote many pop hits, including "Witchcraft" and "The Best Is Yet To Come." One of his instrumentals, "Playboy's Theme," became the signature music of the regular TV shows and specials presented by Playboy, and remains synonymous with the magazine and its creator, Hugh Hefner. Coleman's career as a Broadway composer began when he and Leigh collaborated on Wildcat
    9.00
    4 votes
    16

    Ira Gershwin

    • Play Lyrics Written: Of Thee I Sing
    Ira Gershwin (December 6, 1896 – August 17, 1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. With George he wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows, featuring songs such as "I Got Rhythm", "Embraceable You", "The Man I Love" and "Someone to Watch Over Me". He was also responsible, along with DuBose Heyward, for the libretto to George's opera Porgy and Bess. The success the brothers had with their collaborative works has often overshadowed the creative role that Ira played. However, his mastery of songwriting continued after the early death of George. He wrote additional hit songs with composers Jerome Kern ("Long Ago (and Far Away)"), Kurt Weill and Harold Arlen. His critically acclaimed book Lyrics on Several Occasions of 1959, an amalgam of autobiography and annotated anthology, is an important source for studying the art of the lyricist in the golden age of American popular song. Gershwin was born Israel Gershowitz in New York City to Morris (Moishe) and Rose Gershovitz who changed the family name to Gershvin well before their children rose to fame (it was not
    7.60
    5 votes
    17

    Lebo M

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Lion King
    Lebohang “Lebo M.” Morake (born 20 May 1964) is a South African composer most famous for arranging and performing music for the Lion King movies and stage productions. He was recommended to Disney by Hans Zimmer, the score composer of The Lion King, and was later hired to form and conduct the African choir that sang for the movies. His voice is the first voice heard in the beginning of the film, singing the now famous chant (often considered synonymous with the film's image in popular culture) over the opening sequence. He also contributed to the sequel to the film's soundtrack, Rhythm of the Pride Lands, and the film's direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. Lebo M was born on 20 May 1964 in the Apartheid-ridden Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa and was inspired by Nelson Mandela, he spent years working hard in the slums and then in Los Angeles in a variety of jobs, including begging and serving at McDonald's. He was exiled from South Africa in 1979, but returned 20 years later. He lives with his family in Johannesburg and Los Angeles. He founded the Lebo M Foundation and Till Dawn Entertainment. The shortened version of his name is a homonym for La bohème,
    7.60
    5 votes
    18
    Paul Simon

    Paul Simon

    Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an award-winning musician whose talents in composing, performing, and vocal harmony placed him at the forefront of the singer-songwriters on an international scale. Simon's fame, influence and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts: "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity, and Simon began a successful solo career, recording three highly acclaimed albums over the next five years. In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music. Simon also wrote and starred in the film One-Trick Pony (1980) and co-wrote the Broadway musical The Capeman (1998) with the poet Derek Walcott. Simon has earned 12 Grammys for his solo and collaborative work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2006 was selected as one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World" by Time magazine. Among many
    8.75
    4 votes
    19
    Phil Hartman

    Phil Hartman

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Pee-Wee Herman Show
    Philip Edward "Phil" Hartman (September 24, 1948 – May 28, 1998; né Hartmann) was a Canadian-American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and graphic artist. Born in Brantford, Ontario, Hartman and his family moved to the United States when he was 10. After graduating from California State University, Northridge, with a degree in graphic arts, he designed album covers for bands like Poco and America. Feeling the need for a more creative outlet, Hartman joined the comedy group The Groundlings in 1975 and there helped comedian Paul Reubens develop his character Pee-wee Herman. Hartman co-wrote the screenplay for the film Pee-wee's Big Adventure and made recurring appearances on Reubens' show Pee-wee's Playhouse. Hartman became famous in the late 1980s when he joined the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He won fame for his impressions, particularly of President Bill Clinton, and he stayed on the show for eight seasons. Called "the Glue" for his ability to hold the show together and help other cast members, Hartman won a Primetime Emmy Award for his SNL work in 1989. In 1995, after scrapping plans for his own variety show, he starred as Bill McNeal in the NBC sitcom NewsRadio. He
    7.40
    5 votes
    20

    William Finn

    • Play Lyrics Written: A New Brain
    William Alan Finn (b. February 28, 1952, Boston, Massachusetts) is an American composer and lyricist of musicals. His musical Falsettos received the 1992 Tony Awards for Best Music and Lyrics and for Best Book. Finn, who is Jewish, grew up in Natick, Massachusetts with his parents and siblings, Michael and Nancy. He majored in music at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. When he graduated, he received the Hutchinson Fellowship (a musical composition award). He is also Adjunct Faculty Composer/Lyricist at New York University. In 1992, Finn suffered deteriorating vision, dizziness and partial paralysis and was rushed to the hospital. He had arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, in his brain stem. In September, 1992, he had Gamma Knife surgery, which obliterated the AVM. After the surgery, Finn experienced a year of humbled serenity and constantly felt like he had a "new brain." Finn's 2002 musical A New Brain is based on his experience with AVM and his subsequent successful surgery. He lives with his life partner in New York City and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he is a composer and writer. Besides composing for the stage and screen, Finn is member of the NYU Tisch
    8.50
    4 votes
    21
    Benny Andersson

    Benny Andersson

    • Play Lyrics Written: Mamma Mia!
    Göran Bror Benny Andersson (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈjœːˈran bruːr ˈbɛnɪ ˈandɛˈʂɔn]) (born 16 December 1946), known professionally as Benny Andersson, is a Swedish musician, composer, former member of the Swedish musical group ABBA (1972–1983), and co-composer of the musicals Chess, Kristina från Duvemåla, and Mamma Mia!. As of 2011 he is active with his own band Benny Anderssons Orkester (BAO!), and was executive producer for the film version of the musical Mamma Mia!. Andersson was born in Stockholm to 34-year-old construction engineer Gösta Andersson and his 26-year-old wife Laila. His sister Eva-Lis Andersson followed in 1948. Andersson's musical background comes from his father and grandfather; they both enjoyed playing the accordion, and at six, Benny got his own. Father Gösta and grandfather Efraim taught him Swedish folk music, traditional music, and the odd schlager. Benny recalls the first records he bought were "Du Bist Musik" by Italian schlager singer Caterina Valente and Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock". He was especially impressed by the flip side "Treat Me Nice" as this featured a piano. This smörgåsbord of different kinds of music was to influence and follow him
    7.20
    5 votes
    22

    Trevor Peacock

    • Play Lyrics Written: Andy Capp
    Trevor Peacock (born 19 May 1931) is an English stage and television character actor. He was born in Tottenham, London, the son of Alexandria and Victor Edward Peacock. His many television roles include Jim Trott in The Vicar of Dibley, Rouault in Madame Bovary (opposite Keith Barron), Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop and Old Bailey in Neverwhere. He has also appeared in diverse programmes such as EastEnders (playing Sid, a war veteran Alfie Moon met in France), LWT's Wish Me Luck (in which he played resistance leader Renard), Jonathan Creek and Between The Lines. He had starring roles in several of the BBC Shakespeare series, including the title role in Titus Andronicus, Feste in Twelfth Night, or What You Will, Lord Talbot in Henry VI, Part 1 and Jack Cade in Henry VI, Part 2. He was the Gravedigger in Franco Zeffirelli's 1990 film version of Hamlet, and the Innkeeper in the 2000 made-for-television film version of Don Quixote, starring John Lithgow and Bob Hoskins. He played the father of Father Christmas in the 2007 film Fred Claus co-starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti. In July 2009 he also had a bit part in the TV Drama Hotel Babylon. He has also appeared as "Captain Zero"
    7.20
    5 votes
    23

    Ben Elton

    • Play Lyrics Written: We Will Rock You
    Benjamin Charles "Ben" Elton (born 3 May 1959) is an English-Australian comedian, author, playwright and director. He was the leader of the British alternative comedy movement of the 1980s, as a writer on such cult series as The Young Ones and Blackadder, as well as also a successful stand-up comedian on stage and TV. He was a high-profile frontman of 1980s left-wing political satire. Since then he has published thirteen novels and more lately become known for writing the musical We Will Rock You (2002) and Love Never Dies (2010), the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Elton was born in Catford, London, the son of Mary (née Foster), an English teacher, and physicist and educational researcher Professor Lewis Elton. He is the nephew of the historian Sir G. R. Elton. Elton's father is of German Jewish descent and his mother is of English background. He studied at Stillness Junior School and Godalming Grammar School in Surrey, South Warwickshire College in Stratford-upon-Avon and the University of Manchester. Elton is married to Sophia Gare (an Australian saxophonist) and has three children (two sons and one daughter). He lives in Fremantle, Western Australia and in East Sussex,
    9.33
    3 votes
    24

    George Gershwin

    • Play Lyrics Written: Nice Work If You Can Get It
    George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris, as well as the opera Porgy and Bess. Born in Brooklyn to a Ukrainian father of Jewish descent and a Russian mother, Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark and Henry Cowell. He began his career as a song plugger, but soon thereafter started composing Broadway theatre works with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris in an attempt to study with Nadia Boulanger, where he began to compose An American in Paris. After returning to New York City, he wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and author DuBose Heyward. Initially a commercial failure, Porgy and Bess is now considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century. Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from a brain tumor. Gershwin's compositions have been used in numerous films and on television, and
    9.33
    3 votes
    25

    Jonathan Larson

    • Play Lyrics Written: Rent
    Jonathan Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996) was an American composer and playwright noted for the serious social issues of multiculturalism, addiction, and homophobia explored in his work. Typical examples of his use of these themes are found in his works, Rent and tick, tick... BOOM!. He received three posthumous Tony Awards and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the rock opera Rent. Larson was born to Jewish parents, Allan and Nanette Larson, in White Plains, New York. He was exposed to the performing arts, especially music and theatre from an early age, as he played the trumpet, tuba, was involved in his school's choir, and took formal piano lessons. His early musical influences were his favorite rock musicians such as Elton John, The Beatles, The Doors, The Who, and Billy Joel, as well as the classic composers of musical theatre, especially Stephen Sondheim. Larson was also involved in acting in high school, performing in lead roles in various productions at White Plains High School. Larson attended Adelphi University in Garden City, New York with a four-year scholarship as an acting Academic major, in addition to performing in numerous plays and musical
    9.00
    3 votes
    26

    Buddy De Sylva

    • Play Lyrics Written: Follow Thru
    George Gard "Buddy" DeSylva (January 27, 1895 - July 11, 1950) was an American songwriter, film producer and record executive. He wrote or co-wrote many popular songs and along with Johnny Mercer and Glenn Wallichs he founded Capitol Records. DeSylva was born in New York City, but grew up in California and attended the University of Southern California. His father, Aloysius J. De Sylva, was better known to American audiences as the Portuguese-born actor, Hal De Forrest. DeSylva's first successful songs were those used by Al Jolson on Broadway in the 1918 +Sinbad production, which included "I'll Say She Does". Soon thereafter he met Jolson and in 1918 the pair went to New York and DeSylva began working as a songwriter at Tin Pan Alley. In the early 1920s DeSylva frequently worked with composer George Gershwin. Together they created the experimental one-act jazz opera Blue Monday set in Harlem, which is widely regarded as a forerunner to Porgy and Bess ten years later. In 1925, DeSylva became one third of the songwriting team with lyricist Lew Brown and composer Ray Henderson, one of the top Tin Pan Alley songwriters of the era. The writing and publishing partnership continued until
    7.75
    4 votes
    27

    David Crane

    • Play Lyrics Written: Personals
    David Crane (born August 13, 1957) is an American writer and producer. He is one of the creators of the television sitcom Friends, along with his longtime friend Marta Kauffman. Crane was born in Philadelphia, the son of veteran WCAU Philadelphia news anchor Gene Crane and his first wife Joan. He is Jewish. He attended Harriton High school in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, and received his bachelor's degree from Brandeis University. He and his life partner, Jeffrey Klarik (also a producer of Mad About You), created the 2006 ensemble sitcom, The Class. In 2011, Crane and Klarik created a new sitcom called Episodes for the BBC. Airing first in the US on Showtime on Sunday January 9, 2011 and then on BBC Two on Monday January 10, 2011, it features Friends star Matt LeBlanc and Green Wing's Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.
    7.75
    4 votes
    28

    Glenn Slater

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Little Mermaid
    Glenn Slater (born 1968) is an American lyricist who collabrates with Alan Menken and other musical theatre composers. He was nominated for the Tony Award, Best Original Score for The Little Mermaid and received his second Tony nomination for Sister Act. Slater was born in Brooklyn, New York, but raised in East Brunswick, New Jersey. In 1990, he graduated at Harvard University and received the ASCAP Foundation's Richard Rodgers New Horizon Award with composer Stephen Weiner. Slater wrote the lyrics for the Off-Broadway stage revue Newyorkers produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2001. He has written lyrics for six editions of Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus. His first work with Alan Menken was writing the lyrics for the film Home on the Range in 2004 and the stage production Sister Act the Musical (2006). He wrote the lyrics for the stage adaptation of Disney's The Little Mermaid (2008), replacing the animated film's original lyricist Howard Ashman, who died in 1991. He is working with Menken on the new musical version of Leap of Faith. He has also composed the lyrics and co-wrote the book for the major Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Love Never Dies, which is a sequel
    7.75
    4 votes
    29

    Christopher Bond

    Christopher Godfrey Bond (born 1945) is a British playwright whose 1973 retelling of the Victorian tale Sweeney Todd formed the basis of Stephen Sondheim's musical of the same name, with book by Hugh Wheeler. He currently lives in West Cornwall.
    6.60
    5 votes
    30

    John Dempsey

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Pirate Queen
    John Dempsey is a theatrical lyricist and playwright who has worked in Britain and the United States. His work has been produced in Japan, Brazil and other countries. Much of his work in musical theater has been written with composer Dana P. Rowe. With Rowe, he wrote the book and lyrics for Zombie Prom (1995), The Fix (directed by Sam Mendes, 1997), and the stage adaptation of John Updike's The Witches of Eastwick (2000). Rowe and Dempsey were nominated for the Olivier Award for The Fix and The Witches of Eastwick, both of which were produced in London by Cameron Mackintosh (Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables). He was the co-lyricist for The Pirate Queen, collaborating with composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyricist Alain Boublil (Les Miserables). With playwright/lyricist Rinne Groff and composer Michael Friedman, Dempsey co-wrote the book and lyrics for the musical adaptation of the movie Saved!, which was produced by Playwrights Horizons in New York City in 2008. A new musical by Dempsey and Rowe, Brother Russia, in which a "fourth-rate Russian theatre troupe... in a desolate potato field north of Omsk" proves to be led by the semingly immortal Rasputin, is due to be
    6.60
    5 votes
    31
    Demon Kakka

    Demon Kakka

    • Play Lyrics Written: Shiroh
    Demon Kakka (デーモン閣下, Dēmon Kakka) (born November 10, 1962), previously known as Demon Kogure, is a Japanese musician, entertainer, journalist and sumo commentator. He is the frontman of the heavy metal band Seikima-II, and is known for always working entirely in character. He has released over 30 albums, and sold over 10 million CDs during his music career. Demon attended Toin Gakuen High School and graduated with honors from Waseda University with a degree in social science. His elder sister, Yumiko Kogure, is a former Tokyo Broadcasting System newscaster. In December 1982, he and Damian Hamada formed Seikima-II. In accordance to their "prophecy" and after completing their "world conquest", the band disbanded at the end of the century on December 31, 1999 at 23:59:59. They have reunited for reunion tours in 2005 and 2010. He released his first solo work in 1990, and after Seikima-II disbanded focused on his solo career. In 1994 Demon appeared on Larry King Live, becoming the first Japanese musician to do so. Demon is an Akuma (an evil kind of kami) masquerading in the human realm. He is the former vice-king of Jigoku (Hell) and the founder of Akumakyō (a demoniac religion). Kogure
    5.67
    6 votes
    32

    Allee Willis

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Color Purple
    Allee Willis (born November 10, 1947) is an American, Grammy Award-winning songwriter, artist, set designer, multimedia artist, writer, collector and director. In 1995 Willis was nominated for an Emmy for her #1 hit, "I'll Be There for You", the theme from Friends, one of the best selling television themes of all time. In 1985 she won a Grammy for Best Soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop. Her songs have sold over 50,000,000 records, including "September" and "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire, "Neutron Dance" by the Pointer Sisters, "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" by Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield, and "Lead Me On" by Maxine Nightingale. Willis has collaborated with hundreds of leading artists and composers from all fields of music, including Bob Dylan, James Brown, Herbie Hancock, Deniece Williams and Motown legend Lamont Dozier. She co-authored the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Alice Walker and film by Steven Spielberg, which opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theater on December 1, 2005, and continues on national tour. In September, 2009, Willis opened The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch,  a virtual museum
    7.50
    4 votes
    33
    Bono

    Bono

    • Play Lyrics Written: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
    Paul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960), most commonly known by his stage name Bono (/ˈbɒnoʊ/ BON-oh), is an Irish singer, musician, and humanitarian best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his future wife, Alison Stewart, and the future members of U2. Bono writes almost all U2 lyrics, often using political, social, and religious themes. During their early years, Bono's lyrics contributed to U2's rebellious and spiritual tone. As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with members of U2. Outside the band, he has collaborated and recorded with numerous artists, is managing director and a managing partner of Elevation Partners, and has refurbished and owns The Clarence Hotel in Dublin with The Edge. Bono is also widely known for his activism concerning Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign and Product Red. He has organised and played in several benefit concerts and has met with influential politicians. Bono has been praised and criticised for his activism and involvement with U2. He has
    7.50
    4 votes
    34

    Jerry Ross

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Pajama Game
    Jerry Ross (né Jerold Rosenberg March 9, 1926 – November 11, 1955) was an American lyricist and composer whose works with Richard Adler for the musical theater include The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, winners of Tony Awards in 1955 and 1956 respectively in both the "Best Musical" and "Best Composer and Lyricist" categories. Ross was born Jerold Rosenberg to Russian immigrant parents, Lena and Jacob Rosenberg, in the Bronx, New York City. Growing up, he was a professional singer and actor in the Yiddish theater, where he was billed as the “Boy Star.” Following High School he studied at New York University under Rudolph Schramm. Introductions to singer Eddie Fisher and others, brought him into contact with music publishers at the Brill Building, the center of songwriting activity in New York. (Fisher later had a hit with Ross’ The Newspaper Song) Ross met Richard Adler in 1950, and as a duo they became protégés of the great composer/lyricist/publisher Frank Loesser. Their song Rags to Riches was recorded by Tony Bennett and reached number 1 on the charts in 1953. Adler and Ross began their career in the Broadway Theater with John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, a revue for which they
    7.50
    4 votes
    35
    Marc Shaiman

    Marc Shaiman

    • Play Lyrics Written: Hairspray
    Marc Shaiman (born October 22, 1959) is a Tony, Grammy, Emmy winning and Oscar nominated American composer, lyricist, arranger, and performer for films, television, and theatre. He is perhaps best known for writing the music and co-writing the lyrics for the Broadway musical version of the cult John Waters film Hairspray. Shaiman was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Claire (née Goldfein) and William Robert Shaiman. He went to Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. He lives in both Los Angeles and New York City. Shaiman and Scott Wittman have been partners in life and collaborators in theater since 1979. Shaiman started his career as a theatre/cabaret musical director. He then became vocal arranger for Bette Midler, eventually becoming her musical director and co-producer of many of her recordings, including The Wind Beneath My Wings and From a Distance. He helped create the material for her performance on the penultimate The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. His work with both Bette Midler and Billy Crystal led to his involvement on their films. His film credits include Broadcast News, Beaches, When Harry Met Sally..., City Slickers, The Addams Family, Sister Act, Sleepless in
    7.50
    4 votes
    36
    Tim Minchin

    Tim Minchin

    • Play Lyrics Written: Matilda the Musical
    Timothy David "Tim" Minchin (born 7 October 1975 in Northampton, England) is an Australian-British comedian, actor, and musician. Tim Minchin is best known for his musical comedy, which has featured in six CDs, three DVDs and a number of live comedy shows which he has performed internationally. He has also appeared on television in Australia, Britain and the United States. After growing up in Perth, Western Australia, he attended the University of Western Australia and WAAPA before moving to Melbourne in 2002. His breakout show, "Dark Side", launched him into the public eye, achieving critical success at the 2005 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Minchin has a background in theatre and has appeared in various stage productions, in addition to some small acting roles on Australian TV. A documentary film about Minchin, Rock N Roll Nerd (directed by Rhian Skirving), was released theatrically in 2008 and broadcast by ABC1 in 2009. He is the composer and lyricist of the Olivier Award winning hit musical, Matilda the Musical, based on the Roald Dahl book Matilda. Minchin was born in Northampton, UK, to Australian parents and raised in Perth,
    7.50
    4 votes
    37

    Didier Van Cauwelaert

    • Play Lyrics Written: Amour
    Didier Van Cauwelaert (born July 29, 1960) is a French author of Belgian descent who was born in Nice. In 1994 his novel Un Aller simple won the Prix Goncourt.
    8.67
    3 votes
    38
    Gerome Ragni

    Gerome Ragni

    • Play Lyrics Written: Hair
    Gerome Bernard Ragni (September 11, 1935 – July 10, 1991) was an American actor, singer and songwriter, best known as the co-author of the groundbreaking 1960s Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Ragni was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of ten children from an impoverished Italian family He attended Georgetown University and The Catholic University of America. It was at the latter that he found a flair for the dramatic and he began studying acting with Philip Burton. Ragni made his acting debut in Washington, D.C., in 1954 playing Father Corr in Shadow and Substance. From then on he acted whenever he could find work. In 1963 he appeared in the New York production of the hit play War, at the Village South Theatre, for which he won the Barter Theatre Award for Outstanding Actor. On May 18, 1963, he married his longtime girlfriend Stephanie. They have a son named Erick. 1964 found him playing a bit part at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in the Broadway production of Hamlet, which starred Richard Burton. As a result he appeared in the Richard Burton's Hamlet |film version of the show released by Warner Bros. in 1964. That same year he made his first Off-Broadway appearance
    8.67
    3 votes
    39
    Dorothy Fields

    Dorothy Fields

    • Play Lyrics Written: Sweet Charity
    Dorothy Fields (July 15, 1905 – March 28, 1974) was an American librettist and lyricist. She wrote over 400 songs for Broadway musicals and films. Along with Ann Ronell, Dana Suesse, Bernice Petkere, and Kay Swift, she was one of the first successful Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood female songwriters. Fields was born in Allenhurst, New Jersey, and grew up in New York City. Her father, Lew Fields, an immigrant from Poland, was a vaudeville comedian and later became a Broadway producer. Her career as a professional songwriter took off in 1928, when Jimmy McHugh, who had seen some of her early work, invited her to provide some lyrics for him for Blackbirds of 1928. Fields and McHugh teamed up until 1935. Songs from this period include "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby", "Exactly Like You", and "On the Sunny Side of the Street." In the mid-1930s, Fields started to write lyrics for films and collaborated with other composers, including Jerome Kern. With Kern, she worked on the movie version of Roberta, and also on their greatest success, Swing Time. The song "The Way You Look Tonight" earned the Fields/Kern team an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1936. Fields returned to New
    10.00
    2 votes
    40
    Ellen Foley

    Ellen Foley

    • Play Lyrics Written: Leader of the Pack
    Ellen Foley (born June 5, 1951) is an American singer and actress, who has appeared on Broadway and television, where she co-starred in the sitcom Night Court. In music, she has released three solo albums but is best known for her collaborations with the singer Meat Loaf. Foley was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of John and Virginia B. Foley. Foley attended Webster University. Foley gained high public recognition singing the duet with Meat Loaf on the hit single "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" from the 1977 album Bat out of Hell. Although Karla DeVito is featured on the music video, DeVito is lip synching to Foley's vocals. Her debut album Night Out was released in 1979; the album's single "What's A Matter Baby" was a minor hit, reaching No. 92 on the US Charts. The album itself peaked at No. 152, and was produced by Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson. Foley recorded a memorable duet with Ian Hunter in 1980, "We Gotta Get Outta Here". Her creative relationship with Hunter also led her to singing backing vocals on the Iron City Houserockers' 1980 album Have a Good Time but Get out Alive!, produced by Hunter, Ronson, and The E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt. She can also be
    10.00
    2 votes
    41

    Elliot Goldenthal

    • Play Lyrics Written: Juan Darien
    Elliot Goldenthal (born May 2, 1954) is an American composer of contemporary classical music. He was a student of Aaron Copland and John Corigliano, and is best known for his distinctive style and ability to blend various musical styles and techniques in original and inventive ways. He is also a film-music composer, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2002 for his score to the motion picture Frida, directed by his long-time partner Julie Taymor. Goldenthal was born on May 2, 1954, as the youngest son of a Jewish housepainter father and a Catholic seamstress mother in Brooklyn, New York City, where he was influenced from an early age by music from all cultures and genres. Both pairs of Goldenthal's grandparents emigrated to the United States from Bucharest and Iași, Romania. Goldenthal lived in a multi-cultural part of town, and this is reflected in his works. He attended John Dewey High School in Brooklyn where, at the age of 14, he had his very first ballet Variations on Early Glimpses performed; he continued to display his eclectic musical range, performing with rock bands in the seventies. He then studied music full time at the prestigious Manhattan School of
    10.00
    2 votes
    42

    Howard Ashman

    • Play Lyrics Written: Beauty and the Beast
    Howard Elliott Ashman (May 17, 1950 – March 14, 1991) was an American playwright and lyricist. Ashman first studied at Boston University and Goddard College (with a stop at Tufts University's Summer Theater) and then went on to achieve his master's degree from Indiana University in 1974. He collaborated with Alan Menken on several films, notably animated features for Disney, Ashman writing the lyrics and Menken composing the music. Ashman was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Shirley Thelma (née Glass) and Raymond Albert Ashman, an ice cream cone manufacturer. He was the artistic director of the WPA Theater in New York. His first two plays, Cause Maggie's Afraid of the Dark and Dreamstuff, were met with mixed reviews. His play The Confirmation was produced in 1979 at Princeton's McCarter Theater and starred Herschel Bernardi. He first worked with Alan Menken on a 1979 musical adapted from Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. They also collaborated on Little Shop of Horrors with Ashman as director, lyricist, and librettist, winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics. Ashman was director, lyricist and bookwriter for the 1986 Broadway musical Smile (music by
    10.00
    2 votes
    43

    Jacques Levy

    • Play Lyrics Written: Fame
    Template:Voir homonymes Jacques Levy (29 July 1935 – 30 September 2004) was an American songwriter, theatre director, and clinical psychologist. Levy was born in New York City in 1935, and attended its City College. He received a doctorate in psychology from Michigan State University. Levy was a trained psychoanalyst, certified by the Menninger Institute for Psychoanalysis in Topeka, Kansas. He later returned to New York and became a clinical psychologist. In 1965, Levy directed Sam Shepard's play Red Cross. The following year he directed two of the short plays in Jean-Claude van Itallie's America Hurrah. In 1969, Levy directed the off-Broadway erotic revue Oh! Calcutta!, after which, Levy approached Roger McGuinn of The Byrds to collaborate on a project inspired by Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt. The musical stalled, but one song, "Chestnut Mare," co-written by McGuinn and Levy, became the single released from the album (Untitled) in 1970. Many further Levy-McGuinn songs appeared on Byrds and McGuinn albums during the 1970s. In 1973, Levy and Van Itallie reunited for Mystery Play, which starred Judd Hirsch and had a brief run off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre. In the
    10.00
    2 votes
    44
    Jay Kuo

    Jay Kuo

    • Play Lyrics Written: Insignificant Others
    Lee Jay Kuo (born on March 28, 1968) is an American theatrical composer, lyricist and playwright.
    7.25
    4 votes
    45

    Johnny Burke

    • Play Lyrics Written: Swinging on a Star
    Johnny Burke (October 3, 1908 — February 25, 1964) was a lyricist, widely regarded as one of the finest writers of popular songs in America between the 1920s and 1950s. Burke was born in Antioch, California. When still young, the family moved to Chicago, where Johnny's father founded a construction business. As a youth, he studied the piano and some drama also. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he played piano in the orchestra. After graduating, he joined the Chicago office of the Irving Berlin Publishing Company in 1926, as a pianist and song salesman. Irving Berlin, Inc. transferred Burke to its New York City office, where he began to write lyrics in collaboration with composer Harold Spina. In 1932, they wrote "Shadows on the Swanee", followed in 1933 by "Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore", their first big hit, for the Guy Lombardo Orchestra. In 1934, they wrote "You're Not the Only Oyster in the Stew" which was a novelty hit for Fats Waller, as was "My Very Good Friend, the Milkman". They wrote many songs that were played by leading bands of the day, including those led by Ben Pollack, Paul Whiteman and Ozzie Nelson. 1936 saw the end of the Burke - Spina
    7.25
    4 votes
    46

    Richard Maltby, Jr.

