MUSICIANS/COMPOSERS BORN IN INDIANA...
Joshua Bell b. Bloomington, IN 12/9/67Concert violinist. The son of a pyschologist who teaches at Indiana University. Played solo violin for the film, Le Violon Rouge (The Red Violin) (1998) and for the film Iris (2001). Has recorded thirteen albums for London/Decca. Has been called one of the greatest violin talents in 70 years.
Ross Edwin Barbour b. Columbus, IN 12/31/28Singer-spokesman for "The Four Freshman". Appeared with his group in Rich, Young and Pretty (1951) in which they sang with Jane Powell and Vic Damone..."How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning?" Other members were, Bob Flanigan and Don Barbour both of Greencastle, IN and Hal Kratzch.
J. Will Callahan
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The Hoagy Carmichael Songbook
Stardust and Much More
Hoagy Sings Carmichael
Conte and Pete Condoli b.Mishawaka, IN July 12, 1927 and June 28, 1923 Long-time staff musicians on the NBC "Tonight Show". Both appeared in the movie, Bell, Book and Candle and Pete played trumpet in West Side Story. He also played the trumpet for Tony Curtis in the 1958 film, Kings Go Forth . Conte Condoli (real name: Secondo Condoli) died December 14, 2001 after appearing as a trumpet player in David Lynch's 2001 film "Mulholland Drive."
Albert Edwin "Eddie" Condon
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We Called it Music: A Generation of Jazz
Eddie Condon's Scrapbook of Jazz
Scatman Crothers b. Terre Haute, IN 5/23/10d. Van Nuys, CA 11/22/86Composer, singer, band leader, actor. A singer-drummer-musician at local speakeasies when he was only 14, he formed his own band in the 1930's and wrote hundreds of tunes. Went into films in the 1950's and provided a wide variety of characterizations in over 50 films until his death in 1986.
Gretchen Kiger Cryer b. Dunreith, IN 10/17/35Writer, actress, lyricist. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Kiger, Jr. of Dunreith, she graduated from Spiceland H.S. and DePauw University. In collaboration with DePauw classmate Nancy Ford who wrote the music, she wrote the book and lyrics for a number of successful plays based on her experiences growing up in Henry County. Her most personal work is, "I'm Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road." Other plays written with Ms. Ford include, "Now Is The Time For All Good Men," "The Last Sweet Days of Isaac" and "Shelter." Her son Jon Cryer has appeared in many films and TV shows. Daughter Robin has appeared with her mother in Cabaret shows and youngest daughter Shelley works in theatre make-up.
George Daugherty b. Pendleton, IN Producer, Conductor, Composer. Won Emmy for "Die Fledermaus (PBS) in 1985. Produced "Bugs Bunny on Broadway" in 1990. Won Emmy for "Peter and the Wolf" in 1995. Produced and directed "The Magical World of Chuck Jones" in 1991. In 1999 was presented with "Indiana Governor's Arts Award".
Charlie Davis b. Indianapolis, INPopular Indianapolis bandleader ("Charlie Davis and His Joy Gang") achieved national reputation in the 1920's and 1930's with a band which featured Dick Powell as vocalist with other names like Bix Beiderbecke and Hoagy Carmichael working at times with Davis. With the help of Beiderbecke, Davis composed "Copenhagen" which found it's way into the Jazz Hall of Fame. Davis and his band appeared in one movie short for Warner Brothers. It was filmed on the set of "The Front Page".
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That Band from Indiana
NOTE: This book can also be purchased from the Indiana Historical Society
Johnny "Scat" Davis b. Brazil, IN 5/11/10 d. Pecos, TX 11/28/83Trumpeter, scat singer and comedian. Got his first big job with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians. Played for Benny Goodman Orchestra and when the Goodman orchestra was featured in the movie, Hollywood Hotel (1937), Johnny became famous for his vocal rendition of "Hooray for Hollywood." Made a number of recordings with his own Trio and some larger groups. He appeared in 15 feature films. Formed his own band in the late thirties and toured through the forties. Had his own morning program on WXYZ TV in Detroit in 1951-52.
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Fran Frey b. Indianapolis, IN
Janie Frickie (real name Janie Fricke) b.South Whitley, Indiana. Began singing at age 10. Her father was a guitarist and her mother a piano teacher and organist. Moved to Los Angeles and then to Nashville to pursue a singing career. Joined the Lea Jane Singers. She has added background vocals to thousands of records...for people like Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap and Elvis Presley. In 1982 she had her first solo hit number "Don't Worry 'Bout Me, Baby."Other hits..."It Ain't Easy Bein' Easy", "Tell Me a Lie". In the 90's she reverted to the original spelling of her name...Fricke.
