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Michael Feinstein

Singer/pianist Michael Feinstein was both a prime motivator and a beneficiary of a renewed interest in pre-rock popular music that started in the 1980s, a trend that also found Linda Ronstadt selling millions of copies of albums of traditional pop made with conductor Nelson Riddle and that fueled the success of Harry Connick Jr. In Feinstein's case, it allowed him to establish a career as a nightclub entertainer and then move up to theaters while releasing major-label albums; his background as a musical archivist also enabled him to bring a scholar's knowledge to his performances of classic pop music.

He was born Michael Jay Feinstein on September 7, 1956, in Columbus, Ohio. His father, Edward Feinstein, was an executive in the meat business, but had been a band singer, while his mother, Mazie Feinstein, was an amateur tap dancer. Beginning to play the piano by ear at age five, Feinstein grew up fascinated by the pop music of generations preceding him and amassed a large record collection. He moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1976, and there began to come in contact with the people who created the music he adored. He was hired by Ira Gershwin to catalog the veteran lyricist's archives, a job he performed until Gershwin's death in 1983. (He also worked for Harry Warren in 1981-1982.) At that point, he turned to performing as a cabaret artist full-time, beginning in Los Angeles. In 1985, he released his debut album, Pure Gershwin, on Parnassus Records. A 1986 engagement at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel in New York was extended for four months and resulted in the LP Live at the Algonquin (Elektra, 1987). After releasing Remember: Michael Feinstein Sings Irving Berlin (1987), he was able to take his act to Broadway, opening Michael Feinstein in Concert: Isn't It Romantic at the Lyceum Theatre on April 19, 1988. The same year, he released his third album, also called Isn't It Romantic. During 1989, he released two thematic albums, Over There (Angel), devoted to the music of World War I, and The M.G.M. Album (Elektra).

For Elektra's Nonesuch imprint, Feinstein launched a series of "songbook" albums recorded with the participation of the veteran songwriters themselves, the first of them devoted to Burton Lane (August 1990, with a second volume in November 1992), followed by Jule Styne (October 1991), Jerry Herman (October 1993), and Hugh Martin (September 1995). Back at Elektra, Feinstein devoted an album to children, Pure Imagination (April 1992). Forever (March 1993) found him balancing contemporary material with the usual standards. He then switched labels, landing at Atlantic Records for Such Sweet Sorrow (March 1995) and Nice Work If You Can Get It: Songs by the Gershwins (February 1996) before moving to Concord Records, beginning with an album to mark the centenary of George Gershwin, Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin (September 1998).

In 1999, Feinstein lent his name to a new nightclub in New York located in the Regency Hotel, as Feinstein's at the Regency became a venue for sophisticated cabaret entertainers including its namesake. (A second Feinstein's later opened in Hollywood.) The same year, he released Big City Rhythms, fronting the Maynard Ferguson Big Band. Romance on Film/Romance on Broadway (October 2000) was a two-CD set, the first disc recorded live. It was followed by Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in May 2002. In the fall of 2002, Concord announced the formation of Feinstein's own custom subsidiary label, Feinery, intended to "present hidden gems from the American Popular Songbook." It was launched with a new album, Michael Feinstein Sings the Livingston & Evans Songbook, on October 8, 2002. Feinstein's 2003 album, Only One Life, was devoted to the songs of Jimmy Webb. In 2005, he and George Shearing teamed up for Hopeless Romantics. The Sinatra Project appeared in 2008. In 2009, Feinstein and Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson made The Power of Two for Harbinger Records. Fly Me to the Moon (September 2010) on the Duckhole label found him accompanied by jazz guitarist Joe Negri. In 2011, Feinstein followed up his 2008 homage to Sinatra with The Sinatra Project, Vol. 2: The Good Life. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life

1. Thirteen Women

2. Hallelujah I Love Her So

3. C'est Comme Ca

4. Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby

5. Sway

6. Luck Be A Lady - All I Need Is The Girl

7. I'll Be Around

8. The Way You Look Tonight

9. The Lady Is A Tramp

10. For Once In My Life

11. The Good Life

12. Once In A Lifetime

x

Track List: Fly Me To The Moon

1. So In Love

2. Meditation

3. Fly Me To The Moon (Leva-Me Pra Lua)

4. I Wish I Knew

5. Blame My Absent-Minded Heart

6. A Mist Over The Moon

7. Serenata

8. Why Shouldn't I

9. One Love In My Life

10. This Time The Dream's On Me

11. A Man And His Dream

12. While My Lady Sleeps

13. Lonely Town

14. It Could Happen To You

x

Track List: The Sinatra Project

1. Exactly Like You

2. There's A Small Hotel

3. Fools Rush In

4. The Song Is You

5. The Same Hello, The Same Goodbye

6. Begin The Beguine

7. I've Got A Crush On You

8. It's All Right With Me

9. You Go To My Head

10. How Long Will It Last (Feat. Pink Martini

11. All My Tomorrows/ All The Way

12. At Long Last Love

x

Track List: Only One Life: The Songs Of Jimmy Webb

1. After All The Loves Of My Life/Only One Life

2. Didn't We

3. Belmont Avenue

4. Up, Up And Away

5. She Moves, Eyes Follow

6. All I Know

7. The Moon's A Harsh Mistress

8. Adios

9. Skywriter

10. Is There Love After You?

11. Louisa Blu

12. Time Flies

13. These Are All Mine

14. Piano

15. Only One Life (Edited)

x

Track List: Livingston And Evans Songbook Featuring Michael Feinstein

1. You're So Right For Me

2. Mona Lisa

3. What Fools These Mortals Be

4. Buttons And Bows

5. The Late Scene

6. Bonanza / Mr. Ed

7. All The Time

8. How Much Will I Love You

9. His Own Little Island

10. Silver Bells

11. Ya Got Class

12. Never Let Me Go

13. Jubilie-Jubilo

14. Tammy

15. Through Children's Eyes

16. To Each His Own

17. Almost In Your Arms

18. Henriette

19. The Mating Season

20. Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)