    • Play Lyrics Written: Miss Saigon
    Richard Eldridge Maltby, Jr. (born October 6, 1937) is an American theatre director and producer, lyricist, and screenwriter. He is also well known as a constructor of cryptic crossword puzzles. He has done this for Harper's Magazine, sometimes in collaboration with E. R. Galli (prior to 1995), since the January 1976 issue. Maltby was born in Ripon, Wisconsin, the son of Virginia (née Hosegood) and Richard Maltby, Sr., a well-known orchestra leader. He has conceived and directed the only two musical revues to ever win the Tony Award for Best Musical: Ain't Misbehavin' (1978: Tony, N.Y. Drama Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk Awards, also Tony Award for Best Director) and Fosse (1999: Tony, Outer Critics, Drama Desk Awards). He was director/co-lyricist for the American version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance, (1986) starring Bernadette Peters. He was co-lyricist for Miss Saigon (Evening Standard Award 1990; Tony nomination: Best Score, 1991). Maltby and David Shire started working together as students at Yale University (where he was a member of Manuscript Society; their first Broadway credit was in 1968, when their song "The Girl of the Minute" was used in the revue New
    7.25
    4 votes
    47
    David A. Stewart

    David A. Stewart

    • Play Lyrics Written: GHOST The Musical
    David Allan Stewart (born 9 September 1952), often known as Dave Stewart, is an English musician, songwriter and record producer, best known for his work with Eurythmics. He is usually credited as David A. Stewart, to avoid confusion with other musicians named "Dave Stewart". Stewart was born in Sunderland, England. In 1971, whilst still in his teens, Dave Stewart secured a record deal as part of folk-rock band Longdancer. Despite being signed to Elton John's record label, Rocket Records, they did not achieve commercial success. He also collaborated with Brian Harrison to produce an EP on the Sunderland Multicord label (label number MULT-SH-1, producer Ken McKenzie), recording two songs (Girl and Green She Said) from a school musical production written by teacher Dick Bradshaw, one traditional number (A Blacksmith Courted Me) and a song written by Dave and Brian (Deep December). A promotional pic at the time shows Dave as a small, longhaired, broad-smiling and slightly spotty teenager—unrecognisable as the man he grew into. After leaving Wearside Stewart then spent several years living in squats in London. In late 1976, he was introduced to Annie Lennox by a mutual friend. Soon,
    8.33
    3 votes
    48

    Jeff Marx

    • Play Lyrics Written: Avenue Q
    Jeff Marx (born September 10, 1970) is a composer and lyricist of musicals. He is best known for creating the Broadway musical Avenue Q with collaborator Robert Lopez. Marx grew up in Hollywood, Florida. He attended Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Following graduation, he attended the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the Men's Glee Club. He also holds a juris doctor degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar Association, but he does not practice law or represent himself. After passing the New York State Bar examination Marx enrolled at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop in order to meet potential clients in the entertainment industry. Here he met Robert Lopez who was also in the course. Their first major project together, a spec Muppet movie, Kermit, Prince of Denmark, which was very loosely based on Hamlet, won them (as part of a tie) part of the $150,000 Kleban Award. Together, they created the original concept for Avenue Q and wrote all the show's 21 songs. Avenue Q is currently running Off Broadway, in the West End, on a US National Tour, and continues to have various international
    8.33
    3 votes
    49
    Fela Kuti

    Fela Kuti

    • Play Lyrics Written: Fela!
    Fela Anikulapo Kuti (15 October 1938 - 2 August 1997), or simply Fela ([feˈlæ]) was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick. Fela was born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria into a middle-class family. His mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement and his father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, a Protestant minister and school principal, was the first president of the Nigerian Union of Teachers. His brothers, Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, both medical doctors, are well known in Nigeria. Fela was a first cousin to the Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, the first African to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. Fela was sent to London in 1958 to study medicine but decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music. While there, he formed the band Koola Lobitos, playing a fusion of jazz and highlife. In 1960, Fela married his first wife, Remilekun (Remi) Taylor, with whom he would have three children (Femi, Yeni, and Sola). In 1963, Fela moved back to Nigeria, re-formed Koola
    6.20
    5 votes
    50
    John Osborne

    John Osborne

    • Play Lyrics Written: Look Back in Anger
    John James Osborne (12 December 1929 – 24 December 1994) was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor and critic of the Establishment. The success of his 1956 play Look Back in Anger transformed English theatre. In a productive life of more than 40 years, Osborne explored many themes and genres, writing for stage, film and TV. His personal life was extravagant and iconoclastic. He was notorious for the ornate violence of his language, not only on behalf of the political causes he supported but also against his own family, including his wives and children. Osborne was one of the first writers to address Britain's purpose in the post-imperial age. He was the first to question the point of the monarchy on a prominent public stage. During his peak (1956–1966), he helped make contempt an acceptable and now even cliched onstage emotion, argued for the cleansing wisdom of bad behaviour and bad taste, and combined unsparing truthfulness with devastating wit. Osborne was born in December 1929 in London, the son of Thomas Godfrey Osborne, a commercial artist and advertising copywriter of South Welsh extraction, and Nellie Beatrice, a Cockney barmaid. He adored his father and hated his
    6.20
    5 votes
    51

    Gretchen Cryer

    • Play Lyrics Written: The American Girls Revue
    Gretchen Cryer (born October 17, 1935) is an American playwright, lyricist, and actress. Cryer was born Gretchen Kiger in Dunreith, Indiana, the daughter of Louise Gerladine (née Niven) and Earl William "Bill" Kiger, Jr., who sold school supplies and ran a home printing business. Cryer attended DePauw University as an English major. In one of her music classes, she met Nancy Ford, and the two forged a friendship that eventually led to a number of professional collaborations as the only female composer-lyricist team in Off-Broadway and Broadway New York theater. Their first work, For Reasons of Royalty, was produced at DePauw University and their musical "Rendezvous' was done at Boston University. Their first professional New York production was Now Is The Time For All Good Men (1967), a highly political piece about Cryer's pacifist brother, who spent time as a teacher in a conservative mid-western high school, that was panned by the critics. Undaunted, they mounted The Last Sweet Days of Isaac – with Austin Pendleton and Fredricka Weber – in 1970, winning not only rave reviews, but the Obie, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards as well. From there they moved to Broadway, but
    9.50
    2 votes
    52

    Alan Bergman

    • Play Lyrics Written: Ballroom
    Alan Bergman (born September 11, 1925) is an American lyricist and songwriter. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he studied at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UCLA. His involvement in the entertainment industry began in the early 1950s as a director of children's television shows. He and his wife Marilyn Bergman, whom he married in 1958, were born in the same hospital and raised in the same Brooklyn neighborhood, but did not meet until each had relocated to Los Angeles. Together they have written the music and lyrics for numerous television shows, films, and stage musicals. In 1983, the couple became the first songwriters ever to have written three of the five tunes nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song - "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" from Best Friends, "It Might Be You" from Tootsie (with Dave Grusin), and "If We Were in Love" from Yes, Giorgio (with John Williams); "Up Where We Belong" from "An Officer and a Gentleman" won that year.They also wrote the popular theme song And Then There's Maude for the hit Norman Lear television series Maude . Bergman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980 and in 1995 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by
    7.00
    4 votes
    53

    Leslie Bricusse

    • Play Lyrics Written: Jekyll & Hyde
    Leslie Bricusse (born 29 January 1931) is an English composer, lyricist, and playwright. Although best known for his partnership with Anthony Newley, Bricusse has worked with many other composers. He was educated at University College School in London and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge University, he was Secretary of Footlights between 1952 and 1953 and Footlights President during the following year. He currently lives in California in the United States, and he is married to the actress Yvonne Romain. Sammy Davis, Jr. had hits with two of Bricusse's songs, "What Kind of Fool Am I?" (from Stop the World - I Want to Get Off) and the #1 hit "The Candy Man" (from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory). Other recording artists who have had popular success with his songs include Matt Monro and Frank Sinatra ("My Kind of Girl"), Shirley Bassey ("Goldfinger"), Harry Secombe ("If I Ruled the World"), Nancy Sinatra ("You Only Live Twice"), Maureen McGovern ("Can You Read My Mind"), and Diana Krall ("When I Look in Your Eyes"). Bricusse also partnered with George Tipton to write the opening theme of the U.S. television series It's a Living.
    7.00
    4 votes
    54
    Mel Brooks

    Mel Brooks

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Producers
    Mel Brooks (born Melvin James Kaminsky; June 28, 1926) is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. He began his career as a stand-up comic and as a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows. He became well known as part of the comedy duo with Carl Reiner, The 2000 Year Old Man. In middle age he became one of the most successful film directors of the 1970s, with many of his films being among the top ten money makers of the year that they were released. His most well known films include The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, History of the World, Part I and Spaceballs. More recently he has had a smash hit on Broadway with the musical adaptation of his first film, The Producers. He was married to the actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until her death in 2005. Brooks is a member of the short list of entertainers with the distinction of having won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award. He is to receive the 41st Academy Award AFI Life Achievement Award in 2013. Three of his films ranked in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100
    7.00
    4 votes
    55

    Sandy Wilson

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Boy Friend
    Sandy Wilson (born 19 May 1924) is an English composer and lyricist, best known for his musical The Boy Friend (1953). Wilson was born Alexander Galbraith Wilson in Sale, Greater Manchester, and was educated at Harrow School and Oriel College, Oxford. During the war he served in the Royal Ordnance Corps in Great Britain, Egypt and Iraq. While at Oxford he wrote revues for the Oxford University Experimental Theatre Club, and then attended the Old Vic Theatre School on a production course. Most of his work for the stage was material for revues, such as Hermione Gingold's Slings and Arrows, Laurier Lister's Oranges and Lemons, and See You Later, starring such performers as Peter Cook. The Boy Friend for the Players' Theatre was written in 1953 and went on to be produced in the West End at Wyndhams Theatre in January 1954 and on Broadway in 1954, introducing Julie Andrews in her Broadway debut. He donated his papers to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. His autobiography, published in 1975, is titled I Could Be Happy.
    7.00
    4 votes
    56
    Burt Bacharach

    Burt Bacharach

    • Play Lyrics Written: Baby It's You!
    Burt F. Bacharach ( /ˈbækəræk/ BAK-ə-rak; born May 12, 1928) is an American pianist, composer and music producer. He is known for his popular hit songs and compositions from the mid-1950s through the 1980s, with lyrics written by Hal David. Many of their hits were produced specifically for, and performed by, Dionne Warwick. Following on with the initial success of this collaboration, Bacharach went on to produce hits with Dusty Springfield, Bobbie Gentry, Jackie DeShannon and others. As of 2012, Bacharach had written 73 Top 40 hits in the U.S., and 52 Top 40 hits in the UK. Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in the Forest Hills section of New York City, graduating from Forest Hills High School in 1946. He is the son of Irma (née Freeman) and Bert Bacharach, a well-known syndicated newspaper columnist, His family was Jewish. Bacharach studied music at McGill University, under Helmut Blume, at the Mannes School of Music, and at the Music Academy of the West in Montecito, California. His composition teachers included Darius Milhaud, Henry Cowell, and Bohuslav Martinů. Following service in the Army, Bacharach worked as a pianist, both as a soloist and as an
    8.00
    3 votes
    57
    Julianne Moore

    Julianne Moore

    • Play Lyrics Written: Expresso Bongo
    Julianne Moore (born Julie Anne Smith; December 3, 1960) is an Emmy Award winner, a British-American actress and a children's book author. She has been nominated for four Oscars, six Golden Globes, three BAFTAs, nine Screen Actors Guild Awards, and has won two Emmy Awards. Moore began her acting career in 1983 with minor roles, before joining the cast of the soap opera As the World Turns, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1988. She began to appear in supporting roles in films during the early 1990s, in films such as The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) and Short Cuts (1993). By the middle of the decade, she had graduated to starring roles in Nine Months and Assassins (both 1995), and her performance in Boogie Nights (1997) brought her widespread attention and her first Academy Award nomination. Her success continued with such films as The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), Hannibal (2001), and The Forgotten (2004). She also received three more Academy Award nominations for her performances in The End of the Affair (1999), Far From Heaven and The Hours (both 2002). Her most recent notable roles include The Kids Are All Right (2010), Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011), and the
    8.00
    3 votes
    58
    Noël Coward

    Noël Coward

    • Play Lyrics Written: Pacific 1860
    Sir Noël Peirce Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise". Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of eleven. As a teenager he was introduced into the high society in which most of his plays would be set. Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta Bitter Sweet and comic revues), poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel Pomp and Circumstance, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works. At the outbreak of World War II, Coward volunteered for
    8.00
    3 votes
    59
    Adrian Ross

    Adrian Ross

    • Play Lyrics Written: In Town
    For the NFL player see Adrian Ross (American football) Arthur Reed Ropes (23 December 1859 – 11 September 1933), better known under the pseudonym Adrian Ross, was a prolific writer of lyrics, contributing songs to more than sixty British musical comedies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was the most important lyricist of the British stage during a career that spanned five decades. At a time when few shows had long runs, sixteen of his West End shows ran for over 400 performances. Starting out in the late 1880s, Ross wrote the lyrics for the earliest British musical theatre hits, including In Town (1892), The Shop Girl (1894) and The Circus Girl (1896). Ross next wrote the lyrics for a string of hit musicals, beginning with A Greek Slave (1898), San Toy (1899), The Messenger Boy (1900) and The Toreador (1901) and continuing without a break through World War I. He also wrote the English lyrics for a series of hit adaptations of European operettas beginning with The Merry Widow in 1907. During World War I, Ross was one of the founders of the Performing Rights Society. He continued writing until 1930, producing several more successes after the war. He also wrote the
    6.75
    4 votes
    60
    Bertolt Brecht

    Bertolt Brecht

    • Play Lyrics Written: A Kurt Weill Cabaret
    Bertolt Brecht (German: [ˈbɛɐ̯tɔlt ˈbʁɛçt] ( listen); born  Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (help·info); 10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956) was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director. An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble – the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht and his wife, long-time collaborator and actress Helene Weigel. Bertolt Brecht was born in Augsburg, Bavaria (about 80 km/50 mi north-west of Munich), to a devout Protestant mother and a Catholic father (who had been persuaded to have a Protestant wedding). His father worked for a paper mill, becoming its managing director in 1914. Thanks to his mother's influence, Brecht knew the Bible, a familiarity that would impact on his writing throughout his life. From her, too, came the "dangerous image of the self-denying woman" that recurs in his drama. Brecht's home life was comfortably middle class, despite what his occasional attempt to claim peasant origins implied. At school in Augsburg he met Caspar
    6.75
    4 votes
    61
    Carole Bayer Sager

    Carole Bayer Sager

    • Play Lyrics Written: They're Playing Our Song
    Carole Bayer Sager (born March 8, 1947) is an American lyricist, songwriter, singer, and painter. Carole Bayer was born in New York City to parents Anita and Eli Bayer. She graduated from New York University, where she majored in English, dramatic arts and speech. She had already co-written her first pop hit, "A Groovy Kind of Love", with Toni Wine, while still a student at the New York City High School of Music and Art. It was recorded by the British invasion band The Mindbenders, whose version was a worldwide hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard magazine Hot 100. This song was later recorded by Sonny & Cher, Petula Clark, and Phil Collins, whose rendition for the film Buster reached number one in 1988. She also had a minor career singing songs as well: her biggest hit was her 1977 single, "You're Moving Out Today". Sager's first recording as a singer was the 1977 album Carole Bayer Sager, which included the #1 international single "You're Moving Out Today", a song which she co-wrote with Bette Midler and Bruce Roberts. (Paul Buckmaster provided horn and string arrangements for the album.) The album went platinum in Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It was followed by ...Too
    6.75
    4 votes
    62
    Irving Berlin

    Irving Berlin

    • Play Lyrics Written: Annie Get Your Gun
    Irving Berlin (May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was a Russian-born American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy", in 1907 and had his first major international hit, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in 1911. "Alexander's Ragtime Band" sparked an international dance craze in places as far away as Berlin's native Russia, which also "flung itself into the ragtime beat with an abandon bordering on mania." Over the years he was known for writing music and lyrics in the American vernacular: uncomplicated, simple and direct, with his aim being to "reach the heart of the average American" whom he saw as the "real soul of the country." He wrote hundreds of songs, many becoming major hits, which made him "a legend" before he turned thirty. During his 60-year career he wrote an estimated 1,500 songs, including the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films, with his songs nominated eight times for Academy Awards. Many songs became popular themes and anthems, including "Easter Parade", "White Christmas", "Happy Holiday", "This is the Army, Mr. Jones", and "There's No Business Like
    6.75
    4 votes
    63

    Ray Evans

    • Play Lyrics Written: Oh, Captain!
    Raymond Bernard Evans (February 4, 1915 – February 15, 2007) was an American songwriter. He was a partner in a composing and songwriting duo with Jay Livingston, known for the songs they composed for films. Evans wrote the lyrics and Livingston the music for the songs. Evans, who was born Jewish, but later moved away from organized religion, citing it as a major cause of violence in the world was born in Salamanca, New York. He was valedictorian of his high school class, where he played clarinet in the band, and received a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 1937. He was elected that same year to Pi Gamma Mu, the honor society in the social sciences for his outstanding academic performance at the Wharton School. Livingston and Evans, both members of ASCAP, won three Academy Awards, in 1948 for the song "Buttons and Bows", written for the movie The Paleface; in 1950 for the song "Mona Lisa", written for the movie Captain Carey, U.S.A.; and in 1956 for the song "Que Sera Sera", featured in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Man Who Knew Too Much and sung by Doris Day. Another popular song that he and Livingston wrote for a film was the
    6.75
    4 votes
    64

    Richard Wilbur

    • Play Lyrics Written: Candide
    Richard Purdy Wilbur (born March 1, 1921) is an American poet and literary translator. He was appointed the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1987, and twice received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, in 1957 and again in 1989. Wilbur was born in New York City and grew up in North Caldwell, New Jersey. He graduated from Montclair High School in 1938, having worked on the school newspaper as a student there. He graduated from Amherst College in 1942 and then served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945 during World War II. After the Army and graduate school at Harvard University, Wilbur taught at Wesleyan University for two decades and at Smith College for another decade. At Wesleyan, he was instrumental in founding the award-winning poetry series of the University Press. He received two Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry and, as of 2011, teaches at Amherst College. He is also on the editorial board of the literary magazine The Common, based at Amherst College. When only 8 years old, Wilbur published his first poem in John Martin's Magazine. His first book, The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems, appeared in 1947. Since then he has published several
    6.75
    4 votes
    65

    Robert Wright

    • Play Lyrics Written: Kismet
    Robert (Bob) Craig Wright (September 25, 1914 – July 27, 2005) was an American composer-lyricist for Hollywood and the musical theatre best known for the Broadway musical and musical film Kismet, for which he and his professional partner George Forrest adapted themes by Alexander Borodin and added lyrics. Kismet was one of several Wright and Forrest creations that was commissioned by impresario Edwin Lester for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. Song of Norway, Gypsy Lady, Magdalena, and their adaptation of The Great Waltz were also commissioned by Lester for the LACLO. The LACLO then exported most of these productions to Broadway. Wright and Forrest had an affinity for adapting classical music themes and adding lyrics to these themes for Hollywood and the Broadway musical stage. Wright said that the music was usually a 50-50 "collaboration" between Wright and Forrest and the composer. While both men were credited equally as composer-lyricists, it was Forrest who worked with the music. Forrest and Wright won a Tony Award for their work on Kismet and in 1995 they were awarded the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award. Hit songs of their day include "The Donkey Serenade" (written
    6.75
    4 votes
    66
    Tom Eyen

    Tom Eyen

    • Play Lyrics Written: Dreamgirls
    Tom Eyen (August 14, 1940 - May 26, 1991) was an American playwright, lyricist, television writer and theatre director. Eyen is best known for works at opposite ends of the theatrical spectrum. Mainstream theatergoers became acquainted with him in 1981 when he partnered with composer Henry Krieger and director Michael Bennett to write the book and lyrics for Dreamgirls, the hit Broadway musical about an African American female singing trio. Eyen's career started, however, with avant garde plays and musicals that he wrote and directed off-off Broadway in the early 1960s, which eventually led to off-Broadway success in the 1970s with the controversial nudity-filled performance-art play The Dirtiest Show in Town and Women Behind Bars, a camp parody of women's prison exploitation films. Eyen was born in Cambridge, Ohio, the youngest of seven children of Abraham and Julia Eyen, who owned a family-run restaurant. He attended The Ohio State University but left before graduating, in 1960, and moved to New York City to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Having no success with acting, Eyen worked briefly as a press agent and then began writing. He found a home for his
    6.75
    4 votes
    67

    George C. Wolfe

    • Play Lyrics Written: Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk
    George Costello Wolfe (born September 23, 1954) is an American playwright and director of theater and film. He won a Tony Award in 1993 for directing Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and another Tony Award in 1996 for his direction of the musical, Bring in 'da Noise/Bring in 'da Funk. Wolfe was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, the son of Anna (née Lindsey), an educator, and Costello Wolfe, a government clerk. He attended an all-black private school where his mother taught. After a family move, he began attending the integrated Frankfort public school district. He attended Frankfort High School where he began to pursue his interest in the theatre arts, and wrote poetry and prose for the school's literary journal. After high school, Wolfe enrolled at the historically black Kentucky State University, the alma mater of his parents. Following his first year, he transferred to Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he pursued a BA in theater. Wolfe taught for several years in Los Angeles at the Inner City Cultural Center and later in New York. He earned an MFA in dramatic writing and musical theater at New York University in 1983. In 1977, Wolfe gave C. Bernard Jackson, the
    9.00
    2 votes
    68
    James Rado

    James Rado

    • Play Lyrics Written: Hair
    James Rado (born James Radomski, January 23, 1932) is an American actor, writer and composer, best known as the co-author, along with Gerome Ragni, of 1967's groundbreaking American tribal love-rock musical Hair. He and Ragni were nominated for the 1969 Tony Award for best musical, and they won for best musical at the Grammy Awards in 1969. He was raised in Rochester, N.Y. and Washington, D.C. In college, Rado majored in Speech and Drama and began writing songs. He co-authored two musical shows at the University of Maryland, Interlude and Interlude II. After graduation, followed by two years in the U.S. Navy, he returned to school in Washington, D.C. for graduate work at The Catholic University of America, where he co-authored a musical revue called Cross Your Fingers. He wrote the lyrics and music for all of his early songs. He then moved to New York where he studied acting with Lee Strasberg and also wrote pop songs which he recorded with his own band, James Alexander and the Argyles. Rado's first Broadway show was Marathon '33 in 1963. In 1966, Rado originated the Broadway role of Richard Lionheart in The Lion in Winter by James Goldman, starring Robert Preston and Rosemary
    9.00
    2 votes
    69
    John Lennon & Paul McCartney

    John Lennon & Paul McCartney

    • Play Lyrics Written: Beatlemania
    The Lennon–McCartney (also written Lennon/McCartney) is a songwriting partnership between John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles. It is one of the best-known and most successful musical collaborations in history. Between 1962 and 1969, the partnership published approximately 180 jointly credited songs, of which the vast majority were recorded by The Beatles and form the bulk of their catalogue. Unlike many songwriting partnerships that comprise separate lyricist and composer, both Lennon and McCartney wrote words and music. Sometimes, especially early on, they would collaborate extensively when writing songs, working "eyeball to eyeball". Later, it became more common for one of the two credited authors to write all or most of a song with limited input from the other. However, by an agreement made before The Beatles became famous, Lennon and McCartney agreed to share equal writing credit on songs that either one of them wrote while their partnership lasted. Lennon–McCartney compositions have been the subject of numerous cover versions. According to Guinness World Records, "Yesterday" has been recorded by more artists than any other song. Lennon–McCartney was officially
    9.00
    2 votes
    70

    Michael Korie

    • Play Lyrics Written: Grey Gardens
    Michael Korie (born Michael Cory Indick) is an American librettist and lyricist. He has written both opera and musicals. Korie wrote the lyrics for the musical Grey Gardens, which has music by Scott Frankel and a book by Doug Wright, and ran both Off-Broadway and on Broadway. Korie was nominated for the 2007 Tony Award, Best Original Score and the 2006 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Lyrics for his work on Grey Gardens. Korie and Frankel wrote the lyrics and score, with John Weidman writing the book, for the musical Happiness, which premiered Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center's Newhouse Theatre in March 2009. Korie's works include librettos for the operas Where's Dick? (1989, music by Stewart Wallace), Doll (music by Scott Frankel), Harvey Milk (1995, music by Stewart Wallace), and The Grapes of Wrath (music by Ricky Ian Gordon). He also co-wrote the lyrics with Amy Powers to Doctor Zhivago (music by Lucy Simon), which premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2006. Korie's other projects were writing the lyrics to a musical adaptation of the 2004 film Finding Neverland and writing the score, with Frankel, for a musical version of Far From Heaven. Korie grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey and
    9.00
    2 votes
    71

    Al Dubin

    • Play Lyrics Written: 42nd Street
    Alexander "Al" Dubin (June 10, 1891 - February 11, 1945) was an American lyricist. He became known through his collaborations with the composer Harry Warren. Al Dubin came from a Russian Jewish family which immigrated to the USA from Switzerland when he was two years old. He grew up in Philadelphia. There he worked as a songwriter and lyricist for various Tin Pan Alley music companies. He served in the First World War. Dubin was responsible for lyrics to several Broadway shows. In 1970 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is perhaps most famous for the 1933 musical film 42nd Street to the music of Harry Warren. Other famous movies included Footlight Parade and all five Gold Diggers films. Together, Warren and Dubin wrote 60 hit songs for Warner Brothers. In 1980 producer David Merrick and director Gower Champion adapted 42nd Street into a Broadway musical that won The Tony Award for Best Musical for 1981. On his passing in 1945, Al Dubin was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
    7.67
    3 votes
    72

    Eric Carmen

    • Play Lyrics Written: Footloose
    Eric Howard Carmen (born August 11, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist. He scored numerous hit songs across the 1970s and 1980s, first as a member of the Raspberries (who had a million-selling single with "Go All The Way"), and then with his solo career, including hits such as "All By Myself", "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again", "She Did It", "Hungry Eyes", and "Make Me Lose Control". From a Jewish family, Eric Carmen was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Lyndhurst, Ohio. He has been involved with music since early childhood. By the age of two, he was entertaining his parents, Ruth and Elmer Carmen, with impressions of Tony Bennett and Johnnie Ray. By age three, he was in the Dalcroze Eurhythmics program at the Cleveland Institute of Music. At six years old, he took violin lessons from Muriel Carmen (his aunt), then a violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra. By age 11, he was playing piano and dreaming about writing his own songs. The arrival of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones altered his dream slightly. By the time he was a sophomore at Charles F. Brush High School, Eric Carmen was playing piano and singing in rock 'n' roll bands. Though
    7.67
    3 votes
    73

    Lee Adams

    • Play Lyrics Written: It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman
    Lee Richard Adams (born August 14, 1924) is an American lyricist best known for his musical theatre collaboration with Charles Strouse. Born in Mansfield, Ohio, Adams received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio State University and a Master's from Columbia University. Adams won Tony Awards in 1961 for Bye Bye Birdie and in 1970 for Applause. In addition, he wrote the lyrics for All American, Golden Boy, It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, Bring Back Birdie, and A Broadway Musical, and the book and lyrics for Ain't Broadway Grand. Additionally, Strouse and Adams co-wrote "Those Were the Days", the opening theme to the TV situation comedy All in the Family. Adams was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989.
    7.67
    3 votes
    74
    Willy Russell

    Willy Russell

    • Play Lyrics Written: Blood Brothers
    William Russell (born 23 August 1947) is a British dramatist, lyricist, and composer. His best-known works are Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, and Blood Brothers. Willy Russell was born in Whiston, on the outskirts of Liverpool, where he grew up. His parents worked in a book publisher's and often encouraged him to read. After leaving school with one O-level in English, he first became a ladies' hairdresser and ran his own salon. Russell then undertook a variety of jobs, also the first play he wrote was Keep Your Eyes Down Low (1971). His first success was a play about The Beatles called John, Paul, George, Ringo ... and Bert. Originally commissioned for the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool it transferred to the West End in 1974. Educating Rita (1980) concerned a female hairdresser and her Open University teacher. The semi-autobiographical Educating Rita was turned into a 1983 film with Michael Caine and Julie Walters. The musical Blood Brothers (1983), for which Russell also composed the music, first opened in Liverpool and transferred to London's Phoenix Theatre. It won the best actress award at the Lawrence Olivier awards. Bill Kenwright produced a revival in 1988 which has run for
    7.67
    3 votes
    75

