Ray Jessel had a long, successful career writing in television, on series that included The Bob Newhart Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Love Boat and more. He also had success on Broadway, co-writing the score of Baker Street, a musical about Sherlock Holmes that even produced a moderate hit, A Married Man, recorded by RIchard Burton, no less, more spoken than sung. (It was performed in the show by Dr. Watson). And he wrote some of the lyrics for I Remember Mama that had music by Richard Rodgers.
But later in his life, he's reinvented himself as a cabaret performer, singing his own songs in a wonderfully entertaining act. Some of the songs are quite tender, but the centerpiece is the comedy numbers with sharp, witty, impressively clever lyrics that are truly funny, with thoroughly enjoyable melodies. I'll play a few of them from time to time, from his wonderful CD, The First Seventy Years, but want to start with one of my favorites. It's his sardonic tribute to Shirley Temple.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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