Friday, July 25, 2008

The Sherman Brothers, songwriters

The Sherman Brothers are Academy Award-winning American songwriters who specialize in musical films. They are Robert B. Sherman (born December 19, 1925) and Richard M. Sherman (born June 12, 1928). The Sherman Brothers wrote more motion picture musical song scores than any other songwriting team in history, working for Walt Disney during the last six years of his life. Film scores of the Sherman Brothers include Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats and The Tigger Movie.

"Jolly Holiday"
Words and Music by Robert Sherman and Richard Sherman
Performed by Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews, & ensemble
From the film "Mary Poppins"

"I Wan'na Be Like You"
Words and Music by Robert Sherman and Richard Sherman
Performed by Louis Prima
From the film "The Jungle Book"

"It's a Small World"
Words and Music by Robert Sherman and Richard Sherman
Narrated by Walt Disney

"Let's Get Together"
Words and Music by Robert Sherman and Richard Sherman
Performed by Hayley Mills & Hayley Mills
From the film "The Parent Trap"

"On The Front Porch"
Words and Music by Robert Sherman and Richard Sherman
Performed by Burl Ives
From the film "Summer Magic"

Authors who moonlighted as songwriters, (#1)

Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893–June 7, 1967) was an American writer and poet, best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp 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, a group she would later disdain. Parker survived three marriages (two to the same man) and several suicide attempts, but grew increasingly dependent on alcohol. Although she would come to dismiss her own talents and deplore her reputation as a "wisecracker," her literary output and her sparkling wit have endured long past her death.

"I Wished On the Moon"
Words & Music by Dorothy Parker and Ralph Rainger
Performed by Billie Holliday with The Teddy Wilson Orchestra

Michael O'Donoghue (January 5, 1940 - November 8, 1994) was a 20th century American writer and performer. He was known for his dark and destructive style of comedy and humor, was a major contributor to National Lampoon magazine, and was the first head writer of the highly influential American television program Saturday Night Live.

"Single Women"
Words & Music by Michael O'Donoghue
Performed by Dolly Parton

William Saroyan (August 31, 1908 - May 18, 1981) was an American author. A few of his early short articles were published in The Overland Monthly. His first stories appeared in the 1930s. Among these was "The Broken Wheel", written under the name Sirak "Goryan" and published in the Armenian journal Hairenik in 1933. Many of Saroyan's stories were based on his childhood experiences among the Armenian-American fruit growers of the San Joaquin Valley, or dealt with the rootlessness of the immigrant. The short story collection My Name is Aram (1940), an international bestseller, was about a young boy and the colorful characters of his immigrant family. It has been translated into many languages.

"Come On-A My House"
Words & Music by William Saroyan and Ross Bagdasarian
Performed by Rosemary Clooney
Song starts around 1:40, Look for Ross Bagdasarian (see below) as the song promoter!

And while we're here...

Rostom Sipan Bagdasarian aka Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.
(January 27, 1919 – January 16, 1972) was an American pianist, singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. In his professional life, he was better known by the stage name David Seville, which he used on his recordings featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks. Bagdasarian was of Armenian descent. As a young man, Bagdasarian was in the Broadway cast of The Time of Your Life, written by his famous cousin, William Saroyan. Bagdasarian's first musical success was the song he wrote with Saroyan, "Come on-a My House", sung by Rosemary Clooney.

"The Chipmunk Song"
Words & Music by Ross Bagdasarian
Performed by David Seville & the Chipmunks

Monday, July 21, 2008

Randy Newman, songwriter

Randall Stuart “Randy” Newman (born November 28, 1943) is an Academy Award–winning American songwriter, arranger, composer, singer and pianist who is notable for his mordant (and often satirical) pop songs and for his many film scores. Newman was born in Los Angeles, California. As an infant, Newman moved with his family to New Orleans, Louisiana. He lived in New Orleans as a small child and spent summers there until he was eleven years old, when he returned to Los Angeles. The paternal side of his family includes three uncles who were noted Hollywood film-score composers: Alfred Newman, Lionel Newman and Emil Newman. Newman's cousins Thomas and David, and nephew Joey are also composers for motion pictures. Graduated from University High, Los Angeles. Newman attended the University of California, Los Angeles.

