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Singer, Jazz

Feinstein, Michael

  • LC88626481
  • Personne
  • 1956-09-07 -

Michael Jay Feinstein (born September 7, 1956) is an American singer, pianist, and music revivalist. He is an interpreter of, and an anthropologist and archivist for, the repertoire known as the Great American Songbook. He currently serves as Artistic Director for The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana.
Feinstein was born and raised in Columbus, OH, where he started playing the piano by ear at age 5. He worked in local piano bars after graduating from high school and moved to LA when he was 20, where he was introduced to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years; this assignment led to six years of researching, cataloguing and preserving the unpublished sheet music and rare recordings in Gershwin's home which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.
By the mid-1980s, Feinstein was a nationally known cabaret singer-pianist famed for being a dedicated proponent of the Great American Songbook. In 1986, he recorded his first CD, Pure Gershwin (1987), a collection of music by George and Ira Gershwin. He followed this in quick succession with Live at the Algonquin (1986); Remember: Michael Feinstein Sings Irving Berlin (1987); Isn't It Romantic (1988), a collection of standards and his first album backed by an orchestra; and Over There (1989), featuring the music of America and Europe during the First World War.
By 1988, Feinstein was starring on Broadway in a series of in-concert shows and in the early 1990s, Feinstein embarked on an ambitious songbook project wherein he performed an album featuring the music of a featured composer, often accompanied by the composer; he proceeded to release a number of albums on several labels through 1989. In 1999, Feinstein lent his name to a new nightclub in New York located in the Regency Hotel, as Feinstein's at the Regency became a venue for sophisticated cabaret entertainers including its namesake. In the late 1990s, Feinstein recorded two more albums of Gershwin music: Nice Work If You Can Get It: Songs by the Gershwins (1996) and Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin (1998).
In 2000, the Library of Congress appointed Feinstein to its newly formed National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to safeguarding America's musical heritage. Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014. Feinstein's memoir The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs about working for Ira Gershwin was published in the fall of 2012, accompanied by a CD of Feinstein performing the Gershwin brothers' music discussed in the book. Feinstein opened his new nightclub, Feinstein's at the Nikko in San Francisco's Nikko Hotel in May 2013, Feinstein's/54 Below at New York's Studio 54 in 2015 and also plans for a future nightclub in London.

Carmichael, Hoagy, 1899-1981

  • LC50032462
  • Personne
  • 1899-11-22 - 1981-12-27

Hoagland Howard Carmichael was an American jazz singer-songwriter. Born and raised mostly in central Indiana, Carmichael's only real musical training were piano and voice lessons from his mother when he was a child. He attended high school and college in Bloomington, Indiana, playing piano and travelling around Indiana with his friend Bix Beiderbecke. Carmichael would eventually earn a law degree in 1926. He passed the Indiana bar exam but devoted most of his time to writing music. He recorded his first major song, "Star Dust," in late 1927, playing the piano himself and accompanied by Bix and members of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. By 1929, with some limited success with other songs like "Washboard Blues," Carmichael gave up trying to be a lawyer and moved to New York City. There he met sheet music producer Irving Mills. Mills published "Star Dust" as "Stardust", with lyrics by Mitchell Parish added, as well as "Rockin' Chair". The latter was recorded by Louis Armstrong and quickly became a hit; the former finally saw commercial success when it was recorded by Isham Jones the next year in 1930. "Stardust" would be recorded again and again by a number of other famous artists for the next several decades.
Carmichael followed up his successes with another jazz standard, "Georgia on My Mind." Then, in 1933, he met up-and-coming lyricist Johnny Mercer. The pair went on to write several dozen songs, the most popular of which were "Lazybones," "Moon Country," and "In the Cool, Cool, Cool, of the Evening." Carmichael also began performing professionally. In 1936 he moved cross-country to Hollywood, working as a contracted songwriter for Paramount Pictures and occasionally acting as a character actor while continuing to write individual songs. In 1941 his continuing collaboration with Johnny Mercer produced another instant hit: "Skylark." The 1940s were arguably the peak of Carmichael's career, with numerous recordings, acting roles, and radio programs; the 1950s were filled with appearances in television variety shows. Aside from Ray Charles' 1960 hit recording of "Georgia On My Mind," however, Carmichael's songwriting career waned in the era of rock'n'roll and never recovered. He died of heart failure at the age of 82.

