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Nancy Lamott

Nancy LaMott was born December 30, 1951, in Midland, MI, or as she termed it, a suburb of the Dow Chemical Corporation. Clearly a gifted musician, she learned music in public schools and started publicly singing with the big jazz dance band of her father, trumpeter Jack LaMott, in 1966 at age 15 while dreaming of a professional career. As a teenager she worked at the local Sears outlet. But in her late teens, Nancy developed Crohn's disease, a serious bowel disorder that often caused her to be hospitalized. Feeling a need to leave Michigan at the age of 19, she and her drummer/brother Brett left for San Francisco, CA. LaMott quickly became a popular cabaret singer, but her continued affliction frequently interrupted regular work. Overwhelming medical bills summarily plagued her, but a loyal friend and fan paid for a plane ticket, and she headed for New York City. The burgeoning cabaret scene in the Big Apple adopted LaMott, and in 1989 she met composer/conductor David Friedman, who offered to produce her recordings, the debut album being Beautiful Baby. A close-knit team developed around her, including pianist/arranger Chris Marlowe.

For several years, LaMott would make a record, and go back into the hospital for intestinal bypass surgery. Finally, her disease became too serious, and she was forced to have an ileostomy. This surgery changed her life, and she finally felt well enough to eat whatever she wanted. Given LaMott's newfound energy, her career took off enough for her to tour. Discovered by famous New York City songwriter and disc jockey Jonathan Schwartz, she received support and promotion that led to radio airplay across the board, and was championed via television appearances with Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford. LaMott also sang at the White House twice, and became a favorite of President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Some of the prominent musicians who accompanied her included Jay Leonhart, Mike Migliore, Glenn Drewes, Ken Sebesky, Rick Jensen, Bruce Samuels, John Redsecker, and the Angeles Quartet. In March of 1995, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and chose to battle the disease with hormone therapy as opposed to surgery. She completed the album Listen to My Heart with a full orchestra directed by Peter Matz. Just after her diagnosis, Nancy was in San Francisco doing an AIDS benefit when she was introduced to actor Peter Zapp. They quickly fell in love and began a bicoastal romance. That summer, LaMott was told that the hormone therapy had not worked and that she needed to have a hysterectomy. She had the surgery and was told that the cancer had spread slightly and that she would need chemotherapy.

During this period, she kept performing, doing a sold-out week at Tavern on the Green and fulfilling concert dates around the country. Then she would have a chemo treatment, but the cancer prevailed. A few days after her last concert performances and an appearance on the nighttime television talk show hosted by Charles Grodin, LaMott was rushed to the hospital and her shocked friends and family were told that she had just a couple of days to live. In the last hour of her life, Nancy LaMott was married in a bedside wedding ceremony at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City to Peter Zapp, and then passed away at age 43 on December 13, 1993. A decade later, family and estate issues were resolved, resulting in the reissue of her six albums, including Come Rain or Come Shine -- The Songs of Johnny Mercer and What's Good About Goodbye?, as well as a DVD of live performances and interviews. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Nancy's voice is thrilling and gives me chills. Sometimes she is so moving that I find myself crying as I listen to her, as in her rendition of "Two For the Road."

From, Sheryl J
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What a voice...what a loss.
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Very nice!
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oh nancy as a singer myself i bow to your greatness how i almost didn't even know or heard of you it would be like never ever hearing rain fall or birds singing we here on earth miss your voice and those who have never heard are so blind
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Never got to see her in person, and my life is forever poorer for it. Learned about her three years after her passing, but instantly fell in love with her music. She is the singer I always dreamed of being, but never could be. But I am eternally grateful for the legacy she left us.
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love her thanks to jonathon schwarts on wnyc 93.9
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paddonar
Nancy LaMott track, Might as Well be Spring --Rodgers and Hammerstein for the 1945 film State Fair +Oscar for Best Original Song.
NOT by Miles Davis!! -where did that choice mistake come from come from?
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A genius at her craft, very pure and not so simple. Sooooooooo beautiful.
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Love her voice. She has a quality that is missing in many of our female singers.Her heart is in every song. Agree with everyone here and would love to have more of her music here on Pandora!
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I agree with everyone's posts. Please, Pandora! Get some more of her music on here. I believe there are 8 CD's, plus a DVD.
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rlgabjm
Saw her at Tavern on the Green in her last days. Even through her illness she was wonderful to watch and listen to. Became a huge fan for life.
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Truly an amazing voice and style. Saw her first on the Charles Grodin show, and he brought her back again and again. I have ALL of her music. Would that it were more.
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phbhiggins
My Partner (now Husband) and I knew Nancy as long time fans and her song, LISTEN TO MY HEART, was our wedding song. Now an Angel in Heaven but we listen to her daily. God rest your soul, Nancy. XOXOXOX
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I echo that. God Bless! We lost you too soon!
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God Bless You Nancy. A true candle in the wind...
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skygrass91
The back story is anguishing ... but the songs are there, after all.

Wowderful.
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I too discovered Nancy in a reference to her Christmas album and tracked it down about a year ago. It is one of my top 5 X-mas CD 's. Her song selection and what she brings to it is heavenly. What joy she brings!
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I have always enjoyed hearing her beautiful voice, but was not aware of her story. How bitter sweet - only the good die young?
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Jonathan Schwartz is a famous DJ, but not a songwriter. His father Arthur Schwartz was the songwriter.
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If there is a more beautiful version of "How Deep is the Ocean?" than Nancy's, someone please tell me. Her's was such a rare talent that we miss her still.
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kbrisin
Can't add to billies comment, my sentiments exactly!!! Still I would liked to have her around a lot longer; tragic loss.
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I have 3 cds of Nancy's music. Her voice as wonderful very talented wish you was still with us. Thank you Nancy
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I'M ALWAYS THANKFUL THAT THERE EXISTS RECORDINGS OF ARTISTS SUCH AS NANCY LAMOTT.
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I'm astonished I only "discovered" Nancy Lamott when I stumbled across a YouTube clip of her singing "Just in Time For Christmas" about 4 months ago. What a talent and wonderful style. Since my discovery I've gone on purchasing rampage and now have just about every song she recorded. The cabaret scene is much less without her. Mike Toland
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zimmerman.ch r i s t i a n
I saw Nancy sing at the Algonquin a year before her death. I was spellbound by how she threw so much emotion into the simplist of songs. You really could feel the emotion in every word. I have never heard anyone sing with so much sensitivity since. She was and is one of a kind.
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Simply Amazing.
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Nancy Lamott is/was the quintessence of the very best of NYC Cabaret. She was a consumate artist with a voice closest to God, and she is there now, singing with the angels which is where she always belonged.

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