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Monday, 30 September 2013

Jill Corey born 30 September 1935



Jill Corey (born September 30, 1935) is a retired American traditional pop singer.

Born Norma Jean Speranza in Avonmore, Pennsylvania, about forty miles east of Pittsburgh, a coal mining community, Corey was the youngest of five children. She began singing as an imitator of Carmen Miranda at family gatherings and on amateur shows in grade school.

At the age of 13, she began to develop her own style. She won first prize at a talent contest sponsored by the Lions Club, entitling her to sing a song on a local radio station. This got her invited to have
her own program. By the age of 14 she was working seven nights a week, earning $5 a night, with a local orchestra led by Johnny Murphy. By the age of 17 she was a local celebrity talent.

It was suggested by an admirer that she make a tape recording to demonstrate her singing skills to the outside show business world. She made the recording at the home of the only owner of a tape recorder in town, with trains going by in the background and no accompaniment. But the tape came to the attention of Mitch Miller, who headed the artists & repertory section at Columbia Records. He normally received over 100 record demos a week, and this one, with a 17-year-old girl and its train background, would not have been likely to gain his attention. He telephoned her in Avonmore, and the next morning she flew to New York to be heard by Miller in a more normal studio setting. Miller had Life
Magazine send over reporters and photographers, and had her audition with Arthur Godfrey and Dave Garroway. The Life photographers reenacted her signing a contract with Columbia, and all this happened in a single day, with her headed back to Avonmore that night.

Both Garroway and Godfrey called her, and it was her choice to pick one; she picked Garroway, who took the name Jill Corey out of a telephone book. Within six weeks the Life article, with a cover picture and seven pages, came out. Jill Corey became the youngest star ever at the Copacabana nightclub, and had numerous hit records.



 

 "Let It Be Me" is a popular song originally published in 1955 as "Je t'appartiens". The score was written and first recorded by Gilbert Bécaud. The lyrics were penned in French by Pierre Delanoë. The English language version used lyrics by Mann Curtis and was performed in 1957 by Jill Corey in the television series Climax!. In 1957 Corey's version, with orchestration by Jimmy Carroll, was released as a single and was moderately successful.


Jill worked on television in New York with Garroway, Robert Q. Lewis, and Ed Sullivan. In 1956 she became a regular on Johnny Carson's CBS-network comedy-variety show from California. In addition, she had her own syndicated radio and television shows, and became the last featured singer on Your Hit Parade. In 1959 she starred in a feature-length musical film for Columbia Pictures, Senior Prom (co-produced by Moe Howard of The Three Stooges).

She gave up her career to marry Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Don Hoak, with whom she had a daughter, Clare. Hoak died of a heart attack after they had been married eight years. 



In the years that followed, Jill attempted, with some success, to re-enter the world of entertainment in regional shows  and revues, though she never quite occupied the same stratospheric level on which she once flew with such seeming effortlessness.
(Info edited mainly from Wikipedia) 


 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Jerry Lee Lewis born 29 September 1925



Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935), also known by the nickname The Killer, is one of the all time great icons of popular music. He is a founding father of Rock and Roll. His unique piano playing is a primal force of modern music. He is one of the great vocalists of popular music. His versatility is as renowned as his originality. As well as Rock and Roll he has made prodigious contributions to Rythum and Blues, Country and Western and Gospel music. He is a charasmatic performer who can command and enthral a live audience like no other. Enormous as his

contribution to music has been he is often just as famous or infamous for his so called wild personal life.

He was born to Elmo and Mamie Lewis on September 29, 1935. Though the family was dirt poor, there was enough money to be had to purchase a third-hand upright piano for the family's country shack in Ferriday, LA. Sharing piano lessons with his two cousins, Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Lee Swaggart, a ten-year old Jerry Lee Lewis showed remarkable aptitude toward the instrument. A visit from piano-playing older cousin Carl McVoy unlocked the secrets to the boogie-woogie styles he was hearing on the radio and across the tracks at Haney's Big House, owned by his uncle, Lee Calhoun, and catering to blacks exclusively. Lewis mixed that up with gospel and country and started coming up with his own style. He even mixed genres in the way he syncopated his rhythms on the piano; his left hand
generally played a rock-solid boogie pattern while his right played the high keys with much flamboyant filigree and showiness, equal parts gospel fervor and Liberace showmanship. By the time he was 14, by all family accounts, he was as good as he was ever going to get. Lewis was already ready for prime time.

