This page will contain news stories about Harry Nilsson, as they become available.

Harry Nilsson

Harry Edward Nilsson III (June 15, 1941 - January 15, 1994) was an American songwriter, singer, pianist and guitarist, most popular during the 1960s and 1970s. For most of his recordings, he did not use his first name, and was credited only as Nilsson. Despite some spectacular successes, including two Grammy Awards, Nilsson's tendency to make broad stylistic jumps from one record to the next and his iconoclastic decisions kept him from capitalizing on those successes. His most well-known recordings are "Without You" and "Everybody's Talkin'".

Biography

Early years

Nilsson was born in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York in 1941. His father, Harry Edward Nilsson, Jr., abandoned the family three years later. An autobiographical reference to this is found in the opening to Nilsson's song "1941":

Now, in 1941, a happy father had a son
But in 1944, the father walked right out the door

Harry grew up with his mother Bette Nilsson and his younger half-sister, periodically moving to California or back to New York, and living with a procession of relatives and stepfathers. One relative who turned out to be an important influence on him was his Uncle John, a mechanic in San Bernadino, California, who taught him to sing properly.

Due to the poor financial situation of his family, Nilsson worked from an early age, including a job at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles. When the Paramount closed (circa 1960), Nilsson applied for a job at a bank, falsely stating he was a high school graduate on his application. (He only made it through 9th grade.) He turned out to have an aptitude for computers, which were just starting to be employed by banks at the time. He did so well, in fact, that the bank kept him on even after discovering the lie about his education.

Musical beginnings

As early as 1958, Nilsson was hooked on the new wave of music, especially rhythm and blues artists like Ray Charles. He had taken early stabs at performing while he was working at the Paramount, forming a vocal duo with his friend Jerry Smith and singing close harmonies in the style of the Everly Brothers.

His job with the bank was on the night shift, so Nilsson spent his days infiltrating Los Angeles music business offices, making friends and developing connections. Uncle John's singing lessons, along with Nilsson's natural talent, surely helped when he got a job singing demos for songwriter Scott Turner in 1960. Turner paid Nilsson five dollars for each track they recorded. (Years later, when Nilsson became famous, Turner decided to release these early recordings, and contacted Nilsson to work out a fair payment. Nilsson replied that he had already been paid -- five dollars a track.)

In 1963, Nilsson began to have some early success as a songwriter, working with John Marascalco on a song for Little Richard. (Little Richard, upon hearing Nilsson sing, reportedly remarked, "My! You sing good for a white boy!") Marascalco also financed some independent singles by Nilsson. One, "Baa Baa Blackseep", was released under the pseudonym Bo Pete to some small local airplay. Another recording, "Donna, I Understand", convinced Mercury Records to offer Nilsson a contract, and release recordings by him under the name Johnny Niles.

In 1964, Nilsson worked with Phil Spector, writing three songs with him. He also established a relationship with songwriter and publisher Perry Botkin, Jr., who began to find a market for Nilsson's songs. His recording contract was picked up by Tower Records, who did nothing with it, but his songs were now being recorded by Glen Campbell, Fred Astaire, The Yardbirds, and many other artists. (Despite this growing success, Nilsson was still working the night shift at the bank.)

Signing with RCA Victor

Nilsson signed with RCA Victor in 1967 and released an album, Pandemonium Shadow Show, which was a critical (if not commercial) success. Music industry insiders were impressed both with the songwriting, and with Nilsson's pure-toned, multi-octave vocals. One such insider was Beatles press officer Derek Taylor, who bought an entire box of copies of the album to share this new sound with others. With a major-label release, and continued songwriting success (The Monkees had a hit with Nilsson's "Cuddly Toy"), Nilsson finally felt secure enough in the music business to quit his job with the bank.

Some of the albums from Derek Taylor's box eventually ended up with the Beatles themselves, who quickly became Nilsson fans. This may have been helped by the track "You Can't Do That", in which Nilsson covered one Beatles song but added 22 others in the multi-tracked background vocals. When John Lennon and Paul McCartney held a press conference in 1968 to announce the formation of Apple Corps, John was asked to name his favorite American artist. He replied, "Nilsson". Paul was then asked to name his favorite American group. He replied, "Nilsson".