Irving (Izzy) Friedman
Wilbur Gumm, (or Gumbinsky) b. Indianapolis, INLyricist/music publisher. Brother of Albert and Harry Von Tilzer, he was a sometimes lyricist with his brother Albert. His brothers, Jules, Jack and Albert were all born in Indianapolis and they all became publishers in Tin Pan Alley primarily publishing songs their brothers (Using their mother's maiden name Tilzer and adding the "Von") composed.
James Frederick Hanley,
Phil Harris (Wonga Philip Harris) b. Linton, IN 1/16/04 d. Rancho Mirage, CA 8/11/95Actor, composer, band leader. Big hits as a vocalist were novelty songs..."That's What I Like About the South" and "The Thing." Voice frequently used for Disney films. Baloo the Bear in Jungle Book...song, "The Bear Necessities"...The Alley Cat in The Aristocats..."Little John" in Robin Hood. Bandleader and regular on "The Jack Benny" radio (and later TV) show for years. While still with Benny, started his own radio show with wife Alice Faye. Eventually left the Benny show to devote full time to his own radio series which was very successful.
Bobby Helms b. Martinsville, IN 1933d. 1997 Best known for his perrenial Christmas hit, "Jingle Bell Rock." This song was even featured on the sound track of "Lethal Weapon" (1987). Also recorded such hits as "My Special Angel," " Fraulein" and a string of top 40 singles and several gold records. Appeared in the movie, The Case Against Brooklyn (1958) as himself.
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Bobby Helms Christmas Album
John Hiatt b.Indianapolis, IN August 20, 1952Singer-songwriter... was host of PBS' "Sessions at West 54th". Has composed songs sung by Paula Abdul, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, The Everly Brothers, Willie Nelson, Three Dog Night, and Bonnie Raitt ("Thing Called Love") Nominated for two Grammy awards for his rerecorded 1998 version of "Have a Little Faith in Me". Composed the title track for "Riding With the King" the Grammy-winning Eric Clapton/B.B. King album in 1983. Just released his 23rd album. Several of his songs will be featured in the 2002 Disney film, The Country Bears starring Haley Joel Osment.
Freddie Hubbard, (Frederick Dwayne Hubbard) b. Indianapolis, IN 4/7/38 Jazz trumpeter. First played and recorded with Wes and Monk Montgomery. Moved to NYC in 1958 and played with J.J. Johnson, Slide Hampton and Sonny Rollins. In 1961, joined Art Blakely's "Jazz Messengers." Composed hit standard, "Up Jumped Spring." Played trumpet for movie, Round Midnight (1986). Won Grammy for "First Light"(1972)
Sylvia Hutton b. Kokomo, INCountry singer, songwriter. Had many country hits in the early '80s. After selling over four million records and scoring several number one hits, she stopped touring and made her home in Nashville. Her extensive television appearances include Austin City Limits, The Country Music Awards, The Grammy Awards, and the Academy of Country Music Awards. The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville is her home base, where she performs with her band or with John Mock. She appeared in the title role of Petronella for a Disney channel movie in the 80's, the only movie she has made.
Michael Jackson b. Gary, IN August 29, 1958.Actor, composer, producer, writer, etc. Played the role of the Scarecrow in the film The Wiz (1978). Best selling albums include "Off the Wall", "Thriller" and "Bad". "Thriller" became the best selling album ever recorded. His "Victory Tour" sold the most tickets in the history of show business. Won MTV award for best movie song in 1994..."Will You Be There" from Free Willy.
Janet Damita Jackson b. Gary,IN 5/16/66 Youngest of the nine children in the Jackson family. Appeared in TV series, Good Times, A New Kind of Family, Diff'rent Strokes and Fame.In the mid- eighties, she made a platinum-selling album, "Control," which was one of the most successful albums ever made by a female artist. In 1989 she won eight prizes at the Billboard Music Awards for her album, "Rhythm Nation 1814." This record produced eight top 5 hits, four of which went to No. 1. Her 1997 album, "The Velvet Rope" recounted her highly publicized emotional breakdown..
James Louis "J.J." Johnson b. Indianapolis, IN January 24, 1924...composer/musician. d. February 4, 2001Johnson started out on the piano as a child. He switched to trombone at age 14 with only high school training and a tutor who was lead trombone in the YMCA band. He became one of the greatest jazz trombonists. Composed musical scores for such movies as, Top of the Heap", "Cleopatra Jones", "Willie Dynamite".
John Cougar Mellencamp b. Seymour, IN October 7, 1951.Actor, director, composer, musician. Appeared in Farm Aid '96 as himself and in Falling from Grace as "Bud Parks". Directed "Falling from Grace" and co-wrote the screenplay with Larry McMurtry (of "Lonesome Dove" fame).
L.E. McCollough b. Speedway, INPlaywright/composer.Wrote music for Ken Burns documentary on women's suffrage aired in November, 1999 on PBS. Also wrote music for Burns' The West" (1996) and Lewis and Clark (1997). He also performed on the sound track of Michael Collins (1996), the Warner Brothers film starring Julia Roberts and Liam Neeson. He wrote the musical on Ernie Pyle debuted at the Indiana Historical Society Theatre. Wrote book for "That Band From Indiana"...the story of the Charlie Davis Band. It was premiered at the Indiana Historical Society September 28, 2000.
