Among other roles, Wixell sang Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, Amonasro in Verdi's Aida, Baron Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca, and the title roles in Verdi's Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Verdi's Falstaff and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Wixell performed all the songs in the competition to select Sweden's Eurovision Song Contest 1965 entry. The winning song was "Annorstädes Vals" (Elsewhere Waltz), which Wixell went on to perform at the international final in Naples. In a break from the then prevailing tradition, the song was sung in English (as "Absent Friend"). This led to the introduction from 1966 onwards of a rule stipulating that each country's entry must be sung in one of the languages of that country. (This rule was cancelled for the years 1973 to 1977, reinstated in 1978, and cancelled again in 1999.)
Wixell ended his career in 2003 by singing the Music teacher in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at Malmö Opera. Wixell died on October 8, 2011, aged 80.
Wikipedia | SHOP: Ingvar Wixell
Labels: Ingvar Wixell
After he graduated, he was hired as an arranger and composer by guitarist and bandleader Johnny Richards. He spent World War II playing with altoist Paul Desmond in an army band.
After WWII, Rugolo worked for Stan Kenton, who headed one of the most musically 'progressive' big bands of the era. Rugolo provided arrangements and original compositions that drew on his knowledge of 20th century music, sometimes blurring the boundaries between jazz and classical music.
While Rugolo continued to work occasionally with Kenton in the 1950s, he spent more time creating arrangements for pop and jazz vocalists, including June Christy, Peggy Lee, the Four Freshmen, and Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, and Miles Davis. During this period he also worked for a while on film musicals at MGM, and served as an A&R director for Mercury Records in the late 1950s. Among his many albums were Adventures in Rhythm, Introducing Pete Rugolo, Rugolomania, Reeds in Hi-Fi and Music for Hi-Fi Bugs.
Wikipedia | SHOP: Pete Rugolo
Labels: Pete Rugolo
Roger Williams, the pianist whose lush versions of familiar tunes like “Autumn Leaves” and “Born Free” became hit recordings in the 1950s and ’60s and who continued to perform in concerts into his 80s, died on Saturday,8 October, 2011 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 87.
Roger Williams (born Louis Weertz, October 1, 1924 – October 8, 2011) was an American popular music pianist. As of 2004, he had released 116 albums.
Wikipedia | SHOP: Roger Williams
Labels: Roger Williams