12 December 1941
Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, United States
16 October 2014 (aged 72)
Tim Hauser (born December 12, 1941 in Troy, New York) is best known as the founding member of the multi-Grammy-winning vocal foursome, The Manhattan Transfer.
Together with his sister Fayette and their parents, Hauser moved to the New Jersey shore when he was seven years old, living in Ocean Township and Asbury Park. He attended St. Rose High School in Belmar, New Jersey where an award in his name has been given every year since 1989 to students who excel in Theater Arts.
He began singing professionally at age 15. He founded a doo-wop vocal quintet called The Criterions. They recorded two singles for the Cecilia label: "I Remain Truly Yours", and "Don't Say Goodbye". The Criterions appeared on Alan Freed's Big Beat Show. Hauser also began developing his producing skills at an early age.
In 1959, he entered Villanova University. His college years were a continuation of the musical involvement he had started to develop, and he spent much of his college time expanding his musical interests. Tim, along with fellow Criterions members Tommy West and Jim Ruf, performed as the Troubadours Three, singing folk music. He also was a member of the Villanova Singers and the Villanova Spires/Coventry Lads, along with classmate Jim Croce. He spent all four years on the staff of college radio station WWVU. In 1963, he graduated from Villanova with a BS in Economics.
In 1964, he served in the US Air Force and the New Jersey Air National Guard. From 1965-66, he worked as a market research analyst with the advertising agency, Sullivan, Stauffer, Colwell, and Bayles.
In 1969, he formed the first version of The Manhattan Transfer with Gene Pistilli, Marty Nelson, Erin Dickins, and Pat Rosalia. The group had a country/R&B sound. Together they recorded one album, Jukin', on the Capitol label. However, they differed in ideas on direction, and the group soon dissolved in 1971.
Hauser took on various jobs to support himself while still pursuing his musical career, including driving a taxicab. One of his fares on an April night in 1972 was a waitress and aspiring singer, Laurel Massé, who was familiar with Jukin’ and had seen Hauser's group perform once. Realizing they both shared the same musical vision, they agreed to meet again. Weeks later, he picked up the conga player of a group called Laurel Canyon, who invited Hauser to a party. It was there that he met another Laurel Canyon member, Janis Siegel. Together with Massé, they began plans to form a new vocal group. They still needed a fourth member and, through Massé’s then-boyfriend, they eventually met Alan Paul, who was co-starring in the original stage production of Grease at the time. On October 1, 1972, the foursome became The Manhattan Transfer. Following a serious car accident in 1978, Massé opted to leave the group (but has since resumed her singing career as a successful solo artist), and in early 1979 Cheryl Bentyne won the group over at an audition and was immediately hired to replace Massé. The award-winning line-up has since remained unchanged.
The Manhattan Transfer have won 10 Grammy Awards to date, and many Gold and Platinum records. They took home both the Downbeat and Playboy annual readers' polls throughout the 1980s for Best Vocal Group. In 2007, they won the Jazztimes readers' poll for Best Vocal Group. When Ahmet Ertegün founded the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he elected Hauser to serve on the original voting committee, a position Hauser held for three years (1986-88). In 1993, Hauser and the other Transfer members were awarded honorary doctorate degrees from the Berklee College of Music.
Hauser's debut solo album titled Love Stories was launched September 5, 2007. The album was released by King Records in Japan.
Hauser's other interests include tennis, baseball, collecting and restoring classic automobiles, and, of course, collecting records. He resides in California with his son Basie and daughter Lily.
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