Pandemonium Shadow Show was followed in 1968 by Aerial Ballet, an album that included Nilsson's rendition of Fred Neil's song "Everybody's Talkin'". A minor hit at the time of release, the song would become extremely popular a year later when it was featured in the film Midnight Cowboy, and would earn Nilsson his first Grammy Award. Aerial Ballet also contained Nilsson's version of his own composition, "One", which was later taken to the top of the charts by Three Dog Night. Nilsson was also commissioned at this time to write and perform the theme song for the ABC television series The Courtship of Eddie's Father. The result, "Best Friend", was very popular, but Nilsson never released the song on record.

Chart success

Nilsson's next album, Harry (1969), was his first to hit the charts, and also provided a Top 40 single with "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City". While the album still presented Nilsson as primarily a songwriter, his astute choice of cover material included, this time, a song by a little-known composer named Randy Newman. Nilsson was so impressed with Newman's talent that he devoted his entire next album to Newman compositions, with Newman himself playing piano behind Nilsson's multi-tracked vocals. The resuit, Nilsson Sings Newman (1970), was commercially disappointing but was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review magazine, and provided momemtum to Newman's career.

Nilsson's next project was an animated film, The Point!, created with animation director Fred Wolf, and broadcast on ABC television in 1971. Nilsson's album of songs from The Point! was well-received, and spawned a hit single, "Me and My Arrow". Later that year, Nilsson went to England with producer Richard Perry to record what became the most successful album of his career. Nilsson Schmilsson yielded three hit singles that could not be more stylistically different from each other. The first was a cover of Badfinger's song, "Without You", featuring a highly emotional arrangement and soaring vocals to match, a performance that was rewarded with Nilsson's second Grammy Award. The second single was "Coconut", a novelty calypso number. The third, "Jump Into the Fire", was raucous, screaming rock and roll, including a drum solo by Derek and the Dominos' Jim Gordon and a bass detuning by Herbie Flowers.

Nilsson followed quickly with Son of Schmilsson (1972), released while its predecessor was still on the charts. Besides the problem of competing with himself, Nilsson's decision to give free rein to his bawdiness and bluntness on this release alienated some of his earlier, more conservative fan base. With lyrics like "I sang my balls off for you, baby", "Roll the world over / And give her a kiss and a feel", and the notorious "You're breaking my heart / You're tearing it apart / So f--k you", Nilsson had travelled far afield from his earlier work. Still, the album did well, and the single "Spaceman" was a Top 40 hit.

The maverick

This disregard for commercialism in favor of artistic satisfaction showed itself in Nilsson's next release, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (1973). Performing a selection of pop standards by the likes of Irving Berlin and Kalmar & Ruby, Nilsson sang in front of an orchestra arranged and conducted by veteran Gordon Jenkins in sessions produced by his constant supporter Derek Taylor. While in hindsight, the sessions showcased an extremely talented singer in one of his best performances, this was not the sort of thing that was going to burn up the charts in the 1970s. The session was filmed, and was broadcast as a television special by the BBC in the UK. (Nilsson fans still await this film's release in some home video format.)

1974 found Nilsson back in California, and when John Lennon moved there during his separation from Yoko Ono, the two musicians rekindled their earlier friendship. Lennon was intent upon producing Nilsson's next album, much to Nilsson's delight. However, their time together in California became known much more for heavy drinking and drug use than it did for musical collaboration. In a widely publicized incident, they were ejected from the Troubadour in West Hollywood for drunken heckling of the Smothers Brothers. To make matters worse, Nilsson ruptured a vocal cord during the sessions for this album, but hid the fact due to fear that Lennon would call a halt to the production. The resulting album, Pussy Cats, was a shock for listeners who knew Nilsson as one of the best singers of his generation.

