Launched in 1975, the musical Chicago, created by a talented pair of composers and producers that included both John Kander and Fred Ebb later known as Kander and Ebb. Kander was born on March 18, 1927 in Kansas City, Missouri. His exposure to music began at an early age as a result of having had tuberculosis as a baby. During this time, Kander was cut off and not allowed to be around other people, that separation developed his ability for sound. Kander started piano lessons at the age of six. His parents and brother would often spend evenings playing the piano and singing. Kander’s first successes came while he was a student at Oberlin College, where he attended with James Goldman, a lyricist he had known since childhood and together produced songs. In 1956 Kander started his Broadway career by filling in for another pianist who was on vacation, from that point on he became a pianist on many musicals and his career continued. In 1962 he met Frank Ebb, who was also a lyricist, together a great songwriting partnership started that lasted over forty years, together having several successes and becoming the longest Broadway partnership for music and lyrics. The most successful musicals include Chicago, Cabaret, Zorba and New York, New York. Kander had a career in the film industry as well as having written multiple scores for a wide variety of films over many years. Kander and Ebb worked for forty years producing music for Broadway. (allmusic.com; songwritershalloffame.org; galegroup.com) When Kander went to New York, he attended a club in Philadelphia after seeing West Side Story; he met a pianist who asked Kander to play for him while the pianist took time off. Being as good as Kander was, the stage manager asked Kander to play auditions for the next show called Gypsy. During the auditions for that show he met the choreographer, Jerry Robbins, who asked Kander to write music for the show. (galegroup.com; “John Kander”) Later in his life he wrote...
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