Showing 176 resultsAuthority record
- 1955-05-05 -
David Hummel is an American composer and musician who has been writing music professionally for radio and television since he was 16 years old. He is also a proficient player of several musical instruments, as well as all musical computer programs. He was born on May 5, 1955, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and currently resides in Virginia. David is best known for his work on Ghostbusters II (1989), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), and Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993). David moved his family from Los Angeles to Virginia after his brother-in-law was killed in action in Iraq in 2005. He continues to work with his clients across the country via the internet. Dave is married and has one son who was born in 2005.
- 1899-12-16 - 1973-03-26
Noël Coward was an English playwright and composer who is best known in the United States for his plays, musical comedies, and operettas. His writing was famous for its sharp wit and often risque subject matter.
Born in southwest London, Coward got into acting as a young child. His first official performance was in "The Goldfish" at age 11. He continued acting onstage through World War I, and began writing his own plays as well. In 1921 Coward visited the United States for the first time and, although he failed to interest any serious producers in his work at that time, took a number of lessons away from his observations of Broadway. He achieved his first real success in 1924 with "The Vortex". For the rest of the 1920s Coward was writing and producing his plays, often acting in them as well, and also performing in others' works. He worked on both sides of the Atlantic, and the Great Depression did little to slow him. He wrote, performed, and added recording his songs to his repertoire as well. Some of his better-known works are "Fallen Angels", "Hay Fever", "Private Lives", the revue "On with the Dance", and the operetta "Bitter Sweet". Coward spent much of World War II touring and entertaining Allied troops.
Compared to his early career, Coward's post-war works were only moderately successful. He became better known for his cabaret act, performing in London and then in Las Vegas in 1954 and 1955. He also had parts in several movies. However, he achieved new prominence after a wave of revivals of his plays in the 1960s and '70s, as well as revues of his significant musical repertoire. Coward's image became synonymous with 20th century English theater, an association that amused him. He referred to his renewed popularity as "Dad's Renaissance."
Coward died of heart failure at the age of 73.
- 1867-03-21 - 1932-07-22
- 1891-06-09 - 1964-10-15
- 1925-12-08 - 1990-05-16
Sammy Davis Jr. was an American actor, singer, and dancer. He also had several comedic routines and was noted for his impressions of other celebrities. Born to and raised by vaudevillian parents, Davis learned to act, sing, and dance at a young age. He toured with his father for much of his childhood and performed as part of the Will Mastin Trio until World War II. During the war he belonged to an integrated entertainment unit. After the war he returned to performing with the Will Mastin Trio, and recorded blues albums for Capitol. In 1954 he performed the title song for the film "Six Bridges to Cross"; two years later he starred in the Broadway musical "Mr. Wonderful."
In 1959 Davis became a part of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack" and appeared in several movies as part of the group, such as 1960's "Ocean's 11". They performed regularly together in Las Vegas, where Davis had to deal with the effects of continued segregation. He continued to act and record through the 1960s and '70s.
Davis was in a car accident in 1954 in which he lost his left eye. He wore a glass eye for the rest of his life. He also converted to Judaism in 1961. Davis died from throat cancer at the age of 64.
- 1942-04-24 -
- 1904-01-24 - 1995-08-11
- 1961 -
Will Friedwald is an American author as well as jazz and cabaret critic. He has authored nine books and nearly five hundred liner notes for compact discs, for which he has received eight Grammy nominations. He has written for newspapers and magazines include Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Sun, The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, BBC Music Magazine, and Oxford American, among other publications.
- 1904-08-21 - 1984-04-26
William James "Count" Basie is one of America's best-known jazz musicians. He was a pianist, bandleader, and composer. As a teenager and young adult in the 1920s, Basie met and performed with a variety of recognized names in Harlem: Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Fats Waller, among others. In 1929 he joined up with Bennie Moten in Kansas City, acting as both pianist and co-arranger for the band. When Moten died in 1936, Basie formed his own band, largely from its former members. It was this core group that ended up improvising their way into one of Basie's early hits, "One O'Clock Jump," and brought them to the attention of record producers.
After an extended engagement in Chicago that allowed "Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm" to refine their sound, Basie moved the band back to Harlem. They played at the Woodside Hotel, the Roseland Ballroom, and eventually the Savoy. Although Basie hired arrangers for the band, the group often worked out their numbers in rehearsals and then performed the partially improvised pieces from memory. In 1939, the band did a cross-country tour and performed on the West Coast for the first time. Although World War II caused a lot of member turnover, Basie remained famous for keeping an enthusiastic band that played with infectious good cheer and featured a continuous string of talented jazz instrumentalists and singers. However, declining interest in swing and traditional big band sound led him to disband the group after the war ended.
But Basie continued to perform with other groups, and in 1952 he ended up reforming his group with new members, working strains of bebop, rhythm and blues, and early rock'n'roll into his arrangements and working as a more organized ensemble than he had previously. In 1958, Basie headed to Europe with the new band. Post-war Europe loved jazz and had already welcomed a number of American expatriates who were happy to perform with Basie's band. The 1960s were filled with tours, television appearances, and recording with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Tony Bennett. Basie maintained the classic big band sound into the 1980s despite music trends and more changes in personnel. He died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 79. The band, led by former members, continues to record and perform today.