"Mama Told Me Not To Come"
Words and Music by Randy Newman
Performed by Three Dog Night

"Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear"
Words and Music by Randy Newman
Performed by Fozzie (Frank Oz) and Scooter (Richard Hunt)

"You Can Leave Your Hat On"
Words and Music By Randy Newman
Performed by Tom Jones

"I Think It's Going To Rain Today"
Words and Music by Randy Newman
Performed by Randy Newman

"Knock The Cover Off The Ball"
Music by Randy Newman
From the film "The Natural

Same songwriter. Different year. (#4)

Robbie Nevil (born Robert S Nevil, 2 October 1958, in Los Angeles, California) is an American pop singer-songwriter/producer/guitarist. Nevil's self-titled debut album in 1986 gave him a string of Billboard Hot 100 hits. He is best remembered for the song "C'est La Vie," a #1 dance hit that spent two weeks at #2 on the Hot 100 in early 1987. Between 1986 and 1991, Nevil recorded three solo albums, the self-titled first being the most successful. In recent years, Nevil has been more involved in producing and writing for other artists than in solo performance. He co-wrote three songs on the chart-topping High School Musical soundtrack: "The Start of Something New", "We're All In This Together" and "I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." He co-wrote the theme song to Hannah Montana, "The Best of Both Worlds", and co-wrote three other songs that appear on the Hannah Montana soundtrack album.

"C'est La Vie"
Words and Music by Mark Holding, Robbie Nevil, Duncain Pain
Performed by Robbie Nevil

"Best of Both Worlds"
Words and Music by Matthew Gerrard & Robbie Nevil
Performed by Miley Cyrus

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gus Kahn, songwriter

Gustav Gerson Kahn (November 6, 1886 – October 8, 1941) was a musician, songwriter and lyricist. Kahn was born in Koblenz, Germany in 1886. The family immigrated to the United States and moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1890. After graduating from high school, he worked as a clerk in a mail order business before launching one of the most successful and prolific careers from Tin Pan Alley.

"Toot, Toot Tootsie!"
Words & Music by Gus Kahn, Ted Fiorito, Robert King, & Ernie Erdman
Performed by Al Jolson

"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
Words & Music by Gus Kahn, Fabian Andre, & Wilbur Schwandt
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald

"It Had to Be You"
Words & Music by Gus Kahn & Isham Jones
Performed by Harry Connick, Jr.

"Makin' Whoopee"
Words & Music by Gus Kahn & Walter Donaldson
Performed by Eddie Cantor

Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, songwriters

Kenneth Gamble (born on August 11, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and Leon Huff (born April 8, 1942 in Camden, New Jersey) are an American songwriting and record production team. Gamble and Huff have, both separately and together, written and produced over 170 gold and platinum records and were pioneers of Philadelphia soul and the in-house creative team for the Philadelphia International record label. On March 10, 2008 the team was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the non-performer category.

"Me and Mrs. Jones"
Words & Music by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, & Cary Grant Gilbert
Performed by Billy Paul

"You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine"
Words & Music by Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff
Performed by Lou Rawls

"For The Love of Money"
Words & Music by Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff
Performed by The O'Jays

"If You Don't Know Me"
Words & Music by Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff
Performed by Patti LaBelle

"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"
Words & Music by Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff
Performed by Stevie Wonder & Diana Ross

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jim Steinman, songwriter

Jim Steinman (born November 1, 1947 in New York City, New York) is an American record producer, composer, and lyricist 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/techno, pop, musical theater, and film score genres. His work includes the Meat Loaf albums 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)", Barry Manilow's "Read 'Em and Weep" and Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now."

"Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad"
Words and Music by Jim Steinman
Performed by Meat Loaf

"Making Love Out of Nothing At All
Words and Music by Jim Steinman
Performed by Air Supply

"Total Eclipse of The Heart"
Words and Music by Jim Steinman
Performed by Bonnie Tyler

"Paradise By The Dashboard Light"
Words and Music by Jim Steinman
Performed by Meat Loaf & Ellen Foley

"Holding Out For a Hero"
Words and Music by Jim Steinman & Dean Pitchford
Performed by Bonnie Tyler

Bob Nolan, Songwriter

Bob Nolan (April 13, 1908 - June 16, 1980) was a Canadian-born singer, songwriter, and actor. Born Clarence Robert Nobles on April 13, 1908 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, at the age of thirteen he moved to live with his father, Harry, in Tucson, Arizona. Harry had changed his name to Nolan and it was as Bob Nolan that he began a career as a singer. In 1933, with Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers) and Tim Spencer, he became a co-founder of the singing group the Sons of the Pioneers for which he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980. The Sons of the Pioneers recorded a great number of albums for Columbia, Decca and RCA Victor.

"Cool Water"
Words and Music by Bob Nolan
Performed by Marty Robbins

"When Pay Day Rolls Around"
Words and Music by Bob Nolan
Performed by Wesley Tuttle

"Tumbling Tumbleweeds"
Words and Music by Bob Nolan
Performed by The Sons of the Pioneers

"Cool Water"
Words and Music by Bob Nolan
Performed by The Sons of the Pioneers