    Angus Wilson

    Sir Angus Frank Johnstone Wilson, KBE (11 August 1913 – 31 May 1991) was an English novelist and short story writer. He was awarded the 1958 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot and later received a knighthood for his services to literature. Wilson was born in Bexhill, Sussex, England, to an English father and South African mother. He was educated at Westminster School and Merton College, Oxford, and in 1937 became a librarian in the British Museum's Department of Printed Books, working on the new General Catalogue. During World War II, he worked in the Naval section Hut 8 at the code-breaking establishment, Bletchley Park, translating Italian Naval codes. A wearer of large, brightly-coloured bow-ties, he was one of the "famous homosexuals" at Bletchley. The work situation was stressful and led to a nervous breakdown, for which he was treated by Rolf-Werner Kosterlitz. He returned to the Museum after the end of the War, and it was there that he met Tony Garrett (born 1929), who was to be his companion for the rest of his life. Wilson's first publication was a collection of short stories, The Wrong Set (1949), followed quickly by the daring novel Hemlock
    10.00
    1 votes
    76
    David Bryan

    David Bryan

    • Play Lyrics Written: Memphis
    David Bryan Rashbaum (born February 7, 1962), known as David Bryan, is the keyboard player of the rock band classic, Bon Jovi. He is also the writer of the successful Broadway musical Memphis. Bryan was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and raised in Edison, New Jersey. His father, Eddie Rashbaum, played the trumpet. Bryan was raised Jewish. He attended elementary school at Clara Barton, where he played many instruments including violin, viola, trumpet and clarinet. Also attended Herbert Hoover Middle School, then J. P. Stevens High School, from which he graduated. Bryan began to learn piano at age seven, and played keyboards for a band called Transition with bass player Steve Sileo. He studied with Emery Hack, a professor at Juilliard, for thirteen years. Bryan was accepted into Rutgers University, but dropped out to attend Juilliard, a school devoted to the performing arts in New York City. In October 1984, Bon Jovi supported the group Kiss at the Queens Hall in Leeds. With the help of their new manager Doc McGhee, the band's debut album, Bon Jovi, was released on January 21, 1984. The album went gold in the US (sales of over 500,000). In 1985, Bon Jovi's second album
    10.00
    1 votes
    77

    Fred Wise

    Fred Wise (1915–1966) was the co-writer of the lyrics to the 1948 song "'A' — You're Adorable" with Buddy Kaye. He subsequently wrote many of the songs sung by Elvis Presley in his movies. Many of his songs were collaborations with Kay Twomey and Ben Weisman, sometimes with additional collaborators. (see "Wooden Heart" and "In the Beginning.")
    10.00
    1 votes
    78
    Harry Chapin

    Harry Chapin

    • Play Lyrics Written: Cotton patch gospel
    Harry Forster Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981) was an American singer-songwriter best known for his folk rock songs including "Taxi", "W*O*L*D", and the No. 1 hit "Cat's in the Cradle". Chapin was also a dedicated humanitarian who fought to end world hunger; he was a key player in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977. In 1987, Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian work. Chapin was born into a middle-class family in New York City, the second of four children—including future musicians Tom and Steve (born to Jeanne Elspeth (née Burke) and Jim Chapin, himself a percussionist ). He had English ancestry, his great-grandparents having emigrated in the late 19th century. His parents divorced in 1950, with Elspeth retaining custody of their four sons, as Jim spent much of his time on the road as a drummer for Big band era acts such as Woody Herman. She married Films in Review magazine editor Henry Hart a few years later. Chapin's maternal grandfather was literary critic Kenneth Burke. Chapin's first formal introduction to music was while singing in the Brooklyn Boys Choir. It was here that Chapin met "Big"
    10.00
    1 votes
    79
    Lionel Bart

    Lionel Bart

    • Play Lyrics Written: Oliver!
    Lionel Bart (1 August 1930 – 3 April 1999) was a writer and composer of British pop music and musicals, best known for creating the book, music and lyrics for Oliver! Bart was born Lionel Begleiter the youngest of seven surviving children in East London to Galician Jews, and grew up in Stepney. His father worked as a tailor in a garden shed in London E1. The family had escaped the deadly pogroms against Jews by Ukrainian cossacks in Galicia, which was then part of the Austrian Empire. The sole survivor of the seven children is Lionel's sister Renee Gold. Lionel changed his name to Bart, derived from when he passed by St. Barts' hospital on the top deck of a bus after he had completed his National Service with the Royal Air Force. A more likely derivation of Bart is from the silk-screen company Lionel founded with John Gorman, G and B Arts. As a young man he was an accomplished painter. At the age of six a teacher told his parents that he was a musical genius. His parents gave him an old violin, but he did not apply himself and the lessons stopped. At the age of 14 he obtained a Junior Art Scholarship to St Martin's School of Art. One Friday afternoon, he was suspended for
    10.00
    1 votes
    80

    Marsha Norman

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Secret Garden
    Marsha Norman (born September 21, 1947) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. She received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play 'night, Mother. She wrote the book and lyrics for such Broadway musicals as The Secret Garden, for which she won a Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and The Red Shoes, as well as the libretto for the musical The Color Purple. Norman was born in Louisville, Kentucky. As a child, she read, played the piano and had an imaginary friend named Bettering. She later began attending productions by the newly-founded Actor's Theatre of Louisville. After graduating from Agnes Scott College with a degree in philosophy, she began working as a journalist for The Louisville Times newspaper, and writing for Kentucky Educational Television. She also taught young children and adolescents in mental institutions and hospitals. These were perhaps her biggest influence on her writing, especially a 13-year-old girl who influenced her play Getting Out. She also taught English at the J. Graham Brown School in Louisville. Norman wrote her first play Getting Out which was produced at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. The
    10.00
    1 votes
    81
    Neil Simon

    Neil Simon

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Good Doctor
    Neil Simon (born July 4, 1927) is an American playwright and screenwriter, considered one of the finest writers of comedy in American literary history. He has written over thirty plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, most adapted from his plays. Although he has received more Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer, many feel that he has been underrated as a playwright during much of his career because he wrote comedy rather than drama. He grew up in New York during the Great Depression, with his parents' financial hardships affecting their marriage, and giving him a mostly unhappy and unstable childhood. He often took refuge in movie theaters where he enjoyed watching the early comedians like Charlie Chaplin, which inspired him to become a comedy writer. After a few years in the Army Air Force Reserve after graduating high school, he began writing comedy scripts for radio and some popular early television shows. Among them were The Phil Silvers Show and Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows in 1950, where he worked alongside other young writers including Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks and Woody Allen. He began writing his own plays beginning with Come Blow Your Horn
    10.00
    1 votes
    82
    Björn Ulvaeus

    Björn Ulvaeus

    • Play Lyrics Written: Mamma Mia!
    Björn Kristian Ulvaeus (Swedish pronunciation: [bjœːɳ ɵlˈveːɵs]; born 25 April 1945) is a Swedish songwriter, composer, musician, writer, producer, a former member of the Swedish musical group ABBA (1972–83), and co-composer of the musicals Chess, Kristina från Duvemåla, and Mamma Mia!. He co-produced the film Mamma Mia! with fellow ex-ABBA member and close friend Benny Andersson. Ulvaeus was born in Gothenburg, but as a child he moved with his family to Västervik. Ulvaeus studied business and law at Lund University after doing his military service with stand-up comedian Magnus Holmström. Prior to gaining international recognition with ABBA, Ulvaeus was a member of the Swedish folk-schlager band Hootenanny Singers, who had an enormous following in Scandinavia. While on the road in southern Sweden in 1966, they encountered the Hep Stars, and Ulvaeus quickly became friends with the group’s keyboard player, Benny Andersson. The two musicians shared a passion for songwriting, and each found a composing partner in the other. On meeting again that summer, they composed their first song together: "Isn't It Easy To Say", a song soon to be recorded by Andersson's group. The two continued
    6.50
    4 votes
    83

    Jean Kerr

    • Play Lyrics Written: Goldilocks: A Musical
    Jean Kerr (July 10, 1922 – January 5, 2003) was an Irish-American author and playwright born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and best known for her humorous bestseller, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and the plays King of Hearts and Mary, Mary. She was married to drama critic Walter Kerr and was the mother of six children. Born Bridget Jean Collins in Scranton, Pennsylvania to Tom and Kitty Collins, Kerr grew up on Electric Street in Scranton, and attended Marywood Seminary, the topic of her humorous short story "When I was Queen of the May." She received a Bachelor's Degree from Marywood College in Scranton and later attended The Catholic University of America, where she received her Masters' Degree and met then-professor Walter Kerr. She later married Kerr, who went on to become a well-known New York drama critic, and they had six children—Christopher, twins Colin and John, Gilbert, Gregory, and Kitty. The Kerrs bought a home in New Rochelle, New York, where Jean wrote 'King of Hearts', before settling in Larchmont. She died in White Plains, New York, of pneumonia, in 2003. With her husband, Kerr wrote Goldilocks (1958), a short-lived Broadway musical comedy about the early days of
    6.50
    4 votes
    84

    Richard Adler

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Pajama Game
    Richard Adler (August 3, 1921 – June 21, 2012) was an American lyricist, composer and producer of several Broadway shows. Adler was born in New York City, the son of Elsa Adrienne (née Richard) and Clarence Adler. His mother was a "debutante" from Mobile, Alabama. Adler had a musical upbringing, his father being a concert pianist. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II. After his Navy service he began his career as a lyricist, teaming up with Jerry Ross in 1950. As a duo they worked in tandem, both taking credit for lyrics and music. After establishing their partnership, Adler and Ross quickly became protégés of composer/lyricist/publisher Frank Loesser. Their first notable composition was the song Rags to Riches, which was recorded by Tony Bennett and reached number 1 on the charts in late 1953. At the same time Bennett's recording was topping the charts, Adler and Ross began their career in the Broadway Theater with John Murray Anderson's Almanac, a revue for which they provided most of the songs. Adler and Ross's second Broadway effort, The Pajama Game, opened in May 1954 and was a popular as
    6.50
    4 votes
    85
    Adam Schlesinger

    Adam Schlesinger

    • Play Lyrics Written: Cry-Baby
    Adam Schlesinger is an American songwriter, composer and record producer. He has won Emmy and Grammy Awards, and has also been nominated for Oscar, Tony, and Golden Globe Awards. He is also a winner of the ASCAP Pop Music Award. He is the bassist for the bands Fountains of Wayne, Ivy and Tinted Windows. He is an owner of Scratchie Records and Stratosphere Sound, a recording studio in New York City. Schlesinger grew up in Manhattan and Montclair, New Jersey. Schlesinger was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for writing the title track of the Tom Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do! as well as two other songs for the film. Fountains of Wayne was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2003 for Best New Artist and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Stacy's Mom". Schlesinger and David Javerbaum were nominated for a 2008 Tony Award for Best Original Score for his music for the musical Cry-Baby. Schlesinger and Javerbaum received a 2012 Emmy award for Oustanding Music And Lyrics for their song "It's Not Just For Gays Anymore", performed by Neil Patrick Harris as the opening number of the Tony Awards telecast. They also received a 2009 Emmy
    8.50
    2 votes
    86

    Bruce Joel Rubin

    • Play Lyrics Written: GHOST The Musical
    Bruce Joel Rubin (b. March 10, 1943, Detroit, Michigan) is a screenwriter best known for the supernatural romance, Ghost for which he won the 1991 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1990 psychological thriller Jacob's Ladder. Rubin is a 1960 graduate of Detroit's Mumford High School; he is sometimes credited as Derek Saunders or simply Bruce Rubin. He is also interested in spirituality and teaches meditation. He and his wife, Blanche, split their time between Los Angeles and New York. They have two sons, Joshua and Ari - both moderately successful screenwriters. Bruce recently became a grandfather January 7, 2011. Bruce wrote the story and lyrics for GHOST THE MUSICAL, which premiered in Manchester, England in March 2011, and opened on Broadway in spring 2012. His writing credits include: Jacob's Ladder, Deep Impact, Brainstorm, Ghost, Deadly Friend (which he adapted from the novel Friend by Diana Henstall), My Life (which he also directed), Stuart Little 2, The Last Mimzy and The Time Traveler's Wife.
    8.50
    2 votes
    87

    Harold Jacob Rome

    • Play Lyrics Written: Destry Rides Again
    Harold Jacob Rome (May 27, 1908, Hartford, Connecticut – October 26, 1993, New York City, NY) was an American composer, lyricist, and writer for musical theater. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Rome played piano in local dance bands and was already writing music while studying architecture and law at Yale University. After graduation he worked as an architect in New York City, but continued to pursue his musical interests, arranging music for local bands and writing material for revues at Green Mansions, a Jewish summer resort in the Adirondacks. Much of the music Rome was writing at this time was socially conscious and of little interest to Tin Pan Alley. In 1937, he made his Broadway debut as co-writer, composer, and lyricist of the topical revue Pins and Needles. Pins and Needles was originally written for a small theatrical production directed by Samuel Roland. After a 2 week professional run, it was adapted for performances by members of the then-striking International Garment Workers' Union as an entertainment for its members. Because Roland was associated with left-wing causes, he was asked by ILGWU president David Dubinsky to withdraw. The show was a huge success, running
    8.50
    2 votes
    88

    Lee Hall

    • Play Lyrics Written: Billy Elliot the Musical
    Lee Hall (born 1966 in Newcastle upon Tyne) is an English playwright and screenwriter. He is best known for the 2000 film Billy Elliot. Hall was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1966, the son of a house painter and decorator and a housewife. He was educated at comprehensive school and then at Cambridge University, where he studied English Literature at Fitzwilliam College. After leaving Cambridge, he worked as a youth theatre fundraiser in Newcastle and at the Gate Theatre in London. In 1997, his playwriting career was launched with the broadcast of his radio play, Spoonface Steinberg, on BBC Radio 4. Hall's most commercially successful work is Billy Elliot, the story of a northern English boy who, in the face of opposition from his family and community, aspires to be a ballet dancer. The inspiration for the screenplay was drawn, in part, from the A. J. Cronin novel The Stars Look Down, which is also set in an English coal mining community during a strike, and similarly tells the story of a miner's son who goes against the grain. The character Billy was also partly inspired by the renowned baritone Sir Thomas Allen who came from a similar background, having been born in the northeast
    8.50
    2 votes
    89

    Leo Robin

    • Play Lyrics Written: Hit the Deck
    Leo Robin (April 6, 1900 – December 29, 1984) was an American composer, lyricist and songwriter. He is probably best known for collaborating with Ralph Rainger on the 1938 Oscar-winning song "Thanks for the Memory," sung by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938. Robin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and studied at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Carnegie Tech's drama school. He later worked as a reporter and as a publicist. Robin's first hits came in 1926 with the Broadway production By the Way, with hits in several other musicals immediately following, such as Bubbling Over (1926), Hit the Deck, Judy (1927), and Hello Yourself (1928). In 1932, Robin went out to Hollywood to work for Paramount Pictures. His principal collaborator was composer Ralph Rainger, together they became one of the leading film songwriting duos of the 1930s and early 1940s, writing over 50 hits. Robin & Rainger worked together until Rainger's untimely death in a plane crash on 23 October 1942. Robin continued to collaborate with many other composers over the years, including Vincent Youmans, Sam Coslow, Richard A. Whiting, and Nacio Herb Brown. Leo Robin
    8.50
    2 votes
    90

    Marta Kauffman

    • Play Lyrics Written: Personals
    Marta Kauffman (born September 21, 1956) is a Jewish-American writer and TV producer, best known as the co-creator of the popular sitcom Friends, alongside David Crane. Both Crane and Kauffman were also executive producer of the show, along with Kevin Bright. Crane and Kauffman have also produced Veronica's Closet, starring Kirstie Alley, and Jesse, starring Christina Applegate. From 2005–2006 she was an executive producer on Related. Both writers were the creators of the 1990 HBO series Dream On. Kauffman attended Brandeis University and received her BA in Theater in 1978. As of 2005, Kauffman lives with her husband Michael Skloff, composer of the Friends theme song, in Los Angeles. Kauffman has three children: Hannah, Sam and Rose.
    8.50
    2 votes
    91

    Alan Price

    • Play Lyrics Written: Andy Capp
    Alan Price (born 19 April 1942, Fatfield, Washington, County Durham) is an English musician, best known as the original keyboardist for the English band The Animals and for his subsequent solo work. Price is a self-taught musician and was educated at Jarrow Grammar School, South Tyneside and was a founding member of the Tyneside group The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which was later renamed The Animals. His organ-playing on songs by The Animals, such as "House of the Rising Sun", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and "Bring It On Home To Me" was a key element in the success of the group. After leaving the Animals, Price went on to have success on his own and with Georgie Fame. He introduced the songs of Randy Newman to a wider audience. Later, he appeared on his own television show, as well as achieving success with film scores including winning critical acclaim for his musical contribution to the 1973 film O Lucky Man!, and wrote the score to the stage musical Andy Capp. In addition, he has appeared as an actor in films and television productions. Price formed The Animals in 1962 and left the band in 1965 to form The Alan Price Set, with the line-up of Price, Clive Burrows
    6.25
    4 votes
    92
    Rainis

    Rainis

    • Play Lyrics Written: Spēlēju, dancoju
    Rainis was the pseudonym of Jānis Pliekšāns (September 11 [O.S. August 30] 1865 — d. September 12, 1929) was a Latvian poet, playwright, translator, and politician. Rainis' works include the classic plays Uguns un nakts (Fire and Night, 1905) and Indulis un Ārija (Indulis and Ārija, 1911), and a highly regarded translation of Goethe's Faust. His works had a profound influence on the literary Latvian language, and the ethnic symbolism he employed in his major works has been central to Latvian nationalism. Rainis was born in "Varslavāni" farm, Dunava parish in Jēkabpils municipality. His father, Krišjānis Pliekšāns (ca. 1828–1891), was a tenant farmer. His mother was Dārta, née Grikovska (ca. 1828–1899), and he had two sisters, Līze (1854–1897) and Dora (1870–1950). During his education at the Riga City Gymnasium he met and befriended Pēteris Stučka, Dora Pliekšāne's future husband, who later become a prominent Latvian communist. Rainis studied law at the University of St. Petersburg, where he shared a room with Pēteris Stučka. While still a student, Rainis was already collecting folk songs, writing satirical and lyric poetry, and translating literature. Together with Stučka he
    6.25
    4 votes
    93

    Timothy Mason

    • Play Lyrics Written: Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Musical
    Timothy Wright Mason (2 March 1940 – 5 March 1990) was a British Marxist historian of Nazi Germany. He was born in Birkenhead, the child of school-teachers and was educated at Birkenhead School and Oxford University. He taught at Oxford from 1971–1984 and was twice married. He helped to found the left-wing journal History Workshop Journal. Mason specialized in the social history of the Third Reich, especially that of the working-class. Mason's most famous books were his 1975 work Arbeiterklasse und Volksgemeinschaft (The Working Class and the National Community), a study of working-class life under the Nazis and his 1977 book, Sozialpolitik im Dritten Reich (Social Policy in the Third Reich). Unusually for a British historian, most of his books were originally published in German first. Mason saw his role as developing history that was flexible, humane and analytical. Mason wrote about the historians' role in 1986: "If historians do have a public responsibility, if hating is part of their method and warning part of their task, it is necessary that they should hate precisely". Mason's interest as a Marxist historian were in writing history that was not deterministic, and in revising
    6.25
    4 votes
    94
    Joseph McCarthy

    Joseph McCarthy

    • Play Lyrics Written: Kid Boots
    Joseph McCarthy (September 27, 1885 – December 18, 1943) was an American lyricist whose most famous songs include You Made Me Love You, and I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, based upon the haunting melody from the middle section of Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu". McCarthy, who was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, was a frequent collaborator of composers Harry Tierney (1890–1965) and Fred Fisher (1875–1942). He was the director of ASCAP from 1921 to 1929, and is not to be confused with U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908–57).
    5.40
    5 votes
    95

    Andy Razaf

    • Play Lyrics Written: Eubie!
    Andy Razaf (December 16, 1895 – February 3, 1973) was an American poet, composer and lyricist of such well-known songs as "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Honeysuckle Rose". Razaf was born in Washington, D.C. His birth name was Andriamanantena Paul Razafinkarefo. He was the son of Henri Razafinkarefo, nephew of Queen Ranavalona III of Imerina, and Jennie (Waller) Razafinkarefo, the daughter of John L. Waller, the first African American consul to Imerina. The French invasion of Madagascar left his father dead, and forced his pregnant 15-year-old mother to escape to the United States, where he was born in 1895. He was raised in Harlem, and at the age of 16 he quit school and took a job as an elevator operator at a Tin Pan Alley office building. A year later he penned his first song text, embarking on his career as a lyricist. During this time he would spend many nights in the Greyhound bus station in Times Square and would pick up his mail at the Gaiety Theatre office building which was considered the black Tin Pan Alley Some of Razaf's early poems were published in 1917-18 in the Hubert Harrison-edited Voice, the first newspaper of the "New Negro Movement". Razaf collaborated with composers
    7.00
    3 votes
    96
    Jacob Brackman

    Jacob Brackman

    • Play Lyrics Written: King of Hearts
    Jacob Brackman (born 1943) is an American journalist, writer, and musical lyricist. After graduating from Harvard University in 1965, he went to work for Newsweek as a journalist. He remained there for six months and was then hired by The New Yorker. He subsequently worked as a film critic at Esquire magazine from 1969 until 1972. He met Carly Simon in 1968 when they were both working as counselors at a summer camp in the Berkshires. The two became close friends. Most of Simon's albums include one or two songs co-written with Brackman; typically, Simon writes the music and Brackman writes the lyrics. Among the dozens of songs they have written together are the top ten hits, "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" (1971) and "Haven't Got Time for the Pain" (1974), both of which were sung by Simon. The lyrics to the Broadway musical King of Hearts were also written by Brackman, and so, too, were the screenplays for The King of Marvin Gardens (1972) and Times Square (1980). He has also collaborated musically with James Taylor, Steve Winwood, Dr. John, Fred Astaire and Dionne Warwick. He was the executive producer for the acclaimed Terrence Malick film, Days of Heaven
    7.00
    3 votes
    97
    Kathie Lee Gifford

    Kathie Lee Gifford

    • Play Lyrics Written: Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson
    Kathie Lee Gifford (born Kathryn Lee Epstein on August 16, 1953) is an American television host, singer, songwriter and actress, best known for her 15-year run (1985–2000) on the talk show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, which she co-hosted with Regis Philbin. She has received 11 Daytime Emmy nominations and won her first Daytime Emmy in 2010 as part of The Today Show team. Before her long stint in talk shows, Gifford's first television exposure was that of Tom Kennedy's singer/sidekick on Name That Tune, from 1974-78. On April 7, 2008, Gifford began co-hosting the fourth hour of NBC's Today, alongside Hoda Kotb. Kathie Lee Gifford, born Kathryn Lee Epstein in Paris, France, is the daughter of Joan (née Cuttell; born January 20, 1930), a singer, and Aaron Epstein (March 19, 1924 – November 19, 2002), a musician and former U.S. Navy officer. Aaron Epstein was stationed with his family in France at the time of Gifford's birth. Gifford grew up in Bowie, Maryland, and attended Bowie High School. During high school, Gifford was a singer in a folk group, "Pennsylvania Next Right," which performed frequently at school assemblies. During her senior year at high school she dated and went
    7.00
    3 votes
    98

    Michael Stewart

    • Play Lyrics Written: I Love My Wife
    Michael Stewart (August 1, 1924 – September 20, 1987) was an American playwright and librettist for the stage. Born Michael Stuart Rubin in Manhattan, Stewart attended Queens College, and graduated from the Yale School of Drama with a Master of Fine Arts in 1953. His early work was writing sketches for the revues The Shoestring Revue (1955), The Littlest Revue (1956),and Shoestring '57 (1956, Barbizon-Plaza, New York). He then joined the staff writers of Sid Caesar's television program, Caesar's Hour. He met Charles Strouse and Lee Adams in 1954, and several years after collaborated with them and Gower Champion on the 1960 Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie. He worked again with Champion and Jerry Herman, with their musical Hello, Dolly! opening on Broadway in 1964. Bramble died on September 20, 1987 in New York City. Jule Styne said of him: "He was an extremely talented and knowledgeable man of the theater. He was one of the great musical-theater writers, and his string of hits showed that." Stewart's sister was writer Francine Pascal.
    7.00
    3 votes
    99
    Nilo Cruz

    Nilo Cruz

    • Play Lyrics Written: Farhad
    Nilo Cruz (born 1960) is a Cuban-American playwright and pedagogue. With his award of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play, Anna in the Tropics, he became the first Latino so honored. Cruz was born to Tina and Nilo Cruz, Sr. in Matanzas, Cuba. The family immigrated to the "Little Havana" in Miami, Florida in 1970 on a Freedom Flight, and eventually naturalised to the United States. His interest in theater began with acting and directing in the early 1980s. He studied theater first at Miami-Dade Community College, later moving to New York City, where Cruz studied under fellow Cuban María Irene Fornés. Fornes recommended Cruz to Paula Vogel who was teaching at Brown University where he would later receive his M.F.A. in 1994. In 2001, he served as the playwright-in-residence for the New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, where he wrote Anna in the Tropics, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer and the Steinberg Award for Best New Play. A year later it received its Broadway premiere with Jimmy Smitts in the lead role. Some of the theatres that have developed and performed his works include New York’s Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Pasadena Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Oregon
    7.00
    3 votes
    100
    Peter Allen

    Peter Allen

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Boy from Oz
    Peter Allen (10 February 1944 – 18 June 1992) was an Australian songwriter and entertainer. His songs were made popular by many recording artists, including Elkie Brooks, Melissa Manchester and Olivia Newton-John, with one, "Arthur's Theme", winning an Academy Award in 1981. In addition to recording many albums, he enjoyed a cabaret and concert career, including appearing at Radio City Music Hall riding a camel. His marriage to Liza Minnelli ended in divorce, and culminated his heterosexual guise. He subsequently proclaimed his homosexuality and publicly entered a relationship with Gregory Connell that lasted until Connell's death, 15 years later. Peter Allen was born Peter Richard Woolnough in Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia. He was the grandson of George Woolnough, whom Allen immortalised in his song "Tenterfield Saddler". Allen began his performing career with Chris Bell as one of the "Allen Brothers", who were a popular cabaret and television act in the early 1960s in Australia. Mark Herron, the husband of Judy Garland, discovered Allen while he was performing in Hong Kong. He was invited to return with them to London and the United States, where he performed with
    7.00
    3 votes
    101

    Saul Chaplin

    • Play Lyrics Written: Those Were the Days
    Saul Chaplin (February 19, 1912 – November 15, 1997) was an American composer and musical director. He was born Saul Kaplan in Brooklyn, New York. He had worked on stage, screen and television since the days of Tin Pan Alley. In film, he won four Oscars for collaborating on the scores and orchestrations of An American in Paris (1951), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and West Side Story (1961). Following education at New York University's School of Commerce, Chaplin joined the ASCAP and started out penning tunes for the theatre, vaudeville and for New York's famous songwriting district, Tin Pan Alley. While in New York, Chaplin teamed with Sammy Cahn to compose original songs for Vitaphone movie shorts, filmed in Brooklyn by Warner Brothers. During this period the team was sometimes billed only by surname ("Cahn and Chaplin"), in the manner of Rodgers and Hart or Gilbert and Sullivan. Cahn and Chaplin relocated to Hollywood and scored two films for Universal Pictures. Chaplin then moved to Columbia Pictures to score Cover Girl and The Jolson Story. While on the latter film, Chaplin and Al Jolson penned the million-selling hit tune The Anniversary Song. In the late 1940s,
    7.00
    3 votes
    102

    Yip Harburg

    • Play Lyrics Written: Finian's Rainbow
    Edgar Yipsel Harburg (April 8, 1896 – March 5, 1981), known as E.Y. Harburg or Yip Harburg, was an American popular song lyricist who worked with many well-known composers. He wrote the lyrics to the standards, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", "April in Paris", and "It's Only a Paper Moon", as well as all of the songs in The Wizard of Oz, including "Over the Rainbow". Harburg, the youngest of four surviving children (out of ten), was born Isidore Hochberg on the Lower East Side of New York City on April 8, 1896. His parents, Lewis Hochberg and Mary Ricing, were faithful, Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jews who had emigrated from Russia. Harburg's nickname "Yipsel" (often shortened to "Yip") came about as "Yipsel" is how people pronounced "YPSL" -- the acronym for the Young People's Socialist League of which he was a member. Some have incorrectly believed that "Yipsel" is a Yiddish word meaning "squirrel." Later, he adopted the name Edgar Harburg. He was best known as Edgar "Yip" Harburg. He attended Townsend Harris High School, where he and Ira Gershwin, who met over a shared fondness for Gilbert and Sullivan, worked on the school paper and became lifelong friends. They went on to
    7.00
    3 votes
    103

