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Charles Strouse

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Biography

Born: June 7, 1928; New York, NY  
Three-time Tony-award-winning songwriter (Bye Bye Birdie, Applause, Annie) Charles Strouse can remember attending shows at an early age with his parents and being awestruck with all the glamour. The composer of "Put on a Happy Face" (from Bye Bye Birdie), "A Lot of Living to Do," and "Once Upon a Time" has enjoyed success on both the stage and screen. He co-wrote the opening theme for Norman Lear's '70s TV sitcom All in the Family titled "Those Read more Were the Days." His frequent collaborators were Lee Adams, Alan Jay Lerner, Martin Charnin, and Sammy Cahn.

He received a degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music and studied with Aaron Copeland and Nadia Boulanger. He started his professional music career as a piano player for dance bands. Later he became a pianist for theatre rehearsals.

Bye Bye Birdie, his first and probably most-known success, was responsible for winning him his first Tony Award. The London production of the show won the London Critics' Best Foreign Musical Award. Strouse also co-wrote the 1966 musical It's a Bird, a Plane, It's Superman and Golden Boy starring Sammy Davis Jr. In 1970, Strouse won another Tony for Applause starring Lauren Bacall.

Two of the musicals were made into major motion pictures: Bye Bye Birdie, starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, and Ann Margaret (Columbia, 1963), and Annie (Columbia, 1982). The soundtrack to Annie went gold -- extremely rare for a show tunes album -- mainly off of the ballad "Tomorrow." The song has been covered by numerous artists including Johnny Mathis and Cissy Houston. The LP has the distinction of winning both a Tony and two Grammy awards. Bye Bye Birdie was also a 1995 ABC-TV movie starring Jason Alexander of Seinfeld. The song "Let's Settle Down" won a 1996 Primetime Emmy Award.

Strouse contributed scores and or songs to the following movies: Bonnie and Clyde (1967), The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), There Was a Crooked Man (1970), Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), Ishtar (1987), and All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989).

Other musicals Strouse has contributed to include Broadway Musical, Charlie and Algernon, All American written with Mel Brooks and Lee Adams, Mayor, Dance a Little Closer, Nick and Nora, Annie Warbucks, Rags, and Nightingale. By Strouse, a musical consisting of songs from Strouse's catalog, tours frequently, while Strouse himself is an active guest lecturer. Read less
Browse 1-16 of 16 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Label: Overbook Entertainment   Catalog: 503431 Release Date: 11/17/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Strouse,  Greg Kurstin,  Mikkel S. Eriksen
    Performer:  Jasper Randall,  Mariah Britt,  Stephanie Kurtzuba,  Tim Davis  ... 
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  • 2.
    Annie / 2013 Broadway Cast
    Label: Shout Factory   Catalog: 31420 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Strouse
    Conductor:  Todd Ellison
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  • 3.
    Classic Musicals
    Label: Clear Note   Catalog: 74587 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Strouse,  George Gershwin,  Burton Lane,  Richard Rodgers  ... 
    Performer:  Gregg Nestor,  Tommy Morgan
    CD: $17.99
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  • 4.
    Broadway in a Box - The Essential Broadway Musicals
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 541695 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Charles Strouse,  Cole Porter,  John Kander,  Frederick Loewe  ... 
    Performer:  Reid Shelton,  Dorothy Loudon,  Andrea McArdle,  Patti LuPone  ... 
    Conductor:  Harold Hastings,  Franz Allers,  Donald Pippin,  Milton Greene  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Studio Orchestra,  Oklahoma! Pit Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Broadway Magic - 1970s
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 40699 Release Date: 04/23/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Stephen Sondheim,  Jerry Bock,  Richard Rodgers  ... 
    Performer:  Elaine Stritch,  Hal Linden,  Danny Kaye,  Jack Gilford  ... 
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  • 6.
    100 Greatest Musicals
    Label: Silva   Catalog: 1328 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jerome Kern,  George Gershwin,  Richard Rodgers,  Irving Berlin  ... 
    Performer:  Jill Washington,  Jason Howard,  Lesley Garrett,  David Shannon  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Ivor Bolton,  James Fitzpatrick,  Andrew Greenwood  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Music Works
    CD: $59.49
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  • 7.
    Annie - Original Cast Recording
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 749909 Release Date: 05/05/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Strouse
    Performer:  Dorothy Loudon,  Reid Shelton,  Andrea McArdle,  Sandy Faison  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Howard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 8.
    Bye Bye Birdie / Orginal Cast Recording
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 749913 Release Date: 05/05/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Strouse
    Performer:  Paul Lynde,  Chita Rivera,  Dick Van Dyke,  Kay Medford  ... 
    Conductor:  Elliot Lawrence
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Midnight Matinee - Stevens, Jones, Wayne / Farnon, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5111 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Chaplin,  Anthony Collins,  Eric Spear,  George Siravo  ... 
    Performer:  Winifred Atwell
    Conductor:  Wally Stott,  Anthony Collins,  Ron Goodwin,  George Siravo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wally Stott Orchestra,  London Promenade Orchestra,  Ron Goodwin Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Light Classics - Broadway Blockbusters / Richard Hayman
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555012 Release Date: 05/20/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude-Michel Schönberg,  Jule Styne,  Leonard Bernstein,  Marvin Hamlisch  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hayman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Richard Hayman Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 11.
    Bye Bye Birdie / Original London Cast
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 586432 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Strouse
    Performer:  Chita Rivera,  Peter Marshall,  Robert Nichols
    Conductor:  Alyn Ainsworth
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  • 12.
    If Ever I Would Leave You / Bryn Terfel, Paul Daniel, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457628 Release Date: 10/06/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Weill,  Burton Lane,  Frederick Loewe,  Charles Strouse
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Northern Philharmonia,  Opera North Chorus
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  • 13.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 6
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89106 Release Date: 09/29/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  P.D.Q. Bach,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Bert Kaempfert,  John Denver  ... 
    Performer:  Doc Severinsen,  Hilton Ruiz,  Dizzy Gillespie,  Clifford Jordan  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Schickele,  David Zinman,  Erich Kunzel,  Martin Pearlman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turtle Mountain Naval Base Tactical Wind Ensemble,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 14.
    Empire Brass On Broadway
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80303 Release Date: 05/22/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cy Coleman,  Charles Strouse,  Richard Rodgers,  Cole Porter  ... 
    Performer:  Rolf Smedvig,  Scott Hartman,  Sam Pilafian,  Richard Jensen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Empire Brass
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