He was one of the best-selling poets in the United States during the late s. Throughout his career, McKuen produced a wide range of recordings, which included popular music, spoken word poetry, film soundtracks and classical music. He earned two Academy Award nominations and one Pulitzer nomination for his music compositions. McKuen's translations and adaptations of the songs of Jacques Brel were instrumental in bringing the Belgian songwriter to prominence in the English-speaking world.
His poetry deals with themes of love, the natural world and spirituality. McKuen's songs sold over million recordings worldwide, and 60 million books of his poetry were sold as well.
He drifted along the West Coast, Youve Got That Touch - Various - A Capitol Rockabilly Party Part 3 himself as a ranch hand, surveyor, railroad worker, lumberjack, rodeo cowboy, stuntman, and radio disc jockey, always sending money home to his mother.
To compensate for his lack of formal education, McKuen began keeping a journal, which resulted in his first Channing Way - Rod McKuen - Rod McKuen Sings Rod McKuen/Rod Sings His Own and song lyrics. After dropping out of Oakland Technical High School prior to graduating in McKuen worked as a newspaper columnist and propaganda script writer during the Korean War.
Over time, he began incorporating his own songs into his act. He was signed to Decca Records and released several pop albums in the late s. He also sang with Lionel Hampton's band. In the early s, McKuen moved to France, where he first met the Belgian singer-songwriter and chanson singer Jacques Brel. McKuen began to translate the work of this composer into English, which led to the song " If You Go Away " — an international pop-standard — based on Brel's " Ne me quitte pas ".
Inafter hearing of Brel's death, McKuen was quoted as saying, "As friends and as musical collaborators we had traveled, toured and written — together and apart — the events of our lives as if they were songs, and I guess they were. When news of Jacques' death came I stayed locked in my bedroom and drank for a week. That kind of self-pity was something he wouldn't have approved of, but all I could do was replay our songs our children and ruminate over our unfinished life together.
McKuen wrote over 1, songs, which have accounted for the sale of over million records worldwide according to the Associated Press. The McKuen-written song reached No. He co-wrote it along with Gladys Shelley and the Spiral label-issued single reached No. His symphonies, concertos, and other orchestral works have been performed by orchestras around the globe.
Schulz 's comic strip, Peanutsalso included singing the title song. McKuen also earned a mention in the Peanuts strip dated October 3,in which Sally Brown expresses her frustration that she was sent to the principal's office for an outburst in art class, opining that Pablo Picasso and Rod McKuen surely must have had trouble drawing cows' legs when they were young. James Trittipo designed a set that was "evocative of waterfront pilings" and Arthur Greenslade conducted the orchestra.
All three discs earned him gold records ; in he was voted Holland's most popular entertainer by Radio Veronica 's audience. During the s, McKuen began composing larger-scale orchestral compositions, writing a series of concertos, suites, symphonies, and chamber pieces for orchestra.
McKuen continued to perform concerts around the world and appeared regularly at New York's Carnegie Hall throughout the s, making sporadic appearances as recently as the early s. Inat forty, McKuen radically changed his outward appearance: he no longer bleached his hair and he grew a beard. McKuen retired from live performances in The following year, he was diagnosed with clinical depression, which he battled for much of the next decade.
For 10 years he gave an annual birthday concert at Carnegie Hall or the Lincoln Center. In addition to his artistic pursuits he was the Executive President of the American Guild The Road - Stuart Tyner - Growing In Jesus Variety Artists AGVAa post he held longer than any other man or woman elected to the position.
McKuen lived in Beverly Hills, California with his partner Edward, whom he called his "brother", and four cats in a large rambling Spanish house built inwhich housed one of the world's largest private record collections. McKuen refused to identify as gaystraightor bisexualbut once explained his sexuality saying, "I can't imagine choosing one sex over the other, that's just too limiting.
I can't even honestly say I have a preference. Easy In featured a photo of a man's arm gripping a handful of vegetable shortening ; the can was a pastiche Adagio - Vivaldi*, Félix Ayo - Le Quattro Stagioni Crisco — then widely used by gay men as a sexual lubricant — with the label instead reading "Disco".
That same year, McKuen spoke out against singer Anita Bryant and her " Save Our Children " campaign to repeal an anti-discrimination ordinance in Miamitagging Bryant with the nickname "Ginny Orangeseed", and also including a song on Slide Despite his popular appeal, McKuen's work was never taken seriously by critics or academics. Michael Baers observed in Gale Research's St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture that "through the years his books have drawn uniformly unkind reviews. In fact, criticism of his poetry is uniformly vituperative Frank W.
Philosopher and social critic Robert C. Solomon described McKuen's poetry as "sweet kitsch ,"  and, at the height of his popularity inNewsweek magazine called him "the King of Kitsch. Writer and literary critic Nora Ephron said, "[F]or the most part, McKuen's poems are superficial and platitudinous and frequently silly. In a Chicago Tribune interview with McKuen in as he was "testing the waters" for a comeback tour, Pulitzer Prize-winning culture critic Julia Keller claimed that "Millions more have loathed him [ They find it silly and mawkish, the kind of gooey schmaltz that wouldn't pass muster in a freshman creative-writing Universal Sion - Various - Wizard Performances 2 while stating that "The masses ate him up with a spoon, while highbrow literary critics roasted him on a spit.
This was the first in-depth biography of McKuen. But what he did also transcends that time and still speaks fundamentally to the things that matter to people: romance, relationships, the human condition. He Channing Way - Rod McKuen - Rod McKuen Sings Rod McKuen/Rod Sings His Own the vernacular of his time to Channing Way - Rod McKuen - Rod McKuen Sings Rod McKuen/Rod Sings His Own the widest audience. But at its essence, his work is still valid and, I think, timeless.
Lyrics, book, and musical storylines by Rod McKuen; music composed, arranged, and conducted by Anita Kerr. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American poet, songwriter, composer, and singer. Richmond Times-Dispatch. Associated Press. Los Angeles Times. January 30, The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, The Guardian. Retrieved February 5, School Historical Archive. Retrieved February 25, Retrieved September 14, Rod McKuen. Archived from the original on November 22, Arts and Entertainment Fads.
The New Yorker. Top Pop Singles 14th ed. TV Guide. Carolina-Tennessee Edition: A May 10—16, Top Adult Songs Record Research, Inc.
Retrieved August 29, Retrieved June 6, Poetry Foundation. Retrieved October 13, PBP:American Experience. Retrieved November 21, Retrieved 24 June In Defense of Sentimentality. Wallflower at the Orgy. Channing Way - Rod McKuen - Rod McKuen Sings Rod McKuen/Rod Sings His Own Tribune. Archived from the original on December 17, Retrieved December 17, Awards for Rod McKuen. Complete List s s s s s s. Kennedy Goddard Lieberson producer — John F. Murrow — Edward R. Murrow - A Reporter Remembers, Vol.
McKuen in Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rod McKuen. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Rod McKuen.
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