    John La Touche

    • Play Lyrics Written: Candide
    John Treville Latouche (La Touche) (November 13, 1914, Baltimore, Maryland – August 7, 1956, Calais, Vermont) was a musician and writer. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Latouche's family moved to Richmond, Virginia when he was four months old. Much of his work included Rabelaisian humor and was therefore often censored or protested against. He attended Columbia University but never graduated. In 1937 he had two songs in the revue Pins and Needles. In 1939 for the show Sing For Your Supper he wrote the lyrics for "Ballad for Uncle Sam", later retitled "Ballad for Americans", with music by Earl Robinson. It was featured at both the 1939 Republican Convention and the convention of the American Communist Party, and was extremely popular in 1940s America. This 13-minute cantata to American democracy was written for a soloist and as well a full orchestra. When performed on the CBS Radio network by singer Paul Robeson, it became a national success. Subsequently, both Robeson and Bing Crosby regularly performed it. Actor and singer Brock Peters also made a notable recording of the cantata. He provided the lyrics for Vernon Duke's songs (including, with Ted Fetter, "Taking A Chance On Love")
    6.00
    4 votes
    104
    Jeff Lynne

    Jeff Lynne

    • Play Lyrics Written: Xanadu
    Jeffrey "Jeff" Lynne (born 30 December 1947) is an English songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer who gained fame as the leader and sole constant member of Electric Light Orchestra. He was later a co-founder and member of The Traveling Wilburys together with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. Lynne has produced recordings for artists such as The Beatles, Brian Wilson, Roy Orbison, Dave Edmunds, Del Shannon and Tom Petty. He has co-written songs with Petty and also with George Harrison, whose 1987 album Cloud Nine was co-produced by Lynne and Harrison. Among the many compositions to his credit are such well-known hits as "Livin' Thing", "Evil Woman", "Turn to Stone", "Do Ya", "Xanadu", "Strange Magic", "Sweet Talkin' Woman", "Telephone Line", "Shine a Little Love", "Mr. Blue Sky", "Hold on Tight", "All Over the World", and "Don't Bring Me Down". According to NNDB, Lynne has been married twice. He married his first wife Rosemary in 1970, and they divorced in 1977. His second (and current spouse) Sandi Kapelson wed Lynne in 1979. She is the mother of his two daughters, Laura and Stephanie. In 2008, The Washington Times
    8.00
    2 votes
    105
    Queen

    Queen

    • Play Lyrics Written: We Will Rock You
    Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of the late Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). Queen's earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works, incorporating more diverse and innovative styles in their music. Before joining Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had been playing together in a band named Smile with bassist Tim Staffell. Freddie Mercury (then known as Farrokh/Freddie Bulsara) was a fan of Smile, and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques after Staffell's departure in 1970. Mercury himself joined the band shortly thereafter, changed the name of the band to "Queen", and adopted his familiar stage name. John Deacon was recruited prior to recording their eponymous debut album (1973). Queen enjoyed success in the UK with their debut and its follow-up, Queen II (1974), but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack (1974) and A Night at the Opera (1975) that gained the band international success. The latter featured "Bohemian
    8.00
    2 votes
    106

    Robert Lorick

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Tap Dance Kid
    Robert Lorick is an actor and lyricist, best known as a Broadway lyricist and for his work portraying Jack Flanders, a character in an ongoing series of ZBS Foundation audio adventures. In 1972, he made his debut as a lyricist with the Off-Broadway musical Hark! at the Mercer-O'Casey Theatre. In the 1980s, he wrote the lyrics for the Broadway show The Tap Dance Kid, which ran for 669 performances (Dec 83-Aug 85) at the Broadhurst Theatre (capacity 1150) and the Minskoff Theatre (capacity 1620), New York and won two Tony Awards in 1984. He received a Grammy nomination for best cast album for The Tap Dance Kid. He has also written for ABC's All My Children, Afterschool Specials, Disney's Polly Comin' Home and wrote the theme song for NBC's Millennium Special. His voiceover clients include Volvo, Cadillac, Ford, IBM, American Express, most of the world's leading fragrance houses and he was the "voice of Chanel" for more than a decade. His corporation, Lorick, Inc., is a video production company. He holds a Masters Degree from Columbia University.
    8.00
    2 votes
    107
    Amanda Green

    Amanda Green

    • Play Lyrics Written: High Fidelity
    Amanda Green (born 1965) is an American singer and songwriter. Born in New York City, Green was raised on the Upper West Side with brother Adam by parents Phyllis Newman and Adolph Green. From an early age she was exposed to major talents of Broadway musical theatre, including Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne, and Cy Coleman, all of whom were regular guests in the household. At the age of nine, she starred as Maria in her summer camp's production of West Side Story, and decided to focus on performing. After graduating from Brown University,Green attended an actors' training program at Circle in the Square and then spent two seasons at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She began writing songs and performing in Manhattan cabarets like Joe's Pub. In the mid-1990s, inspired by Lyle Lovett's writing, she moved to Nashville to write country music. In Los Angeles Green wrote the lyrics for two musicals, Once Upon a Primetime (2002) and Up the Week Without a Paddle (2000),which earned her a nomination from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. In New York a concert of Green's original revue Put a Little Love in Your Mouth!, was performed at off-Broadway's Second Stage Theater in March 2003,
    9.00
    1 votes
    108

    Bob Merrill

    • Play Lyrics Written: Take Me Along
    Bob Merrill (May 17, 1921 – February 17, 1998) was an American songwriter, theatrical composer, lyricist, and screenwriter. Merrill was born Henry Merrill Levan in Atlantic City, New Jersey and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following a stint with the Army during World War II, he moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a dialogue director for Columbia Pictures. He began his songwriting career writing tunes for Dorothy Shay. One of his first major hits was a country song co-written by Moon Mullican in 1950 entitled "You Don't Have To Be a Baby To Cry", and the 1950 novelty song "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake", co-written with Al Hoffman and Clem Watts and recorded by Eileen Barton. The other eight songs which round out the Top Ten for which he is most well-known include Guy Mitchell recorded many of Merrill's songs including "Sparrow in the Tree Top", She Wears Red Feathers, and "My Truly, Truly Fair". Merrill made his Broadway debut in 1957 with New Girl in Town, a musical adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie. His greatest theatrical success was the Barbra Streisand vehicle Funny Girl, which introduced the standard "People" and "Don't Rain on My
    9.00
    1 votes
    109

    Nevill Coghill

    • Play Lyrics Written: Canterbury Tales - Musical
    Nevill Henry Kendal Aylmer Coghill (19 April 1899 – 6 November 1980) was a British literary scholar, known especially for his modern English version of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. His father was Sir Egerton Coghill, 5th Baronet. Coghill was educated at Haileybury, and read English at Exeter College, Oxford. He became a fellow of the college and there is a small bust of him in the college chapel. He served in the Great War after 1917. In 1948, he was made professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, London. He was Merton Professor of English Literature of the University of Oxford from 1957 to 1966. He died in November 1980. His Chaucer and Langland translations were first made for BBC radio broadcasts. He was well known during his time as a theatrical producer and director in Oxford; he is noted particularly as the director of the Oxford University Dramatic Society 1949 production of The Tempest. He was an associate of the literary discussion group "The Inklings" with other famous Oxford Dons such as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, as well as Oxford alumnus Owen Barfield. In 1968, he collaborated with Martin Starkie to co-write the West-End and Broadway musical Canterbury
    9.00
    1 votes
    110
    Richard Rodgers

    Richard Rodgers

    • Play Lyrics Written: Flower Drum Song
    Richard Charles Rodgers (June 28, 1902 – December 30, 1979) was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. His compositions have had a significant impact on popular music down to the present day, and have an enduring broad appeal. Rodgers was the first person to win what are considered the top show business awards in television, recording, movies and Broadway—an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony—now known collectively as an EGOT. He has also won a Pulitzer Prize, making him one of two people (Marvin Hamlisch is the other) to receive each award. Born into a prosperous ethnic German Jewish family in Arverne, Queens, New York City, Rodgers was the son of Mamie (Levy) and Dr. William Abrahams Rodgers, a prominent physician who had changed the family name from Abrahams. Richard began playing the piano at age six. He attended P.S. 10, Townsend Harris Hall and DeWitt Clinton High School. Rodgers spent his early teenage summers in Camp Wigwam (Waterford, Maine) where he composed some of his
    9.00
    1 votes
    111

    Alain Boublil

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Pirate Queen
    Alain Boublil (born in Tunisia in 1941) is a musical theatre lyricist and librettist, best known for his collaborations with the composer Claude-Michel Schönberg for musicals on Broadway and London's West End. These include: La Révolution Française (1973), Les Misérables (1980), Miss Saigon (1989), Martin Guerre (1996), The Pirate Queen (2006), and Marguerite (2008). Alain Boublil’s first musical, La Révolution Française, was the first-ever staged French rock opera. It was conceived by Boublil in 1973 after he watched the premiere of Jesus Christ Superstar in New York. The composer was Claude-Michel Schönberg, with whom Alain has since collaborated on a number of successful projects, including Les Misérables and Miss Saigon. Les Misérables first opened in Paris in 1980. On October 8, 1985, an English-language production of Les Misérables produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Trevor Nunn premiered in London at The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Barbican Theatre. The show transferred to the West End’s Palace Theatre on December 4, 1985. It is the longest-running musical in West End history. Productions based on the Nunn/Mackintosh staging of Les Misérables have been staged all
    6.67
    3 votes
    112
    Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber

    • Play Lyrics Written: Starlight Express
    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber Kt. (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, fourteen Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Several of his songs have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" and "You Must Love Me" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats. His company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London. Producers in several
    6.67
    3 votes
    113
    Jacques Brel

    Jacques Brel

    • Play Lyrics Written: Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
    Jacques Brel (French pronunciation: [ʒak bʁɛl]; 8 April 1929 – 9 October 1978) was a Belgian singer-songwriter who composed and performed literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that generated a large, devoted following in France initially, and later throughout the world. He was widely considered a master of the modern chanson. Although he recorded most of his songs in French, he became a major influence on English-speaking songwriters and performers such as David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Marc Almond and Rod McKuen. English translations of his songs were recorded by many top performers in the United States, including Ray Charles, Judy Collins, John Denver, the Kingston Trio, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Scott Walker, and Andy Williams. In French-speaking countries, Brel was also a successful actor, appearing in ten films. He also directed two films, one of which, Le Far West, was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973. Jacques Brel has sold over 25 million records worldwide, and is the third best-selling Belgian recording artist of all time. Jacques Romain Georges Brel was born on 8 April 1929 in Schaarbeek, Brussels, Belgium to Romain Brel and Elisabeth
    6.67
    3 votes
    114

    Sammy Cahn

    • Play Lyrics Written: Those Were the Days
    Sammy Cahn (June 18, 1913 – January 15, 1993) was an American lyricist, songwriter and musician. He is best known for his romantic lyrics to films and Broadway songs, as well as stand-alone songs premiered by recording companies in the Greater Los Angeles Area. He and his collaborators had a series of hit recordings with Frank Sinatra during the singer's tenure at Capitol Records, but also enjoyed hits with Dean Martin, Doris Day and many others. He played the piano and violin. He won the Academy Award four times for his songs, including the popular song "Three Coins in the Fountain". Cahn was born as Samuel Cohen in the Lower East Side of New York City, the only son (he had four sisters) of Abraham and Elka Reiss Cohen, who were Jewish immigrants from Galicia, Austria. His sisters, Sadye, Pearl, Florence, and Evelyn, all studied the piano. His mother did not approve of Sammy studying it though, for she thought the piano was a woman's instrument, so he took violin lessons. After three lessons and following his bar mitzvah, he joined a small dixieland band called Pals of Harmony, that would tour the Catskill Mountains in the summer and also did private parties. This new dream of
    6.67
    3 votes
    115
    William Gibson

    William Gibson

    • Play Lyrics Written: Golden Boy
    William Gibson (November 13, 1914 – November 25, 2008) was an American playwright and novelist. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1938. He was of Irish, French, German, Dutch and Russian ancestry. Gibson's most famous play is The Miracle Worker (1959), the story of Helen Keller's childhood education, which won him the Tony Award for Best Play after he adapted it from his original 1957 telefilm script. He adapted the work again for the 1962 film version, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay; the same actresses who previously had won Tony Awards for their performances in the stage version, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, received Academy Awards for the film version as well. Arthur Penn directed both the stage and film versions. His Broadway debut had been with Two for the Seesaw in 1958, a critically acclaimed two-character play which starred Henry Fonda and, in her own Broadway debut, Anne Bancroft. It was directed by Arthur Penn. Gibson published a chronicle of the vicissitudes of rewriting for the sake of this production with a nonfiction book in the following year, The Seesaw Log. His other works include Dinny and the Witches (1948,
    6.67
    3 votes
    116
    Billie Joe Armstrong

    Billie Joe Armstrong

    • Play Lyrics Written: American Idiot
    Billie Joe Armstrong (born February 17, 1972) is an American rock musician and occasional actor, best known as the lead vocalist, main songwriter, and guitarist for the American punk rock band Green Day, which he co-founded with Mike Dirnt. He is also a guitarist and vocalist for the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and provides lead vocals for Green Day's side projects Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network respectively. Raised in Rodeo, California, Armstrong developed an interest in music at a young age, and recorded his first song at the age of five. He met Mike Dirnt while attending elementary school, and the two instantly bonded over their mutual interest in music, forming the band Sweet Children when the two were 15 years old. The band changed its name to Green Day, and would later achieve massive commercial success. Armstrong has also pursued musical projects outside of Green Day's work, including numerous collaborations with other musicians as well as serving as the primary vocalist for the bands Pinhead Gunpowder, Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network. Billie Joe Armstrong was born in Piedmont, California, a small town surrounded by the city of Oakland, and was raised in Rodeo,
    7.50
    2 votes
    117

    Carolyn Leigh

    • Play Lyrics Written: Peter Pan
    Carolyn Leigh (August 21, 1926 – November 19, 1983) was an American lyricist for Broadway, movies, and popular songs. She is best known as the writer with partner Cy Coleman of the pop standards "Witchcraft" and "The Best Is Yet to Come." With Johnny Richards she wrote the million-seller "Young at Heart" for the film of the same name, starring Frank Sinatra. Leigh, born in the Bronx, New York, graduated from Hunter College High School, Queens College and New York University, and worked as a copy writer for radio stations and advertising agencies. Her lyrics for Broadway shows include Peter Pan, Wildcat, Little Me, and How Now, Dow Jones. The last was derived from an original idea of Leigh's, though Max Shulman wrote the script. At the time of her death, she was working with Marvin Hamlisch on the musical Smile. She provided lyrics for the scores to the films The Cardinal in 1963 and Father Goose in 1964. Leigh died on November 19, 1983 of a heart attack. She was divorced from David Cunningham, Jr. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985.
    7.50
    2 votes
    118

    Ellie Greenwich

    • Play Lyrics Written: Leader of the Pack
    Eleanor Louise "Ellie" Greenwich (October 23, 1940 – August 26, 2009) was an American pop music singer, songwriter, and record producer. She wrote or co-wrote "Be My Baby", "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", "Da Doo Ron Ron", "Leader of the Pack", "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", and "River Deep, Mountain High", among many others. She discovered Neil Diamond and sang backing vocals on several of Diamond's hit songs. Greenwich (pronounced "GREN-itch") was born Eleanor Louise Greenwich in Brooklyn, New York, to a Catholic father, William, an electrical engineer and former painter, and a Jewish mother, Rose Baron, a department store manager, both were of Russian ancestry. She was named for Eleanor Roosevelt and, despite her parent's religious beliefs, she was not raised Catholic or Jewish. Her musical interest was sparked as a child when her parents would play music in their home and she learned how to play the accordion at a young age. At age ten, she moved with her parents and younger sister, Laura, to Levittown, New York. By her teens, she was composing songs; eventually she taught herself to compose on the piano rather than the accordion. In high school, Greenwich and two friends formed a
    7.50
    2 votes
    119
    Glen Hansard

    Glen Hansard

    • Play Lyrics Written: Once
    Glen Hansard (born 21 April 1970 in Dublin, Ireland) is the Academy Award–winning principal songwriter and vocalist/guitarist for Irish group The Frames and one half of folk rock duo The Swell Season. He is also known for his acting, having appeared in the BAFTA winning film The Commitments, as well as starring in the film Once. His song, "Falling Slowly", from Once, co-written with his co-star Markéta Irglová, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2007, and earned him ten other major awards or nominations between 2007-08. He currently owns a summer house in Wexford, Ireland. Hansard quit school at age 13 to begin busking on local Dublin streets. He formed The Frames in 1990, and they've been staples of the Irish music scene ever since. Their first album, Another Love Song, was released on Island Records in 1991, and their most recent, The Cost, was released in 2006. Hansard came to international attention as guitar player Outspan Foster in the 1991 Alan Parker film The Commitments, after attending the New York Film Academy School of Acting. He has often stated that he regretted taking the role, because he felt it distracted him from his music career. In 2003, he
    7.50
    2 votes
    120

    Hal David

    • Play Lyrics Written: Promises, Promises
    Harold Lane "Hal" David (May 25, 1921 – September 1, 2012) was an American lyricist. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York City. He was best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach and his association with Dionne Warwick. David was born to a Jewish family in New York City, the son of Lina (née Goldberg) and Gedalier David, a deli owner. He is credited with popular music lyrics, beginning in the 1940s with material written for bandleader Sammy Kaye and for Guy Lombardo. He worked with Morty Nevins of The Three Suns on four songs for the feature film Two Gals and a Guy (1951), starring Janis Paige and Robert Alda. In 1957, David met composer Burt Bacharach at Famous Music in the Brill Building in New York. The two teamed up and wrote their first hit "The Story of My Life", recorded by Marty Robbins in 1957. Subsequently, in the 1960s and early 1970s Bacharach and David wrote some of the most enduring songs in American popular music, many for Dionne Warwick but also for The Carpenters, Dusty Springfield, B. J. Thomas, Gene Pitney, Tom Jones, Jackie DeShannon and others. Bacharach and David hits included "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", "This Guy's in Love with You",
    7.50
    2 votes
    121
    Johnny Mercer

    Johnny Mercer

    • Play Lyrics Written: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer (November 18, 1909 – June 25, 1976) was an American lyricist, songwriter and singer. Mercer was also a co-founder of Capitol Records. He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others. From the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, many of the songs Mercer wrote and performed were among the most popular hits of the time. He wrote the lyrics to more than fifteen hundred songs, including compositions for movies and Broadway shows. He received nineteen Academy Award nominations, and won four. Mercer was born in Savannah, Georgia. His father, George Anderson Mercer, was a prominent attorney and real estate developer, and his mother, Lillian Elizabeth (née Ciucevich), George Mercer’s secretary and then second wife, was the daughter of Croatian-Irish immigrants who came to America in the 1850s. Lillian's father was a merchant seaman who ran the Union blockade during the U.S. Civil War. Mercer was George's fourth son, first by Lillian. His great-grandfather was Confederate General Hugh Weedon Mercer and he was a direct descendant of American Revolutionary War
    7.50
    2 votes
    122

    Marc Blitzstein

    • Play Lyrics Written: No For an Answer
    Marcus Samuel Blitzstein, better known as Marc Blitzstein (March 2, 1905 – January 22, 1964), was an American composer. He won national attention in 1937 when his pro-union musical The Cradle Will Rock, directed by Orson Welles, was shut down by the Works Progress Administration. He is known for The Cradle Will Rock and for his Off-Broadway translation/adaptation of The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. His works also include the opera Regina, an adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play The Little Foxes; the Broadway musical Juno, based on Seán O'Casey's play Juno and the Paycock; and No for an Answer. He completed translation/adaptations of Brecht's and Weill's musical play Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and of Brecht's play Mother Courage and Her Children with music by Paul Dessau. Blitzstein also composed music for films, such as Surf and Seaweed (1931) and The Spanish Earth (1937), and he contributed two songs to the original 1960 production of Hellman's play Toys in the Attic. Marc Blitzstein was born in Philadelphia on March 2, 1905, the son of affluent parents. In 1928 his father Sam Blitzstein married Robert Serber's sister-in-law Madeline Leof.
    7.50
    2 votes
    123
    Percy Greenbank

    Percy Greenbank

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Cingalee
    Percy Greenbank (24 January 1878 – 9 December 1968) was an English lyricist, best known for his contribution of lyrics to a number of successful Edwardian musical comedies in the early years of the 20th century. His older brother, lyricist Harry Greenbank, had a brilliant career in the 1890s that was cut short by his death at the age of 33. Percy picked up where his brother had left off, writing lyrics for some of the most popular musicals from 1900 through World War I and even afterwards. Greenbank was born in London, son of Richard and Mary Greenbank. He was Harry Greenbank's younger brother. Percy studied law, but instead decided to become a journalist, contributing to such journals as Punch, The Sketch and The Tatler, and to write for the theatre. After Harry's death, George Edwardes asked the younger Greenbank to collaborate with Adrian Ross on the lyrics for The Messenger Boy and also interpolated two of his lyrics into San Toy when that score was revised ("Somebody" and "All I Want is a Little Bit of Fun"). He began to collaborate with composers Ivan Caryll and Lionel Monckton, as well as with Ross and the deviser of the Gaiety show plots and outlines, James T. Tanner. For
    7.50
    2 votes
    124
    Lewis Carroll

    Lewis Carroll

    • Play Lyrics Written: Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
    Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ( /ˈtʃɑrlz ˈlʌtwɪdʒ ˈdɒdʒsən/ CHARLZ LUDT-wij DOJ-sən; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll (/ˈkærəl/ KARR-əl), was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy, and there are societies in many parts of the world (including the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and New Zealand) dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works and the investigation of his life. Dodgson's family was predominantly northern English, with Irish connections. Conservative and High Church Anglican, most of Dodgson's ancestors were army officers or Church of England clergy. His great-grandfather, also named Charles Dodgson, had risen through the ranks of the church to become the Bishop of Elphin. His grandfather, another Charles, had been an army captain, killed in action in Ireland in 1803 when his two sons were hardly
    5.50
    4 votes
    125

    Bert Kalmar

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Five O'Clock Girl
    Bert Kalmar (February 10, 1884 - September 18, 1947) was a Jewish American lyricist. He was born in New York, New York. He ran away from home at the age of 10 to become a magician at a tent show, and retained an interest in magic all his life. He never got much of an education, but decided to make a career in show business. He earned enough money as a vaudeville performer to start a music publishing company, Kalmar and Puck. He hired Harry Ruby as a song plugger, and as a result of a knee injury that stopped him from dancing professionally, turned to writing song lyrics full-time. Ruby, who had got a job at the firm of "'Waterson, Berlin and Snyder'," got Kalmar a job at the same firm writing song lyrics. Before World War I he had begun to write lyrics for a number of different composers. One of them, Ruby, who had also had a number of collaborators, saw a strong compatibility between the two, and by 1920 Kalmar and Ruby recognized that they should form a permanent songwriting team. Their partnership resulted in some of the most well-known songs featured in the Marx Brothers' Broadway production of Animal Crackers (1928) as well as the film of the same name. Kalmar and Ruby's songs
    6.33
    3 votes
    126
    Boy George

    Boy George

    • Play Lyrics Written: Taboo
    Boy George (born George Alan O'Dowd on 14 June 1961) is an English singer-songwriter, who was part of the English New Romanticism movement which emerged in the early 1980s. His music is often classified as blue-eyed soul, which is influenced by rhythm and blues and reggae. His 1990s and 2000s-era solo music has glam influences such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop. He also founded and was lead singer of Jesus Loves You during the period 1989–1992. Being involved in many activities (among them songwriting, DJing, writing books, designing clothes and photography), he has released fewer music recordings in the last decade. Boy George was born George Alan O'Dowd at Barnehurst Hospital in Bexley, Kent on 14 June 1961, to Jeremiah and Dinah O'Dowd (née Glynn), who were originally from Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland. He lived with his family on the Middle Park Estate at Joan Crescent London SE9. He attended Eltham Green School in Eltham. He is one of six children. His siblings are Richard, Kevin, David, Gerald, and Siobhan. He was a follower of the New Romantic movement which was popular in Britain in the early 1980s. George frequently lived at the infamous Warren Street Squat in Central
    6.33
    3 votes
    127
    Clifford Grey

    Clifford Grey

    • Play Lyrics Written: Hit the Deck
    Clifford Grey (5 January 1887 – 25 September 1941) was an English songwriter, actor, librettist and Olympic medalist. His birth name was Percival Davis, and he was also known as Clifford Gray, Tippi Gray, Tippi Grey, Tippy Gray and Tippy Grey. As a writer, Grey contributed prolifically to West End and Broadway shows, as librettist and lyricist for composers including Ivor Novello, Jerome Kern, Howard Talbot, Ivan Caryll and George Gershwin. Among his best-remembered songs are two from early in his career, in 1916: "If You Were The Only Girl In The World" and "Another Little Drink Wouldn’t Do Us Any Harm". His later hits include "Spread a Little Happiness". Unbeknown to his family and professional colleagues, Grey competed as an American bobsleigher, under a different name, in two Winter Olympics, in 1928 and 1932, winning gold medals. Grey was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, the son of George Davis, a whip manufacturer, and his wife Emma, née Lowe. He was educated at the King Edward VI School. On leaving school in 1903 he had a variety of office jobs, in none of which he had any success. He became a pierrot with a local concert party, and adopted the stage name Clifford Grey. By
    6.33
    3 votes
    128

    DuBose Heyward

    • Play Lyrics Written: Porgy and Bess
    Edwin DuBose Heyward (August 31, 1885 – June 16, 1940) was an American author best known for his 1925 novel Porgy. This novel was adapted and produced in 1927 as a play by the same name (which he co-authored with his wife Dorothy) and, in turn, the opera Porgy and Bess (1935) with music by George Gershwin. It was also adapted as a film by the opera's name, released in 1959. Heyward also wrote poetry and other novels and plays, as well as the children's book The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes (1939). Heyward was born in 1885 in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a descendant of Judge Thomas Heyward, Jr., a South Carolina signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. As a child and young man, Heyward was frequently ill. He contracted polio when he was eighteen, then two years later contracted typhoid fever and the following year fell ill with pleurisy. Although he described himself as " a miserable student" who was uninterested in learning, and dropped out of high school in his first year at age fourteen, he had a lifelong and serious interest in literature. He passed the time in his sickbed writing verses and stories. In 1913 Heyward wrote a one-act play, An
    6.33
    3 votes
    129

    Dusty Hughes

    • Play Lyrics Written: Metropolis
    Dusty Hughes (born 1947) is a British playwright and director, writing for both the theatre and television. His Grrr (1968) was first performed in Edinburgh. In 1980 Hughes won the London Theatre Critics Award for 'Most Promising Playwright' for his play Commitments.
    6.33
    3 votes
    130

    Howard Dietz

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Gay Life
    Howard Dietz (September 8, 1896 – July 30, 1983) was an American publicist, lyricist, and librettist. Dietz was born in New York City and studied journalism at Columbia University. He also served as publicist/director of advertising for Goldwyn Pictures and later MGM and is often credited with creating Leo the Lion, its lion mascot, and choosing their slogan Ars Gratia Artis. In 1942, he was made MGM's Vice President in Charge of Publicity. He held that position until his retirement in 1957. He began a long association with composer Arthur Schwartz when they teamed up for the Broadway revue The Little Show in 1929. They would continue to work on and off over the next 30 or so years. Dietz served in the US Navy in World War I and became editor of their magazine, Navy Life. During World War II, he assisted the U.S. Treasury Department with the publicity and promotion of War Bonds and created stage shows for the Coast Guard with composer Vernon Duke. He appears as a recurring character in the mystery novels of John Dandola which involve a sleuthing MGM publicity girl. Dietz saved copies of every document relating to his career, as well as relating to the publicity campaigns of every
    6.33
    3 votes
    131
    Pete Townshend

    Pete Townshend

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Who's Tommy
    Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend (born 19 May 1945) is an English rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and author, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group The Who, as well as for his own solo career. His career with The Who spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and 1970s, and, according to Eddie Vedder, "possibly the greatest live band ever." Townshend is the primary songwriter for The Who, having written well over 100 songs for the band's 11 studio albums, including concept albums and the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus popular rock and roll radio staples like Who's Next, and dozens more that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations like Odds & Sods. He has also written over 100 songs that have appeared on his solo albums, as well as radio jingles and television theme songs. Although known primarily as a guitarist, he also plays other instruments such as keyboards, banjo, accordion, synthesiser, bass guitar and drums, on his own solo albums, several Who albums, and as a guest contributor to a wide array
    6.33
    3 votes
    132

    Walter Kerr

    • Play Lyrics Written: Goldilocks: A Musical
    For the RN admiral see Lord Walter Kerr Walter Francis Kerr (July 8, 1913 – October 9, 1996) was an American writer and Broadway theater critic. He also was the writer, lyricist, and/or director of several Broadway plays and musicals. Kerr was born in Evanston, Illinois and earned both a B.A. and M.A. from Northwestern University. He taught speech and drama at The Catholic University of America. After writing criticism for Commonweal he became a theater critic for the New York Herald Tribune in 1951. When that paper ended, he then began writing theater reviews for the New York Times in 1966, writing for the next seventeen years. He married Jean Kerr (née Collins) on August 9, 1943. She was also a writer. Together, they wrote the musical Goldilocks (1958), which won two Tony Awards. They also collaborated on Touch and Go (1949) and King of Hearts (1954). He was portrayed pseudonymously by David Niven in the 1960 film Please Don't Eat the Daisies, based on Jean Kerr's best-selling collection of humorous essays. Some of the shows he panned over his long career included the musically ambitious shows of Stephen Sondheim. Of Sondheim's Company, Kerr wrote that the show was too cold,
    6.33
    3 votes
    133

