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Tom Waits

Thomas Alan Waits, (born December 7, 1949) is an American composer, singer, musician and actor.

Early Career

Born in Pomona, California, Waits' recording career began in 1971, after he relocated to Los Angeles and signed with Herb Cohen, manager of Frank Zappa, among others. After numerous abortive recording sessions, his first record, the melancholic, country-tinged Closing Time (1973) received warm reviews, but he first gained national attention when his "Ol' 55" was recorded by The Eagles in 1974. The Heart of Saturday Night showed his roots as a nightclub singer, half speaking and half crooning ballads, often with a soft jazz background. The 1975 album Nighthawks at the Diner, recorded in a studio but with a small audience to capture the ambience of a live show, captures this phase of his career, including the lengthy spoken interludes between songs that punctuated his live act.

Small Change (1976) featuring famed drummer Shelly Manne, was jazzier still, and songs such as "The Piano Has Been Drinking" and "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart" cemented his hard living reputation, with a lyrical style pitched somewhere between Raymond Chandler and Charles Bukowski. Foreign Affairs (1977) and Blue Valentine (1978) were in a similar vein, but showed further refinement of his artistic voice. 1980 saw the commencement of a long working relationship with Francis Ford Coppola, who asked him to provide music for his film One From The Heart. Waits would also act in Coppola's Rumblefish, The Outsiders, The Cotton Club and Dracula (as the insane Renfield), and work with such directors as Jim Jarmusch and Robert Altman. In August 1980, he married Kathleen Brennan, whom he had met on the set of One From The Heart. With his wife, he wrote and performed in Big Time, a slightly surreal concert movie. His wife is regularly credited as co-author of many songs on his later released albums, and is often cited by Waits as a major influence on his work.

1980s and later

After he left Asylum Records for Island Records in 1983, his music became less mainstream. His trio of albums from the mid-1980s, Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Frank's Wild Years, all featured some degree of eclectic instrumentation -- Waits' self described "Junkyard Orchestra"--often marrying soul music horn sections to avant-garde percussion reminiscent of Harry Partch's, or the distorted guitar of Marc Ribot. He also gradually altered his singing style, sounding less like the late-night crooner of the 70s, instead adopting a gravelly voice reminiscent of Howling Wolf and Captain Beefheart. The last of these albums -- an off-Broadway musical co-written with his wife -- and the later collaboration with William S. Burroughs on The Black Rider both demonstrated the increasing interest in theatre, which has resulted in a somewhat successful acting career as well as soundtrack work.

In the popular perception, however, he and his work remain mostly characterised by his rocky voice, his strong personality and theatrical presence on stage and the "late night smoky bars" humour of his texts ("I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy."). Waits has been reported as having bipolar disorder. In essence, however, and despite his songs having been covered by famous stars such as Bruce Springsteen and Rod Stewart, Waits remains a cult performer, steadfastly outside the mainstream.

Lawsuits

Waits has steadfastly refused to allow the use of his songs in commercials and has filed several lawsuits against advertisers who used his material without permission. The first lawsuit was filed in 1988 against Frito Lay, and resulted in a US$2.6 million judgement in Waits' favor. Frito Lay had approached Waits to use one of his songs in an advertisement. Waits declined the offer, and Frito Lay hired a Waits soundalike to sing a jingle similar to "Step Right Up," which is, ironically, a song Waits has called "an indictment of advertising." [1] (http://www.joe.trussell.com/waits/frito_lay.html) ("Step Right Up" concludes with the lyric "What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away").

In 1993, Levi's used Screamin' Jay Hawkins' version of Waits' "Heartattack and Vine" in a commercial. Waits sued, and Levis agreed to cease all use of the song, and offered a full page apology in Billboard Magazine. [2] (http://www.keeslau.com/TomWaitsSupplement/Copyright/copyrightwaitslevis.htm)

In 2000, an Audi commercial broadcast in Spain featured music very similar to Waits' "Innocent When You Dream", after Waits first had declined when they approached him about using the original. A Spanish court recognized there had been a violation of Waits’s moral rights, in addition to the infringement of copyright [3] (http://www.anti.com/news.php?newsid=86715). The production company, Tandem Campany Guasch, was ordered to pay compensation to Waits through his Spanish publisher.

