There is no better way to start this short biography than with the words of the late Alan
"His songs are written to be sung ... but even more, the strain that
runs through his music is that most endangered of all species -joy"....
One either has it or doesn't have it, Gerard Kenny has it.
Gerard was born in New York on 8th July 1947. His was a very musical family, his father being a singer and dancer. At a very early age Gerard showed a love of the piano, this was encouraged by his father and he was sent for lessons. His aptitude was such that by the age of five he was appearing on stage in his father's shows.
At high school, Gerard played in several rock bands and, after his graduation as a Music Major at Hofsira University, he started to teach piano and also played in various bars around Greenwich Village.
In the 60's, the combination of his father's tuition and the revolution in popular music and rock'n roll, gave him a unique blend of vaudeville and contemporary sounds in his musical outlook. At this time Gerard made recordings as part of a group called 'The Pheatons'.
By the 70's things were moving quickly. Collaboration with the outstanding lyricist Drey Shepperd produced the autobiographical Songs "Son of a Song and Dance Man" and "Nickels and Dimes". A prestige appearance at the New York nightclub Reno Sweeneys brought Gerard's first meeting with Barry Manilow, who made a mental note of one of his songs performed that night "I made It Through The Rain". Barry Manilow went on to record several of Gerard's songs and "I Made It Through The Rain" became a huge hit for him - it is invariably included in all his stage performances.
The turning point came in 1977. Gerard came to Europe where he had been booked to appear for seven months at the top Riviera nightclub The Pappagayo in St. Tropez. lie then toured Europe and Australia. During a visit to London he was invited to a birthday party for Dennis Waterman. Gerard's playing and singing attracted the attention of Jill Arlon and shortly afterwards her husband, Deke, became Gerard's manager and very quickly got him a recording contract.
Gerard was soon in the charts with New York, New lark (So Good! They Named It Twice) , "D-d-d-Dancing" and "Fantasy". His following was strengthened with the release of his first three albums "Made it Through The Rain", "Living on Music" and "City Living".
Soon Gerard's songs were being recorded by many other stars - Barry Manilow, Perry
Como, Johnny Mathis, Shirley Bassey, Sacha Distel, James Last and Jack Jones to name but a few.
In 1981 Gerard received the Ivor Norvello Award for the Best Television Theme Music for his song "I Could Be So Good For you" for the TV Series "Minder".
He has toured world-wide with Sheena Easton, the Pointer Sisters, and Dionne Warwick. At the Barry Manilow extravaganza at Blenheim Palace, Gerard was Barry's Special Guest and performed in front of more than 40,000 people. In 1983 Gerard was part of the "Spike Milligan & Friends" show which played to full houses in London's West End, and on tour all across Australasia. Wayne Sleep chose Gerard's music for his touring dance Company 'Dash' and for his television series "The Hot Shoe Show".
1n 1984, BBC Television showed two 'Gerard Kenny In Concert' specials recorded at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, each show before a live audience of more than 3,000.
In 1985 Gerard began working with legendary lyricist Alan Jay Lerner on a stage musical version of "My man Godfrey". This musical is based on the old William Powell/Carole Lombard 1930's film. Sadly, this collaboration was prematurely brought to a halt by the death of Alan Lerner. Gerard has, however, continued to work on "My Man Godfrey".
During the time spent working with Alan Lerner, they were asked to write a special lullabye for the Princess of Wales' newly born son Harry. This song "Brocades and Coronets" was written for the Princess' major charity Birthright and was performed by Elaine Paige and Gerard at a Royal Gala for Princes Diana at the London Palladium in June 1987.
After his return to live in New York, Gerard continued to work on "Godfrey" and other
musicals, as well as appearing in cabaret in New York and out at The Hamptons.
Gerard returned to London in April 1992 for a two week booking at the Music Room at
Pizza On The Park in Knightsbridge, singing songs from his new Cole Porter album, "Play Me Some Porter Please", as well as many of his own hits. The booking was extended for a further week due to popular demand and was the subject of two, hour long, live broadcasts for the BBC.
In May 1993, Gerard returned to London for another very successful two weeks at Pizza
On The Park and appeared on BBC TV programme, 'Pebble Mill'. He was asked to return to Pizza On The Park in July for a special Gala Evening which again was sold out.
In September 1993 he came to England to record a new album of his own songs. This was released in Spring 1994.
In December 1993 he performed on the Queen Elizabeth 11 and again appeared on BBC TV 'Pebble Mill' programme. He also hosted a two-hour special for BBC Radio 2 called " American Classics" with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
With his new single "Do I Love you?" on release, and receiving a lot of air time on radio, Gerard returned to London in January 1994 for another two week booking at Pizza On The Park. Once again he was asked to do a third week title to the popularity of his shows.
In March 1994 Gerard travelled from New York to London to be the Special Guest artiste at the final concert of the BBC Radio Orchestra at Fairfield Halls, Croydon.
In December 1995 Gerard was involved in an auto accident in New York, and broke fingers and ribs.
In 1996, he was back on the road and toured with Connie Francis and cruised and played on the 'Oriana' together with another very successful season at the 'Pizza on the Park' in Knightsbridge.
1997 saw the start of another British tour with Gerard plus his own four piece band.
In June 1997 he was back at his 'second home' the Pizza on the Park.
The 8th July 1997 was Gerard's 50th birthday and together with many members of his fan club, celebrated and partied the night away at Pinewood Studios.
Gerard played on the final voyage of the Canberra, and toured the UK again in October/November 1997. Early in 1998, Gerard made a guest appearance on the Jim Davidson's 'Generation Game' on UK BBC TV.
the story continues,.......
but has Gerard joined the Royal Navy
or is he just happy to be back on land
after another successful cruise???
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