The Cabaret Scenes Hall of Fame

From time to time, we will honor great performers, composers, lyricists, musical directors (both living and deceased), by election into our Hall of Fame. The venues in which they appeared also will be recognized and commemorated.

Our Esteemed Inductees (to date)

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra

November/December 2015 FRANK SINATRA by Eric Comstock.
No one has done more to perpetuate the Great American Songbook than jazz musicians—(I always urge my students to listen to, work with, and learn from jazz musicians—and one vocalist: Frank Sinatra).

| November 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

September/October 2015 BILLIE HOLIDAY by Melody Breyer-Grell. For all the hardships that she did endure, the thing she must and will be remembered for is her emotional genius.

| August 12, 2015 | 0 Comments
Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf

September/October 2015 EDITH PIAF by Elizabeth Ahlfors. Piaf was a roller-coaster ride through a life of hard living, desperate loving and the despair of loss, poured out through her gritty songs.

| August 12, 2015 | 0 Comments
Billy Strayhorn

Billy Strayhorn

July/August 2015 BILLY STRAYHORN by David Hajdu author of Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn William Thomas “Billy” Strayhorn, born in Dayton and raised in poverty in Pittsburgh, grew up yearning to live in Manhattan—as he imagined it from copies of The New Yorker that he bought with earnings from his paper route, a […]

Bart Howard

Bart Howard

May/June 2015 BART HOWARD by Rob Lester He said that “the song poured out of” him “in twenty minutes,” but it sure has lasted: “Fly Me to the Moon” put composer-lyricist Bart Howard on the map with just that one audience-pleaser. Successful both as an uptempo number and its original setting as a romantic ballad, […]

| May 5, 2015 | 0 Comments
Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis

January/February 2014 JOHNNY MATHIS In 1956, a young man stepped in front of a microphone in a recording studio at Columbia Records in New York City and magic happened. With the guidance of Mitch Miller, who knew just what sort of song he should record, Johnny Mathis began a still-going-strong 57-year-long career. With his first […]

Jerry Herman

Jerry Herman

December 2011 JERRY HERMAN “We need a Little Christmas” and who better to usher in the season than Jerry Herman whose song has become part of our Christmas canon. He musicalized two of the iconic women characters in theater, Dolly and Mame. His songs have become part of the American Songbook, finding their way into […]

John Kander & Fred Ebb

John Kander & Fred Ebb

December 2010 JOHN KANDER & FRED EBB Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb met in 1962 and a legendary songwriting team was born. Their first successful collaboration was on the song “My Coloring Book,” recorded by both Sandy Stewart and Barbra Streisand. But it will be the scores of the ground-breaking musicals they penned, […]

Frank Loesser

Frank Loesser

July 2010 FRANK LOESSER Where’s Charley?, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Standouts in the pantheon of the American musical. It didn’t start out so successfully. His first Broadway outing was a flop, but it led to a Hollywood contract and his writing lyrics for over […]

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim

April 2010 STEPHEN SONDHEIM by Noah Tree Shall we keep this simple? You want to go through the intriguing Stephen Sondheim canon again for his numerous precocities, all  doubtless worthy of the appreciative cult scrutiny the works receive. Perfectly understandable to this writer who enthusiastically ghosted the reaction to the first Sondheim tribute as “waves […]

| April 30, 2015 | 0 Comments
Ira Gershwin

Ira Gershwin

March 2010 IRA GERSHWIN by Mark Nadler Upon the publication of his book, Lyrics on Several Occasions, one of his idols, P.G. Wodehouse, sent Ira Gershwin a note wherein he stated: “I’ve always considered you the best of the whole bunch.” What made Ira Gershwin, if not the best lyricist of the 20th century, certainly […]

| April 29, 2015 | 0 Comments
Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook

October 2009 BARBARA COOK Another Barbara took The Great White Way by storm with performances in Plain and Fancy, Candide, The Music Man and She Loves Me. “Broadway’s favorite ingenue,” her silvery soprano delighted audiences. When the stage roles were gone, she began a second career as a concert and cabaret performer, triumphing with her […]

| April 28, 2015 | 0 Comments
Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand

October 2009 BARBRA STREISAND Actress, singer, director, producer, composer, activist, philanthropist. Broadway, Hollywood, Television, Recordings. Tony, Oscar, Emmy, Grammy awards. Her name is Barbra. It all began at a talent contest in Greenwich Village, leading to club engagements in New York City and around the country. Her voice has been her entree into every aspect […]

| April 27, 2015 | 0 Comments
Cole Porter

Cole Porter

June 2009 COLE PORTER Just to list Cole Porter’s enduring songs would take pages. As captivating today as when they were written well over a half-century ago, and heard often in the songlists of cabaret artists, “Night and Day,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” “Anything […]

| April 26, 2015 | 0 Comments
Lena Horne

Lena Horne

June 2009 LENA HORNE On nightclub stages, on records, on Broadway and on the screen, Lena Horne has long been on top and on target. Turning 91 this month, her glow and glamour remain, her influence and stardom monumental. She was last on disc embracing songs of friend Billy Strayhorn. (His biographer, David Hadju, told […]

| April 25, 2015 | 0 Comments
Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett

May 2009 TONY BENNETT Like some cabaret hopefuls, a fellow originally named Anthony Dominick Benedetto began as a singing waiter in New York, earning $15 per week. Many nightclubs, concert halls, scores of records and over a dozen Grammy Awards later, Tony Bennett’s still going strong, starting May at the New Orleans Jazz Festival and […]

| April 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
Johnny Mercer

Johnny Mercer

May 2009 JOHNNY MERCER Prolific and terrific, warm or witty, Johnny Mercer was, to employ one of his song titles, just “Too Marvelous for Words.” That 1937 song had music by Richard Whiting, father of Mercer protegee and friend and another of our Hall of Fame-rs, singer Margaret Whiting, now President of the music education-focused […]

| April 23, 2015 | 0 Comments
Jan Wallman

Jan Wallman

May 2009 JAN WALLMAN New York cabaret owes a big debt of gratitude to Jan Wallman. A nurturing music lover and businesswoman, she famously ran the original Upstairs-at-the-Duplex and the clubs bearing her name. She insisted on paying the performers salaries, rather than a portion of the cover charge. Her eagle eye for talent spotted […]

| April 22, 2015 | 0 Comments
Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt

April 2009 EARTHA KITT by Elizabeth Ahlfors The outstanding thing about Eartha Kitt was that beneath the onstage glamour, she really was not Eartha Kitt at all. She was Eartha Mae. Eartha Kitt was the diva, the actress, the original Catwoman, the charismatic chanteuse at the Café Carlyle. Eartha Mae was a sharp, bright woman […]

| April 20, 2015 | 0 Comments
Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin

November 2008 IRVING BERLIN If there ever was a person in the world of popular music who exemplified the American dream, it was Irving Berlin. Arriving on American shores with his Russian immigrant parents when he was four years old, and forced by the time he was ten years old to sell newspapers to help […]

| April 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
Blossom Dearie

Blossom Dearie

October 2008 BLOSSOM DEARIE Blossom Dearie’s cool touch at the piano and her distinctive “little girl” voice has brought her international acclaim for more than fifty years. She is as much at home with traditional Berlin, Porter or Rodgers and Hart as she is with jazz, bebop or swing, executing engaging renditions colored with an […]

| April 18, 2015 | 0 Comments
Nancy LaMott

Nancy LaMott

October 2008 NANCY LaMOTT Nancy LaMott, who died in her early forties, was called “the greatest cabaret singer since Sinatra.” In her brief career, she touched many hearts with the purity of her voice and her simple, honest approach to a lyric. Whether live or on record, backed by a piano or full orchestra, her […]

| April 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
Donald Smith

Donald Smith

June 2008 DONALD SMITH Mabel Mercer enchanted a young Donald Smith, who soon was not only a fan, but a tireless advocate. His devotion expanded to include the music she is renowned for. Accordingly, he has been, for decades, Cabaret’s “Pied Piper,” leading others to the music he cherishes. Founder and guiding spirit since 1985 […]

| April 16, 2015 | 0 Comments
Margaret Whiting

Margaret Whiting

June 2008 MARGARET WHITING “Moonlight in Vermont,” “That Old Black Magic,” “My Ideal,” “It Might As Well Be Spring”— Margaret Whiting made these and many more songs into enduring hits during her long singing career. Signing at age 18 with Johnny Mercer’s then-new Capitol Records, she went on to become one of the nation’s top-selling […]

| April 15, 2015 | 0 Comments
John Wallowitch

John Wallowitch

May 2008 JOHN WALLOWITCH John Wallowitch was a classical pianist before he became an accompanist and a performer at Greenwich Village’s legendary cabaret spot, The Duplex. In the decades following, his convivial personality as an entertainer endeared him to cabaret audiences everywhere. A prolific and waggish songwriter with well over a thousand numbers penned during […]

| April 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
Julie Wilson

Julie Wilson

May 2008 JULIE WILSON A vocalist for more than a half century, Julie Wilson played leads in Broadway and London musical theater. But since the days of her long-term roost at St. Regis Hotel’s Maisonette in the 1950s, she has been the quintessential cabaret performer. She quickly established the persona of a femme fatale with […]

| April 13, 2015 | 0 Comments
Barbara Carroll

Barbara Carroll

April 2008 BARBARA CARROLL In her eighties, Barbara Carroll is a lioness on the keyboard who remains at the peak of her form. Every spring and fall for a quarter-century, Barbara—majestically tall, slim and stylish—held forth singing and playing at the piano of the Carlyle Hotel’s upscale Bemelmans Bar. More recently, as elegant and as […]

| April 12, 2015 | 0 Comments
Mabel Mercer

Mabel Mercer

April 2008 MABEL MERCER The name Mabel Mercer is synonymous with cabaret. From her supper club origins in Paris, she had the cream of society’s elite at her feet. Any night might find The Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson, Cole Porter, the legendary Bricktop, American millionairess “Joe” Carstairs, and similar newsworthy figures in her […]

| April 11, 2015 | 0 Comments
Bobby Short

Bobby Short

April 2008 BOBBY SHORT An icon of New York sophistication, Bobby Short embodied qualities that late-nighters relished in cabaret’s intimate surroundings. His extensive repertoire of ballads, a husky voice that could talk most songs far more effectively than many could sing them, and his elegant home base at Café Carlyle for well over thirty years, […]

| April 10, 2015 | 0 Comments
Elaine Stritch

Elaine Stritch

April 2008 ELAINE STRITCH Another octogenarian, Elaine Stritch is as hot a performer as ever, possibly more so. With so many awards and accolades (Tony Award, Emmy Awards) for her work in films, the theater and television, cabaret folk may have to share our adoration of Stritch with others, but there’s no denying when she […]

Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine-Promo-Ad-April-7