Gene Lees, accomplished lyricist, jazz writer, critic and historian, was born in Ontario, Canada of an expatriate British couple. He began his career as a newspaper reporter in Canada , then moved to Kentucky to become music editor of The Louisville Times in 1955 and in 1958 he received a Reid Fellowship, a journalism grant that permitted him to spend a year in Europe studying the performing arts. Returning to the United States, he was editor of Down Beat magazine from 1959 to 1961. He settled in New York in 1962 after some months in Latin America including Brazil and went on to write about music for the New York Times and other publications. He spent the later part of his career in Ojai, California. His Jazzletter essays , a subscription newsletter he self-published, were printed in seven collections and his books included biographies of Johnny Mercer, Woody Herman and Oscar Peterson.
Lees’ lyrics for the Bill Evans tunes “Waltz for Debby” and “Turn Out the Stars” as well as his English lyrics “There Is a Time” for Charles Aznavour’s “Le Temps” and “Someone to Light Up My Life” for Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Voce” have become standards among many others.
|HOW SAD CAN VENICE BE||AZNAVOUR DORIN LEES||HAMPSHIRE HOUSE PUBLISHING CORP.|
|I WILL WARM YOUR HEART (JE TE RECHAUFFERAI)||AZNAVOUR LEES||HAMPSHIRE HOUSE PUBLISHING CORP.|
|MY BELLS||EVANS LEES||FOLKWAYS MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC.|
|THERE IS A TIME||AZNAVOUR DAVIS LEES||HAMPSHIRE HOUSE PUBLISHING CORP.|
|TURN OUT THE STARS||EVANS LEES||LUDLOW MUSIC, INC.|
|VENICE BLUE||AZNAVOUR DORIN LEES||HAMPSHIRE HOUSE PUBLISHING CORP.|
|SELF-DEFENSE WALTZ||LEES WILLIAMS||HOLLIS MUSIC, INC.|
|WALTZ FOR DEBBY||EVANS LEES||FOLKWAYS MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC.|
|FOR ME...FOR-MI-DA-BLE||AZNAVOUR PLANTE LEES CALABRESE||HAMPSHIRE HOUSE PUBLISHING CORP.|
|IT WAS NIGHT (FOI A NOITE)||LEES JOBIM MENDONCA||HOLLIS MUSIC, INC.|
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