I was born into a family of musicians, and grew up around the music business in the Los Angeles area. Both of my parents sang in the studios during the movie making of the ‘40’s (my mother was the one of the voices of the “Munchkins” in “THE WIZARD OF OZ”, along with many other film scores from the 40's). I can still remembers walking onto the recording stages and on-air radio studios of Hollywood as a child in awe, watching music being created. It will always be a magical experience for me, even after my own three or four decades of working in recording and film music!
I studied music at UCLA, and began recording and performing work while still a student. While I was still a student at UCLA, Herb Alpert and Lou Adler (Herb later established A&M Records with partner Jerry Moss, and had a string of hits with his TIJUANA BRASS projects, and Lou Adler had huge successes as a producer with artists such as "MAMAS & PAPAS", THE ASSOCIATION, etc.) produced together a single artist recording of me, singing two songs I had written. The record was released on "DOT" Records. Thus began my wonderful fascination with the business of music. That record however, got no further than "#10" on the charts in Connecticut!
While still in college I toured with Ray Conniff on his first two concert appearance tours as an artist - hence my poor grades in French 3! I also traveled with Nat “King” Cole as a singer-dancer, wore pink feathers and sequins in Las Vegas production numbers, and then eventually settled into the life of a “session singer” in the Los Angeles area, working on commercials, phonograph recordings, television variety shows and film scores. My first few projects in town were two seasons as a singer-dancer on the DANNY KAYE show, plus the RED SKELTON SHOW, THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, and SMOTHER BROTHERS, all on CBS.
I've enjoyed working as a singer and/or vocal contractor on over six hundred Theatrical and Television Film scores over the last three-plus decades. In the seventies and late sixties I worked primarily on commercials, television series scores and recording projects, and I was visible for a brief period of time (as opposed to all the work as an off-camera performer) as the on-camera television spokesperson for KBIG AM Radio Station in Los Angeles from 1978 - 1982.
I had some wonderful experiences traveling for short spurts on the road with Burt Bacharach for about ten years, performing as featured soloist in concerts throughout the United States, Australia, South America, and the Philippines. How wonderful to be making beautiful music and seeing the most beautiful and interesting parts of our world at the same time!
I also have had the great pleasure of writing lyrics for Dave Grusin, Burt Bacharach, Don Ellis, Dominic Frontieri, Dick Di Bennedictus, Mike Melvoin and Artie Kane for a number of film, television and recording projects.
I began to expand my work into the fields of vocal contracting and chorale direction in the mid-eighties, and have been working continually in the field, focusing in more recent years on film score projects and television. I have had the pleasure of serving as Chorale Director for the Academy Awards Broadcasts under Bill Conti’s musical direction (with one or two years along the way when Marvin Hamlisch and Bill Ross took the podium) for about twenty years. Last February we just completed the 80th Annual Academy Awards Broadcast!
One of the most fun projects I've been associated with is the singing of the Main Title of “THE SIMPSONS”, and the special musical material done on the show with Alf Clausen, composer, which now is in its 18th season on the air.
It has truly been a blessing to have been part of the great community of session singers in Hollywood for four decades now. I learned so much from the gifted people who came before me, and I'm proud and grateful to still be significantly attached to our business.
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