Nilsson's voice had mostly recovered by his next release, Duit on Mon Dei (1975), but neither it nor its follow-ups, Sandman and ...That's the Way It Is (both 1976) met with chart success. Finally, Nilsson recorded what he later considered to be his favorite album, 1977's Knnillssonn. With his voice strong again, and his songs exploring musical territory reminiscent of Harry or The Point!, Nilsson had every right to expect Knnillssonn to be a comeback album. RCA Victor seemed to agree, and promised Nilsson a substantial marketing campaign for the album. However, the death of Elvis Presley caused RCA Victor to ignore everything except meeting demand for Presley's back catalog, and the promised marketing push never happened. This, combined with RCA Victor releasing a Nilsson Greatest Hits collection without consulting him, prompted Nilsson to leave the label.

Winding down

Nilsson's musical work after leaving RCA Victor was sporadic. He wrote a musical play, Zapata, with Perry Botkin, Jr., which got as far as being performed in Connecticut but never moved to Broadway. He wrote all the songs for Robert Altman's movie-musical Popeye (1980), and recorded one more album, Flash Harry, which was released in the UK but not in the USA. However, Nilsson increasingly began referring to himself as as a "retired musician".

Nilsson was profoundly affected by the murder of John Lennon in December 1980. He joined the Coalition to Stop Handgun Violence and begain making public appearances solely to raise money for their cause.

Nilsson found himself in a dire financial situation when his trusted financial adviser embezzled all the money he had ever made as a recording artist. His health was also deteriorating, and in 1993, he suffered a massive heart attack. After surviving that, he began pressing his old label, RCA Victor, to release a boxed-set retrospective of his career, and also started recording again, attempting to complete one final album. He completed the vocal tracks for the album on 15 January 1994, and then died that night of heart failure. A little over a month later, the 2-CD anthology he worked on with RCA Victor, Personal Best, was released.

As of 2005, Nilsson's final album, tentatively titled Papa's Got a Brown New Robe, has never been released.

Discography

  • Spotlight on Nilsson (1966)
  • Pandemonium Shadow Show (1967)
  • Aerial Ballet (1968)
  • Skidoo (soundtrack) (1968)
  • Harry (1969)
  • Nilsson Sings Newman (1970)
  • The Point! (1971)
  • Aerial Pandemonium Ballet (1971)
  • Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)
  • Son of Schmilsson (1972)
  • A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (1973)
  • Son of Dracula (1974)
  • Pussy Cats (1974)
  • Duit on Mon Dei (1975)
  • Sandman (1976)
  • ...That's the Way It Is (1976)
  • Knnillssonn (1977)
  • Flash Harry (1980) (not released in USA)

Film and television

  • Skidoo (1968) songs written and performed, soundtrack music composer, actor (bit role)
  • The Courtship of Eddie's Father (TV series, 1969-1972) theme song written and performed, incidental music
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969) new version of "Everybody's Talkin'" performed
  • Jenny (1970) song "Waiting" written and performed
  • The Point! (1971) story, all songs written and performed
  • Son of Dracula (1974) actor (lead role), all songs performed
  • The World's Greatest Lover (1978) song "Ain't It Kinda Wonderful" performed
  • In God We Trust (1980) new version of "Good For God" performed
  • Popeye (1980) all songs written
  • Handgun (1983) song "Lay Down Your Arms" written and performed
  • First Impressions (TV series, 1988) theme song co-written, performed
  • Camp Candy (TV series, animated, 1989-1991) theme song written, and performed with John Candy
  • The Fisher King (1991) song "How About You" performed
  • Me, Myself and I (1992) song "Me, Myself and I" written and performed

Use of Nilsson recordings in films

  • Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971) - "Don't Leave Me"
  • La Mortadella (1971) - "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City"
  • All That Jazz (1979) - "Perfect Day"
  • Real Life (1979) - "Jump Into the Fire"
  • Goodfellas (1990) - "Jump Into the Fire"
  • Reservoir Dogs (1992) - "Coconut"
  • Caroline (animated short, 1993) - "Caroline"
  • Private School for Girls (1993) - "You're Breakin' My Heart"
  • Forrest Gump (1994) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
  • Casino (1995) - "Without You"
  • Angel on My Shoulder (1997)
  • Ellen Foster (1997) - "Remember"
  • The Ice Storm (1997) - "Coconut"
  • Practical Magic (1998) - "Coconut"
  • You've Got Mail (1998) - "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City", "Remember", "The Puppy Song", "Over The Rainbow"
  • High Fidelity (2000) - "The Moonbeam Song"
  • Bridget Jones' Diary (2001) - "Without You"
  • Riding in Cars with Boys (2001) - "Everything's Got 'Em", "Me and My Arrow"
  • Punch-Drunk Love (2002) - "He Needs Me" (Shelley Duvall's version from Popeye)
  • The Rules of Attraction (2002) - "Without You"
  • Shanghai Knights (2003) - "One"
  • Around the Bend (2004) - "Daddy's Song"
  • The Girl Next Door (2004) - "Jump Into the Fire"