Bennett, Tony, 1926-

  • LC85006632
  • Personne
  • 1926-08-03 -

Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born in Queens to Italian parents. He grew up poor and began singing for money in restaurants at age 13. He briefly attended New York's School of Industrial Art, learning painting and music, but dropped out at age 16 to work and support his family. Bennett was drafted into the US Army in late 1944 and was part of the military force that pushed the German army out of France and back into their homeland. He remained briefly as part of the occupying force after the end of the war, and was assigned to sing with a special services band entertaining American forces. He returned to the US in 1946 and studied at the American Theatre Wing. It was during this period that he developed the technique of imitating the style and phrasing of other artists that helped him learn to improvise while performing.
In 1949, Bennett was invited by singer Pearl Bailey to open for one of her shows. Bob Hope attended the performance and hired Bennett to perform with him on his tours. Bennett signed with Columbia Records the next year, and recorded his first hit "Because of You" a year after that. For the rest of the 1950s he continued to be a certifiable hit. In August 1956 he hosted a temporary television variety show, "The Tony Bennett Show," in Perry Como's NBC slot as part of a summer show series that also featured Patti Page and Julius La Rosa. Bennett would do so again in 1959.
Despite the arrival of rock'n'roll, Bennett continued to release a steady stream of popular and jazz albums and remained a highly popular nightclub performer. In 1962, he sang as part of the initial broadcast of the "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and recorded one of his most famous songs, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". Unfortunately, however, the 1970s were not kind to Bennett. Attempts to get into acting, recording more contemporary songs, and even starting his own record label all failed; by 1979 Bennett was rarely performing outside of Las Vegas clubs, was all but bankrupt, and had developed a drug addiction. He turned to his adult children for help, and his oldest son Danny became his manager.
In the late 1980s and into the '90s, Bennett worked to reintroduce his music to a new generation of listeners back in New York City. He recorded several successful themed albums and even appeared on MTV in 1994. He continued to tour and record well into his 80s.

Cole, Nat King, 1919-1965

  • LC84072857
  • Personne
  • 1919-03-17 - 1965-02-15

Nat "King" Cole was an American jazz pianist and singer noted for his small jazz ensembles. Born in Alabama and raised in Chicago, Cole learned to play organ and piano, and after only a few years of formal training, dropped out of school at 15 to be a jazz pianist. He recorded a few singles with his brother, Eddie, and played in a revival of the musical "Shuffle Along". In the late 1930s he played in clubs; upon the request of a club owner, he hired bassist Wesley Prince and guitarist Oscar Moore to form the King Cole Trio. Cole had his first hit performing "Sweet Lorraine" in 1940 for Capitol Records, for whom he would record for almost his entire career.
By the end of World War II, Cole paid for his own 15-minute radio program, the first ever sponsored by a black musician, and continued to record. His popularity kept growing. At the end of 1956, NBC debuted "The Nat King Cole Show," a television variety show. It was the first television program ever hosted by an African American. Despite Cole's immense popularity, the show failed to attract a national sponsor and only lasted a year on air. Despite this, and changing tastes in music going into the 1960s, Cole was still a huge music star and continued recording hits. He was particularly well-known for a series of Spanish-language albums in 1958, '59, and '62 that extended his popularity into Latin American as well as the United States. He also continued to appear onscreen in television shows and short films.
Cole died of lung cancer at the age of 45.

Boswell Sisters

  • LC82024090
  • Collectivité
  • 1920s - 1936

The Boswell Sisters were an American all-female singing group of three sisters: Martha (June 9, 1905 – July 2, 1958), Connee (December 3, 1907 – October 11, 1976), and Helvetia (May 20, 1911 – November 12, 1988). They were noted for their close harmonies and unconventional renditions of popular songs, and are considered some of the first stars of mass entertainment due to their success on the radio. The group was a huge influence on later female singers such as the Andrews Sisters and Ella Fitzgerald.
Raised in New Orleans, the sisters got into ragtime and jazz and were performing regularly in vaudeville shows in their early teens. They signed with Victor Records in 1925 and toured for several years before settling in Los Angeles in 1929 and began appearing in radio programs and recording music for films. They did not attract national attention, however, until they moved to New York in 1930 and started singing in national radio broadcasts. They recorded for Brunswick Records between 1931 and 1935, issuing a series of recordings with the Glenn Miller Orchestra that are now considered milestones of vocal jazz for their experimentation with rhythm, harmony, and tempo. They also performed in several movies and toured Europe twice during the same period. In 1936 the trio signed with Decca, but suddenly broke up soon after. Connee continued a successful solo career with Decca into the 1940s, performing on the radio with Bing Crosby on a number of occasions, as well as singing in several more films.