But his mother Mamie had other plans for the young family prodigy. Not wanting to squander Jerry Lee's gifts on the sordid world of show business, she enrolled him in a bible college in Waxahatchie, TX, secure in the knowledge that her son would now be exclusively singing his songs to the Lord. But legend has it that the Killer tore into a boogie-woogie rendition of "My God Is Real" at a church assembly that sent him packing the same night. The split personality of Lewis, torn between the sacred and the profane (rock & roll music), is something that has eaten away at him most of his adult life, causing untold aberrant personality changes over the years with no clear-cut answers to the problem. What is certain is that by the time a

21-year-old Jerry Lee showed up in Memphis on the doorstep of the Sun studios, he had been thrown out of bible college; been a complete failure as a sewing-machine salesman; been turned down by most Nashville-based record companies and the Louisiana Hayride; been married twice; in jail once; and burned with the passion that he truly was the next big thing.

Sam Phillips was on vacation when he arrived, but his assistant Jack Clement put Roland Janes on guitar and J.M. Van Eaton on drums behind Lewis, whose fluid left hand made a bass player superfluous. This little unit would become the core of Lewis' recording band for almost the entire seven years he recorded at Sun. The first single, a hopped-up rendition of Ralph Mooney's
"Crazy Arms," sold in respectable enough quantities that Phillips kept bringing Lewis back in for more sessions, astounded by his prodigious memory for old songs and his penchant for rocking them up. A few days after his first single was released, Jerry Lee was in the Sun studios earning some Christmas money, playing backup piano on a Carl Perkins session that yielded the classics "Matchbox" and "Your True Love." At the tail end of the recording, Elvis Presley showed up, Clement turned on the tape machine, and the impromptu Million Dollar Quartet jam session ensued, with Perkins, Presley, and Lewis all having the time of their lives.

 
 With the release of his first single, the road beckoned and it was here that Lewis' lasting stage persona was developed. Discouraged because he couldn't dance around the stage strumming a guitar like Carl Perkins, he stood up in mid-song, kicked back the piano stool and, as Perkins has so saliently pointed out, "a new Jerry Lee Lewis was born." This new-found stage confidence was not lost on Sam Phillips. While he loved the music of Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, he saw neither artist as a true contender to Elvis' throne; with Lewis he thought he had a real shot. For the first time in his very parsimonious life, Sam Phillips threw every dime of promotional capital he had into Lewis' next single, and the gamble paid off a million times over. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" went to number one on the country and the R&B charts, and was only held out of the top spot on the pop charts by Debbie Reynolds' "Tammy." Suddenly Lewis was the hottest, newest, most exciting rock & roller out there. His television appearances and stage shows were legendary for their manic energy, and his competitive nature to outdo anyone else on the bill led to the story about how he once set his piano on fire at set's end to make it impossible for Chuck Berry to follow his act. Nobody messed with the Killer.



 

 
Jerry Lee's follow-up to "Shakin'" was another defining moment for his career, as well as for rock & roll. "Great Balls of Fire" featured only piano and drums, but sounded huge with Phillips' production behind it. It got him into a rock & roll movie (Jamboree) and his fame was spreading to such a degree that Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins left Sun to go to Columbia Records. His next single, "Breathless," had a promotional tie-in with Dick Clark's Saturday night Bandstand show, making it three hits in a row for the newcomer. 

But Lewis was sowing the seeds of his own destruction in record time. He sneaked off and married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown, the daughter of his bass-playing uncle, J.W. Brown. With the Killer insisting that she accompany him on a debut tour of England, the British press got wind of the marriage and proceeded to crucify him in the press. The tour was canceled and Lewis arrived back in the U.S. to find his career in absolute disarray. His


records were banned nationwide by radio stations and his booking price went from $10,000 a night to $250 in any honky tonk that would still have him. Undeterred, he kept right on doing what he had been doing, head unbowed and determined to make it back to the bigs, Jerry Lee Lewis style. It took him almost a dozen years to pull it off, but finally, with a sympathetic producer and a new record company willing to exact a truce with country disc jockeys, the Killer found a new groove, cutting one hit after another for Smash Records throughout the late '60s into the '70s. Still playing rock & roll on-stage whenever the mood struck him (which was often) while keeping all his releases pure country struck a creative bargain that suited Lewis well into the mid-'70s.

But while his career was soaring again, his personal life was falling apart. The next decade and a half saw several marriages fall apart

(starting with his 13-year-long union with Myra), the deaths of his parents and oldest son, battles with the I.R.S., and bouts with alcohol and pills that frequently left him hospitalized. Suddenly the Ferriday Fireball was nearing middle age and the raging fire seemed to be burned out.