Sources

  • Dawn Eden, One Last Touch of Nilsson (Goldmine magazine, April 29, 1994)

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As of 2005, Nilsson's final album, tentatively titled Papa's Got a Brown New Robe, has never been released. [3] (http://www.livedaily.com/news/7457.html?t=77). A little over a month later, the 2-CD anthology he worked on with RCA Victor, Personal Best, was released. Final results from an autopsy show he had a lethal mixture of cocaine and the prescription painkiller Tramadol in his system at the time of his death, which was ruled an accidental overdose by the New York Medical Examiner's Office. He completed the vocal tracks for the album on 15 January 1994, and then died that night of heart failure. During the initial autopsy of the 35-year-old rapper, a doubled plastic bag containing a white powder was discovered in his stomach [2] (http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/21186.htm) (it was cocaine). After surviving that, he began pressing his old label, RCA Victor, to release a boxed-set retrospective of his career, and also started recording again, attempting to complete one final album. The cause of death remained unknown until December 15, 2004, although he reportedly complained of chest pains prior to collapsing, a heart attack was not listed as the cause of death.

His health was also deteriorating, and in 1993, he suffered a massive heart attack. A statement was also released by Damon Dash, who signed ODB to Roc-A-Fella Records in the Fall of 2004:. Nilsson found himself in a dire financial situation when his trusted financial adviser embezzled all the money he had ever made as a recording artist. A statement was released on Saturday (November 13) evening by his mother Cherry Jones:. He joined the Coalition to Stop Handgun Violence and begain making public appearances solely to raise money for their cause. He was pronounced dead less than an hour later, only two days shy of his 36th birthday. He was buried at Brooklyn's Christian Cultural Center. Nilsson was profoundly affected by the murder of John Lennon in December 1980. Russell Jones collapsed at approximately 4:35pm on November 13, 2004 at Wu-Tang's recording studio (36 Records LLC on West 34th Street in New York City).

However, Nilsson increasingly began referring to himself as as a "retired musician". In May 2003, Russell Jones was released from prison. He wrote all the songs for Robert Altman's movie-musical Popeye (1980), and recorded one more album, Flash Harry, which was released in the UK but not in the USA. A Manhattan court sentenced him to two to four years incarceration. Mental problems resulted in a suicide attempt not long after his sentencing. He wrote a musical play, Zapata, with Perry Botkin, Jr., which got as far as being performed in Connecticut but never moved to Broadway. He was later arrested in a Philadelphia McDonald's parking lot and extradited to New York City. Nilsson's musical work after leaving RCA Victor was sporadic. He appeared at a record release party for The W, a Wu-Tang Clan album.

This, combined with RCA Victor releasing a Nilsson Greatest Hits collection without consulting him, prompted Nilsson to leave the label. In October 2000, he escaped from his court-mandated drug treatment facility and spent one month as a fugitive. However, the death of Elvis Presley caused RCA Victor to ignore everything except meeting demand for Presley's back catalog, and the promised marketing push never happened. ODB entered rehab while still technically a fugitive from the law but strange behavior during a subsequent court date sent him to jail for a brief period. RCA Victor seemed to agree, and promised Nilsson a substantial marketing campaign for the album. During a court hearing, he once called a female prosecutor a "sperm donor." [1] (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20041113-2317-people-bastard.html). With his voice strong again, and his songs exploring musical territory reminiscent of Harry or The Point!, Nilsson had every right to expect Knnillssonn to be a comeback album. After his arrest, ODB reportedly asked the police to "make the rocks disappear".