    Clark Gesner

    • Play Lyrics Written: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
    Clark Gesner (born March 27, 1938, in Augusta, Maine, died July 23, 2002, in downtown New York City) was an American composer, songwriter, author, and actor. He is probably best known for composing You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, a musical adaptation of the Charles M. Schulz comic strip Peanuts. None of his other musicals (most notably The Utter Glory of Morrissey Hall in 1979) had been able to match the success of ...Charlie Brown, though he had small success in regional productions (mostly Animal Fair in 1990). Gesner's song "Happiness" became a hit standard in the 1960s, being recorded by various artists. The latter was also recorded in a smooth jazz version by David Benoit in May 2000, shortly after Charles M. Schulz' death, on an album entitled Here's to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years. The album made it to #2 on the Top Jazz Albums chart. Born and raised in Augusta, Maine, and later moving to Brooklyn, New York, Gesner was born to H. Mortimer Gesner Jr., and Eleanor Clark Gesner. He attended high school in Plainfield, New Jersey where he wrote and performed in theatre productions. Gesner attended Princeton University and was a member of the Triangle Club, the
    8.00
    1 votes
    134

    Maxwell Anderson

    • Play Lyrics Written: Lost in the Stars
    James Maxwell Anderson (15 December 1888 – 28 February 1959) was an American playwright, author, poet, journalist and lyricist. Anderson was born in Atlantic, Pennsylvania, the second of eight children to William Lincoln "Link" Anderson, a Baptist minister, and Charlotte Perrimela Stephenson, both of Scots and Irish descent. His family initially lived on his maternal grandmother Sheperd's farm in Atlantic, then moved to Andover, Ohio, where his father became a railroad fireman while studying to become a minister. They moved often, to follow their father's ministerial posts, and Maxwell was frequently sick, missing a great deal of school. He used his time sick in bed to read voraciously, and both his parents and Aunt Emma were storytellers, which contributed to Anderson's love of literature. During a visit to his grandmother's house in Atlantic, at age 11, he met the first love of his life, Hallie Loomis, a slightly older girl from a wealthier family. His autobiographical tale, Morning, Winter and Night told of rape, incest and sadomasochism on the farm. It was published under a pseudonym, John Nairne Michealson, to prevent offending family. The Andersons bounced between Andover,
    8.00
    1 votes
    135
    Paul Reubens

    Paul Reubens

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Pee-Wee Herman Show
    Paul Reubens (born Paul Rubenfeld; August 27, 1952) is an American actor, writer, film producer, and comedian, best known for his character Pee-wee Herman. Reubens joined the Los Angeles troupe The Groundlings in the 1970s and started his career as an improvisational comedian and stage actor. In 1982, Reubens put up a show about a character he had been developing during the last few years. The show was called The Pee-wee Herman Show and it ran for five sellout months with HBO producing a successful special with it. Pee-wee became an instant cult figure and for the next decade Reubens would be completely committed to his character, doing all of his public appearances and interviews as Pee-wee. In 1985 Pee-wee's Big Adventure, directed by the then-unknown Tim Burton, was a financial success and, despite receiving mixed reviews, it developed into a cult film. Big Top Pee-wee, 1988's sequel, was less successful than its predecessor. Between 1986 and 1990, Reubens starred as Pee-wee in the CBS Saturday-morning children's program Pee-wee's Playhouse. In July 1991, after deciding to take a few years' sabbatical from Pee-wee, Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure in an adult theater
    8.00
    1 votes
    136
    Richard Stilgoe

    Richard Stilgoe

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Phantom of the Opera
    Sir Richard Henry Simpson Stilgoe OBE DL (born 28 March 1943) is a British songwriter, lyricist and musician. He is noted for clever wordplay as much as for his music. Stilgoe was born in Camberley, Surrey on 28 March 1943. He was brought up in Liverpool, where as lead singer of a group calling itself 'Tony Snow and the Blizzards' he performed at the Cavern Club. He was educated at Monkton Combe School in Somerset and at Clare College, Cambridge where he was a member of the Cambridge University Footlights. His son Joe Stilgoe is an accomplished jazz pianist and vocalist in his own right. Joe also performs regularly with comedian Alex Horne as bandleader and foil in the musical-comedy review The Horne Section. In 1966 he played the role of Benjamin in the West End musical Jorrocks. He made his name on the BBC television teatime programme Nationwide, followed by Esther Rantzen's That's Life!, a light-hearted consumer affairs programme for which he wrote comic songs satirising various minor domestic misfortunes, often to the tune of Oh! Mr Porter. His ability to write a song from almost any source material and at prodigious speed is part of his cabaret act, which includes such diverse
    8.00
    1 votes
    137
    Roger McGough

    Roger McGough

    • Play Lyrics Written: Wind in the Willows
    Roger Joseph McGough CBE (born 9 November 1937) is an English performance poet. He presents the BBC Radio 4 programme Poetry Please and records voice-overs for commercials, as well as performing his own poetry. He is a Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and President of the Poetry Society. Roger McGough was born in Litherland, Liverpool. He was a pupil at St Mary's College in Crosby with Laurie Taylor, future sociologist and criminologist, before going on to study French and Geography at the University of Hull at a time when Philip Larkin was the librarian there, and with whom he corresponded about poetry: "McGough didn't seek counsel from Larkin, but at the age of 21, after completing his degree and teaching diploma, he did send him some poems. "I got a letter. He said 'thank you for sending me your poems which I enjoyed reading'. And then he said [something along the lines] of 'you seem to walk a tightrope which you sometimes fall off, but the journey is worth making.'" Returning to Merseyside in the early 1960s, he worked as a French teacher and, with John Gorman, organised arts events. After meeting Mike McGear the trio formed The Scaffold, working the Edinburgh
    8.00
    1 votes
    138

    Stephen Bray

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Color Purple
    Stephen Bray is an American songwriter, drummer, and record producer from Detroit. Bray is best known for his collaboration with Madonna. Bray began studying music through private instruction in Detroit, and continued his education at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Bray owns and operates Saturn Sound recording studios and the Soultone Records record label. He is married to movie producer Stephanie Allain, who produced Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan. Bray met Madonna during her pre-stardom when she attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for dance. He moved to New York after receiving a call from Madonna years later, who at that time, was a member of the band The Breakfast Club in New York City. Madonna wanted to form a new band and invited Bray to play the drums. Together they formed the band Emmy and the Emmys. Madonna obtained her recording contract with Gotham Management, with Camille Barbone. The music she was producing with them was more rock oriented and Madonna had her eyes set on dance music. She and Stephen Bray continued working on a parallel project, more club oriented. After being signed to Sire Records, Madonna continued collaborating with
    8.00
    1 votes
    139

    Lew Brown

    • Play Lyrics Written: Follow Thru
    Lew Brown (December 10, 1893 – February 5, 1958) was a lyricist for popular songs in the United States. Brown was born as Louis Brownstein in Odessa, Russian Empire. His family emigrated to the United States in 1898 and settled in The Bronx of New York City. Brown wrote lyrics for many of the top Tin Pan Alley songwriters of the day, including Albert Von Tilzer, Con Conrad, and Harold Arlen. He was one third of a successful songwriting and music publishing team with Ray Henderson and Buddy De Sylva from 1925 until 1929. Brown also wrote or co-wrote several Broadway shows. Lew Brown died in New York City. Posthumous Credits
    5.25
    4 votes
    140

    Alan Jay Lerner

    • Play Lyrics Written: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Alan Jay Lerner (August 31, 1918 – June 14, 1986) was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, he created some of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both the stage and on film. He won three Tony Awards and three Academy Awards, among other honors. Born in New York City, he was the son of Edith Adelson Lerner and Joseph Jay Lerner, whose brother, Samuel Alexander Lerner, was founder and owner of the Lerner Stores, a chain of dress shops. One of Lerner's cousins was the radio comedian/television game show panelist Henry Morgan. Alan Jay Lerner was educated at Bedales School in England, The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut, (where he wrote "The Choate Marching Song") and Harvard. He attended both Camp Androscoggin and Camp Greylock. At both Choate and Harvard, Lerner was a classmate of John F. Kennedy; at Choate they had worked together on the yearbook staff. Like Cole Porter at Yale and Richard Rodgers at Columbia, his career in musical theater began with his collegiate contributions, in Lerner's case to the annual Harvard Hasty Pudding musicals. During the summers of 1936 and 1937,
    7.00
    2 votes
    141

    Arthur Freed

    • Play Lyrics Written: Singin' in the Rain
    Arthur Freed (September 9, 1894 – April 12, 1973) was born Arthur Grossman in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a Jewish American lyricist and a Hollywood film producer. Freed began his career as a song-plugger and pianist in Chicago. After meeting Minnie Marx, he sang as part of the act of her sons, the Marx Brothers, on the vaudeville circuit, and also wrote material for the brothers. He soon began to write songs, and was eventually hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. For years, he wrote lyrics for numerous films, many set to music by Nacio Herb Brown. In 1939, after working (uncredited) in the role of associate producer on The Wizard of Oz, he was promoted to being the head of his own unit within MGM, and helped elevate the studio to the leading creator of film musicals. His first solo credit as producer was the film version of Rodgers and Hart's smash Broadway musical Babes in Arms (also 1939), released only a few months after The Wizard of Oz. It starred Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, and it was so successful that it ushered in a long series of "let's put on a show" "backyard" musicals, all starring Rooney and Garland. Freed brought an outstanding amount of talent from the
    7.00
    2 votes
    142
    Billy Joel

    Billy Joel

    • Play Lyrics Written: Movin' Out
    William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man," in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to the RIAA. He also has the third best-selling album in the United States with his Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2. Joel had Top 40 hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, achieving 33 Top 40 hits in the United States, all of which he wrote himself. He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner, a 23-time Grammy nominee and has sold over 150 million records worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006). In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's 50th anniversary, with Billy Joel positioned at No. 23. With the exception of the 2007 songs "All My Life" and "Christmas in Fallujah," Joel stopped writing and recording pop/rock material after 1993's River of Dreams, but he continued to tour extensively until 2010. Joel was born in the
    7.00
    2 votes
    143

    Ira Levin

    • Play Lyrics Written: Drat! The Cat!
    Ira Levin (August 27, 1929 – November 12, 2007) was an American author, dramatist and songwriter. Levin attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He also attended the Horace Mann School, from which he graduated, and New York University, where he majored in philosophy and English. After college, Levin wrote training films and scripts for radio and television. The first of these was "Leda’s Portrait", for Lights Out in 1951. Levin's first produced play was No Time for Sergeants (adapted from the Mac Hyman novel), a comedy about a hillbilly drafted into the United States Air Force that launched the career of Andy Griffith. The play was turned into a movie in 1958, and co-starred Nick Adams., later developed into a 1964 television comedy series starring Sammy Jackson. No Time for Sergeants is generally considered the precursor to Gomer Pyle, USMC. Levin's first novel, A Kiss Before Dying, was well received, earning him the 1954 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. A Kiss Before Dying was turned into a movie twice, first in 1956 and again in 1991. Levin's best-known play is Deathtrap, which holds the record as the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway and brought Levin his
    7.00
    2 votes
    144

    Jay Livingston

    • Play Lyrics Written: Oh, Captain!
    Jay Livingston (March 28, 1915 – October 17, 2001) was an American composer and singer best known as half of a songwriting duo with Ray Evans that specialized in songs composed for films. Livingston wrote the music and Evans the lyrics. Livingston was born Jacob Harold Levison in McDonald, Pennsylvania; he was Jewish. Livingston studied piano with Harry Archer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and worked as a musician at local clubs while still in high school. He attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he organized a dance band and met Evans, a fellow student in the band. Their professional collaboration began in 1937. Livingston and Evans won the Academy Award for Best Original Song three times, in 1948 for the song Buttons and Bows, written for the movie The Paleface; in 1950 for the song Mona Lisa, written for the movie Captain Carey, U.S.A.; and in 1956 for the song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," featured in the movie The Man Who Knew Too Much. Livingston and Evans wrote popular TV themes for shows including Bonanza and Mr. Ed. They also wrote the Christmas song Silver Bells in 1951 for the film The Lemon Drop Kid as well as "Never Let Me
    7.00
    2 votes
    145
    Jerry Herman

    Jerry Herman

    • Play Lyrics Written: La Cage aux Folles
    Jerry Herman (born July 10, 1931) is an American composer and lyricist, known for his work in Broadway musical theater. He composed the scores for the hit Broadway musicals Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. He has been nominated for the Tony Award five times, and won twice, for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles. In 2009, Herman received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. He is a recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors. Raised in Jersey City, New Jersey by musically inclined parents, Herman learned to play piano at an early age, and the three frequently attended Broadway musicals. His father, Harry, was a gym teacher and in the summer worked in the Catskill Mountains hotels. His mother, Ruth, also worked in the hotels as a singer, pianist, and children's teacher, and eventually became an English teacher. After marrying, they lived in Jersey City and continued to work in the summers in various camps until they became head counselors and finally ran Stissing Lake Camp in the Berkshire Mountains. Herman spent all of his summers there, from age 6 to 23. It was at camp that he first became involved in theatrical productions, as director of
    7.00
    2 votes
    146

    Joel Hirschhorn

    • Play Lyrics Written: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    Joel Hirschhorn, (December 18, 1937 – September 17, 2005), was an American songwriter. He won the Academy Award for Best Song on two occasions. He also wrote songs for a number of musicians, including Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. Hirschhorn was born in the Bronx and attended the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. After graduating, Hirschhorn became a regular performer on New York’s nightclub circuit, both as a solo singer and as a member of the rock & roll band, The Highlighters. During the mid-1960s, Hirschhorn branched out into writing film soundtracks. The first score he wrote was for Who Killed Teddy Bear? (1965), which was directed by his friend Joseph Cates. He worked with Cates again the following year in The Fat Spy. However, the film was received so badly that Hirschhorn struggled to find work in Hollywood for a number of years afterwards. Hirschhorn, along with songwriting partner Al Kasha, did not work on another film until 1970’s The Cheyenne Social Club, which was directed by Gene Kelly. It was the pair’s next effort, for The Poseidon Adventure (1972), that really made their name. "The Morning After", a song they wrote in a single evening, won them their
    7.00
    2 votes
    147
    Kenny Loggins

    Kenny Loggins

    • Play Lyrics Written: Footloose
    Kenneth Clark "Kenny" Loggins (born January 7, 1948) is an American singer and songwriter. He is known for soft rock music beginning during the 1970s, and later for writing and performing for movie soundtracks in the 1980s. Originally a part of the duo Loggins and Messina, he became a solo artist and has written songs for other artists. Loggins (born in Everett, Washington) is the youngest of three brothers. His mother was Lina (Massie), a homemaker, and his father, Robert George Loggins, was a salesman. They lived in Detroit and Seattle before settling in Alhambra, California. Loggins attended San Gabriel Mission High School, graduating in 1966. He formed a band called the Second Helping, that released three singles during 1968 and 1969 on Viva Records. Greg Shaw described the efforts as "excellent punky folk-pop records" that were written by Loggins who was likely to be the bandleader and singer as well; Shaw included "Let Me In" on both Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 2 and the Pebbles, Volume 9 CD. Loggins had a short gig playing guitar for the "The New Improved" Electric Prunes in 1969 before writing four songs for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which were included in their
    7.00
    2 votes
    148

    Ogden Nash

    • Play Lyrics Written: Two's Company
    Frederic Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971) was an American poet well known for his light verse. At the time of his death in 1971, the New York Times said his "droll verse with its unconventional rhymes made him the country's best-known producer of humorous poetry". Ogden Nash wrote over 500 pieces of comic verse. The best of his work was published in 14 volumes between 1931 and 1972. Nash was born in Rye, New York. The 1940 Census lists him as having been born in Georgia. His father owned and operated an import-export company, and because of business obligations, the family relocated often. Nash was descended from the brother of General Francis Nash, who gave his name to Nashville, Tennessee. His family lived briefly in Savannah, GA in a carriage house owned by Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA; he wrote a poem about Mrs. Low's House. After graduating from St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island, Nash entered Harvard University in 1920, only to drop out a year later. He returned to St. George's to teach for a year and left to work his way through a series of other jobs, eventually landing a position as an editor at Doubleday publishing
    7.00
    2 votes
    149
    P. G. Wodehouse

    P. G. Wodehouse

    • Play Lyrics Written: Anything Goes
    Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE ( /ˈwʊd.haʊs/; 15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975) was an English humorist, whose body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He enjoyed enormous popular success during a career that lasted more than seventy years and his many writings continue to be widely read. Despite the political and social upheavals that occurred during his life, much of which was spent in France and the United States, Wodehouse's main canvas remained that of a pre- and post-World War I English upper-class society, reflecting his birth, education and youthful writing career. An acknowledged master of English prose, Wodehouse has been admired both by contemporaries such as Hilaire Belloc, Evelyn Waugh and Rudyard Kipling and by recent writers such as Stephen Fry, Christopher Hitchens, Douglas Adams, J. K. Rowling, and John Le Carré. Best known today for the Jeeves and Blandings Castle novels and short stories, Wodehouse was also a playwright and lyricist who was part author and writer of 15 plays and of 250 lyrics for some 30 musical comedies, many of them produced in collaboration with Jerome Kern and Guy
    7.00
    2 votes
    150
    Robert B. Sherman

    Robert B. Sherman

    • Play Lyrics Written: Busker Alley
    Robert Bernard Sherman (December 19, 1925 – March 5, 2012) was an American songwriter who specialized in musical films with his brother Richard Morton Sherman. Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into movies and animations like Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, Charlotte's Web and the theme park song of "It's a Small World (After All)". Robert Bernard Sherman was born on December 19, 1925 in New York City to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Rosa and Al Sherman. Al Sherman, a songwriter, paid for Robert's hospital delivery costs with a royalty check that had arrived that day for the song "Save Your Sorrow". Al Sherman was to become a well known Tin Pan Alley songwriter. As a youth, Robert Sherman excelled in intellectual pursuits, taking up the violin and piano, painting and writing poetry. Following seven years of frequent cross-country moves, the Shermans finally settled down in Beverly Hills, California. Some of the primary schools Robert attended in Manhattan included PS 241 and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School; in California, the El Rodeo School. Throughout his
    7.00
    2 votes
    151
    Tony Kushner

    Tony Kushner

    • Play Lyrics Written: Caroline, or Change
    Anthony Robert "Tony" Kushner (born July 16, 1956) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes and co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the 2005 film Munich. Kushner was born in Manhattan, New York to Jewish clarinetist and conductor William Kushner and bassoonist Sylvia Deutscher. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, the seat of Calcasieu Parish where he spent his childhood. During high school Kushner had a reputation in policy debate, at one point going to a camp and making it to the final rounds. Kushner moved to New York in 1974 to begin his undergraduate college education at Columbia University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Medieval Studies in 1978. He attended New York University's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 1984. During graduate school, he spent the summers of 1978-1981 directing both early original works (Masque of Owls and Incidents and Occurrences During the Travels of the Tailor Max) and plays by Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest) for
    7.00
    2 votes
    152
    Elvis Presley

    Elvis Presley

    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. A cultural icon, he is commonly known by the single name Elvis. One of the most popular musicians of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King". Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at the age of 13. He began his career there in 1954, working with Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was the most important popularizer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who went on to manage the singer for over two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", released in January 1956, was a number-one hit. He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited
    6.00
    3 votes
    153

    Norman Gimbel

    • Play Lyrics Written: Whoop-Up
    Norman Gimbel is an American lyricist of popular songs, television and movie themes whose writing career includes such titles as "Sway", "Canadian Sunset", "Summer Samba", "The Girl from Ipanema", "Killing Me Softly With His Song", "Meditation" and "I Will Wait for You", along with an Oscar for "It Goes Like It Goes" - from the film Norma Rae. During 1984 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. A native of Brooklyn, Norman Gimbel was self-taught in music and following initial employment with music publisher David Blum, progressed to become a contract songwriter with Edwin H. Morris Music. Small successes and moderate fame came as a result of lively novelty songs "Ricochet", which was popularized in a 1953 recording by Teresa Brewer from which was developed the 1954 Judy Canova film Ricochet Romance, and "A Whale of a Tale", sung by Kirk Douglas in another 1954 production, Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Greater success was earned with Dean Martin's recording of "Sway", which reached #6 on the UK Singles Chart, followed by his first big success, Andy Williams' rendition of "Canadian Sunset", which scored to #1 in 1956. Top songwriter Frank Loesser became Gimbel's
    6.00
    3 votes
    154
    Tom Jones

    Tom Jones

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Fantasticks
    Tom Jones (born in 1928 in Littlefield, Texas) is a lyricist (and often librettist) of musical theatre. His best known work is The Fantasticks, which ran off-Broadway from 1960 until 2002, and the hit song from the same, Try to Remember. Other songs from "The Fantasticks" include "Soon It's Gonna Rain", "Much More" and "I Can See It". He also wrote the screenplay for the 1995 feature film adaptation. Jones acted in a New York City revival of The Fantasticks which he also directed. He played the part of the Old Actor, which he played when the musical opened in 1960, from April 26, 2010, to June 6, 2010. He was credited as an actor in the show as Thomas Bruce. Jones is also the author of Making Musicals: An Informal Introduction to the World of Musical Theater, about which Elyse Sommer wrote on January 15, 1998 in CurtainUp: All of Jones' major musicals were written with Harvey Schmidt, whom he met at the University of Texas at Austin.
    6.00
    3 votes
    155
    Eubie Blake

    Eubie Blake

    • Play Lyrics Written: Shuffle Along
    James Hubert Blake (February 7, 1887 – February 12, 1983) was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1921, Blake and long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote the Broadway musical Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans. Blake's compositions included such hits as, "Bandana Days", "Charleston Rag", "Love Will Find A Way", "Memories of You", and "I'm Just Wild About Harry". The musical Eubie! featured the works of Blake and opened on Broadway in 1978. Blake was born at 319 Forrest Street in Baltimore, Maryland to former slaves John Sumner Blake (1838–1917) and Emily "Emma" Johnstone (1861–1917). He was the only surviving child of eight, all the rest of whom died in infancy. In 1894 the family moved to 414 North Eden Street, and later to 1510 Jefferson Street. John Blake worked earning US$9.00 weekly as a stevedore on the Baltimore docks. In later years Blake claimed to have been born in 1883, but his Social Security application and all other official documents issued in the first half of his life list his year of birth as 1887. Many otherwise reliable sources mistakenly give his
    5.00
    4 votes
    156

    Eric Woolfson

    • Play Lyrics Written: Gambler
    Eric Norman Woolfson (18 March 1945 – 2 December 2009) was a Scottish songwriter, lyricist, vocalist, executive producer, pianist, and creator of The Alan Parsons Project. He has sold over 50 million albums world-wide. Following the 10 successful APP albums he made with Alan Parsons, Woolfson pursued his career in musical theatre. He wrote five musicals which won many awards and have been seen by over a million people. They have performed in Germany, Austria, Korea and Japan. Woolfson, who belonged to a Jewish family, was born in the Charing Cross area of Glasgow and raised in the Pollokshields area. He was educated at the High School of Glasgow. He started composing music in his early teens. He moved to London where he found work as a session pianist, at the age of 18. The record producer for the Rolling Stones, Andrew Oldham, signed him up as a songwriter. During the following years, Woolfson wrote songs for such artists as Marianne Faithfull, Frank Ifield, Joe Dassin, The Tremeloes, Marie (French singer) Marmalade, Dave Berry, and Peter Noone. His songs were recorded by over 100 artists both in Europe and America. During the 1960s he worked alongside two then-unknown writers,
    5.67
    3 votes
    157
    Ervin Drake

    Ervin Drake

    • Play Lyrics Written: What Makes Sammy Run?
    Ervin Drake, born Ervin Maurice Druckman (April 3, 1919) is an American songwriter whose works include such American Songbook standards as "It Was a Very Good Year". He has written in a variety of styles and his work has been recorded by musicians from all over the world in a multitude of styles. In 1983, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Born in New York City, New York Ervin Drake had his first song published at age 12, in 1931. The son of Max Druckman and Pearl Cohen, he attended Townsend Harris High School in the borough of The Bronx, New York, graduating in 1935, and went on to receive a bachelor of arts degree in social science from the City College of New York in 1940. His elder brother, Milton, also became a songwriter, with work including "The Java Jive" and "Nina Never Knew"; and his younger brother Arnold Drake, become a writer for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and others, as well as an author and playwright. Duke Ellington's recording of Perdido (music by Juan Tizol and lyrics by Ervin Drake) was a highlight in the young composer's career. Besides composing music and lyrics for dozens of pieces he was also a television producer and worked with performers
    5.67
    3 votes
    158
    Laibach

    Laibach

    • Play Lyrics Written: Baptism
    Laibach [ˈlaɪbax] is a Slovenian avant-garde music group associated with industrial, martial, and neo-classical musical styles. Laibach was formed on June 1, 1980 in Trbovlje, Slovenia, at the time SFR Yugoslavia. Laibach represents the music wing of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective, of which it was a founding member in 1984. The name "Laibach" is the German name for Slovenia's capital city, Ljubljana. Laibach was formed on June 1, 1980 in Trbovlje, a mining-industry town, taking the name used during the World War II occupation of Yugoslavia for the city of Ljubljana. At the time, the group collaborated with art groups Irwin (painting) and Crveni Pilot (theatre). Since its formation, the group had been preparing their first multimedia project "Rdeči revirji" ("Red District"), aiming to provoke the current political structures in Trbovje. The performance was banned before its opening due to its "improper and irresponsible" usage of Malevich's black crosses as symbols on the posters, causing a lot of negative reaction in the media and public. The group's visual style at this earliest stage focused mainly on mining iconography, but in time, they included other symbols
    5.67
    3 votes
    159
    Cole Porter

    Cole Porter

    • Play Lyrics Written: Anything Goes
    Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Unlike most successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote both the lyrics and the music for his songs. After a serious horseback riding accident in 1937, Porter was left disabled and in constant pain, but he continued to work. His shows of the early 1940s did not contain the lasting hits of his best work of the 1920s and 30s, but in 1948 he made a triumphant comeback with his most successful musical, Kiss Me, Kate. It won the first Tony Award for best musical. Porter's other musicals include Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady, Anything Goes and Can-Can. His numerous hit songs include "Night and Day", "I Get a Kick out of You", "Well, Did You Evah!" and "I've Got You Under My Skin", "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "You're the Top". He also composed scores for
    6.50
    2 votes
    160
    Hugh Masekela

    Hugh Masekela

    • Play Lyrics Written: Sarafina!
    Hugh Ramopolo Masekela (born April 4, 1939) is a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer. He is the father of American television host Sal Masekela. Masekela was born in Kwa-Guqa Township, Witbank, South Africa. He began singing and playing piano as a child. At age 14, after seeing the film Young Man With a Horn (in which Kirk Douglas plays a character modeled after American jazz trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke), he took up playing the trumpet. His first trumpet was given to him by Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, the anti-apartheid chaplain at St. Peter's Secondary School. Huddleston asked the leader of the then Johannesburg "Native" Municipal Brass Band, Uncle Sauda, to teach Masekela the rudiments of trumpet playing. Masekela quickly mastered the instrument. Soon, some of his schoolmates also became interested in playing instruments, leading to the formation of the Huddleston Jazz Band, South Africa's first youth orchestra. By 1956, after leading other ensembles, Masekela joined Alfred Herbert's African Jazz Revue. Since 1954, Masekela has played music that closely reflects his life experience. The agony, conflict, and exploitation South Africa faced
    6.50
    2 votes
    161

    Jason Robert Brown

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Last Five Years
    Jason Robert Brown (born June 20, 1970 in Ossining, New York) is an American musical theater composer, lyricist, and playwright. Brown's music sensibility fuses pop-rock stylings with theatrical lyrics. An accomplished pianist, Brown has often served as music director, conductor, orchestrator, and pianist for his own productions. Brown grew up in the suburbs of New York City, and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York for 2 years. During summer, he attended French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in Hancock, New York. He said Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Sunday in the Park with George were two of his biggest influences, and had it not been for them, he would have joined a rock band and tried to be Billy Joel. When Brown was 23, he and a friend were invited to see a musical by Stephen Sondheim himself. At the show, they sat in front of the New York Times' Frank Rich. They went to dinner, and after twenty minutes, Sondheim asked them what they thought of the show: they both were silent. Brown described the dinner after that moment as "many extremely awkward silences punctuated by bursts of frantic, desperate conversation about anything
    6.50
    2 votes
    162
    Lorenz Hart