But the mid-'80s saw another jump start to his career. A movie

entitled Great Balls of Fire was about to be made of his life and Lewis was called in to sing the songs for the soundtrack. Showing everyone who was the real Killer, Lewis sounded energetic enough to make you believe it was 1957 all over again
with the pilot light of inspiration still burning bright. He also got a boost back to major-label land with a one-song appearance on the soundtrack for Dick Tracy.

With box sets and compilations, documentaries, a bio flick, and his induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame all celebrating his legacy, Lewis still continued to record and tour, delivering work that vacillated from tepid to absolutely inspired. While his influence will continue to loom large until there's no one left to play rock & roll piano anymore, the plain truth is that there's only one Jerry Lee Lewis and American music will never see another like him. 



 Lewis spends much of his time at his ranch in Nesbit, Mississippi. His daughter, Phoebe Lewis, has worked as his manager and served as a producer on some of his albums. Phoebe is from his third marriage to Myra Gale Brown. He is currently married to his seventh wife, Judith Brown, who was once married to Lewis's cousin Rusty. The couple wed in 2012. (info mainly AMG)

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Helen Shapiro born 28 September 1946


Helen Shapiro (born 28 September 1946) is remembered today by younger pop culture buffs as England's teenage pop music queen, at one point selling 40,000 copies daily of her biggest single, "Walking Back to Happiness," during a 19-week chart run. 
A deceptively young 14 when she was discovered, Shapiro had a rich, expressive voice properly sounding like the property of someone twice as old, and she matured into a seasoned professional very quickly.

She grew up in London's East End and was performing with a ukulele at age nine as part of a school group — supposedly called Susie & the Hula Hoops, whose members included a young Mark Feld (aka Marc Bolan) — that used to sing their own versions of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly songs. She subsequently sang with her brother Ron Shapiro's trad jazz turned skiffle outfit at local clubs before enrolling in classes at Maurice Burman's music school in London. Burman was so taken with Helen Shapiro's voice that he waived the tuition to keep her as a student. He later brought her to the attention of Norrie Paramor, then one of EMI's top pop producers (responsible for signing Cliff Richard & the Shadows).
Shapiro's voice was so mature that Paramor refused to believe from the evidence on a tape that it belonged to a 14-year-old until she came to his office and belted out "St. Louis Blues." 

She cut her first single, "Please Don't Treat Me Like a Child," a few weeks later and broke onto the British charts in 1961.

That record was an extraordinary effort for a 14-year-old. Shapiro's voice showed the maturity and sensibilities of someone far beyond their teen years; her depth of emotion, coupled with the richness of her singing, made her an extraordinary new phenomenon on the British pop scene. She surprised everyone once again with her second single, a slow ballad called "You Don't Know," which managed to appeal to listeners across several age groups and hit number one in England. This was followed by the greatest recording of her career, "Walking Back to Happiness," which scaled the top of the charts with far greater total sales.




 



Her next record, "Tell Me What He Said" (written by Jeff Barry) was held out of the top spot by the Shadows' "Wonderful Land." In April of 1962, Shapiro made her movie debut in Lester's It's Trad, Dad, but her single of "Let's Talk About Love" (featured in the

movie) never broke the Top 20. Shapiro next turned back to the songwriting team of John Schroeder and Mike Hawker, who had written "Walking Back to Happiness" and "You Don't Know," for what proved to be her last Top Ten record, "Little Miss Lonely." She made the charts once more with "Keep Away From Other Girls," the first song by Burt Bacharach to make the British Top 40. During this period, Shapiro also got the opportunity to record Neil Sedaka's "Little Devil," and the two later became friends when Sedaka toured England.



Shapiro wasn't remotely as soul-influenced as Dusty Springfield (though Shapiro's Helen in Nashville album from 1963 does sort of anticipate Dusty in Memphis), or a raspy shouter like Lulu, and there wasn't much of the cool teenager in her in the style of Sandie Shaw or the wounded teen softness of Lesley Gore. Rather, Shapiro was much more of a female pop/rock crooner, almost a distaff Bobby Darin with a style all her own, and should have been able to cut a path for herself well into the '60s in the music marketplace.