Discography

Major releases


+ Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album


^ Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album

Collections

  • 1983 Anthology of Tom Waits (Elektra)
  • 1991 The Early Years, Volume One
  • 1993 The Early Years, Volume Two
  • 1998 Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years

Contributions

  • 1991 Sailing the Seas of Cheese, by Primus: Waits does character vocals on Tommy The Cat
  • 1992 Beautiful Mess, by Thelonious Monster: Waits appears as a guest singer on Adios Lounge
  • 1993 Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, by Gavin Bryars: Waits appears as guest singer
  • 1999 Antipop, by Primus: Waits does vocals on Coattails of a Deadman
  • 2000 Helium, by Tin Hat Trio: Waits appears as guest singer on Helium Reprise
  • 2001 It's A Wonderful Life, by Sparklehorse: Waits does vocals on "Dog Door"
  • 2002 For the Kids by various artists: Waits performs the lullaby "Bring Down the Branches"
  • 2004 The Ride by Los Lobos: Waits does vocals on the track "Kitate"
  • 2004 The Late Great Daniel Johnston by various artists: Waits covers Johnston's "King Kong"

Tribute albums

  • 1995 Temptation, Holly Cole
  • 1995 Step Right Up, various artists
  • 2000 New Coat of Paint, various artists
  • 2001 Wicked Grin, John Hammond
  • 2004 Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits, various artists

Filmography

  • 1978 Movie debut as 'Mumbles' in Paradise Alley.
  • 1980 Worked with Francis Ford Coppola on the soundtrack to One From The Heart.
  • 1982 Soundtrack of One From The Heart. Nominated for an Academy Award for best original score.
    • Played petrified man in carnival in The Stone Boy.
  • 1983 Played Buck Merrill in The Outsiders.
    • Played Bennie the pool hall owner in Rumble Fish.
  • 1984 Played Irving Stark in The Cotton Club.
  • 1986 Starred as Zack in Down by Law.
  • 1987 Played Rudy The Kraut in Ironweed.
    • Played Al Silk in Candy Mountain.
  • 1989 Played the 'Punch & Judy Man' in Bearskin: An Urban Fairytale.
    • Starred as Kenny the Hitman in Cold Feet.
    • Voice of the radio DJ in Mystery Train. Composer on Sea of Love
  • 1990 Played a plainclothes policeman in The Two Jakes.
  • 1991 Played Wolf in At Play in the Fields of the Lord.
    • Played a disabled Veteran beggar in The Fisher King.
    • Wrote the score of Night on Earth (With Kathleen Brennan).
    • Played Monte in Queens Logic.
  • 1992 Composer (With Kathleen Brennan) on American Heart.
    • Played R.M. Renfield in Bram Stoker's Dracula.
    • Played Earl Piggott in Short Cuts.
  • 1996 Composer on soundtrack of Dead Man Walking.
    • Composer on soundtrack of The End of Violence.
  • 1999 Mystery Men -- played an inventor who specialized in non-lethal weapons.
  • 2003 Appeared in conversation with Iggy Pop in Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere In America.
  • 2004 Composer (with Kathleen Brennan) on soundtrack of "Shrek 2"

Tours

  • 1973 Closing Time touring
  • 1974-1975 The Heart Of Saturday Night touring
  • 1975-1976 Small Change touring
  • 1977 Foreign Affairs touring
  • 1978-1979 Blue Valentine touring
  • 1980-1982 Heartattack and Vine touring
  • 1985 Rain Dogs touring
  • 1987 Big Time touring
  • 1999 Get Behind The Mule Tour
  • 2004 Real Gone Tour

See also:

  • Kazik Staszewski, Polish artist extensively covering Waits
  • Holly Cole, Canadian artist covering Waits' songs in jazz style

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^ Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. Compilations of interest to collectors.
+ Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Other labels. A Spanish court recognized there had been a violation of Waits’s moral rights, in addition to the infringement of copyright [3] (http://www.anti.com/news.php?newsid=86715). The production company, Tandem Campany Guasch, was ordered to pay compensation to Waits through his Spanish publisher. Columbia Records. In 2000, an Audi commercial broadcast in Spain featured music very similar to Waits' "Innocent When You Dream", after Waits first had declined when they approached him about using the original. Cadence Records.

[2] (http://www.keeslau.com/TomWaitsSupplement/Copyright/copyrightwaitslevis.htm). Williams's birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa is a tourist attraction open most of the year. Waits sued, and Levis agreed to cease all use of the song, and offered a full page apology in Billboard Magazine. He hosted a major golf tournament in San Diego for many years, which was known as the Andy Williams San Diego Open during that time. In 1993, Levi's used Screamin' Jay Hawkins' version of Waits' "Heartattack and Vine" in a commercial. Williams is an avid golfer. Waits declined the offer, and Frito Lay hired a Waits soundalike to sing a jingle similar to "Step Right Up," which is, ironically, a song Waits has called "an indictment of advertising." [1] (http://www.joe.trussell.com/waits/frito_lay.html) ("Step Right Up" concludes with the lyric "What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away"). Williams's homes have been featured in Architectural Digest, and he is a noted collector of modern art.