21. As I Love You

22. Anywhere But Here

23. Wish Me A Rainbow

x

Track List: Michael Feinstein With The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

1. The Folks Who Live On The Hill

2. The Best Is Yet To Come

3. Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry

4. By Myself

5. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year

6. Stormy Weather

7. Laura

8. On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)

9. Love Is Here To Stay

10. How Deep Is The Ocean?

11. Somewhere

12. I Won't Send Roses

x

Track List: Romance On Film, Romance On Broadway

Disc 1

1. The More I See You

2. The Second Time Around

3. As Time Goes By

4. Isn't It Romantic?

5. All The Way

6. Something's Gotta Give

7. The Way You Look Tonight

8. Long Ago And Far Away

9. When I Fall In Love/My Foolish Heart

10. How Do You Keep The Music Playing?

Disc 2

1. Always

2. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face

3. If This Isn't Love

4. They Say It's Wonderful

5. I've Never Been In Love Before

6. As Long As She Needs Me

7. The Song Is You

8. Darn That Dream

9. The Best Things In Life Are Free

10. My Funny Valentine

11. Taking A Chance On Love

12. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

x

Track List: Such Sweet Sorrow

1. Let's Face The Music And Dance

2. Easy To Love

3. Wind In The Willow

4. I See Your Face Before Me

5. Body And Soul

6. For Love Alone

7. Theme From The Bad And The Beautiful

8. Such Sweet Sorrow

9. Love Is Just Around The Corner

10. I'm A Dreamer, Aren't We All

11. But Beautiful

12. Wasn't There A Moment

13. And So To Bed

x

Track List: Forever

1. Time Enough For Love

2. My Romance

3. Moondance

4. You Are There

5. Wish You Were Here

6. Sophisticated Swing

7. Soon

8. Little White Lies

9. Song

10. Too Marvelous For Words

11. Whatever Happened To Melody

12. Half Of April (Most Of May)

13. And I'll Be There

x

Track List: The M.G.M. Album

1. M.G.M. Fanfare

2. That's Entertainment

3. It's A Most Unusual Day

4. Time After Time

5. Spring, Spring, Spring

6. Friendly Star/This Heart Of Mine

7. Our Love Affair

8. Please Don't Say No, Say Maybe

9. Wonder Why

10. All I Do Is Dream Of You/You Are My Lucky Star

11. If I Only Had A Brain

12. You And I

13. Singing In The Rain

14. That's Entertainment (Reprise)

x

Track List: Isn't It Romantic

1. Isn't It Romantic

2. Where Do You Start

3. A Fine Romance

4. I Can Dream Can't I/I'll Be Seeing You

5. You're An Education

6. My Favorite Year

7. No Other Love

8. I Wanna Be Loved

9. How About You

10. I'll Get By

11. I Won't Send Roses/Time Heals Everything

12. Wasn't It Romantic

Comments

Report as inappropriate
I first saw Feinstein on a daytime soap. That had to be at 20years ago. I have been following ever since. Personally like him better then Harry. I am surprised he is not more well know then he is. Sal W.
Report as inappropriate
Feinstein captured my heart with his TV performance with Rosemary Clooney for PBS. It was "love at first sight/sound" and his music will always be my choice for romantic evenings. He is truly a treasure to those who love music from the Golden Age of Popular Song.
Liz Coleman
Report as inappropriate
I love Michael and the way he is keeping the Standards alive! I've seen him in person, three times.
Report as inappropriate
He's a true artist and gives his all in live performances !
Report as inappropriate
Missing the song My Favorite Year. It's his best.
Report as inappropriate
So mellow, so fine! Such great listening on a rainy day
Report as inappropriate
pcodina7
the best!
Report as inappropriate
jonrodjon
The one and only Michael Feinstein!!
Report as inappropriate
Just love Michael's music. I must have about 6 of his albums so far.
Report as inappropriate
42173119
Wonderful singer oved his TV shows in PBS just one hell of a good guiy as well. Norm Kelly
Report as inappropriate
Mmmm - 100% agree with Robert.
Report as inappropriate
Sigh.
Report as inappropriate
I have seen him about 5 times and attended a couple of receptions with him. He is WONDERFUL. We have recently watched the 3-part public tv series he did on his collections and preservation s of the wonderful old music. You must look for it. The show presents the real side of Michael. The videos of him as a little child playing piano are priceless!!!
Report as inappropriate
Feinstein gives an amazing concert! His is literally one of the top 2 or 3 concerts I've ever attended. If you get the chance, go see him live!
Report as inappropriate
LOVE Michael!!... T h e BEST!!!
Report as inappropriate
He captured my heart in my late teens and iv'e never looked back. My only regret is that I have never gotten the oppurtunity to see him perform in person.
Report as inappropriate
marleyjayne
Feinstein is amazing. His phrasing is beautiful and compelling. He draws you in!

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