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His ninth CD, "I'll Take Romance" is his debut on the Concord label. Tavis: You brought on the young guy from “America’s Got Talent” who you introduced. We thought that’d be a cool thing to do in Los Angeles. ” I’d say, “Well, that’s me.” “Well, man, let’s use that.” So I started getting my voice on television themes and on movies just because it’s cheaper than Tony Bennett, for sure [laugh]. would call me, certain people, I started getting loaned, that I could sing in films. Tavis: Do you recall any of those television themes that we would remember? Tavis: Steve Tyrell is a popular singer who is out now with his latest project. You know, we’d see if we could get us a little place on a lot somewhere, you know, and walk around at the commissary. Tyrell: Yeah, the famous Teddy Z, “Frank’s Place,” you remember that show with Tim Reed? The Broadway superstar appears larger than life on stage, belting tunes with diva-lika gusto but with the humbleness that comes from experiencing the full spectrum of life's ups and downs. "Celebrating the Art of Elegance" takes its theme from Chenoweth's recently released namesake album.How are things going since we last had a tête-à-tête with KC? Culture Map: It’s been four years since we last spoke so let’s do a bit of a check in.Tyrell grew up in Houston's 5th Ward with a mixture of music, including tunes from the neighborhood. So he got this idea himself to go audition for “America’s Got Talent.” He went on his own. You got a room full of white folk, room for my Jewish brothers and sisters in New York honoring Larry King, and this Negro stands up with all these dreads and they had no idea who the guy was. So when Larry had asked me to do it, I said, “Well, I want to bring a friend of mine on too.” Tavis: I have never seen somebody – Matt Lauer and I were sitting together that night and I remember saying this to Matt, “I have never seen somebody transform a room so fast.” I mean, this guy walks up looking the way he looks, you do not expect Frank Sinatra. Tavis: Did you ever hear or sense that Whitney had any talent way back then? So very early on, I saw as a record guy that you could take a good song, man, and put it out at the same time with the film and you could have extra marketing, you know. So we started working on movies and television shows and we would make demos. I mean, he wrote songs like “On Broadway,” “You Lost That Loving Feeling,” “Just Once,” “Here You Come Again.” So sometimes we would write and make demos and pitch them to different movies and television shows and I would sing the demo. He later became a fixture in NY and has played the Café Carlyle to record crowds. He said there was about 5,000 people there, took him all day and they finally let him in and he walked in and the first thing he sang was “I got you under my skin” and they said, “Over here, please” [laugh]. Tyrell: I didn’t know, but I didn’t hear about her until she became a teenager being an artist. So when I moved out to California, Barry Mann and I became partners and we started working on movies. A lot of times, people would just say, “Well, man, who’s that? Lisa, a former dancer and choreographer, is known for her devotion in nursing Patrick, her husband of 34 years, through his devastating illness.Shortly after his death, she said: "I know I'm stronger now.
Tavis: Steve Tyrell is a popular singer who is out now with his latest project. They were Italian immigrants that had a grocery store in the Fifth Ward and I grew up there. So I was in a all-Black band, you know, and then I was in a cover band that did all Black songs [laugh]. Like I worked with this great lady named Barbara Lynn. “If you lose me, oh, yeah, you lose a good thing.” I worked a lot in New Orleans with Dr. This was before I got my job working for Scepter Records. I got a job working for Scepter Records and they were an R&B label, you know, producing Chuck Jackson was the first and Maxine Brown and the Shirelles. Tavis: I’m gonna talk about being an artist in just a second. There were so many people that you worked with ’cause, you know, you got Bacharach and David. Tavis: So Dionne, obviously we know famously related to Cissy Houston who sang background for Dionne on her records. Tavis: And would bring her little baby to the studio named Whitney. Tavis: So you saw Whitney when she was just a baby. Tyrell: I think I sang “Heartbreak Hotel” or something. I never took it very seriously, but it gave me a career working in television and movies.
Either that or a record that gets back to my roots in Oklahoma.
He worked on several Dionne Warwick hits such as "The Look of Love" and "Alfie." Together with B. Thomas, he worked on the Bacharach-David song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," which went on to win the 1969 Oscar for Best Original Song (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid).
Recording these songs made me fall in love with music and lyrics all over again, and there are so many other standards out there that I can hear calling my name.
Maybe an album sequel could be the next thing to check off the bucket list!