Finally, Nilsson recorded what he later considered to be his favorite album, 1977's Knnillssonn. With multiple cases in the past and present, he was arrested with marijuana and 20 vials of crack. Nilsson's voice had mostly recovered by his next release, Duit on Mon Dei (1975), but neither it nor its follow-ups, Sandman and ...That's the Way It Is (both 1976) met with chart success. Back in New York weeks later, he was arrested for drug possession of crack cocaine and for traffic offenses. The resulting album, Pussy Cats, was a shock for listeners who knew Nilsson as one of the best singers of his generation. In February 1999, he was arrested for driving without a license and for being a convicted felon wearing a bulletproof vest (the first person arrested for this infraction under a new California law). To make matters worse, Nilsson ruptured a vocal cord during the sessions for this album, but hid the fact due to fear that Lennon would call a halt to the production. The case was later dismissed.

In a widely publicized incident, they were ejected from the Troubadour in West Hollywood for drunken heckling of the Smothers Brothers. During a routine traffic stop, the details of which remain clouded in multiple versions of events, he was arrested for attempted murder and criminal weapon possession. However, their time together in California became known much more for heavy drinking and drug use than it did for musical collaboration. He was arrested for criminal threatening after a series of drunken confrontations in Los Angeles a few weeks later, and was then re-arrested for similar charges not long after that. Lennon was intent upon producing Nilsson's next album, much to Nilsson's delight. In 1999, he was arrested for shoplifting a pair of $50 shoes in Virginia Beach, Virginia, although he was carrying close to $500 at the time. 1974 found Nilsson back in California, and when John Lennon moved there during his separation from Yoko Ono, the two musicians rekindled their earlier friendship. He was shot in the back and arm but the wounds were superficial.

(Nilsson fans still await this film's release in some home video format.). In 1998, he pled guilty to attempted assault on his wife and was the victim of a home invasion robbery at his girlfriend's house. The session was filmed, and was broadcast as a television special by the BBC in the UK. His wife, Icelene Jones, claimed he hadn't paid any support in over a year. While in hindsight, the sessions showcased an extremely talented singer in one of his best performances, this was not the sort of thing that was going to burn up the charts in the 1970s. In 1997, he was arrested for failure to pay child support for three of his thirteen children. Performing a selection of pop standards by the likes of Irving Berlin and Kalmar & Ruby, Nilsson sang in front of an orchestra arranged and conducted by veteran Gordon Jenkins in sessions produced by his constant supporter Derek Taylor. In 1993, he was convicted of second degree assault for an attempted robbery and in 1994, he was shot in the abdomen following an argument with another rapper.

This disregard for commercialism in favor of artistic satisfaction showed itself in Nilsson's next release, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (1973). He had stated that he also planned on collaborating with artists in the electronic music genre, such as Carnage and The Fiasco, Fischerspooner, and possibly even Massive Attack. Still, the album did well, and the single "Spaceman" was a Top 40 hit. He also managed to record a new album, (to be) released in 2004. With lyrics like "I sang my balls off for you, baby", "Roll the world over / And give her a kiss and a feel", and the notorious "You're breaking my heart / You're tearing it apart / So f--k you", Nilsson had travelled far afield from his earlier work. Living at his mother's home under house arrest and with a court-ordered probation hanging over his head, he managed to star in a VH1 reality television series. Besides the problem of competing with himself, Nilsson's decision to give free rein to his bawdiness and bluntness on this release alienated some of his earlier, more conservative fan base. The day he was released from prison, with Mariah Carey and Damon Dash by his side, Dirty signed a contract with Roc-a-Fella Records, and began a new chapter in his life.

Nilsson followed quickly with Son of Schmilsson (1972), released while its predecessor was still on the charts. The year 2003 brought a turn in the life of the dirtiest member of the Wu-Tang Clan, however. The third, "Jump Into the Fire", was raucous, screaming rock and roll, including a drum solo by Derek and the Dominos' Jim Gordon and a bass detuning by Herbie Flowers. His record company, Elektra Records, released a greatest hits album in 2002 as well as "new" material, but ODB's lack of participation led to critical pans and popular failure. The second single was "Coconut", a novelty calypso number. This release included the year's college anthem, "Got Your Money". The first was a cover of Badfinger's song, "Without You", featuring a highly emotional arrangement and soaring vocals to match, a performance that was rewarded with Nilsson's second Grammy Award. In 1999, he found time to release Nigga Please between jail sentences, which received much success.