Frito Lay had approached Waits to use one of his songs in an advertisement. They make their homes at Branson, Missouri and La Quinta, California. The first lawsuit was filed in 1988 against Frito Lay, and resulted in a US$2.6 million judgement in Waits' favor. Williams married a second time in the 1990s to the former Debbie Haas. Waits has steadfastly refused to allow the use of his songs in commercials and has filed several lawsuits against advertisers who used his material without permission. They were divorced in 1975. In essence, however, and despite his songs having been covered by famous stars such as Bruce Springsteen and Rod Stewart, Waits remains a cult performer, steadfastly outside the mainstream. To this union were born three children, Noelle, Christian, and Robert.

Waits has been reported as having bipolar disorder. Williams married French chanteuse Claudine Longet in 1961. In the popular perception, however, he and his work remain mostly characterised by his rocky voice, his strong personality and theatrical presence on stage and the "late night smoky bars" humour of his texts ("I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy."). Nearly everything Williams ever recorded has now been made available on CD through a series of compilations from 1997 to 2004. The last of these albums -- an off-Broadway musical co-written with his wife -- and the later collaboration with William S. Burroughs on The Black Rider both demonstrated the increasing interest in theatre, which has resulted in a somewhat successful acting career as well as soundtrack work. His 1967 recording of "Music to Watch Girls By" was a surprise hit in England in 2003, following closely on the heels of a new duet of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" with a British model and singer, Denise Van Outen. He also gradually altered his singing style, sounding less like the late-night crooner of the 70s, instead adopting a gravelly voice reminiscent of Howling Wolf and Captain Beefheart. He continues to do 8-12 shows a week from September to December and occasionally makes tours of Europe earlier in the year.

His trio of albums from the mid-1980s, Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Frank's Wild Years, all featured some degree of eclectic instrumentation -- Waits' self described "Junkyard Orchestra"--often marrying soul music horn sections to avant-garde percussion reminiscent of Harry Partch's, or the distorted guitar of Marc Ribot. In the early 1990s, Williams gave up most of his touring schedule in order to open his own theatre in Branson, Missouri, the Andy Williams Moon River Theater. After he left Asylum Records for Island Records in 1983, his music became less mainstream. He returned to television to do a syndicated half-hour series in 1976-77. His wife is regularly credited as co-author of many songs on his later released albums, and is often cited by Waits as a major influence on his work. He hosted the Grammy Awards for three consecutive years in the 1970s. With his wife, he wrote and performed in Big Time, a slightly surreal concert movie. Williams has recorded eight Christmas albums over the years.

In August 1980, he married Kathleen Brennan, whom he had met on the set of One From The Heart. His Christmas specials, which appeared regularly until 1974 and intermittently from 1982 into the 1990s, were among the most popular of the genre. Waits would also act in Coppola's Rumblefish, The Outsiders, The Cotton Club and Dracula (as the insane Renfield), and work with such directors as Jim Jarmusch and Robert Altman. He gave up the variety show in 1971 while it was still popular and retrenched to three specials per year. 1980 saw the commencement of a long working relationship with Francis Ford Coppola, who asked him to provide music for his film One From The Heart. Among his series regulars were the Osmond Brothers. Foreign Affairs (1977) and Blue Valentine (1978) were in a similar vein, but showed further refinement of his artistic voice. This series, "The Andy Williams Show," won three Emmy Awards for outstanding variety program.

Small Change (1976) featuring famed drummer Shelly Manne, was jazzier still, and songs such as "The Piano Has Been Drinking" and "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart" cemented his hard living reputation, with a lyrical style pitched somewhere between Raymond Chandler and Charles Bukowski. Williams also competed in the teenage-oriented singles market as well and had some hit singles including "Can't Get Used to Losing You," "Happy Heart," and "(Where Do I Begin) Love Story." Building on his experience with Allen and some short-term variety shows in the 1950s, he became the star of his own weekly television variety show in 1962. The 1975 album Nighthawks at the Diner, recorded in a studio but with a small audience to capture the ambience of a live show, captures this phase of his career, including the lengthy spoken interludes between songs that punctuated his live act. This was repeated the next year with the pair's "Days of Wine and Roses" (which also won), Mancini's "Dear Heart" at the 1965 awards and "The Sweetheart Tree" (also written with Mercer) at the 1966 awards. The Heart of Saturday Night showed his roots as a nightclub singer, half speaking and half crooning ballads, often with a soft jazz background. Williams was asked to sing Mancini and Johnny Mercer's song "Moon River" at the 1962 Oscar Awards (where it won), and it quickly became Williams's theme song. After numerous abortive recording sessions, his first record, the melancholic, country-tinged Closing Time (1973) received warm reviews, but he first gained national attention when his "Ol' 55" was recorded by The Eagles in 1974. Williams forged a collaborative relationship with Henry Mancini, although they never recorded together.

