Wrote best-loved Broadway musicals
Wrote "Hello, Dolly" and "Mame", won two Tonys and Kennedy Center Honors (2010)
Jerry Herman first burst upon the Broadway scene as the young creator of music and lyrics for Milk and Honey in 1961, a musical which later was nominated for both a Tony and Grammy Award.
Next came the phenomenal Hello Dolly came next in 1964, resulting not only in a Tony Award but also winning the Variety Awards for Best Composer and Best Lyricist. Louis Armstrong's single record of the title song became one of the most successful ever to come out of a Broadway musical, and Carol Channing's original cast album brought Herman a Gold Record and a Grammy.
Jerry Herman was born in New York City on July 10, 1933. As a child, he taught himself the piano and other instruments and most of his formal musical training happened after his proessional career had already begun. After attending the University of Miami where he studied drama, Herman began playing the piano in cocktail lounges and soon began writing a series of small revues. His first successs came in 1958 with a revue called Nightcap.
Following the success of Dolly, Herman was asked to to musicalize the Lawrence and Lee play, "Auntie Mame.” The play starred a then-unknown Angela Lansbury whose career would catapult with the help of Herman's score. Mame won another Variety Award for Best Lyricist, another Gold Record and another Grammy for himself.
The show, Dear World, in 1969, won Angela Lansbury her second Tony Award in a Herman musical and made Herman the only composer-lyricist to ever have three productions running simultaneously on Broadway. Mack and Mabel, starring Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters, his own personal favorite score, opened in 1974, followed by The Grand Tour, with Joel Grey in 1978. Herman also contributed songs to Tommy Tune's A Day in Hollywood, in 1980.
La Cage Aux Folles, which opened at New York's Palace Theater in 1983, broke the all-time box office record at the theater and produced an Outer Critics Circle Award and Tony Award for Best Musical. Herman also won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Best Score.
In the late-1980’s, Jerry's Girls, a revue of Herman’s work, began playing on Broadway and in every major American city. Some of the stars who have been spotlighted in this wonderful compilation of Herman's hit music are Carol Channing, Leslie Uggams, Chita Rivera, Dorothy Loudon, Andrea McArdle and Jo Anne Worley.