Quantcast
GALT MACDERMOT,
1928-2018

Composer Galt MacDermot, a Grammy and Tony winner best known for scoring Hair, died on Monday at his home in Staten Island, N.Y.. He was 89.

MacDermot was a native of Montreal who played classical piano and earned a master’s degree from the University of Cape Town where he studied African music. His compositions were recorded mostly by jazz musicians—J.J. Johnson, The Three Suns, Nina Simone—and it was Cannonball Adderley’s recording of "African Waltz" in 1961 that earned him two Grammys, Best Instrumental Theme or Instrumental Version of Song and Best Original Jazz Composition.

 In 1966, he started releasing his own instrumental music on his own Kilmarnock label and scored films such as Cotton Comes to Harlem, which members of the early hip-hop community would embrace and often sample.

Recording Academy President Neil Portnow noted, "MacDermot's music also made a significant impact on the hip-hop community, with notable artists such as Public Enemy, Faith Evans and Busta Rhymes sampling his work. The music and theater communities have lost an extraordinary talent. MacDermot will be dearly missed, but his compositions will continue to influence music for years to come."

Questlove tweeted, “The Broadway community is mourning his passing, but best believe he was the hip-hop community’s too. It fed Nineties hip-hop something crazy!”

Straight-laced, Hair’s writer and lyricist James Rado and Gerome Ragni drafted MacDermot to score Hair after an attempt to work with Herbie Hancock failed. Despite never smoking marijuana or drinking alcohol, MacDermot created the first counter-culture Broadway sensation. The 5th Dimension turned his “Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In” into a smash and Three Dog Night had a hit with “Easy to Be Hard.” MacDermot won the Grammy for Best Score from an Original Cast Album.

He won his Tony in 1972 for Two Gentlemen of Verona, which beat out Grease and Follies.

He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009 and, a year later, received a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE CAKE AND
THE CANDLES
Marketshare machers. (10/27a)
KENDRICK INKS WITH UMPG
Lamar enters the House of Jody. (10/27a)
YTD MARKETSHARE: AND THE WINNER IS...
It's a lock. (10/27a)
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, PT. 8,761: SURGERY IN THE TIME OF COVID
Planning for an Election Day hopped up on painkillers. (10/28a)
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Vote. Do it now. (10/28a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)