Fred Ebb was born on April 8, 1935 in New York City, New York. His family did not listen to music in the household, but nonetheless Ebb was drawn the the theatre. However, Ebb did not always have the prospects to be a famous lyricist. Although he received his undergraduate degree at New York University and his graduate degree in English Literature from Columbia University, Ebb spent park of the 1950’s at a hosiery company, the credit office in a department store, a trucker’s helper, and even as a bronzer of baby shoes. Ebb did not become a songwriter until he was mentored by Phil Springer. They pair worked long days inside the Brill Building in New York City. Their “big break” came when they were hired to write a song for Judy Garland which was called “Heartbroken.”
After some other songwriting hobs for clubs and television series, Ebb was eventually introduced to John Kander. This duo would become one of the greatest legends in Broadway history. Kander and Ebb wrote for his musicals such as Flora, The Red Menace (which was also Liza Minnelli’s Tony-Award winning Broadway debut), Cabaret, and Chicago.
Another notable Kander and Ebb accomplishment is the composition of “New York, New York,” the unofficial theme song of New York City.
Sadly, the legend died on September 11, 2004 in New York City, New York.
Songwriters Hall of Fame Staff. “Fred Ebb.” Songwriters Hall of Fame. Songwriters Hall of Fame, n.d. Web. 16 May 2016. <http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibits/bio/C216>.
Songwriters Hall of Fame Staff. “Songwriters Hall of FameInducted 1983 | BMI Writer.” Songwriters Hall of Fame. Songwriters Hall of Fame, n.d. Web. 16 May 2016. <http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibits/bio/C217>.