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Music Monday: Harry Connick, Jr.

Keith Chaffee, Librarian, Central Library,
Photo of Harry Connick, Jr. and text that reads Music Monday

Happy birthday to Harry Connick, Jr., who turns 50 today! 

Connick is a singer, pianist, and bandleader. He began his recording career when he was only ten, already leading a Dixieland band in New Orleans. His first adult albums came a decade later, a piano-led instrumental album called Harry Connick, Jr., and a vocal album called 20, for his age when he recorded it. His soundtrack album for Rob Reiner's film When Harry Met Sally was his first major commercial success, and won him his first Grammy Award.

Since then, Connick has released more than 30 albums, in a mix of performance styles – vocal, small ensemble, solo piano, big band – and covering a wide range of musical genres – funk, jazz, R&B, pop standards. He's recorded three holiday albums, and his work is about evenly divided between albums of his own compositions and collections of standards or pop favorites. Most of his non-original work is devoted to the "Great American Songbook" era – roughly the 1920s through the 1950s – but Songs I Heard is a collection of songs from his favorite children's movies; and Your Songs, recorded with producer Clive Davis, features more contemporary pop songs written by (among others) The Beatles, Don McLean, and Elton John.

Connick has also ventured into the world of Broadway musicals, both as actor and composer. He appeared in revivals of The Pajama Game and On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever; and wrote music and lyrics for the 2002 musical Thou Shalt Not. The cast recording of The Pajama Game, and Connick's own performances of songs from Thou Shalt Not, are collected on Harry on Broadway.

Outside the world of musical performance, Connick has appeared in more than 20 films, usually in smaller supporting roles. He served as a judge on the last three seasons of American Idol, and currently hosts Harry, a daytime talk show.

The albums mentioned above, and many other Connick albums, are available for streaming or download at Freegal.

Some Harry Connick, Jr.'s album covers


 

 

 

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