    Lorenz Hart

    • Play Lyrics Written: Babes in Arms
    Lorenz Milton Hart (May 2, 1895 – November 22, 1943) was the lyricist half of the Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart. Some of his more famous lyrics include "Blue Moon," "Mountain Greenery," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Manhattan," "Where or When," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "Falling in Love with Love," "My Funny Valentine," "I Could Write a Book", "This Can't Be Love", "With a Song in My Heart", "It Never Entered My Mind", and "Isn't It Romantic?". Hart was born in Harlem, the older of two sons, to Jewish immigrant parents, Max M. and Frieda (Isenberg) Hart, of German background. His father, a business promoter, sent Hart and his brother to private schools. (His brother, Teddy Hart, also went into theater and became a musical comedy star. His wife, Dorothy Hart, wrote a biography of Lorenz Hart.) Hart attended Columbia University School of Journalism for two years. A friend introduced him to Richard Rodgers, and the two joined forces to write songs for a series of amateur and student productions. By 1918, Hart was working for the Shubert brothers, partners in theater, translating German plays into English. In 1919, his and Rodgers' song "Any Old Place With You" was
    6.50
    2 votes
    163
    Markéta Irglová

    Markéta Irglová

    • Play Lyrics Written: Once
    Markéta Irglová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈmarkɛːta ˈɪrɡlovaː]) (born 28 February 1988, in Valašské Meziříčí, Czech Republic) is a Czech singer-songwriter, musician and actress. Irglová began taking piano lessons at age 8 and began playing the guitar at age 9. Irglová is a member of the band The Swell Season with Glen Hansard. The band released its eponymous album on Overcoat Recordings in 2006. In 2007, Irglova co-starred in the indie movie Once. Irglová co-wrote many of the songs for the film including "Falling Slowly," which received an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The movie won the World Cinema Audience Award for a dramatic film at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Irglová appeared on the 2007 I'm Not There soundtrack with the Swell Season's version of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere". She met Glen Hansard in 2001 when she was only 13 . Her father organized a music festival in the Czech Republic and booked The Frames. Hansard played a large part in, not only her development as an artist and song writer but also, in launching her career. Although they met years earlier, her romantic relationship with Hansard began during the making of the film Once and ended in 2009.
    6.50
    2 votes
    164
    Míkis Theodorakis

    Míkis Theodorakis

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Ballad of the Dead Brother
    Michael "Mikis" Theodorakis (Greek: Μίκης Θεοδωράκης, pronounced [ˈmicis θeoðoˈracis]) (born July 29, 1925) is a Greek songwriter and famous composer. He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He is viewed as Greece's best-known living composer. Politically, he identified with the left until the late 1980s; in 1989, he ran as an independent candidate within the centre-right New Democracy party in order for the country to come out of the political crisis that had been created due to the numerous scandals of the government of Andreas Papandreou and helped to establish a large coalition between conservatives, socialists and leftists. In 1990 he was elected to the parliament (as in 1964 and 1981), became a government minister under Constantine Mitsotakis, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continues to speak out in favor of left-liberal causes, Greek-Turkish-Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq. He has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was a key voice against the Greek junta 1967-1974, which imprisoned him. Mikis Theodorakis was born on the Greek
    6.50
    2 votes
    165

    Stephen Oliver

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
    Stephen Michael Harding Oliver (10 March 1950 – 29 April 1992) was an English composer, best known for his operas. Born in Chester, Oliver was educated at St Paul's Cathedral, Ardingly College and at Worcester College, Oxford, where he read music under Kenneth Leighton and Robert Sherlaw Johnson. His first opera, The Duchess of Malfi (1971), was staged while he was still at Oxford. Later works include incidental music for the Royal Shakespeare Company (including The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby). a musical, Blondel (1983; with Tim Rice), and over forty operas, including Tom Jones (1975), Beauty and the Beast (1984), Lady Jane (1986) and Timon of Athens (1991). Oliver also wrote music for television, including several of the BBC's Shakespeare productions (Timon among those), and some chamber and instrumental music. He was a good friend of Simon Callow who commissioned the piece Ricercare No4 for Cantabile. He also composed the score for the thirteen-hour radio dramatization of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1981. The work combined a main theme with many sub-themes, all composed within the English pastoral tradition. Oliver was a
    6.50
    2 votes
    166

    Bob Crewe

    • Play Lyrics Written: Jersey Boys
    Bob Crewe (born Stanley Robert Crewe, November 12, 1931, Newark, New Jersey) is an American songwriter, dancer, singer, manager, record producer and fine artist. He is known for producing, and co-writing with Bob Gaudio, a string of Top 10 singles for The Four Seasons. He is equally known for his hit recordings with The Rays, Diane Renay, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Freddy Cannon, Lesley Gore, Oliver, Michael Jackson, Bobby Darin, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Patti LaBelle and his own The Bob Crewe Generation. Reared in Belleville, New Jersey, Crewe demonstrated an early and apparent gift for both art and music. Although lacking in formal musical training, he instinctively gravitated to learning from many of the great 19th and 20th century classical romantic composers as well as giants of jazz and swing, including Stan Kenton, Harry James, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Tommy Dorsey. He studied for almost a year at Parsons School of Design in New York City with the intention of eventually pursuing a career in architecture. After a European trip as a young man, Crewe returned to the U.S. and landed a succession of recording contracts as a solo singing artist. Although he
    4.75
    4 votes
    167

    Herman Hupfeld

    • Play Lyrics Written: Ziegfeld Follies of 1957
    Herman Hupfeld (February 1, 1894 – June 8, 1951) was an American songwriter whose most notable composition was "As Time Goes By." Hupfeld studied violin in Germany at 9. He was in the military during World War I, and he entertained camps and hospitals during World War II. He never wrote a whole Broadway score, but he became known as a composer who could write a song to fit a specific scene within a Broadway show. His best known songs include "Sing Something Simple", "Let's Put Out The Lights (And Go To Sleep)", "When Yuba Plays The Rhumba On The Tuba", "I've Got To Get Up And Go To Work", "Are You Making Any Money?", "Savage Serenade", "Down the Old Back Road", "A Hut in Hoboken", "Night Owl", "Honey Ma Love", "Baby's Blue", "Untitled" and "The Calinda". "As Time Goes By" is most famous from the film Casablanca, though it was originally written in 1931 for the Broadway show Everybody's Welcome, which ran for 139 performances. While not known as a public performer, Hupfeld was featured on a Victor Young & His Orchestra 78 recorded on January 22, 1932. He sang and played piano on two of his compositions, "Goopy Geer (He Plays Piano and He Plays by Ear)" and "Down the Old Back Road".
    5.33
    3 votes
    168
    John Guare

    John Guare

    • Play Lyrics Written: Two Gentlemen of Verona
    John Guare (pronounced gwâr; born February 5, 1938) is an American playwright. He is best known as the author of The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, and Landscape of the Body. His style, which mixes comic invention with an acute sense of the failure of human relations and aspirations, is at once cruel and deeply compassionate. In the foreword to a collection of Guare's plays, film director Louis Malle writes: Guare was born in New York City and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens. He was raised a Roman Catholic, but is apparently now a lapsed Catholic. He was educated at Georgetown University, (BA, 1960), where in 1958 he contributed a song to an original musical revue entitled The Natives Are Restless and presented by the Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society. The song humorously attributed the success of many famous people to the syllable “O” in their names. Under the direction of Donn B. Murphy, his play The Toadstool Boy, about a country singer's quest for fame, won first place in the District of Columbia Recreation Department's One-Act-Play competition. In 1960, the Mask and Bauble presented The Thirties Girl, a musical for which Guare did the book, much of the music
    5.33
    3 votes
    169
    Langston Hughes

    Langston Hughes

    • Play Lyrics Written: Street Scene
    James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "the negro was in vogue" which was later paraphrased as "when Harlem was in vogue". Both of Hughes' paternal great-grandmothers were African-American and both of his paternal great-grandfathers were white slave owners of Kentucky. One of these men was Sam Clay, a Scottish-American whiskey distiller of Henry County and supposedly a relative of Henry Clay, and the other was Silas Cushenberry, a Jewish-American slave trader of Clark County. Hughes's maternal grandmother Mary Patterson was of African-American, French, English and Native American descent. One of the first women to attend Oberlin College, she first married Lewis Sheridan Leary, also of mixed race. Lewis Sheridan Leary subsequently joined John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859 and died from his wounds. In 1869 the widow Mary Patterson Leary married again, into the elite, politically active
    5.33
    3 votes
    170
    T. S. Eliot

    T. S. Eliot

    • Play Lyrics Written: Cats
    Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965) was a publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and "arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century." Although he was born an American, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39. The poem that made his name, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock—started in 1910 and published in Chicago in 1915—is seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement, and was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including Gerontion (1920), The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1945). He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Eliot was born into the Eliot family, a middle class family originally from New England, who had moved to St. Louis, Missouri. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St. Louis. His mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), wrote poetry and was a social
    5.33
    3 votes
    171
    Adolph Green

    Adolph Green

    • Play Lyrics Written: Hallelujah, Baby!
    Adolph Green (December 2, 1914  – October 23, 2002) was an American lyricist and playwright who, with long-time collaborator Betty Comden, penned the screenplays and songs for some of the most beloved movie musicals, particularly as part of Arthur Freed's production unit at MGM, during the genre's heyday. Many people thought the pair were married; they were not, but they shared a unique comic genius and sophisticated wit that enabled them to forge a six-decade-long partnership that produced some of Hollywood and Broadway's greatest hits. Green was born in The Bronx to Hungarian-Jewish immigrants Daniel and Helen Weiss Green. After high school, he worked as a runner on Wall Street while he tried to make it as an actor. He met Comden through mutual friends in 1938 while she was studying drama at New York University. They formed a troupe called the Revuers, which performed at the Village Vanguard, a club in Greenwich Village. Among the members of the company was a young comedian named Judy Tuvim, who later changed her name to Judy Holliday, and Green's good friend, a young musician named Leonard Bernstein, frequently accompanied them on the piano. The act's success earned them a movie
    7.00
    1 votes
    172

    Alfred Uhry

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Robber Bridegroom
    Alfred Fox Uhry (born December 3, 1936) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is one of very few writers to receive an Academy Award, Tony Award (2) and the Pulitzer Prize for dramatic writing. Uhry was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Ralph K., a furniture designer and artist, and Alene Fox, a social worker, married as Uhry. He was born into a Jewish family. Uhry graduated from Druid Hills High School in 1954 and subsequently graduated from Brown University where he wrote two original musicals with Brownbrokers. Druid Hills High School's Uhry Theater is named in honor of Uhry. During his first years in New York City, learning the craft of lyric-writing, Uhry received a stipend from Frank Loesser; after his eventual success, Uhry often praised Loesser's generosity and encouragement. Uhry is married to Joanna Kellogg. They have four daughters and live in New York. Uhry's early work for the stage was as a lyricist and librettist for a number of commercially unsuccessful musicals, including America's Sweetheart and a revival of Little Johnny Jones starring Donny Osmond. His first collaboration with Robert Waldman was the
    7.00
    1 votes
    173
    Chen Shi-zheng

    Chen Shi-zheng

    • Play Lyrics Written: Monkey: Journey to the West
    Chen Shi-Zheng 陳士爭 born in 1963 in Changsha, Hunan, China) is a New York-based theater director. Having earned a BA from the Hunan Art School in Traditional Opera, he received his MA from the Tisch School of Art at New York University. In 2000, Chen was awarded the title Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. Chen's directorial debut film, Dark Matter, was released in 2007, starring Liu Ye and Meryl Streep. This film won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. He also directed Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's operatic stage adaptation of Monkey: Journey to the West at the Manchester International Festival in June–July 2007. In 2008 he directed the premiere production of Stewart Wallace's opera The Bonesetter's Daughter at the San Francisco Opera.
    7.00
    1 votes
    174

    James Goldman

    • Play Lyrics Written: A Family Affair
    James Goldman (June 30, 1927 – October 28, 1998) was an American screenwriter and playwright, and the brother of screenwriter and novelist William Goldman. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up primarily in Highland Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. He is most noted as the author of The Lion in Winter and author of the book for the Broadway musical Follies. Goldman died from a heart attack in New York City, where he had lived for many years.
    7.00
    1 votes
    175
    James Taylor

    James Taylor

    • Play Lyrics Written: Working
    James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the #3 single "Fire and Rain" and had his first #1 hit the following year with "You've Got a Friend", a recording of Carole King's classic song. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million US copies. Following his 1977 album, JT, he has retained a large audience over the decades. His commercial achievements declined slightly until a resurgence during the late 1990s and 2000s, when some of his best-selling and most-awarded albums (including Hourglass, October Road and Covers) were released. James Taylor was born at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 12, 1948, where his father, Isaac M. Taylor, was a resident physician. His father was from a well-off family of Southern Scottish ancestry. His mother, the former Gertrude Woodard, had studied singing with Marie Sundelius at the New England Conservatory of Music and was an aspiring opera singer before the couple's marriage in 1946. James was the
    7.00
    1 votes
    176
    Madness

    Madness

    • Play Lyrics Written: Our House
    Madness are an English ska band from Camden Town, London, that formed in 1976. One of the most prominent bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s 2 Tone ska revival, they continue to perform with their most recognised line-up of seven members. Madness achieved most of their success in the early to mid 1980s. Both Madness and UB40 spent 214 weeks on the UK singles charts over the course of the decade, holding the record for most weeks spent by a group in the 1980s UK singles charts. However, Madness achieved this in a shorter time period (1980–1986). The core of the band formed as The North London Invaders in 1976, and included Mike Barson (Monsieur Barso) on keyboards and vocals, Chris Foreman (Chrissy Boy) on guitar and Lee Thompson (Kix) on saxophone and vocals. They later recruited John Hasler on drums and Cathal Smyth (better known as Chas Smash) on bass guitar. Later in the year, they were joined by lead vocalist Dikron Tulane. This six-piece line-up lasted until part way through 1977, when Graham McPherson (better known as Suggs) took over the lead vocals after seeing the band perform in a friend's garden. Smyth, who left after an argument with Mike Barson, was replaced by
    7.00
    1 votes
    177
    Michael Kunze

    Michael Kunze

    • Play Lyrics Written: Rebecca
    Michael Kunze (born 9 November 1943) is a German musical theater lyricist and librettist. He is best known for the hit musicals Elisabeth (1992), Dance of the Vampires (1996), Mozart! (1999), Marie Antoinette (2006), and Rebecca (2006). He has also written the lyrics for a number of hit songs, including the number one Billboard hit Fly, Robin, Fly (1976) and was one of the top 1970s record producers, including songs for musical acts Silver Convention, Penny McLean, and Sister Sledge. Kunze has won a Grammy Award, ECHO Lifetime Award and holds 79 Gold and Platinum records. Born in Prague, Kunze is the son of actress Dita Roesler and Walter Kunze, a writer, cartoonist and journalist, who worked for the German language newspaper Prager Tagblatt. He grew up in Southern Germany and attended Klenze Oberrealschule in Munich. He studied law, philosophy and history at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. Kunze started writing music and lyrics during his high school years in the early sixties. The Hamburg folklore group, City Preachers, recorded an LP with some of those early songs. The record was anything but a commercial success, but it made the music business aware of Michael
    7.00
    1 votes
    178

    N. Richard Nash

    • Play Lyrics Written: Sarava
    N. Richard Nash (June 8, 1913 – December 11, 2000) was a writer and dramatist best known for writing Broadway shows, including The Rainmaker. Nash was born Nathan Richard Nusbaum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the son of S. L. Nusbaum, a bookbinder, and his wife Jenny (née Singer). He worked as a ten dollar per match boxer and graduated from South Philadelphia high school in 1930 before entering the University of Pennsylvania to study English and philosophy. Nash published two books on philosophy, The Athenian Spirit and The Wounds of Sparta. Nash wrote his first play, Parting at Imsdorf, in 1940, which won the Maxwell Anderson Verse Drama Award. He next penned the Shakespearian-themed comedy The Second Best Bed, produced on Broadway in 1946. The highly acclaimed drama led to him writing more shows, including The Young and Fair (1948), See the Jaguar (1952, for which he won the International Drama Award in Cannes and the Prague Award), and The Rainmaker (1954, starring Geraldine Page; revived on Broadway in 1999). The Rainmaker, a full-length play, had originally been a Philco Television Playhouse one-act 1953 television production. It was translated to over 40 languages and made
    7.00
    1 votes
    179

    Roger Miller

    • Play Lyrics Written: Big River
    Roger Dean Miller (January 2, 1936 – October 25, 1992) was an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor, best known for his honky tonk-influenced novelty songs. His most recognized tunes included the chart-topping country/pop hits "King of the Road", "Dang Me" and "England Swings", all from the mid-1960s Nashville sound era. After growing up in Oklahoma and serving in the United States Army, Miller began his musical career as a songwriter in the late 1950s, penning such hits as "Billy Bayou" and "Home" for Jim Reeves and "Invitation to the Blues" for Ray Price. He later started a recording career and reached the peak of his fame in the late 1960s, but continued to record and tour into the 1990s, charting his final top 20 country hit "Old Friends" with Willie Nelson in 1982. Later in his life, he wrote the music and lyrics for the 1985 Tony-award winning Broadway musical Big River, in which he also acted. Miller died from lung cancer in 1992, and was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame three years later. His songs continued to be recorded by younger artists, with covers of "Tall, Tall Trees" by Alan Jackson and "Husbands and Wives" by Brooks & Dunn, each
    7.00
    1 votes
    180
    The Edge

    The Edge

    • Play Lyrics Written: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
    David Howell Evans (born 8 August 1961), more widely known by his stage name The Edge (or just Edge), is a musician best known as the guitarist, backing vocalist, and keyboardist of the Irish rock band U2. A member of the group since its inception, he has recorded 12 studio albums with the band and has released one solo record. As a guitarist, The Edge has crafted a minimalistic and textural style of playing. His use of a rhythmic delay effect yields a distinctive ambient, chiming sound that has become a signature of U2's music. The Edge was born in England to a Welsh family, but was raised in Ireland after moving there as an infant. In 1976, at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, he formed U2 with his fellow students and his older brother Dik. Inspired by the ethos of punk rock and its basic arrangements, the group began to write its own material. They eventually became one of the most popular acts in popular music, with successful albums such as 1987's The Joshua Tree and 1991's Achtung Baby. Over the years, The Edge has experimented with various guitar effects and introduced influences from several genres of music into his own style, including American roots music, industrial
    7.00
    1 votes
    181

    Trevor Nunn

    • Play Lyrics Written: Cats
    Sir Trevor Robert Nunn, CBE (born 14 January 1940) is an English theatre, film and television director. Nunn has been the Artistic Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and, currently, the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. He has directed musicals and dramas for the stage, as well as opera. His well-known musicals are Cats (1981) and Les Misérables (1985). His dramas include Nicholas Nickleby and Macbeth. He has been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play, the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical, winning the Tony Award (Musical) for Cats and Les Misérables and the Olivier Award for Summerfolk / The Merchant of Venice / Troilus and Cressida; and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. Nunn was born in Ipswich, England, to Robert Alexander Nunn, a cabinetmaker, and Dorothy May Piper. He was educated at Northgate Grammar School, Ipswich and Downing College, Cambridge, where he began his stage career. He won a Director's Scholarship, becoming a trainee director at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry in 1962. In 1964 Nunn
    7.00
    1 votes
    182

    Ulpio Minucci

    • Play Lyrics Written: Ziegfeld Follies of 1957
    Ulpio Minucci (June 29, 1917 – March 9, 2007) was an Italian-born composer and musician. Minucci wrote a number of popular hits in the 1950s, including "Domani," "A Thousand Thoughts of You," and "Felicia." He was nominated for two Emmy Awards for his work on ABC's Saga of Western Man in 1964 and 1965. He is also well known among anime fans as the composer of the theme and musical score for the 1985 animated television series Robotech. He also played piano on Round Trip, a 1974 by Japanese jazz saxophonist Sadao Watanabe. Minucci married his wife Catherine in 1952 with whom he had a son, Chieli, and a daughter, Nina. Chieli Minucci became an Emmy-winning jazz guitarist, who recorded covers of some of his father's songs. Ulpio Minucci died of natural causes in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California on March 9, 2007. He was survived by his wife, children, and three grandchildren, including Chieli's son, also a now famous guitarist, Gianluca Minucci.
    7.00
    1 votes
    183
    Vernon Duke

    Vernon Duke

    • Play Lyrics Written: Time Remembered
    Vernon Duke (10 October [O.S. 27 September] 1903 – January 16, 1969) was a Russian-American composer/songwriter, who also wrote under his original name Vladimir Dukelsky. He is best known for "Taking a Chance on Love" with lyrics by Ted Fetter and John Latouche, "I Can't Get Started" with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, "April in Paris" with lyrics by E. Y. ("Yip") Harburg (1932), and "What Is There To Say" for the Ziegfeld Follies of 1934, also with Harburg. He wrote the words and music for "Autumn in New York" (1934). Vernon collaborated with lyricists such as Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, Ogden Nash and Sammy Cahn and his works have been performed and recorded by Count Basie, Bunny Berigan, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, the Modern Jazz Quartet, André Previn, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, and many others. Vladimir Aleksandrovich Dukelsky (Russian: Владимир Александрович Дукельский) was born in 1903 into a noble family of mixed Georgian-Austrian-Spanish-Russian descent, in Parafianovo, Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire. The 1954 Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians referred to "one of his grandparents" (Princess
    7.00
    1 votes
    184
    Betty Comden

    Betty Comden

    • Play Lyrics Written: On the Town
    Betty Comden (May 3, 1917 – November 23, 2006) was one-half of the musical-comedy duo Comden and Green, who provided lyrics, libretti, and screenplays to some of the most beloved and successful Hollywood musicals and Broadway shows of the mid-20th century. Her writing partnership with Adolph Green lasted for six decades, during which time they collaborated with other leading entertainment figures such as the famed "Freed Unit" at MGM, Jule Styne and Leonard Bernstein. Betty Comden was born Elizabeth Cohen in New York City, attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, and studied drama at New York University. In 1938, mutual friends introduced her to Adolph Green, an aspiring actor. Along with the young Judy Holliday and Leonard Bernstein, Comden and Green formed a troupe called the Revuers, which performed at the Village Vanguard, a club in Greenwich Village. Due to the act's success, the Revuers appeared in the 1944 film Greenwich Village, but their roles were so small they barely were noticed, and they quickly returned to New York. Comden and Green's first Broadway effort was On the Town, a musical romp about three sailors on leave in New York City that was an expansion of a
    6.00
    2 votes
    185
    Brian Wilson

    Brian Wilson

    • Play Lyrics Written: Good Vibrations
    Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, best known as the leader and chief songwriter of the group The Beach Boys. On stage, Wilson provided many of the lead vocals, and often harmonized with the group in falsetto. Early during his on-stage career, Wilson primarily played bass guitar on stage, but gradually transitioned to primarily playing piano/keyboards. Besides being the primary composer in The Beach Boys, he also functioned as the band's main producer and arranger. After signing with Capitol Records in mid-1962, Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits including "Surfin' Safari", "Surfin' USA", "Shut Down", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Be True to Your School", "In My Room", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "Dance Dance Dance", "Help Me Rhonda", "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations". In the mid-1960s, Wilson used his increasingly creative ambitions to compose and produce Pet Sounds, considered one of the greatest albums of all time. The intended follow up to Pet Sounds, SMiLE, was cancelled for various reasons, including Wilson's deteriorating mental health. Wilson's contributions to The Beach Boys diminished and his erratic behavior led
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    186

    David Zippel

    • Play Lyrics Written: City of Angels
    David Joel Zippel (born May 17, 1954) is an American musical theatre lyricist. Zippel was born in Easton, Pennsylvania. He is a 1976 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. While there, he wrote a "bizarre political musical" called Rotunda. He had intended on going to Harvard Law School to become a theatrical lawyer, but when he met Wally Harper (at the time Barbara Cook's accompanist and was in need of a lyricist), Zippel offered his services. Two of the songs they wrote together were used when Cook sang at Carnegie Hall. According to his official biography, "he is delighted not to practice law." He also wrote the theme song to Veronica's Closet. His theatrical credits include: Zippel contributed lyrics to The Swan Princess (music by Lex de Azevedo, the song Far Longer than Forever was nominated for a Golden Globe Award), as well as provided the singing voice of Jean-Bob the Frog, and more notably wrote the lyrics for the Disney films Hercules, with music by Alan Menken (the song "Go the Distance" received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song) and Mulan, with music by Matthew Wilder. The music and lyrics received an Academy Award nomination for Best Musical or
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    187
    Eric Idle

    Eric Idle

    • Play Lyrics Written: Spamalot
    Eric Idle (born 29 March 1943) is an English comedian, actor, author, singer, writer and comedic composer. Idle was a member of the British surreal comedy group Monty Python, a member of the Rutles on Saturday Night Live, and the author of the Broadway musical Spamalot. Idle was born in South Shields, County Durham in Harton village. His mother, Nora Barron (née Sanderson), was a health visitor, and his father, Ernest Idle, served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, only to be killed in a hitch-hiking accident shortly after the war. His mother had difficulty coping with a full-time job and bringing up a child, so when Idle was seven, she enrolled him into the Royal Wolverhampton School as a boarder. At this time the school was a charitable foundation dedicated to the education and maintenance of children who had lost one or both parents. Idle is quoted as saying: "It was a physically abusive, bullying, harsh environment for a kid to grow up in. I got used to dealing with groups of boys and getting on with life in unpleasant circumstances and being smart and funny and subversive at the expense of authority. Perfect training for Python." Idle stated that the two things that
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    188
    James Reese Europe

    James Reese Europe

    • Play Lyrics Written: Eubie!
    James Reese Europe (22 February 1881 – 9 May 1919) was an American ragtime and early jazz bandleader, arranger, and composer. He was the leading figure on the African American music scene of New York City in the 1910s. James "Jim" Reese Europe was born in Mobile, Alabama. His family moved to Washington, D.C. when he was 10 years old. He moved to New York in 1904. In 1910 Reese organized the Clef Club, a society for African Americans in the music industry. In 1912, the club made history when it played a concert at Carnegie Hall for the benefit of the Colored Music Settlement School. The Clef Club Orchestra, while not a jazz band, was the first band to play proto-jazz at Carnegie Hall. It is difficult to overstate the importance of that event in the history of jazz in the United States — it was 12 years before the Paul Whiteman and George Gershwin concert at Aeolian Hall, and 26 years before Benny Goodman's famed concert at Carnegie Hall. The Clef Club's performances played music written solely by black composers, including Harry T. Burleigh and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Reese's orchestra also included Will Marion Cook, who had not been in Carnegie Hall since his own performance as
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    189

    Stewart Parker

    • Play Lyrics Written: Spokesong
    James Stewart Parker (20 October 1941 - 2 November 1988) was a Northern Irish poet and playwright. He was born in Sydenham, Belfast, of a Protestant working-class family. While still in his teens, he contracted bone cancer and had a leg amputated. He studied for an MA in Poetic Drama at Queen's University, Belfast on a scholarship before commencing teaching in the United States at Hamilton College and Cornell University. Parker was a member of a group of young writers which included Seamus Heaney and Bernard MacLaverty in the early 1960s at Queen's University in Belfast. In British Poetry since 1945, Edward Lucie-Smith calls him "a rawer, rougher, more unformed poet than either of the other two Belfast poets presented here" (i.e. Seamus Heaney and Derek Mahon). He notes that all three are post-Movement and neo-Georgian, owing little to William Butler Yeats and not much more to Patrick Kavanagh. Following his return to Northern Ireland he worked as a freelance writer, contributing a column on pop music to The Irish Times. He later moved to Great Britain where he wrote for radio, television and the stage. The musical landscape of Belfast is integral to his work as a playwright. One
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    190
    Fats Waller

    Fats Waller

    • Play Lyrics Written: Ain't Misbehavin'
    Fats Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943), born Thomas Wright Waller, was a jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer. Thomas Wright Waller was the youngest of four children born to Adaline Locket Waller and the Reverend Edward Martin Waller. He started playing the piano when he was six and graduated to the organ of his father's church four years later. At the age of fourteen he was playing the organ at Harlem's Lincoln Theater and within twelve months he had composed his first rag. Waller's first piano solos ("Muscle Shoals Blues" and "Birmingham Blues") were recorded in October 1922 when he was 18 years old. He was the prize pupil, and later friend and colleague, of stride pianist James P. Johnson. Fats Waller was the son of a preacher and learned to play the organ in church with his mother. Overcoming opposition from his clergyman father, Waller became a professional pianist at 15, working in cabarets and theaters. In 1918 he won a talent contest playing Johnson's "Carolina Shout", a song he learned from watching a player piano play it. Waller was one of the most popular performers of his era, finding critical and commercial success in his homeland
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    191