Nilsson Schmilsson yielded three hit singles that could not be more stylistically different from each other. Also that year while being taped for an MTV biography, he took two of his thirteen children by limousine to a New York State welfare office to pick up his welfare check. Later that year, Nilsson went to England with producer Richard Perry to record what became the most successful album of his career. In April 1998, he announced his new stage name, Big Baby Jesus, but was never able to give a coherent explanation for the very brief switch. Nilsson's album of songs from The Point! was well-received, and spawned a hit single, "Me and My Arrow". Before being escorted off-stage, he implored the audience, "I don't know how you all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children." His bizarre onstage antics were widely reported in the mainstream media. Nilsson's next project was an animated film, The Point!, created with animation director Fred Wolf, and broadcast on ABC television in 1971. The following night at the Grammy Awards, Ol' Dirty Bastard rushed onstage unexpectedly during Shawn Colvin's acceptance speech for "Song of the Year" and began complaining that he had recently purchased expensive clothes in anticipation of winning the "Best Rap Album" award that he lost to Puff Daddy.

The resuit, Nilsson Sings Newman (1970), was commercially disappointing but was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review magazine, and provided momemtum to Newman's career. ODB, using a false name, visited the girl in the hospital frequently until he was spotted by members of the media. Nilsson was so impressed with Newman's talent that he devoted his entire next album to Newman compositions, with Newman himself playing piano behind Nilsson's multi-tracked vocals. She was taken to a hospital with second and third degree burns. While the album still presented Nilsson as primarily a songwriter, his astute choice of cover material included, this time, a song by a little-known composer named Randy Newman. In February 1998, after Russell witnessed a car accident from the window of his Brooklyn recording studio, he and a friend ran to the accident scene and organized about a dozen onlookers who assisted in lifting the 1996 Ford Mustang — rescuing a 4-year-old girl from the wreckage. Nilsson's next album, Harry (1969), was his first to hit the charts, and also provided a Top 40 single with "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City". In 1997, the rapper further solidified his place in hip-hop history with the release of Wu-Tang Clan's second and most commercially successful album, Wu-Tang Forever..

The result, "Best Friend", was very popular, but Nilsson never released the song on record. Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, released on March 28, 1995, spawned the hit singles Brooklyn Zoo and Shimmy Shimmy Ya, and powered the album to gold status. Nilsson was also commissioned at this time to write and perform the theme song for the ABC television series The Courtship of Eddie's Father. ODB's solo career began in 1995, the second member of the Wu-Tang Clan to release a solo album, following Method Man's 1994 effort, Tical. Aerial Ballet also contained Nilsson's version of his own composition, "One", which was later taken to the top of the charts by Three Dog Night. Ol' Dirty Bastard was first featured on Wu-Tang Clan's massively popular and innovative debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers (1993), considered one of the most influential rap albums of the 1990s and listed as one of Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time.". A minor hit at the time of release, the song would become extremely popular a year later when it was featured in the film Midnight Cowboy, and would earn Nilsson his first Grammy Award. He coupled an authentic ghetto mentality with the street credibility and the musical integrity necessary to be taken seriously in the hip-hop movement.

Pandemonium Shadow Show was followed in 1968 by Aerial Ballet, an album that included Nilsson's rendition of Fred Neil's song "Everybody's Talkin'". Armed with his raw character, grimy, almost slurred and off-beat delivery and humorous antics, he was recognized as a pioneer who provided a breath of fresh air to the increasingly artificial world of rap music. He replied, "Nilsson". Born in Brooklyn, New York, Russell Jones founded the Wu-Tang Clan with his cousin, RZA, and a childhood friend, GZA. Paul was then asked to name his favorite American group. His talent as a musician, coupled with a problem-plagued private life and erratic public behavior, made him one of the most well-known members of the successful nine-man rap group called the "Wu-Tang Clan" and an influential force in both rap music and the modern hip-hop culture. He replied, "Nilsson". Ol' Dirty Bastard (also known as ODB, Dirty, Dirt McGirt, Dirt Dog, Big Baby Jesus, Osirus, Joe Bannanas, and Unique Ason), born Russell Tyrone Jones (November 15, 1968–November 13, 2004), was an African American rapper with one of the most highly distinctive styles of the 1990s.