Born in Pomona, California, Waits' recording career began in 1971, after he relocated to Los Angeles and signed with Herb Cohen, manager of Frank Zappa, among others. Among his hit albums from this period were "Moon River," "Days of Wine and Roses" (number one for 16 weeks in mid-1963), "Dear Heart," "The Shadow of Your Smile," "Love, Andy," "Get Together with Andy Williams," and "Love Story.". Thomas Alan Waits, (born December 7, 1949) is an American composer, singer, musician and actor. By 1973 he had earned as many as 17 Gold records. Holly Cole, Canadian artist covering Waits' songs in jazz style. He was primarily an album artist, and at one time he had earned more Gold Albums than any solo performer except Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Kazik Staszewski, Polish artist extensively covering Waits. During the 1960s, Williams became one of the most popular vocalists in the country and signed what was to that time the biggest recording contract in history.

2004 Real Gone Tour. Two top ten hits from the Cadence era, "Butterfly" and "I Like Your Kind of Love" were apparently believed to not suit Williams's later style; they were not included on a Columbia reissue of his Cadence greatest hits in the 1960s. 1999 Get Behind The Mule Tour. In terms of chart popularity, the Cadence era was Williams's peak although songs he introduced on Columbia became much bigger standards. 1987 Big Time touring. Bernadette," and "Lonely Street," before Williams moved to Columbia Records in 1961, having moved from New York to Los Angeles. 1985 Rain Dogs touring. More hits followed, including "The Hawaiian Wedding Song," "Are You Sincere," "The Village of St.

1980-1982 Heartattack and Vine touring. His third single, "Canadian Sunset' (1956) hit the Top Ten, and was soon followed his only Billboard #1 hit, "Butterfly" (a cover of a Charlie Gracie record on which Williams imitated Elvis Presley). 1978-1979 Blue Valentine touring. After landing a spot as a regular on Steve Allen's Tonight Show in 1955, he was signed to a recording contract with Cadence Records, a small label in New York run by conductor Archie Bleyer. 1977 Foreign Affairs touring. He recorded six sides for RCA's label "X," but none of them were popular hits. 1975-1976 Small Change touring. Williams's solo career began in 1952 after his brothers left the act.

1974-1975 The Heart Of Saturday Night touring. This led to a nightclub act with Kay Thompson, a comedian, from 1947 to 1951. 1973 Closing Time touring. They appeared with Bing Crosby on the hit record "Swinging on a Star" (1944). 2004 Composer (with Kathleen Brennan) on soundtrack of "Shrek 2". Williams graduated from high school in Cincinnati. 2003 Appeared in conversation with Iggy Pop in Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere In America. Williams and his three older brothers Bob, Dick, and Don, formed a quartet, the Williams Brothers, in the late 1930s, and they performed on radio in the Midwest, first at WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, and later at WLS in Chicago and WLW in Cincinnati.

1999 Mystery Men -- played an inventor who specialized in non-lethal weapons. He first performed in a children's choir at the local Presbyterian church. Composer on soundtrack of The End of Violence. Andy Williams (born Howard Andrew Williams in December 3, 1927) is an American pop singer from Wall Lake, Iowa. 1996 Composer on soundtrack of Dead Man Walking.

    . B Sides and Rarities, Collectables, 2003, (contains recordings as early as 1948, many of which had never appeared on any album before). Played Earl Piggott in Short Cuts. Complete Columbia Chart Singles Collection, Taragon, 2002.

    Renfield in Bram Stoker's Dracula. The Best of the Cadence Years, Varese Sarabande, 1997. Played R.M. 16 Most Requested Songs, Columbia/Legacy, 1990. 1992 Composer (With Kathleen Brennan) on American Heart.

      . Easy Does It, Metro, 2002. Played Monte in Queens Logic. Andy Williams Live: Christmas Treasures, 2001.

      Wrote the score of Night on Earth (With Kathleen Brennan). Branson City Limits [Live], Unison, 1998. Played a disabled Veteran beggar in The Fisher King. It's a Wonderful Christmas, Publishing Mills, 1997. 1991 Played Wolf in At Play in the Fields of the Lord.

        . We Need A Little Christmas, Unison, 1997. 1990 Played a plainclothes policeman in The Two Jakes. The New Andy Williams Christmas Album, Laserlight, 1994.