    Glen Ballard

    • Play Lyrics Written: GHOST The Musical
    Glen Ballard (born May 1, 1953) is an American songwriter and record producer, best known for co-writing and producing Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill (1995), which won Grammy Award for "Best Rock Album", and "Album of the Year" amongst others, and is ranked by the Rolling Stone amongst The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. He was involved in the recording and writing of Michael Jackson's Thriller and Bad. As a writer he co-wrote songs like "Man in the Mirror" (1987) and "Hand in My Pocket" (1995). He is the founder of Java Records. He won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture for the song "Believe" (The Polar Express). Ballard was born in Natchez, Mississippi. He has performed on, or produced, the following: Ballard wrote the screenplay for Clubland, an ill-received music-driven film about an aspiring musician in Los Angeles. He has written songs in half-a-dozen films including The Slugger’s Wife, Navy Seals, and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Ballard co-wrote the music and lyrics for Ghost The Musical with David A. Stewart and Bruce Joel Rubin, which opened in London's West End on 19 July 2011 and opened on Broadway in the spring of 2012.
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    192
    Dolly Parton

    Dolly Parton

    • Play Lyrics Written: 9 to 5
    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress, and philanthropist, best known for her work in country music. She has composed over 3,000 songs, the best known of which include "I Will Always Love You" (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper for Parton, as well as an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), "Jolene", "Coat of Many Colors", "9 to 5", and "My Tennessee Mountain Home". As an actress, she starred in the movies 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias, Gnomeo & Juliet, Straight Talk, Unlikely Angel, and Joyful Noise. She is one of the most successful female country artists of all time; with an estimated 100 million in album sales, Dolly Parton is also one of the best selling artists of all time. She is known as "The Queen of Country Music". She was born in Sevierville, Tennessee, the fourth of twelve children of Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer, and his wife Avie Lee (Owens). She has described her family as "dirt poor". She outlined her family's poverty in her early songs "Coat of Many Colors" and "In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)". They lived in a rustic, one-room
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    193

    Frank Loesser

    • Play Lyrics Written: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
    Frank Henry Loesser ( /ˈlɛsər/) (June 29, 1910 – July 28, 1969) was an American songwriter who wrote the lyrics and music to the Broadway hits Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, among others. He won separate Tony Awards for the music and lyrics in both shows, as well as sharing the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the latter. He also wrote numerous songs for films and Tin Pan Alley, many of which have become standards, and was nominated for five Academy Awards for best song, winning once, for "Baby, It's Cold Outside". Loesser was born in New York City to Henry Loesser, a pianist, and Julia (Ehrlich). He left City College of New York in 1925 after one year. After trying various jobs, by 1935 he was performing in a club with singer Lynn Blankenbaker Garland, whom he married in 1936. He and his parents were Jewish. After signing with Universal Pictures in 1936 he moved to Hollywood, and then worked for Paramount Pictures. He wrote the lyrics for many songs during this period, including "Two Sleepy People" and "I Hear Music." He stayed in Hollywood until World War II, when he joined the Army Air Force. One of the early films he worked on was Destry Rides
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    194
    Julie Taymor

    Julie Taymor

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Lion King
    Julie Taymor (born December 15, 1952) is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song. She is widely known for directing the stage musical, The Lion King, for which she became the first woman to win the Tony Award for directing a musical, in addition to a Tony Award for Original Costume Design. She was the director of the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark but left in March 2011, following artistic differences with the producers. Taymor was born in Newton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Elizabeth (née Bernstein), a political science teacher, and Melvin Lester Taymor, a gynecologist. Taymor's interest in theatre took root early in her life. At the age of seven, she was already drawing her sister into stagings of children's stories for her parents. By age nine, she was entranced by the Boston Children's Theatre and became involved with them. Being the youngest member of theatre groups became common. By 11, she was taking trips to Boston by
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    195

    Mort Shuman

    • Play Lyrics Written: Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
    Mort Shuman (November 12, 1936 - November 2, 1991) was an American singer, pianist and songwriter, best known as co-writer of many 1960s rock and roll hits, including "Viva Las Vegas". He also wrote and sang many songs in French, such as "Le Lac Majeur", "Allo Papa Tango Charlie", "Sha Mi Sha", "Un Eté de Porcelaine", and "Brooklyn by the Sea" which became hits in France. Shuman was born in Brooklyn, New York of Polish Jewish immigrants and went to Abraham Lincoln High School, subsequently studying music at the New York Conservatory. He became a fan of R&B music and after he met Doc Pomus the two teamed up to compose for Aldon Music at offices in New York City's Brill Building. Their songwriting collaboration saw Pomus write the lyrics and Shuman the melody, although occasionally they worked on both. Their compositions would be recorded by artists such as Dion, The Flamingos, Andy Williams, Bobby Darin, Fabian, The Drifters, and Elvis Presley, among others. Their most famous songs include "A Teenager in Love", "Turn Me Loose", "This Magic Moment", "Save The Last Dance For Me", "Little Sister", "Can't Get Used to Losing You", "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame", "Viva Las Vegas"
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    196

    Otto Harbach

    • Play Lyrics Written: No, No, Nanette
    Otto Abels Harbach, born Otto Abels Hauerbach (August 18, 1873 – January 24, 1963) was an American lyricist and librettist of about 50 musical comedies. He is most remembered for being Oscar Hammerstein II's mentor and was one of the first librettists to believe that songs should be woven into a show, not just placed there. He is also considered one of the first great lyricists, because most of the others were considered hacks. This was because the shows usually didn't care about lyrics, just the music, the costumes, and the stars. Some of his more famous lyrics are for "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "Indian Love Call" and "Cuddle up a Little Closer, Lovey Mine". Harbach was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to Danish immigrant parents Adolph Christiansen and his wife Sena Olsen. His parents changed their name when they immigrated to the United States, and took the name of the farm they worked on (common practice at the time), and their new last name was Hauerbach. He attended the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, transferring to Knox College, in Galesburg, Illinois, where he was a friend of Carl Sandburg, joined Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and graduated in 1895. He obtained his masters
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    197

    Paul Francis Webster

    • Play Lyrics Written: Catch a Star
    Paul Francis Webster (December 20, 1907 – March 18, 1984) was an American lyricist who won three Academy Awards for Best Song and was nominated sixteen times for the award. He was born in New York City, the son of Myron Lawrence Webster and Blanche Pauline Stonehill Webster. He attended the Horace Mann School (Riverdale, Bronx, New York), graduating in 1926, and then went to Cornell University from 1927 to 1928 and New York University from 1928 to 1930, leaving without receiving a degree. He served in the United States Navy and then became a dance instructor at a studio in New York City. By 1931, however, he turned his career direction to writing song lyrics. His first professional lyric was Masquerade (music by John Jacob Loeb) which became a hit in 1932, performed by Paul Whiteman. In 1935 Twentieth Century Fox signed him to a contract to write lyrics for Shirley Temple's films, but shortly afterward he went back to freelance writing. His first hit was a collaboration in 1941 with Duke Ellington on the song "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)". After 1950, Webster worked mostly for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He won two Academy Awards in collaboration with Sammy Fain, in 1953 and 1955,
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    198
    Alan Ayckbourn

    Alan Ayckbourn

    • Play Lyrics Written: By Jeeves
    Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE (born 12 April 1939) is a prolific English playwright. He has written and produced more than seventy full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their first performance. More than 40 have subsequently been produced in the West End, at the Royal National Theatre or by the Royal Shakespeare Company since his first hit Relatively Speaking opened at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1967. Major successes include Absurd Person Singular (1975), The Norman Conquests trilogy (1973), Bedroom Farce (1975), Just Between Ourselves (1976), A Chorus of Disapproval (1984), Woman in Mind (1985), A Small Family Business (1987), Man Of The Moment (1988), House & Garden (1999) and Private Fears in Public Places (2004). His plays have won numerous awards, including seven London Evening Standard Awards. They have been translated into over 35 languages and are performed on stage and television throughout the world. Ten of his plays have been staged on Broadway, attracting two Tony nominations, and one Tony award. Ayckbourn was born in
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    199

    David Lindsay-Abaire

    • Play Lyrics Written: Shrek the Musical
    David Lindsay-Abaire (born November 30, 1969) is an American playwright and lyricist. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007 for his play Rabbit Hole, which also earned several Tony Award nominations. David Lindsay-Abaire concentrated in theatre at Sarah Lawrence College, where he graduated in 1992. He was accepted into the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School, where he wrote under the tutelage of playwrights Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang from 1996 to 1998. Lindsay-Abaire has received commissions from South Coast Repertory, Dance Theater Workshop, and the Jerome Foundation, as well as awards from the Berilla Kerr Foundation, the Lincoln Center LeComte du Nuoy Fund, Mixed Blood Theater, Primary Stages, the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, the Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival, and the South Carolina Playwrights Festival. Lindsay-Abaire had his first theatrical success with Fuddy Meers, which was workshopped as part of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center under Artistic Director Lloyd Richards and ultimately premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Club. He returned to the Manhattan
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    200
    Harry Connick, Jr.

    Harry Connick, Jr.

    • Play Lyrics Written: Thou Shalt Not
    Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr. (born September 11, 1967) is an American singer, conductor, pianist, actor, and composer. He has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 16 million in certified sales. He has seven top-20 US albums, and ten number-one US jazz albums, earning more number-one albums than any other artist in the US jazz chart history. Connick's best selling album in the United States is his 1993 Christmas album When My Heart Finds Christmas, which also is one of the best selling Christmas albums in the United States. His highest charting album, is his 2004 release Only You which reached No. 5 in the U.S. and No. 6 in Britain. He has won three Grammy awards and two Emmy Awards. He played Grace's husband, Dr. Leo Markus, on the TV sitcom Will & Grace from 2002 to 2006. Connick began his acting career as a tail gunner in the World War II film, Memphis Belle, in 1990. He played a serial killer in Copycat in 1995, before being cast as jet fighter pilot in the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. Connick's first role as a leading man was in
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    201

    Herbert Kretzmer

    • Play Lyrics Written: Les Misérables
    Herbert Kretzmer OBE (born 5 October 1925) is a South African-born English journalist and lyric writer. He is perhaps best known as the lyricist for the English-language musical adaptation of Les Misérables. Kretzmer began his professional career writing documentary films and the commentary for a weekly cinema newsreel. However, he soon moved on to print journalism, initially as a reporter and feature writer for the Johannesburg Sunday Express. He relocated to London in the mid-1950s and pursued twin careers as journalist and lyric writer. After several years as a feature writer on the Daily Sketch, Kretzmer became a profile writer on the Sunday Dispatch and the Daily Express, interviewing John Steinbeck, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Sugar Ray Robinson, Louis Armstrong, Henry Miller, Cary Grant and Duke Ellington. In 1962, he became senior drama critic of the Daily Express: a post he held for 18 years, covering about 3,000 first nights. From 1979 to 1987, he wrote television criticism for the Daily Mail, winning in this capacity two national press awards, including TV Critic Of The Year. Kretzmer wrote lyrics for the BBC's satire That Was The Week That Was, including the
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    202
    Matt Stone

    Matt Stone

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Book of Mormon
    Matthew Richard "Matt" Stone (born May 26, 1971) is an American actor, voice actor, animator, screenwriter, producer, musician, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with his creative partner and best friend, Trey Parker. Stone and Parker launched their largely collaborative careers in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. Their first success came from Alferd Packer: The Musical, subsequently distributed as Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short title Jesus vs. Santa, leading him and college friend Parker to create South Park, which has been airing for over fifteen years. He has four Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning for both "Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour" and "Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour". Stone was born in Houston, Texas to Gerald Whitney Stone, Jr. (1941-2010), an economics professor and textbook author, and Sheila Lois Belasco (who share the first names of South Park character Kyle Broflovski's parents). Stone's mother is Jewish and his father was of Irish descent. Stone and his younger sister, Rachel were raised in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, Colorado, where both attended
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    203

    Mbongeni Ngema

    • Play Lyrics Written: Sarafina!
    Mbongeni Ngema (born 10 May 1955) is a South African writer, lyricist, composer and director, born in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal (near Durban). He started his career as a theatre backing guitarist. He is married to actress Leleti Khumalo. Leleti who received a 1988 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Sarafina!; as well as starring as the leading role in South Africa's first Oscar-nominated film/move, Yesterday. He co-wrote the multi-award winning Woza Albert!. In some sectors of South African society, Ngema is considered a racist because of his controversial song, AmaNdiya (about racism that Blacks in KwaZulu-Natal have suffered at the hands of Indians). It was banned in the country soon after it was released in 2002, and even Nelson Mandela had asked Ngema to apologize but Ngema refused. Mbongeni Ngema has participated in a song called Take this song, recorded in featuring with the Reggae band Third World.
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    204
    Meredith Willson

    Meredith Willson

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Music Man
    Robert Meredith Willson (May 18, 1902 – June 15, 1984) was an American composer, songwriter, conductor and playwright, best known for writing the book, music and lyrics for the hit Broadway musical The Music Man. He wrote three other Broadway musicals, composed symphonies and popular songs, and his film scores were twice nominated for Academy Awards. He was born in Mason City, Iowa to John David Willson and Rosalie Reiniger Willson, and had a brother two years older, John Cedrick, and a sister 12 years older, Lucille. He attended Frank Damrosch's Institute of Musical Art (later The Juilliard School) in New York City. He married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth "Peggy" Wilson on August 29, 1920. A flute and piccolo player, Willson was a member of John Philip Sousa's band (1921–1923), and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini (1924–1929). Willson then moved to San Francisco, California as the concert director for radio station KFRC, and then as a musical director for the NBC radio network in Hollywood. His work in films included composing the score for Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940), (Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score), and
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    205
    Basil Hood

    Basil Hood

    • Play Lyrics Written: Gentleman Joe
    Basil Willett Charles Hood (5 April 1864 – 7 August 1917) was a British librettist and lyricist, perhaps best known for writing the libretti of half a dozen Savoy Operas and for his English adaptations of operettas, including The Merry Widow. He embarked on a career in the British army, writing theatrical pieces in his spare time. After some modest successes, Hood and his collaborator, the composer Walter Slaughter, had a major hit with their long-running show, Gentleman Joe. Hood then resigned from the army to pursue his career as a librettist full-time, later working with such composers as Arthur Sullivan and Edward German. After burlesque and comic opera went out of fashion, Hood turned to adaptations of continental operettas for the impresario George Edwardes, writing English versions of such works as The Merry Widow, The Dollar Princess and The Count of Luxembourg, sometimes drastically rewriting the book and lyrics. At the outbreak of World War I, he took up a demanding post in the British War Office, which is believed to have contributed to his early death. Hood was born in Yorkshire, the younger son of the psychiatrist Sir Charles Hood, M.D., treasurer to Bethlehem Hospital
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    206

    Christopher Hampton

    • Play Lyrics Written: Sunset Boulevard
    Christopher James Hampton, CBE, FRSL (born 26 January 1946) is a British playwright, screen writer and film director. He is best known for his play based on the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses and the film version Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and also more recently for writing the nominated screenplay for the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement. Hampton was born in Faial, Azores, to British parents Dorothy Patience (née Herrington) and Bernard Patrick Hampton, a marine telecommunications engineer for Cable & Wireless. His father's job led the family to subsequently settle in Aden and Alexandria in Egypt and later Hong Kong and Zanzibar. The Suez Crisis in 1956 necessitated that the family flee under cover of darkness, leaving their possessions behind. After a prep school at Reigate, Hampton went to the independent boarding school Lancing College at the age of 13, where he won house colours for boxing and distinguished himself as a sergeant in the CCF. Fellow dramatist David Hare was a school contemporary; poet Harry Guest was a teacher. In 1964 he attended New College, Oxford, as a Sacher Scholar, to study German and French and graduated with a starred First Class Degree in
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    207
    John Lennon

    John Lennon

    • Play Lyrics Written: Lennon
    John Ono Lennon, MBE, born John Winston Lennon (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Together with Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved as a teenager in the skiffle craze; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960. As the group disintegrated towards the end of the decade, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine". After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to raising his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release. Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film and
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    208
    Sebastian

    Sebastian

    • Play Lyrics Written: Aladdin
    Knud Torben Christensen better known by his stage name Sebastian was born as on December 19, 1949. He is a Danish singer, guitarist and composer. Starting as a musician in the late 1960s he is still active and very popular. So far his career has spanned four decades. Having worked in the folk genre, he has become one of the most prominent pop/rock musicians in Denmark and has scored numerous films and plays. Since the 1990s he has primarily worked with Danish musicals, with great success. Works by Sebastian appear in these films: Works by Sebastian appear in these television series:
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    209
    Brenda Russell

    Brenda Russell

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Color Purple
    Brenda Russell (born Brenda Gordon, April 8, 1949, Brooklyn, New York) is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter and keyboardist. Known for her eclectic musical style, her recordings have encompassed several different genres, including pop, soul, dance, jazz and adult contemporary. As well as composing and recording her own material, Russell's songwriting and vocal talents have been used by Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind & Fire, Joni Mitchell, Donna Summer, Flo Rida and Sting. Born to musical parents (her father Gus was a one-time member of The Ink Spots), she spent her early years in Canada after moving to Hamilton, Ontario, age 12. As a teenager she began performing in local bands. Brenda was recruited to sing in a Toronto-based girl group called The Tiaras along with Jackie Richardson. The group's one single, "Where Does All The Time Go" was released on Barry Records in 1968 and sunk without a trace in to obscurity. In her late teens she joined the Toronto production of Hair, during which time she had begun to play the piano. In the early 1970s she married musician Bryan Russell and (as Brian & Brenda) they released two albums on Elton John's Rocket label, Word
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    210

    Christopher Durang

    • Play Lyrics Written: A History of the American Film
    Christopher Ferdinand Durang (born January 2, 1949) is an American playwright known for works of outrageous and often absurd comedy. His work was especially popular in the 1980s. Durang was born in Montclair, New Jersey, the son of Patricia Elizabeth, a secretary, and architect Francis Ferdinand Durang, Jr. He grew up in Berkeley Heights. He attended Catholic schools as a child, including the Our Lady of Peace School in New Providence, New Jersey and the Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey. He received a B.A. in English from Harvard and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Yale School of Drama. He lives in Bucks County with his partner, John Augustine; they have been together for more than 20 years. His work often deals critically with issues of child abuse, Roman Catholic dogma and culture, and homosexuality. His plays have been performed nationwide, including on Broadway and Off-Broadway. His works include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Beyond Therapy, Baby With the Bathwater, The Nature and Purpose of the Universe, Titanic, A History of the American Film, The Idiots Karamazov, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Laughing Wild, 'Dentity Crisis, The Actor's Nightmare,
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    211
    Derek Walcott

    Derek Walcott

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Capeman
    Derek Alton Walcott, OBE OCC (born 23 January 1930) is a Saint Lucian poet and playwright. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is currently Professor of poetry at the University of Essex. His works include the Homeric epic poem, Omeros (1990). Robert Graves wrote that Walcott "handles English with a closer understanding of its inner magic than most, if not any, of his contemporaries”. In 2011, Walcott received the T. S. Eliot Prize for his book of poetry, White Egrets. Walcott was born and raised in Castries, Saint Lucia, in the West Indies with a twin brother, the future playwright Roderick Walcott, and a sister, Pamela Walcott. His family was of mixed race and ethnicity; he had two white grandfathers and two black grandmothers. His family is of African and European descent, reflecting the complex colonial history of the island which he explores in his poetry. His mother, a teacher, loved the arts and often recited poetry around the house. His father, who painted and wrote poetry, died at age 31 from mastoiditis while his wife was pregnant with the twins Derek and Roderick, who were born after his death. Walcott's family was part of a minority Methodist community,
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    George David Woods

    • Play Lyrics Written: First Impressions
    George David Woods (1901 – 1982) was a U.S. banker. He served as President of the World Bank from January 1963 to March 1968. George Woods was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1901. After completing high school he was employed as an office boy at Harris, Forbes & Co., an underwriting firm. At the company's urging, he attended night school in banking, and later became a buyer in the underwriting department. By the age of 26 he had been promoted to a vice president position. In 1930 the firm was acquired by Chase Bank, and Woods was made vice president of the new firm; he later became vice president and member of the board of First Boston Corporation, a newly formed securities company. First Boston became one of the largest investment banking firms in the United States, and Woods played a major role in it. In 1947 he became one of two executive vice presidents, then in 1948 became chairman of the executive committee. Then, in 1951 Woods became chairman of the board. Woods tenure at the World Bank accompanied its transformation into a more global institution, One emphasis he had was to work to correct the disparity between rich and poor, and North and South. Under Woods, there was an
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    213
    Jon English

    Jon English

    • Play Lyrics Written: Paris
    Jonathan James "Jon" English (born 26 March 1949 in Hampstead, London) is a rock singer, musician, actor and writer. English emigrated to Australia with his parents in 1961. He was an early vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Sebastian Hardie but left to take on the role of Judas Iscariot in the Australian version of the stage musical Jesus Christ Superstar from May 1972, which was broadcast on television. English is also a noted solo singer, his Australian top twenty hit singles include "Turn the Page", "Hollywood Seven", "Words are Not Enough", "Six Ribbons" and "Hot Town". English was acclaimed for his starring role in the 1978 Australian TV series Against the Wind – he won the TV Week Logie Award for 'Best New Talent in Australia'. He also co-wrote and performed the score with Mario Millo (ex-Sebastian Hardie). The series had international release, known as Mot alla vindar (1980) in Swedish, where both "Six Ribbons" and "Against the Wind" were released as singles, both singles and the soundtrack album peaked at No.1 on the Norwegian charts; the first single, "Six Ribbons" and the album, peaked at No.4 on the Swedish charts. During 1983–85, English won four Mo Awards with three
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    214
    Oscar Hammerstein II

    Oscar Hammerstein II

    • Play Lyrics Written: Allegro
    Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II ( /ˈhæmərstaɪn/; July 12, 1895 – August 23, 1960) was an American librettist, theatrical producer, and (usually uncredited) theatre director of musicals for almost forty years. Hammerstein won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Many of his songs are standard repertoire for singers and jazz musicians. He co-wrote 850 songs. Hammerstein was the lyricist and playwright in his partnerships; his collaborators wrote the music. Hammerstein collaborated with composers Jerome Kern, Vincent Youmans, Rudolf Friml and Sigmund Romberg; but his most famous collaboration, by far, was with Richard Rodgers. Hammerstein was born Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein in New York City, the son of Alice (née Nimmo) and William Hammerstein. His grandfather was German-born Jewish theater impresario Oscar Hammerstein I, and his mother was the daughter of Scottish and English parents. Hammerstein was raised an Episcopalian. Although Hammerstein's father managed the Victoria Theatre for his father and was a producer of vaudeville shows (he is generally credited with inventing the "pie-in-the-face" routine), he was opposed to his son's
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    215
    Richard M. Sherman

    Richard M. Sherman

    • Play Lyrics Written: Over Here!
    Richard Morton Sherman (born June 12, 1928) is an American songwriter who specialized in musical film with his brother Robert Bernard Sherman. Some of the Sherman Brothers' best-known writing includes the songs from Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, and the Disney theme park song It's a Small World (After All). Richard Morton Sherman was born in New York City to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Rosa & Al Sherman. Together with his older brother Robert, "The Sherman Brothers" eventually followed in their songwriting father's footsteps to form a long-lasting songwriting partnership. Following seven years of frequent cross-country moves, the Sherman family finally settled down in Beverly Hills, California in 1937. Throughout Richard's years at Beverly Hills High School he became fascinated with music and studied several instruments including the flute, clarinet, piccolo and piano. At his 1946 graduation from Beverly Hills High School, Richard Sherman and André Previn played a musical duet. Previn played piano and Sherman played flute. Coincidentally, in 1965 both composers won Oscars in music categories for different films. At
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    216

    Richard Myers

    • Play Lyrics Written: Ziegfeld Follies of 1957
    Richard Myers (1901–1977) was a songwriter. Together with Jack Lawrence he wrote "Hold My Hand," which was nominated for the 1954 Academy Award for Best Song.
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    217
    Sheldon Harnick

    Sheldon Harnick

    • Play Lyrics Written: Fiddler on the Roof
    Sheldon Harnick (born April 30, 1924) is an American lyricist best known for his collaborations with composer Jerry Bock on hit musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof. Harnick began his career writing words and music to comic songs in musical revues. One of these, "The Merry Minuet", was popularized by the Kingston Trio. It is in the caustic style usually associated with Tom Lehrer and is sometimes incorrectly attributed to him. Harnick began writing music while still in Carl Schurz High School. After his Army service, he graduated from the Northwestern University School of Music (1946-1949) with a Bachelor of Music Degree, and worked with various orchestras in the Chicago area. He then moved to New York City and wrote for many musicals and revues. Around 1956, Harnick met Jerry Bock, forming "what is arguably the most important musical partnership of the '60s." Their first musical was The Body Beautiful, running for only 60 performances in 1958, but Fiorello! (1959) ran for 795 performances and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Fiddler on the Roof (1964) "became one of the most cherished of all Broadway musicals." Harnick wrote the libretto for the opera Coyote Tales, with music by
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    218
    David Javerbaum

    David Javerbaum

    • Play Lyrics Written: Cry-Baby
    David Javerbaum is a 12-time Emmy-winning American comedy writer. Javerbaum was hired as a staff writer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 1999. He was promoted to head writer in 2002 and became an executive producer at the end of 2006. His work for the program won 11 Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, two Peabody Awards and Television Critics Association Awards for both Best Comedy and Best News Show. He was also one of the three principal authors of the show's textbook parody America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, which sold 2.6 million copies and won the 2005 Thurber Prize for American Humor. He became a consulting producer at the start of 2009 and spent the next 18 months spearheading the writing of that book's sequel, Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, which was released in September 2010; his co-production of its audiobook earned the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Spoken-Word Album. He left the show in July 2010. He is the author of The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, which was released on November 1, 2011 and is affiliated with the Twitter account @TheTweetOfGod. It is his second book as sole author; the first was the pregnancy satire What
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    219
    Don Black

    Don Black

    • Play Lyrics Written: Aspects of Love
    Don Black, OBE (born 21 June 1938) is an English lyricist. His works have included numerous musicals, movie themes and hit songs. He has provided lyrics for John Barry, Charles Strouse, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Quincy Jones, Lulu, Jule Styne, Henry Mancini, Michael Jackson, Elmer Bernstein, Michel Legrand, Hayley Westenra, A. R. Rahman, Marvin Hamlisch and Debbie Wiseman. Black was born Donald Blackstone in London, England, the youngest of five children of Russian Jewish immigrants Morris and Betsy (née Kersh) Blackstone. During his childhood the family lived in a flat in Tornay House, Shore Place, South Hackney. He began his music industry career as an office boy with a music publishing firm, and later worked as a song-plugger. He also had a brief spell as a comic. He was personal manager to the singer Matt Monro for many years and also provided songs for him (usually writing English language lyrics to continental songs). These included "Walk Away" (music: Udo Jürgens) and "For Mamma" (music: Charles Aznavour). Black's first film work was the lyrics for the theme of the James Bond entry Thunderball (1965). His association with the Bond series continued over several decades, with
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    220

    Fred Ebb

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Act
    Fred Ebb (April 8, 1928 – September 11, 2004) was an American musical theatre lyricist who had many successful collaborations with composer John Kander. The Kander and Ebb team frequently wrote for such performers as Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera. Ebb was born in Manhattan to a Jewish family, the son of Anna Evelyn (née Gritz) and Harry Ebb. He worked during the early 1950s bronzing baby shoes, as a trucker's assistant, and was also employed in a department store credit office and at a hosiery company. He graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and also earned his Master’s Degree in English from Columbia University. One of his early collaborators was Phil Springer, and a song they wrote together ("I Never Loved Him Anyhow") was recorded by Carmen McRae in 1956. Another song Ebb wrote with Springer was "Heartbroken" (1953), which was recorded by Judy Garland, the mother of his future protégée, Liza Minnelli. Other Springer-Ebb tunes include "Moonlight Gambler" and "Nevertheless I Never Lost the Blues". "Don't Forget", which he wrote with Norman Leyden, was recorded by singer Eddy Arnold in 1954. On his first theatrical writing job, he
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    221

    George Forrest

    • Play Lyrics Written: Kismet
    George Forrest (July 31, 1915 – October 10, 1999) was a writer of music and lyrics for musical theatre best known for the show Kismet, adapted from the works of Alexander Borodin. Born George Forrest Chichester, Jr., he was also known professionally at times as Chet Forrest. Throughout his career he worked exclusively with the composer-lyricist Robert Wright. The pair had an affinity for adapting classical music themes and adding lyrics to these themes for Hollywood and the Broadway musical stage. Mr. Wright said that the music was usually a 50-50 "collaboration" between Wright & Forrest and the composer. While both men were credited equally as composer-lyricists, it was Mr. Forrest who worked with the music. Kismet was one of several works Forrest created with composer-lyricist Robert Wright that was commissioned by impresario Edwin Lester for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. Song of Norway, Gypsy Lady, Magdalena, and their adaptation of The Great Waltz were also commissioned by Lester for the LACLO. The LACLO then exported most of these productions to Broadway. Forrest and Wright won a Tony Award for their work on Kismet and in 1995 they were awarded the ASCAP Foundation
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    222