When John Lennon and Paul McCartney held a press conference in 1968 to announce the formation of Apple Corps, John was asked to name his favorite American artist. 2004 Disciples of the 36 Chambers: Chapter 1 (album by the Wu-Tang Clan). Some of the albums from Derek Taylor's box eventually ended up with the Beatles themselves, who quickly became Nilsson fans. This may have been helped by the track "You Can't Do That", in which Nilsson covered one Beatles song but added 22 others in the multi-tracked background vocals. 2004 Some Girls (Dance With Women) (bonus remix of the first single off the JC Chasez album Schizophrenic). With a major-label release, and continued songwriting success (The Monkees had a hit with Nilsson's "Cuddly Toy"), Nilsson finally felt secure enough in the music business to quit his job with the bank. Clones). One such insider was Beatles press officer Derek Taylor, who bought an entire box of copies of the album to share this new sound with others. 2003 Pop Shit (from the Neptunes album The Neptunes Present..

Music industry insiders were impressed both with the songwriting, and with Nilsson's pure-toned, multi-octave vocals. 2000 Conditioner (from the Wu-Tang Clan album The W). Nilsson signed with RCA Victor in 1967 and released an album, Pandemonium Shadow Show, which was a critical (if not commercial) success. 1999 Bitches (from the Insane Clown Posse album The Amazing Jeckel Brothers). (Despite this growing success, Nilsson was still working the night shift at the bank.). 1998 Ghetto Supastar (with Pras and Mya, from the Bulworth soundtrack). His recording contract was picked up by Tower Records, who did nothing with it, but his songs were now being recorded by Glen Campbell, Fred Astaire, The Yardbirds, and many other artists. 1997 Wu-Tang Forever (album by the Wu-Tang Clan).

He also established a relationship with songwriter and publisher Perry Botkin, Jr., who began to find a market for Nilsson's songs. 1996 Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check (remix single by Busta Rhymes). In 1964, Nilsson worked with Phil Spector, writing three songs with him. 1993 Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers (album by the Wu-Tang Clan). Another recording, "Donna, I Understand", convinced Mercury Records to offer Nilsson a contract, and release recordings by him under the name Johnny Niles. 2004 Pop Shots. One, "Baa Baa Blackseep", was released under the pseudonym Bo Pete to some small local airplay. Kelis).

(Little Richard, upon hearing Nilsson sing, reportedly remarked, "My! You sing good for a white boy!") Marascalco also financed some independent singles by Nilsson. 2000 Got Your Money (feat. In 1963, Nilsson began to have some early success as a songwriter, working with John Marascalco on a song for Little Richard. EP. Nilsson replied that he had already been paid -- five dollars a track.). 1998 O.D.B. (Years later, when Nilsson became famous, Turner decided to release these early recordings, and contacted Nilsson to work out a fair payment. 1995 Shimmy Shimmy Ya.

Turner paid Nilsson five dollars for each track they recorded. 1995 Brooklyn Zoo. Uncle John's singing lessons, along with Nilsson's natural talent, surely helped when he got a job singing demos for songwriter Scott Turner in 1960. 2005 Osirus. His job with the bank was on the night shift, so Nilsson spent his days infiltrating Los Angeles music business offices, making friends and developing connections. 2002 The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones. He had taken early stabs at performing while he was working at the Paramount, forming a vocal duo with his friend Jerry Smith and singing close harmonies in the style of the Everly Brothers. 2001 The Dirty Story: The Best of Ol' Dirty Bastard (compilation).