        Composer on Sea of Love. Nashville, Curb, 1991. Voice of the radio DJ in Mystery Train. I Still Believe in Santa Claus, Curb, 1990. Starred as Kenny the Hitman in Cold Feet. Feelings, PolyTel, 1989. 1989 Played the 'Punch & Judy Man' in Bearskin: An Urban Fairytale.

          . Close Enough for Love, Atlantic, 1986.

          Played Al Silk in Candy Mountain. From Andy With Love, Hallmark, 1985. 1987 Played Rudy The Kraut in Ironweed.

            . The Andy Williams Wedding & Anniversary Album, CSP, 1981. 1986 Starred as Zack in Down by Law. Greatest Love Classics, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 1984. 1984 Played Irving Stark in The Cotton Club. Let's Love While We Can, 1980 (not released in US until 2004).

            Played Bennie the pool hall owner in Rumble Fish. Spanish Eyes, 1976. 1983 Played Buck Merrill in The Outsiders.

              . Andy, 1976. Played petrified man in carnival in The Stone Boy. The Other Side of Me, 1975. Nominated for an Academy Award for best original score.
                . Christmas Present, 1974.

                1982 Soundtrack of One From The Heart. You Lay So Easy on My Mind, 1974. 1980 Worked with Francis Ford Coppola on the soundtrack to One From The Heart. The Way We Were, 1974. 1978 Movie debut as 'Mumbles' in Paradise Alley. II, 1973. 2004 Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits, various artists. Andy Williams' Greatest Hits Vol.

                2001 Wicked Grin, John Hammond. Solitaire, 1973. 2000 New Coat of Paint, various artists. Alone Again (Naturally), 1972. 1995 Step Right Up, various artists. Love Theme from the Godfather (Speak Softly Love), 1972. 1995 Temptation, Holly Cole. You've Got a Friend, 1971.

                2004 The Late Great Daniel Johnston by various artists: Waits covers Johnston's "King Kong". Love Story, 1971. 2004 The Ride by Los Lobos: Waits does vocals on the track "Kitate". Andy Williams' Greatest Hits, 1970. 2002 For the Kids by various artists: Waits performs the lullaby "Bring Down the Branches". Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, 1970. 2001 It's A Wonderful Life, by Sparklehorse: Waits does vocals on "Dog Door". The Andy Williams Show, 1970.

                2000 Helium, by Tin Hat Trio: Waits appears as guest singer on Helium Reprise. The Andy Williams' Sound of Music, 1969. 1999 Antipop, by Primus: Waits does vocals on Coattails of a Deadman. Get Together with Andy Williams, 1969. 1993 Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, by Gavin Bryars: Waits appears as guest singer. Happy Heart, 1969. 1992 Beautiful Mess, by Thelonious Monster: Waits appears as a guest singer on Adios Lounge. Honey, 1968.

                1991 Sailing the Seas of Cheese, by Primus: Waits does character vocals on Tommy The Cat. Love, Andy, 1967. 1998 Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years. Born Free, 1967. 1993 The Early Years, Volume Two. In the Arms of Love, 1967. 1991 The Early Years, Volume One. The Shadow of Your Smile, 1966.

                1983 Anthology of Tom Waits (Elektra). Andy Williams' Newest Hits, 1966 (compilation of early Columbia singles). Merry Christmas, 1965. Hawaiian Wedding Song, 1965 (reissue of the Cadence Records album To You Sweetheart, Aloha). Canadian Sunset, 1965 ( reissue of the 1962 Cadence Records compilation Andy Williams' Best).

                Dear Heart, 1965. The Great Songs from My Fair Lady and Other Shows, 1964. Call Me Irresponsible, 1964. The Wonderful World of Andy Williams, 1964.

                The Andy Williams Christmas Album, 1963. Days of Wine and Roses, 1963. Can't Get Used To Losing You, 1963. Warm and Willing, 1962.

                Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes, 1962. Danny Boy and Other Songs I Love to Sing, 1962. Million Seller Songs, 1962. Andy Williams' Best, 1961 (compilation including Cadence singles which had never appeared on an album).

                Under Paris Skies, with Quincy Jones, 1961 (William's Last Album of New Material for Cadence). Bernadette, 1960. The Village of St. Lonely Street, 1959.

                To You, Sweetheart, Aloha, 1959. Two Time Winners, 1959. Andy Williams Sings Rodgers and Hammerstein, 1959. Andy Williams Sings Steve Allen, 1959.

                Andy Williams, 1957 (compilation of A and B sides of second through seventh Cadence singles).

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