It wasn't to be, however. After appearing in her second movie, Play It Cool, which starred Billy Fury, Shapiro faded from the charts, although she didn't disappear from the British musical consciousness. She still headlined tours in the United Kingdom and in early 1963, she made the acquaintance of a support act that had been newly signed to EMI: the Beatles. She headlined the Beatles' first national tour of England and Shapiro and the group enjoyed each other's company. At 16, she was much more the seasoned professional than the older Liverpool quartet, who loved her voice and her unassuming manner. She sang with
them on the bus, advised them to make "From Me to You" their next record after "Please Please Me," and they, in turn, wrote "Misery" for her. Astonishingly, EMI — not yet sensing the golden touch that the Beatles (who had yet to cut their first LP) would soon reveal — declined to give Shapiro the chance to record a Lennon-McCartney tune, costing her the chance to become the first artist to cover a Lennon-McCartney song just at the point when the Beatles were about to sweep all before them in the pop charts.

There's no telling what Shapiro, with her rich intonation, could have done with that downbeat little diamond in the rough in the early Lennon-McCartney song bag. Shapiro had another chance at an even more promising song later in 1963 when she went to cut an album in Nashville. In a session backed by the likes of Grady Martin and Boots Randolph, she cut the very first recording of "It's My Party." And again, EMI failed to get behind the single, sitting on its release until a virtual unknown named Lesley Gore got her rendition out first on Mercury and topped the U.S. charts. Shapiro's career at EMI ended in 1963 and her periodic attempts to resume recording at Pye, DJM, and Arista over the next decade failed to generate any chart action



Shapiro has busied herself over the years very successfully as an actress, appearing as Nancy in Lionel Bart's musical Oliver and appearing on British soap operas as well. She has remained an attraction on the cabaret circuit over the decades and was well-known enough as a pop culture figure to justify the release of a best-of CD in Japan in the early '90s. She also cut albums devoted to the music of Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer. (edited from AMG)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Julie London born 26 September 1926



Julie London (September 26, 1926 – October 18, 2000) was an American singer, game show panelist and prolific character actress of stage, film and television. Best known for her smoky, sensual voice, she was at her singing career's peak in the 1950s. Her acting career lasted more than 35 years, concluding with the female lead role of nurse Dixie McCall on the television series Emergency! (1972–1979), co-starring her best friend Robert Fuller and her real-life husband Bobby Troup.

Born Gayle Peck in Santa Rosa, California, she was the daughter of Jack and Josephine Peck, who

were a vaudeville song and dance team. When she was 14, the family moved to Los Angeles. Shortly after that, she began appearing in movies. She graduated from the Hollywood Professional School in 1945.

In July 1947 she married actor Jack Webb (of Dragnet fame). Her widely regarded beauty and poise (she was a pinup girl prized by GIs during World War II) contrasted strongly with his pedestrian appearance and streetwise acting technique (much parodied by impersonators). This unlikely pairing arose from their mutual love for jazz.  They had two daughters: Stacy and Lisa Webb. London and Webb divorced in November 1954. Daughter Stacy Webb was killed in a traffic accident in 1996.

In 1954, having become somewhat reclusive after her divorce from
Webb, she met jazz composer and musician Bobby Troup at a club on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. They married on December 31, 1959, and remained married until his death in February 1999. They had one daughter, Kelly Troup, who died in March 2002, and twin sons, Jody and Reese Troup.

London began singing in public in her teens before appearing in a film. She was discovered by talent agent Sue Carol (wife of actor Alan Ladd) while London was working as an elevator operator. Her early film career did not include any singing roles.

She recorded 32 albums in a career that began in 1955 with a live performance at the 881 Club in Los Angeles. Billboard named her the most popular female vocalist for 1955, 1956, and 1957. She was the subject of a 1957 Life cover article in which she was quoted as saying, "It's only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate."

Julie London's debut recordings were for the Bethlehem Records label. While shopping for a record deal, she recorded 4 tracks that would later be included on the compilation albums Bethlehem's Girlfriends in 1955. Bobby Troup backed London on the dates, and London recorded the standards Don't Worry About Me, Motherless Child, A Foggy Day, and You're Blasé.

 


 
 
London's most famous single, "Cry Me a River", was written by her high-school classmate Arthur Hamilton and produced by Troup. The recording became a million-seller after its release in December 1955 and also sold on re-issue in April 1983 from the attention brought by a Mari Wilson cover. London performed the song in the film The Girl Can't Help It (1956), and her recording gained later attention in the films Passion of Mind (2000) and V for Vendetta (2006).  Other popular singles include "Hot Toddy," "Daddy" and "Desafinado." Recordings such as "Go Slow" epitomized her career style: her voice is slow, smoky, and sensual. The song "Yummy Yummy Yummy" was featured on the HBO television series Six Feet Under and appears on its soundtrack album. Her last recording was "My Funny Valentine" for the soundtrack of the Burt Reynolds film Sharky's Machine (1981).