As early as 1958, Nilsson was hooked on the new wave of music, especially rhythm and blues artists like Ray Charles. 1999 Nigga Please. He did so well, in fact, that the bank kept him on even after discovering the lie about his education. 1995 Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. (He only made it through 9th grade.) He turned out to have an aptitude for computers, which were just starting to be employed by banks at the time. When the Paramount closed (circa 1960), Nilsson applied for a job at a bank, falsely stating he was a high school graduate on his application.

Due to the poor financial situation of his family, Nilsson worked from an early age, including a job at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles. One relative who turned out to be an important influence on him was his Uncle John, a mechanic in San Bernadino, California, who taught him to sing properly. Harry grew up with his mother Bette Nilsson and his younger half-sister, periodically moving to California or back to New York, and living with a procession of relatives and stepfathers. An autobiographical reference to this is found in the opening to Nilsson's song "1941":.

His father, Harry Edward Nilsson, Jr., abandoned the family three years later. Nilsson was born in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York in 1941. His most well-known recordings are "Without You" and "Everybody's Talkin'". Despite some spectacular successes, including two Grammy Awards, Nilsson's tendency to make broad stylistic jumps from one record to the next and his iconoclastic decisions kept him from capitalizing on those successes.

For most of his recordings, he did not use his first name, and was credited only as Nilsson. Harry Edward Nilsson III (June 15, 1941 - January 15, 1994) was an American songwriter, singer, pianist and guitarist, most popular during the 1960s and 1970s. Dawn Eden, One Last Touch of Nilsson (Goldmine magazine, April 29, 1994). The Girl Next Door (2004) - "Jump Into the Fire".

Around the Bend (2004) - "Daddy's Song". Shanghai Knights (2003) - "One". The Rules of Attraction (2002) - "Without You". Punch-Drunk Love (2002) - "He Needs Me" (Shelley Duvall's version from Popeye).

Riding in Cars with Boys (2001) - "Everything's Got 'Em", "Me and My Arrow". Bridget Jones' Diary (2001) - "Without You". High Fidelity (2000) - "The Moonbeam Song". You've Got Mail (1998) - "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City", "Remember", "The Puppy Song", "Over The Rainbow".

Practical Magic (1998) - "Coconut". The Ice Storm (1997) - "Coconut". Ellen Foster (1997) - "Remember". Angel on My Shoulder (1997).

Casino (1995) - "Without You". Forrest Gump (1994) - "Everybody's Talkin'". Private School for Girls (1993) - "You're Breakin' My Heart". Caroline (animated short, 1993) - "Caroline".

Reservoir Dogs (1992) - "Coconut". Goodfellas (1990) - "Jump Into the Fire". Real Life (1979) - "Jump Into the Fire". All That Jazz (1979) - "Perfect Day".

La Mortadella (1971) - "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City". Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971) - "Don't Leave Me". Me, Myself and I (1992) song "Me, Myself and I" written and performed. The Fisher King (1991) song "How About You" performed.

Camp Candy (TV series, animated, 1989-1991) theme song written, and performed with John Candy. First Impressions (TV series, 1988) theme song co-written, performed. Handgun (1983) song "Lay Down Your Arms" written and performed. Popeye (1980) all songs written.

In God We Trust (1980) new version of "Good For God" performed. The World's Greatest Lover (1978) song "Ain't It Kinda Wonderful" performed. Son of Dracula (1974) actor (lead role), all songs performed. The Point! (1971) story, all songs written and performed.

Jenny (1970) song "Waiting" written and performed. Midnight Cowboy (1969) new version of "Everybody's Talkin'" performed. The Courtship of Eddie's Father (TV series, 1969-1972) theme song written and performed, incidental music. Skidoo (1968) songs written and performed, soundtrack music composer, actor (bit role).

Flash Harry (1980) (not released in USA). Knnillssonn (1977). ...That's the Way It Is (1976). Sandman (1976).

Duit on Mon Dei (1975). Pussy Cats (1974). Son of Dracula (1974). A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (1973).

Son of Schmilsson (1972). Nilsson Schmilsson (1971). Aerial Pandemonium Ballet (1971). The Point! (1971).

Nilsson Sings Newman (1970). Harry (1969). Skidoo (soundtrack) (1968). Aerial Ballet (1968).

Pandemonium Shadow Show (1967). Spotlight on Nilsson (1966).

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