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Charles Strouse Biography

Charles Strouse

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Born: 1928. Living in: United States

Charles Strouse is an American composer and lyricist best known for writing the music to the musicals Bye Bye Birdie and Annie, amongst others. Strouse's first Broadway musical was the 1960 hit Bye Bye Birdie, with lyrics by Lee Adams, who would become his long-time collaborator. For this show, Strouse won his first Tony Award in the category of best musical, and Bye Bye Birdie is considered the precursor of the rock musical. Strouse's next show, All American, with a book by Mel Brooks and lyrics by Adams, came in 1962; it was not a success but it produced the standard "Once Upon a Time" (recorded by Perry Como, Eddie Fisher, Al Martino, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Bobby Darin, among others). Following this were Golden Boy (1964, also with Adams), starring Sammy Davis, Jr. and It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman (1966, based on the popular comic strip) which was modestly successful; it introduced the song "You've Got Possibilities" sung by Linda Lavin.

Strouse has won Emmy Awards for music in television adaptions of Bye Bye Birdie and Annie. He is also the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award and the Oscar Hammerstein Award. He is also a member of the Theater Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.