    Hugh Martin

    • Play Lyrics Written: High Spirits
    Hugh Martin (August 11, 1914 – March 11, 2011) was an American musical theater and film composer, arranger, vocal coach, and playwright. He was best known for his score for the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me In St. Louis, in which Judy Garland sang three Martin songs, "The Boy Next Door," "The Trolley Song," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." The last of these has become a Christmas season standard in the United States and around the English-speaking world. Martin became a close friend of Garland and was her accompanist at many of her concert performances in the 1950s, including her appearances at the Palace Theater. Martin was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914. He attended Birmingham-Southern College where he studied music. He was a member of the Beta Beta Chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity Martin wrote the music, and in some cases the lyrics, for five Broadway musicals: Best Foot Forward (1941); Look Ma, I'm Dancin'! (1948); Make a Wish (1951); High Spirits (1964) (music and lyrics, with Timothy Gray); and Meet Me In St. Louis (1989), a stage version of the film with an expanded score by Martin and Ralph Blane. Martin's first Broadway credit was as an arranger for
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    223
    Joe Brooks

    Joe Brooks

    Joe Brooks (born May 18, 1987) is a British singer. Brooks started out as a Myspace musician when he was 17 and gained popularity on the site while releasing two independent EPs. By 2008 he was hyped and labeled as the "Number 1 Unsigned UK Artist" on MySpace and had amassed 11 million song plays. In 2009 he signed to Jason Flom's Lava Records and Universal Republic Records, where he released his first full-length and major label album, Constellation Me, in 2010. Following his exit from Lava/Universal in 2011, he released a fan-funded independent EP, A Reason To Swim, later that year. Joe Brooks was born on May 18, 1987 in Southampton, England, the son of a trucking-business owner, and a primary-school teacher. He has an older sister and a younger brother. He grew up in Shirley, Southampton where he attended Wordsworth and St. Mark's Schools. As a child he focused on sports, beginning to play tennis when he was four years old. As a tennis player, he would play for the next twelve years, and played in competitive tournaments. He quit tennis at 16 when he had plans of going into a career of sports coaching. Besides sports, Brooks's interest in music also began at a young age, when
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    224
    John Tams

    John Tams

    • Play Lyrics Written: War Horse
    John Tams (born 16 February 1949) is an English actor, singer, songwriter, composer and musician. John Tams was a member of Derbyshire folk group Muckram Wakes in the 1970s, then worked with Ashley Hutchings as singer and melodeon-player on albums including Son of Morris On, and as a member of the electric folk group Albion Band. Splitting with Hutchings in the 1980s, he formed Home Service. He is now a solo performer, either fronting a folk-rock band or in a duo with Barry Coope (of Coope Boyes and Simpson). In December 2009, Tams released a single of "Love Farewell" with the Band and Bugles of the Rifles. The recording of this song, dating from the Peninsular War, was for the benefit of Help for Heroes, a charity dedicated to supporting injured British service personnel and their families. In 1974, Tams and Neil Wayne went to County Clare to make field recordings of highly-regarded traditional players of the concertina. The recordings were issued on the "Free Reed" label in the '70s. These recordings then became very scarce until 2007 when all the tracks were issued as a 6-CD set called The Clare Set. Tams was a musical director and actor at the National Theatre from 1976 to 1985
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    225

    Mark Mancina

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Lion King
    Mark Alan Mancina (born March 9, 1957 in Santa Monica, California) is a U.S. composer, primarily for Hollywood soundtracks, such as his collaboration with Trevor Rabin on the soundtrack for Con Air. He arranged many of the songs behind Disney's The Lion King (while Hans Zimmer wrote the orchestral score with Lebo M for the African chants) including the Broadway musical. He also notably composed the score for the thriller Twister (1996) as well as the blockbuster action films Speed (1994) and Bad Boys (1995). Trained as a classical guitarist, he is an avid guitar player and rare instrument collector. Mancina collaborated with John Van Tongeren to write the theme to the 1995 revival of The Outer Limits. They both scored ten episodes for the first season of the show. He also collaborated with Phil Collins on two feature animated films for Disney, Tarzan and Brother Bear. Mancina has also been associated with a number of progressive rock projects. He toured with Rabin in support of Trevor Rabin's Can't Look Away album and then went on to produce tracks on the Yes album Union. He has also worked with Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He is known to be influenced by The Beatles, favoring their
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    226

    Maury Yeston

    • Play Lyrics Written: Phantom
    Maury Yeston (born October 23, 1945) is an American composer, lyricist, educator and musicologist. He is known for writing the music and lyrics to Broadway musicals, including Nine in 1982, and Titanic in 1997, both of which won Tony Awards for best musical and best score. He also won a Drama Desk Award for Nine. Yeston also wrote a significant amount of the music and most of the lyrics to the Tony-nominated musical Grand Hotel in 1989, which was nominated for best score. His musical version of the novel The Phantom of the Opera called Phantom (not to be confused with Andrew Lloyd Webber's version) has enjoyed numerous productions in the U.S. and around the world. He has also written a number of other Off-Broadway musicals, a song cycle, a Cello Concerto, and other pieces. Yeston serves on the Board of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also President of the Kleban Foundation, serves on the editorial boards of Musical Quarterly and the Kurt Weill Foundation Publication Project and on the advisory board of the Yale University Press Broadway Series. He was the Director of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop in New York City for two decades beginning in 1982. Yeston was
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    227

    Michael John LaChiusa

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Wild Party
    Michael John LaChiusa (born July 24, 1962) is an American musical theatre and opera composer, lyricist, and librettist. He is best known for musically esoteric shows such as Hello Again, Marie Christine, The Wild Party, and See What I Wanna See. He was nominated for four Tony Awards in 2000 for his score and book for both Marie Christine and The Wild Party and received another nomination for his libretto for Chronicle of a Death Foretold. LaChiusa grew up in Chautauqua, New York, the eldest of three boys in an Italian Catholic family. His parents had a "[v]ery mentally abusive" relationship; Michael was not close to his father, but was encouraged by his mother to pursue his interest in music. He taught himself to play piano at the age of seven and had little formal music training. LaChiusa was influenced early on by the music of "modern American composers" such as John Corigliano, John Adams, and Philip Glass, as well as the musical theatre composers George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Stephen Sondheim. LaChiusa graduated high school early and enrolled in a television journalism program, but he dropped out after a semester. In 1980, LaChiusa moved to New York City, where he took
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    Peter Cook

    Peter Cook

    • Play Lyrics Written: One Over the Eight
    Peter Edward Cook (17 November 1937 – 9 January 1995) was an English actor, satirist, writer and comedian. An extremely influential figure in modern British comedy, he is regarded as the leading light of the British satire boom of the 1960s. Cook has been described by Stephen Fry as "the funniest man who ever drew breath", although his work was also controversial. Cook was closely associated with anti-establishment comedy which emerged in Britain and the United States in the late 1950s. Cook was born at his parents' house "Shearbridge", in Middle Warberry Road, Torquay, Devon. He was the only son and eldest of the three children of Alexander Edward (Alec) Cook (1906–1984), a colonial civil servant, and his wife Ethel Catherine Margaret, née Mayo (1908–1994). He was educated at Radley College and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he studied French and German. As a student, Cook initially intended to become a career diplomat like his father, but Britain "had run out of colonies", as he put it. Although politically largely apathetic, particularly in later life when he displayed a deep distrust of politicians of all hues, he did join the Cambridge University Liberal Club. It was at
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    229
    Richard O'Brien

    Richard O'Brien

    • Play Lyrics Written: El show de terror de Rocky
    Richard Timothy Smith (born 25 March 1942), better known under his stage name Richard O'Brien, is an English writer, actor, television presenter and theatre performer. He is perhaps best known for writing the cult musical The Rocky Horror Show and for his role in presenting the popular TV show The Crystal Maze. In addition to writing The Rocky Horror Show, O'Brien also co-wrote the screenplay of the 1975 film adaptation, and appeared in the film himself as the character Riff Raff. The stage show has been in almost continuous production and the cinematic version is one of the best known and most ardently followed cult films of all time. He is also the voice of Lawrence Fletcher, the title characters' father in Phineas and Ferb. O'Brien was born Richard Timothy Smith in 1942 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. In 1951, O'Brien emigrated with his family to Tauranga, New Zealand, where his father had purchased a sheep farm. After learning how to ride horses, a skill which provided him with his break into the film industry as a stuntman in Carry On Cowboy, and developing a keen interest in comic books and horror films, he returned to England in 1964. Upon launching his acting
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    230
    Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar

    • Play Lyrics Written: Footloose
    Sam Roy "Sammy" Hagar (born October 13, 1947), also known as The Red Rocker, is an American rock vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and musician. Hagar came to prominence in the 1970s with the hard rock band Montrose. He afterwards launched a successful solo career, scoring an enduring hit in 1984 with "I Can't Drive 55". From 1985 to 1996, and 2003 to 2005, Hagar was the singer for Van Halen. On March 12, 2007, Hagar was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen. Outside of music, he founded the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand and restaurant chain, as well as Sammy's Beach Bar Rum. He currently resides in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and also has a residence in Mill Valley, California. His present musical project is as lead singer of Chickenfoot. Named after his maternal grandfather, Sam Roy, Hagar was born in Salinas, California. His family soon moved to Fontana, where his father worked at the Kaiser Steel Mill. Hagar graduated from Fontana High School. Hagar became interested in the burgeoning Southern California music scene, fronting his first band, the Fabulous Castilles. In 1968, the duo known as Samson & Hagar, backed by the Peppermint Trolley Co., released a 7"
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    231
    Stephen Schwartz

    Stephen Schwartz

    • Play Lyrics Written: Children of Eden
    Stephen Lawrence Schwartz (born March 6, 1948) is an American musical theatre lyricist and composer. In a career spanning over four decades, Schwartz has written such hit musicals as Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972) and Wicked (2003). He has also contributed lyrics for a number of successful films, including Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Pippi Longstocking (1997), The Prince of Egypt (1998; music and lyrics) and Enchanted (2007). Schwartz has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards. Schwartz was born in New York City, the son of Sheila Lorna (née Siegal), a teacher, and Stanley Leonard Schwartz, who worked in business. He grew up in the Williston Park area of Nassau County, New York, where he graduated from Mineola High School in 1964. He also studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School while attending high school. Schwartz graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968 with a BFA in drama. Upon returning to New York City, Schwartz went to work as a producer for RCA Records, but shortly thereafter began to work in the Broadway theatre. He was asked to be
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    232
    Dr. Seuss

    Dr. Seuss

    • Play Lyrics Written: Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Musical
    Theodor Seuss Geisel ( /ˈɡaɪzəl/; March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) was an American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for his children's books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and, in one case, Rosetta Stone. Geisel published 46 children's books, which were often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of anapestic meter. His most celebrated books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Numerous adaptations of his work have been created, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical and four television series. He won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 for Horton Hatches the Egg and again in 1961 for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Geisel also worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns, most notably for Flit and Standard Oil, and as a political cartoonist for PM, a New York City newspaper. During World War II, he worked in an animation department of the United States Army, where he wrote Design for Death, a film that later won the
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    233

    John Farrar

    • Play Lyrics Written: Xanadu
    John Clifford Farrar ( /ˈfɑrər/; born 8 November 1946) is an Australian-born music producer, songwriter, arranger, singer and guitarist. As a musician, Farrar is a former member of several rock and roll groups including The Mustangs (1963–64), The Strangers (1964–70), Marvin, Welch & Farrar (1970–73), and The Shadows (1973–76); in 1980 he released a solo eponymous album. As a songwriter and producer he worked with Olivia Newton-John from 1971 to 1989. He wrote her number-one hit singles: "Have You Never Been Mellow" (1975), "You're the One That I Want" (1978 duet with John Travolta), "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (1978), and "Magic" (1980). He also produced the majority of her recorded material during that time including her number-one albums, If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974), Have You Never Been Mellow (1975) and Olivia's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (1982); and he was a co-producer of Grease (1978) – the soundtrack for the film of the same name. Farrar also produced Newton-John's first United States number-one hit single, "I Honestly Love You", which was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1975. In 1969 Farrar married fellow Australian singer, Pat Carroll – formerly
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    234

    John Kander

    • Play Lyrics Written: A Family Affair
    John Harold Kander (born March 18, 1927) is the American composer of a number of musicals as part of the songwriting team of Kander and Ebb. Kander was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Bernice (née Aaron) and Harold S. Kander. Kander attended The Pembroke Country-Day School and Oberlin College before earning a Master's degree at Columbia University where he was a protégé of Douglas Moore and studied composition with Jack Beeson. Kander began his Broadway career as substitute rehearsal pianist for West Side Story. The stage manager for West Side Story then asked Kander to play the auditions for her next show, Gypsy. During the auditions, Kander met the choreographer, Jerome Robbins, who suggested that Kander compose the dance music for the show in 1959. After that experience, he wrote dance arrangements for Irma la Douce in 1960. His first produced musical was A Family Affair, written with James and William Goldman. He met lyricist Fred Ebb in 1962 and began a songwriting collaboration that would last for more than four decades. Later that year rising star Barbra Streisand recorded two of the duo's songs, "My Coloring Book" and "I Don't Care Much." In 1965, Kander and Ebb
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    John Mellencamp

    John Mellencamp

    • Play Lyrics Written: Ghost Brothers of Darkland County
    John Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951) is an American rock singer-songwriter, musician, painter and occasional actor known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock which emphasizes traditional instrumentation. He has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States. In addition, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number-one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with seven, and has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one. His latest album, No Better Than This, was released on August 17, 2010 to widespread critical acclaim. Mellencamp is also one of the founding members of Farm Aid, an organization that began in 1985 with a concert in Champaign, Illinois to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. The Farm Aid concerts have remained an annual event over the past 27 years, and as of 2012 the organization has raised over $40 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008 by Billy Joel. His biggest musical influences are Bob Dylan,
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    236

    Johnny Brandon

    • Play Lyrics Written: Eubie!
    Johnny Brandon (born 1925) is an English singer and songwriter, popular during the 1950s, who recorded for a number of labels. His perennial backing group was known as The Phantoms. His early hits included "Tomorrow" and "Don't Worry". He also recorded a version of "Slow Poke"; re-titled as "Slow Coach"; and "Painting the Clouds with Sunshine". Brandon later composed several Off-Broadway musicals, such as Cindy (1964) and Billy Noname (1970). In 1979, he was jointly nominated for a Tony Award for Best Original Score, for his work on Eubie!. Brandon is also known for his involvement in the musicals, Ain't Doin' Nothin' But Singin' My Song (1982) and Oh, Diahne! (1997). Now in his eighties, he resides in the United States. He released his first solo album, Then and Now, in 2005. † Credited as Johnny Brandon with The Phantoms and The Norman Warren Music ‡ Credited as Johnny Brandon with The Phantoms
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    Ladysmith Black Mambazo

    Ladysmith Black Mambazo

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Song of Jacob Zulu
    Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a male choral group from South Africa that sings in the vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube. They rose to worldwide prominence as a result of singing with Paul Simon on his album, Graceland, and have won multiple awards, including three Grammy Awards. They were formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960 and later became one of South Africa's most prolific recording artists, with their releases receiving gold and platinum disc honors. The group has now become a mobile academy, teaching people about South Africa and its culture. Joseph Shabalala formed Ladysmith Black Mambazo because of a series of dreams he had in 1964, in which he heard certain isicathamiya harmonies (isicathamiya being the traditional music of the Zulu people). Following their local success at wedding ceremonies and other gatherings, Shabalala entered them into isicathamiya competitions. The group was described as 'so good' that they were eventually forbidden to enter the competitions, but welcomed to entertain at them. Although they had been recognised as an isicathamiya group in 1964, they had been singing together since the early 1950s. They released their first album, Amabutho, in 1973.
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    Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Lin-Manuel Miranda

    • Play Lyrics Written: In the Heights
    Lin-Manuel Miranda (born January 16, 1980) is an American composer, rapper, lyricist, and actor. He is most famous for writing and starring as Usnavi in the Broadway musical In the Heights, which opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2008 and for which he won the Tony Award as composer and lyricist. Miranda was born in northern Manhattan, New York City, New York. He grew up in the Inwood section of Manhattan and is of Puerto Rican descent. After graduating from Hunter College High School, Miranda went on to attend Wesleyan University and graduated in 2002. During this time, he co-founded a hip hop comedy troupe called Freestyle Love Supreme. He wrote the earliest draft of In the Heights in 1999, his sophomore year of college. After the show was accepted by Wesleyan's student theater company The Second Stage, Miranda worked on adding "freestyle rap ... bodegas, and salsa numbers." It played from 20 April to 22 April. Miranda wrote and directed several other musicals at Wesleyan. He also acted in many other productions, ranging from musicals to Shakespeare. In 2002, Miranda and Mailer worked with director Tommy Kail and wrote five separate drafts of In the Heights that
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    239

    Luc Plamondon

    • Play Lyrics Written: Starmania
    Luc Plamondon, OC, CQ (born 2 March, 1942 in Saint-Raymond, Quebec) is a French Canadian lyricist. Plamondon has written for many artists, notably the Québécois singers Bruno Pelletier, Diane Dufresne, Robert Charlebois, Céline Dion, Ginette Reno, Fabienne Thibeault, Martine St. Clair, and Garou, as well as the French singers Julien Clerc, Nicole Croisille and Johnny Hallyday. He is the co-author of a number of musicals. The two most successful are Starmania (music composed by Michel Berger) and Notre-Dame de Paris (music composed by Riccardo Cocciante). Also of note is Cindy: Cendrillon 2000. He was inspired to write a hymn in Huguette Gaulin Bergeron’s honor, after her self-immolation. The hymn, entitled "Hymne à la beaute du monde", has since been sung by numerous famous French-Canadian artists such as Diane Dufresne, Isabelle Boulay, Garou, and Éric Lapointe. Although his music is full of anglicisms, and he has accepted honours from Canadian institutions, Plamondon is a francophone nationalist and Quebec sovereigntist. He is opposed to Internet music piracy. He used his acceptance speech for a 1983 Félix Award to denounce copyright law. He is the brother of Louis Plamondon, a
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    240

    Mack David

    • Play Lyrics Written: Baby It's You!
    Mack David (July 5, 1912 – December 30, 1993) was an American lyricist and songwriter, best known for his work in film and television, with a career spanning from the early 1940s through the early 1970s. Mack was credited with writing lyrics and/or music for over one thousand songs. He was particularly well known for his work on the Disney films Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, and for the mostly-English lyrics through which Édith Piaf's signature song "La Vie en rose" gained much of its familiarity among native speakers of English. Mack David was the elder brother of American lyricist and songwriter, Hal David. Mack David died in 1993 in his Rancho Mirage, California home and his remains are buried at the Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Mack David was born to a Jewish family in New York City, New York, on July 5, 1912. David originally planned to become an attorney and attended Cornell University and St. John's University Law School. Despite these original goals, in the mid-1940s, David began writing songs for New York's Tin Pan Alley. These initial successes prompted David to move to Hollywood, California, to work in the film and television
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    241

    Martin Charnin

    • Play Lyrics Written: Annie
    Martin Charnin (born November 24, 1934) is an American lyricist, writer, and theatre director. Charnin's best-known work is as conceiver, director and lyricist of the musical Annie. He won the Tony Award for Best Original Score for Annie. Born in New York City, Charnin graduated from The High School of Music & Art and then from The Cooper Union, where he earned a BFA. Charnin began his theatrical career as a performer, appearing as "Big Deal", one of the Jets in the original production of West Side Story. He played the role for 1000 performances on Broadway and on the road. He wrote music and lyrics for numerous Off-Broadway and cabaret revues, many of them for Julius Monk. He then went on to write, direct, and produce nightclub acts for Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson, Mary Travers, Larry Kert, Jose Ferrer, and Leslie Uggams. The first Broadway musical for which he wrote the lyrics was the 1963 musical Hot Spot starring Judy Holliday, with music by Mary Rodgers. He contributed lyrics to Vernon Duke's musical Zenda which ran in California in 1963 but did not reach Broadway. In 1967, he wrote the lyrics for Mata Hari, which was produced by David Merrick but closed out-of-town. He wrote
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    242
    Melvin Van Peebles

    Melvin Van Peebles

    • Play Lyrics Written: Don't Play Us Cheap
    Melvin "Block" Van Peebles (born August 21, 1932) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, novelist and composer. He is most famous for creating the acclaimed film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, which heralded a new era of African-American focused films. He is the father of actor and director Mario Van Peebles. Van Peebles was born in Chicago, Illinois to a black tailor. He joined the Air Force in 1954, thirteen days after graduating (B.A., 1953) from Ohio Wesleyan University, staying for three and a half years. He married a German woman, Maria Marx. They lived in Mexico for a brief period, where he painted portraits, before coming back to the United States, where he started driving cable cars in San Francisco. Van Peebles began writing about his experiences as a cable car driver. What evolved from an initially small article and a series of photographs was Van Peebles' first book, The Big Heart. One day, a passenger suggested that Van Peebles should become a filmmaker. He shot his first short film, Pickup Men for Herrick, in 1957. He made two more short films during the same period. According to Van Peebles, "I thought they were features. Each one turned out to
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    243
    Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith

    • Play Lyrics Written: Emmanuel: A Musical Celebration of the Life of Christ
    Michael Whitaker Smith (born October 7, 1957) is an American contemporary Christian musician, who has charted primarily in the contemporary Christian and occasionally in the mainstream charts. His biggest success in mainstream music was in 1991 when "Place in this World" hit No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Smith is a three-time Grammy Award winner, and has earned 40 Dove Awards. Over the course of his career, he sold more than 13 million albums and recorded 29 No. 1 Hit songs, fourteen gold albums, and five platinum albums. Smith is an American Music Award recipient; he was also named one of People magazine's "Most Beautiful People". Michael Whitaker Smith was born to Paul and Barbara Smith in Kenova, West Virginia. His father was an oil refinery worker at the Ashland Oil Refinery, one of the ten largest oil refineries in the world, in nearby Catlettsburg, Kentucky and his mother was a caterer. He inherited his love of baseball from his father, who had played in the minor leagues. As a child, he developed a love of music through his church. He learned piano at an early age and sang in his church choir. At the age of 10, he had "an intense spiritual experience" that led to his
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    244
    Phil Collins

    Phil Collins

    • Play Lyrics Written: Tarzan
    Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins, LVO (born 30 January 1951) is an English singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist and actor best known as a drummer and vocalist for British progressive rock group Genesis and as a solo artist. Collins sang the lead vocals on several chart hits in the United Kingdom and the United States between 1975 and 2010, either as a solo artist or with Genesis. His singles, sometimes dealing with lost love, ranged from the drum-heavy "In the Air Tonight", dance pop of "Sussudio", piano-driven "Against All Odds", to the political statements of "Another Day in Paradise". Collins's professional music career began as a drummer, originally in a band called The Real Thing with Andrea Bertorelli, who later became his first wife. Collins played drums and shared lead vocals (with Brian Chatton) in Flaming Youth which recorded one album, (Ark II). In 1970, he took over drums for Genesis, which had already recorded two albums. In Genesis, Collins originally supplied backing vocals for front man Peter Gabriel, singing lead on only two songs: "For Absent Friends" from 1971's Nursery Cryme album and "More Fool Me" from Selling England by the Pound, which was released in
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    245

    Ralph Blane

    • Play Lyrics Written: Meet Me in St. Louis
    Ralph Blane (July 26, 1914 – November 13, 1995) was an American composer, lyricist, and performer. Born Ralph Uriah Hunsecker in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Blane was the son of grocery store owners. He attended Tulsa Central High School. He began his career as a radio singer for NBC in the 1930s before turning to Broadway, where he was featured in New Faces of 1936, Hooray for What!, and Louisiana Purchase. He contributed the lyrics and music to Best Foot Forward (1941) and Three Wishes for Jamie (1952). With partner Hugh Martin, Blane penned many American standards for the stage and MGM musicals. The team's best-known songs include "The Boy Next Door", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song", all written for the 1944 film musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Facing the challenge of writing a song about a trolley, the duo visited a public library, and in a book they found the caption "Clang, clang, clang went the trolley", which formed the nucleus for the lyric of their song, which earned them their first Oscar nomination (their second was for "Pass That Peace Pipe", written in collaboration with Roger Edens for the 1947 film adaptation of Good News). Meet Me in St.
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    246

    Robert Lopez

    • Play Lyrics Written: Avenue Q
    Robert Lopez (born February 23, 1975) is an American composer and lyricist of musicals, best known for co-creating The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q, receiving Tony Awards for both works. A native of the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village, Robert Lopez became interested in songwriting from an early age (he wrote his first song at 7.) He attended Hunter College High School and received a B.A. in English from Yale University, where he was a member of the Yale Spizzwinks(?). In 1998, while participating in the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, he met another aspiring songwriter, Jeff Marx. Their first project together, Kermit, Prince of Denmark, a Muppet parody of Hamlet, won the Kleban Award for lyrics, though The Jim Henson Company rejected the script, saying it did not have enough "kid appeal." The story was considered for the next Muppet film by Chris Curtin in 2004, until Chris left the Disney Company. Highlights from the unproduced musical were performed by Rick Lyon, Rebecca Jones, and Susan Blackwell at the BMI Workshop. In 1999, Lopez and Marx, who collaborate on both music and lyrics, began work on Avenue Q, a stage musical which, using puppet
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    247
    Stephen Trask

    Stephen Trask

    • Play Lyrics Written: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
    Stephen Trask (born 1967) is an American musician and composer, who graduated from Wesleyan University. He was the music director and house band member at the New York club Squeezebox, where he performed with stars such as Debbie Harry, Lene Lovich and Joey Ramone. Trask composed the music and lyrics for the off-Broadway stage musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (also a 2001 film), about a transsexual rock star named Hedwig. Trask's real-life band Cheater performed as Hedwig's band "The Angry Inch". He received an Obie Award for the play and a Grammy award nomination for the movie. He has done three films with filmmaker Paul Weitz. He composed the score for 2004's In Good Company and American Dreamz, for which he also co-wrote the numerous songs the contestants sing, as well as the 2009 film Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. Trask also scored the 2003 movies Camp and The Station Agent, as well as Dreamgirls (2006), In the Land of Women (2007), The Savages (2007), and The Back-up Plan (2010), among other works. Recently, he scored the 2010 film Little Fockers, a sequel to both Meet the Parents (2000) and Meet the Fockers (2004). Trask performed with Yoko Ono on July 14, 2007
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    248
    The Beach Boys

    The Beach Boys

    • Play Lyrics Written: Good Vibrations
    The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group initially comprised brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. They were managed early on by the Wilsons' father, Murry. The band's leader, composer, arranger and producer, Brian Wilson, was responsible for writing most of the band's early singles and albums. After signing with Capitol Records in mid-1962, Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits including "Surfin' Safari", "Surfin' USA", "Surfer Girl", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Be True to Your School", "In My Room", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "Dance Dance Dance", "Help Me Rhonda" and "California Girls". These songs and their accompanying albums were internationally popular, making the Beach Boys one of the biggest acts of their time. The band's early music gained popularity across the United States for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. By the mid-1960s, Brian's growing creative ambition and songwriting ability dominated the group's musical direction. The primarily Brian-composed Pet Sounds album
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    249

    Tim Rice

    • Play Lyrics Written: Chess
    Sir Timothy Miles Bindon "Tim" Rice (born 10 November 1944) is a British lyricist and author. An Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning lyricist, Rice is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and additional songs for the 2011 West End revival of The Wizard of Oz, and for his work for Walt Disney Studios with Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, King David), Elton John (The Lion King, Aida) and Ennio Morricone. Rice was born at Shardeloes, an historic English country house near Amersham, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom that was requisitioned as a maternity hospital during World War II. His father, Hugh Gordon Rice, served with the Eighth Army and reached the rank of major during World War II, whilst his mother, Joan Odette (née Bawden), served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) as a photographic interpreter. After the war, they worked for the de Havilland aircraft company. Rice lived in Croxley Green, Radlett and Hatfield, Hertfordshire as a child. Rice was educated at three independent schools: at Aldwickbury School, on
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    250
    Trey Parker

    Trey Parker

    • Play Lyrics Written: The Book of Mormon
    Trey Parker (born Randolph Severn Parker III; October 19, 1969) is an American actor, voice artist, animator, screenwriter, director, producer and musician, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Matt Stone. Parker started his film career in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. His first success came from Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short titled Jesus vs. Santa, which led him and college friend Stone to create South Park, which began airing on television in 1997. He has won four Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning for both "Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour" and "Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour". He co-wrote and co-directed the 2011 multi-Tony Award winning musical The Book of Mormon. Parker was born in Denver, Colorado, the son of Randy (a geologist) and Sharon (an insurance broker). The two share the first names and occupations of South Park characters Randy and Sharon Marsh. He has an older sister named Shelley, which is also the name of Stan Marsh's older sister. In the sixth grade, Parker wrote a sketch titled The Dentist and appeared in his
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