Primarily remembered as a singer, London also made more than 20
films. One of her strongest performances came in Man of the West (1958), starring Gary Cooper and directed by Anthony Mann, in which her character, the film's only woman, is abused and humiliated by an outlaw gang. She performed on many television variety series and also in dramatic roles, including guest appearances on Rawhide (1960) and The Big Valley (1968). Her ex-husband Webb was executive producer for the series Emergency!,  and in 1972 he hired both his ex-wife and her husband Troup for key roles. London received second-billing as nurse Dixie McCall, while Troup received third-billing as emergency-room physician Dr. Joe Early. She and her co-stars Robert Fuller, Randolph Mantooth, and Kevin Tighe also appeared in an episode of the Webb-produced series Adam-12, reprising their roles. London and Troup appeared as panelists on the game show Tattletales several times in the 1970's.

London suffered a stroke in 1995 and was in poor health because of her long-term cigarette habit until her death on October 18, 2000, in Encino, California, at age 74. Survived by three of her five children, London was interred next to Troup in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery, Los Angeles. Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.(Info from Wikipedia)


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Ian Tyson born 25 September 1933


Ian Tyson CM, AOE (born 25 September 1933 in Victoria, British Columbia) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, best known for his song "Four Strong Winds". He was also one half of the duo Ian & Sylvia.

A rodeo rider in his late teens and early twenties, he took up the guitar while recovering from an injury he sustained in a fall. He made his singing debut at the Heidelberg Café in Vancouver,
British Columbia in 1956 and played with a rock and roll band, "The Sensational Stripes." After graduation from the Vancouver School of Art in 1958, Tyson moved to Toronto, Ontario where he commenced a job as a commercial artist. There he performed in local clubs and in 1959 began to sing on occasion with Sylvia Fricker. By early 1959 Tyson and Fricker were performing part-time at the Village Corner as "Ian & Sylvia." The pair became a full-time musical act in 1961 and married four years later. In 1969, they formed and fronted the group The Great Speckled Bird. The duo played their final public performance in 1975 and The Great Speckled Bird disbanded a year later.


 

It was during this time the duo also began hosting a television show, Nashville North, which became the Ian Tyson Show when the couple split up in the middle of the decade. Their son Clay (born c. 1968) was also a musical performer, and then moved to a career modifying racing bikes.

After Ian & Sylvia's break-up, Tyson recorded Ol'Eon. He temporarily retired from recording in 1979 to work his ranch, but returned with Old Corrals and Sagebrush in 1983. In 1984, he toured with Ricky Skaggs and also released an eponymous album. Tyson released a third album, Cowboyography, two years later, and in 1991, he released another popular Canadian album, And Stood There Amazed, which contained the hits "Springtime in Alberta" and "Black Nights." Subsequent releases include 1994's Eighteen
Inches of Rain, 1996's All the Good 'Uns and 1999's Lost Herd. Tyson released Live at Longview in 2002, followed by Songs from the Gravel Road in 2005. In 1989 he was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 2005, CBC Radio One listeners chose his song "Four Strong Winds" as the greatest Canadian song of all time on the series 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version. There was strong momentum for him to be nominated the Greatest Canadian, but he fell short. He has been a strong influence on many Canadian artists, including Neil Young, who recorded "Four Strong Winds" for Comes a Time (1978). Johnny Cash
would also record the same song for American V: A Hundred Highways (2006). Judy Collins recorded a version of his popular song, "Someday Soon", in 1968.

In 2006, Tyson sustained irreversible scarring to his vocal cords leading to a notable loss of the remarkable quality and range he was known for. Notwithstanding, he released the album "From Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories" in 2008 to high critical praise. He was nominated for a 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Solo Artist of the Year. The album includes a song about Canadian hockey broadcasting icon Don Cherry and the passing of his wife Rose, a rare Tyson cover written by Toronto songwriter Jay Aymar.



He has written a book of young-adult fiction about his song "La Primera", called La Primera: The Story of Wild Mustangs.

Ian Tyson married Twylla Dvorkin in 1986, and their daughter Adelita was born c. 1987.Tyson's second marriage ended in divorce which was made official in early 2008, several years after separating from Dvorkin.Ian, a recipient of the Order of Canada, lives and continues to work on his ranch in Alberta's Rocky Mountains. (Info edited mainly from Wikipedia)


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Anthony Newley born 24 September 1931


Anthony George Newley (born on September 24, 1931 in the London Borough of Hackney; died on April 14, 1999) was an English actor, singer and songwriter.
 

