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Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer was among comedy’s great paradoxes — a respected Harvard mathematics teacher by time, he also ranked one of the foremost tune satirists from the postwar period, saving vicious, twisted parodies of popular music tendencies which proved highly influential in the “unwell comedy” revolution from the ’60s. Despite an aversion towards the press and a comparatively small recorded result, Lehrer became a superstar, although he continued to be an enigma to also his most ardent supporters; he seldom toured, hardly ever allowed his image to adorn record spencer, and essentially retired from executing in 1965, abandoning a cult pursuing which only continuing to develop in his lack in the limelight. Lehrer was created Apr 9, 1928; even while a kid, he often parodied popular music of your day, and also discovered to try out piano. In 1944, he still left NEW YORK to study mathematics at Harvard, getting his master’s level within 3 years and staying being a graduate pupil through 1953. During his pupil years Lehrer composed The Physical Revue, a assortment of educational tune satires staged on campus in January, 1951; an up to date performance followed in-may of another season. He also sang his parodies at coffeehouses and pupil gatherings through the entire Cambridge, MA region; as demand for an record of his music elevated, he spent $15 on studio room time and energy to cut Tunes by Tom Lehrer, a 10″ record privately pressed within an release of 400 copies. The record sold-out its entire operate, so when the Harvard college student body dispersed in the united states for Christmas holiday, the disc spread (“like herpes,” Lehrer joked) much beyond its meant local audience. Quickly Lehrer was inundated with demands for copies from over the country; after many re-pressings, Tunes by Tom Lehrer offered a fantastic 350,000 copies on the effectiveness of songs like “I Keep Your Submit Mine” (in regards to a guy who take off his girlfriend’s submit order to munch on her fingertips), “Irish Ballad” (a buoyant romp in regards to a eliminating spree), and “My CITY” (regarding a location where murderers coach school and outdated perverts operate the chocolate shop). In 1955, Lehrer was inducted to serve within the Military, and was honorably discharged 2 yrs afterwards. Finally, in 1959 he documented a follow-up, Even more of Tom Lehrer, offering “Poisoning Pigeons within the Recreation area” and “The Masochism Tango”; exactly the same collection of music were also documented during a live show at Harvard, and released concurrently as An Evening Squandered with Tom Lehrer. A tour of European countries followed, leading to another concert collection, Tom Lehrer Revisited, which constituted live renditions from the tracks in the debut LP. Nevertheless, questionable reactions to his “unwell” comedy throughout a group of Australian shows prompted Lehrer to retire, and he came back full-time to his initial like, teaching. In early 1964, he resurfaced being a songwriter for the NBC information satire WHICH WAS the Week WHICH WAS. Following the show’s demise a season afterwards, Lehrer documented the material created for this program with an LP also entitled WHICH WAS the Week WHICH WAS; the record, which highlighted his questionable “Vatican Rag,” was the first in his agreement using the Reprise label, which also decided to reissue his previously, self-released information. After re-recording Music by Tom Lehrer to boost on the initial master’s poor fidelity, he once again retired from present business to come back to academia; nevertheless, his tunes were played frequently within the Dr. Demento radio display from the ’70s, and he became the program’s second most requested designer ever (behind Strange Al Yankovic). Lehrer’s following returns showing business were short — in 1972 he published a dozen music for the children’s system The Electric Organization, updated older materials for any 1980 musical stage display dubbed Tomfoolery (made by Cameron Mackintosh of Pet cats fame), plus some years later on, agreed to create sometimes for Garrison Keillor. Lehrer continuing to instruct mathematics in the University or college of California at Santa Cruz, with age 72 observed Rhino Information’ 2000 reissue of his total recorded works by means of a three-CD package set entitled The Remains to be of Tom Lehrer.

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