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John Kander & Fred Ebb

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Kander and Ebb were a highly successful songwriting team consisting of composer John Kander (born March 18, 1927) and lyricist Fred Ebb (April 8, 1933 - September 11, 2004). Known primarily for their stage musicals, Kander and Ebb also scored several movies including their most famous song, the theme song from Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York. Recorded by many artists, “New York, New York” became a signature song for Frank Sinatra. The team also became associated with two actresses, Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, for whom they wrote a considerable amount of material for the stage, concerts and television.

John Kander and Fred Ebb were introduced by their mutual music publisher Tommy Valando in 1963. They first collaborated on an unproduced musical called Golden Gate, which producer-director Harold Prince called “…basically a test to see if the collaboration was any good.” They wrote Flora the Red Menace, their first musical to be produced on Broadway, in 1965, in which Liza Minnelli made her Broadway debut. Another early collaboration was the industrial musical General Electric presents Go Fly a Kite written with Walter Marks for General Electric’s 5th Electric Executives Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1966.

Kander’s and Ebb’s greatest acclaim came from the musical Cabaret (1966) and the 1972 film version. The musical, directed by frequent collaborator Harold Prince, was a major success, with a Broadway run of over 1,100 performances. It won a Tony Award as the season’s best musical, and its original cast recording won a Grammy Award.

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