Anthony Newley was one of entertainment's genuine triple treats: an actor, singer, and composer with an international following, equally adept and prodigious in all three fields. Moreover, he enjoyed success as a performer in such seemingly mutually exclusive fields as rock & roll and the legitimate stage. And even more improbably, he did it with a working-class Cockney persona that should never have found much currency outside of England. Indeed, for 30 years he was seen by many as a tone-deaf holler caller but by others as one of the most imposing talents to come out of England this side of the Beatles.

Born to a single mother in the London working-class neighborhood of Hackney, Newley was evacuated during the bombing of London and was thereby exposed to the performing arts when he was tutored during this time by George Pescud, a former music-hall entertainer. Though recognized as very bright by his teachers back in London, he was uninterested in school, and by the age of
fourteen was working as an office boy when he read an ad for "boy actors." After an audition, he was offered a job including free tuition at the prestigious Italia Conti Stage School. He accepted and his career was launched.

His first major film role was as Dick Bultitude in Peter Ustinov's Vice Versa (1948) followed by the Artful Dodger in David Lean's 1948 rendition of Oliver Twist, the classic Charles Dickens tome. He made a successful transition from child star to contract player in British movies of the 1950s (broken up by a short and disastrous stint in the military), to a top-of-the-pops crooner in the 1960s.



 
 
Newley had a successful pop music career as a vocalist, with two number one hits in 1960: "Why?" and "Do You Mind?" As a songwriter, he won the 1963 Grammy Award for Song of the Year for "What Kind of Fool Am I", but he was also well-known for "Gonna Build a Mountain" and comic novelty songs such as "That Noise" and his version of "Strawberry Fair". He wrote songs that others made hits including "Goldfinger" (the title song of the James Bond film, Goldfinger, music by John Barry), and "Feeling Good", which became a hit for Nina Simone and the rock band Muse (band).

With Leslie Bricusse, he wrote the musical Stop the World - I Want to Get Off in which he also performed, earning a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. The play was made into a (poorly-received) film version in 1971

, but Newley was unable to star in it due to a schedule conflict. The other musicals for which he co-wrote music and lyrics with Bricusse included The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd (1965) and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), based on the children's book by Roald Dahl.

During  the 1960’S he also added his greatest accomplishments on the London and Broadway stage, in Hollywood films, and British and United States television. In the 1970s he remained active, particularly as a Las Vegas and Catskills resort performer, but his career had begun to flounder. He had taken risks that eventually led to his downfall in Hollywood. Throughout the 1980s and 90s he worked valiantly to achieve a comeback but always one obstacle or another hindered him.

In his later years as a mature singer Newley recorded songs from Fiddler on the Roof and Scrooge. He enjoyed his final popular success onstage when he starred in the latter musical in London and Birmingham in the 1990s. At the time of his death he had been working on a musical of Shakespeare's Richard III.

Ill health had plagued the star for many years. He was first diagnosed with renal cell cancer in 1985, and had one kidney removed. The cancer returned in 1997, this time attacking his lungs, then spreading to his liver. Speaking once about his illness, he said: "When they told me I had a growth on my left kidney I had 
a bet with the surgeon. 'A dollar that it's not malignant', I said. "Before they wheeled me into the operating theatre they pinned a dollar on my gown. It had gone when I finally came round. That's when I knew I'd lost the bet." Cancer finally claimed his life during 1999 at the age of 67, soon after his becoming a grandfather.

Newley married and divorced three times. In 1956, he first married Elizabeth Ann Lynn, and the marriage was dissolved in 1963. The same year he married Joan Collins; and they divorced in 1971. In 1989, he divorced his third wife, air hostess Dareth Dunn. At the time of Newley's demise, he was survived by his mother, Grace,
age 96 (with whom he lived in Surrey since 1992 after 22 years living in the U.S.), and four children, a boy (Sasha) and a girl (Tara) with Joan Collins, and another boy (Christopher) and girl (Shelby) with Dareth Dunn. His third wife, Dareth Newley Dunn, described him as "a dear, sweet, loving friend and father ... consummate performer and ultimate composer".

Newley's vocal style has been recognised as a major influence on that of the early David Bowie. In recognition of his creative skills and body of work, Newley was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989. (Info edited mainly from Wikipedia & Crooners Tribe)