Cole Porter b. Peru, IN June 9, 1891d. Santa Monica, CA October 15, 1964The king of sophisticated lyrics and melodies in the 30's, 40's and into the 50's, Cole Porter wrote hit Broadway musicals and later music for the movies. Many of his Broadway hits were made into movies although most were changed so as to be virtually unrecognizable. A few were, Anything Goes", "The Gay Divorce", "DuBarry was a Lady", "Kiss Me Kate" and "Silk Stockings". He was nominated four times for an oscar for "best song", but never won. A few of his tunes were...Night and Day", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Let's Do It", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Begin the Beguine" and "Just One of Those Things".
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Night and Day: The Cole Porter Songbook
Danny Polo b. Toluca, Illinois, December 22, 1901. d. Chicago, IL, July 11, 1949.Born in Illinois, but was brought as an infant to Clinton, Indiana where he grew up a child prodigy as a musician. He was proclaimed by Benny Goodman as "the world's greatest clarinet player." At age eight, he was playing guitar, saxophone and clarinet in the Majestic band in his hometown's proud Italian marching ensemble. He played in dance halls and in theatres all through his high school years. He and Terre Haute native Claude Thornhill formed a teenage novelty duo and appeared with several orchestras in the area. He made his way to Chicago and began playing in a variety of orchestras and then formed his own, "Danny Polo and His Swing Stars" in 1936. He toured Europe and then joined Ray Ventura's Orchestra in Paris, adding the oboe to his repertoire. In 1939 he went to New York to join Joe Sullivan's New York Cafe Society Band. During this hitch, he played with the fabled Jack Teegarden and played the clarinet behind Bing Crosby in Birth of the Blues. He recorded with Coleman Hawkins and others and then reunited with Claude Thornhill. He died at age 48 from a bleeding ulcer in Chicago. He is buried in Clinton's Walnut Grove Cemetery.
J. Russel Robinson
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Songs of Ned Rorem
W. Axl Rose,
David Lee Roth b. Bloomington, IN October 10, 1954 formerly a member of "Van Halen". Musician and actor. Appeared in "L.A. is My Lady" in 1984 and "Spaceballs" in 1987.
Chris Rutkowski b. Indianapolis, IN... composer/arranger, he is also a storyboard artist. He has worked on such films as, "The Return of Jafar", "Aladdin and the King of Thieves" and "Mighty Ducks, the Movie".
Bobby Sherwood (Robert J. Sherwood, Jr.) b. Indianapolis, 5/30/14d. Auburn, MA 1/23/81Actor and composer. He had his own orchestra, was a game show host on television ("Quick As a Flash" 1953), was a panelist on "Masqerade Party" from 1954 to 1957, and was a regular on "The Red Buttons Show" (1952). His last film was Pal Joey in 1957. Among his musical compositions was "Sherwood's Forest."
Connie Smith b. Elkhart, IN August 14, 1941 Country singer. Dolly Parton said, "There are only three great singers, Connie Smith, Barbra Streisand and Linda Ronstadt. The rest of us are just pretending." She was the first female country artist to have a number one record for eight weeks. She quit show business to raise her five children and just recently returned with a new album simply entitled, "Connie Smith." Warner Brothers has signed her to a contract. Her biggest hit was, "Once a Day" in 1964. She Appeared in at least four films..."Road to Nashville," "Las Vegas Hillbillies," "Hell on Wheels" and "Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar."
Jules Stein b. South Bend, IN April 26, 1896d.April 29, 1981Not a composer or lyricist, Jules Stein nevertheless was a giant in the music industry. Trained as a physician, he went into business in Chicago with Billy Goodheart, Jr. booking musical acts under the name Music Corporation of America. His company (MCA), became the largest theatrical and musical agency in the world. It eventually was purchased by Universal Studios. Given the Jean Hersholt award in 1976.
Albert Von Tilzer
Harry Von Tilzer
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Ivory "Deek" Watson b. Indianapolis, IN 1909d. November 1969Composer/performer. "Deek" Watson, Orville "Hoppy" Jones, Charles Fuqua and Jerry Daniels started performing as a quartet in Indianapolis in 1932 calling themselves, "The Riff Brothers" and later "The Percolating Puppies". They finally decided to call themselves "The Ink Spots". In 1936 Bill Kenny replaced Jerry Daniels as the lead singer and they recorded their biggest hit, "If I didn't Care". This group appeared in two movies, " The Great American Broadcast" (1941) in which they sang, "If I Didn't Care" and "Pardon My Sarong" (1942) in which they sang, "Do I Worry?". Watson went on to appear as himself in "Boy! What a Girl" (1947) with a group calling themselves "The Brown Dots". Watson also composed songs for this film. Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
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