RUPERT HOLMES Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » rupert holmes


Name: Rupert Holmes                                                                     
Born: 24 February 1947                                                                   
Rupert Holmes (born February 24, 1947) is an American and British composer,             
songwriter and author of plays, novels and stories. He is best known for his             
number one pop hit "Escape" (subtitled "The PiƱa Colada Song") in 1979 and his         
Tony Award winning musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood.                                   
Holmes was born in Northwich, Cheshire, England. His father was a United States         
Army Warrant Officer and bandleader, and his mother was English, and both were           
musical. Holmes has dual American and British citizenship. The family moved,             
after a few years in Northwich, to the northern New York City suburb of Nanuet,         
New York, where Holmes grew up and attended nearby Nyack High School and then           
the Manhattan School of Music (majoring in clarinet). Holmes' brother, Richard,         
is an opera singer based in New York City and is the principal lyric baritone of         
the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, sings roles with regional opera               
companies, such as Glimmerglass Opera, Lake George, and Virginia Opera, among           
others, and has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera. Holmes' daughter Wendy died         
suddenly in 1986, at the age of ten, of an undiagnosed brain tumor. He has two           
sons, Nick and Timothy (who has autism).                                                 
In his 20s, Holmes was a session musician (producing sessions, writing and               
arranging songs, singing and playing a few instruments), who wrote jingles and           
pop tunes (including for Gene Pitney, the Platters, the Drifters, Wayne Newton           
and television's The Partridge Family). As a recording artist, Holmes broke             
through with 1974's Widescreen on Epic Records, which introduced him as a               
presenter of highly romantic, lushly orchestrated "story songs" that told a             
witty narrative punctuated by clever rhymes and a hint of comedy. Barbra                 
Streisand discovered this album and asked to record songs from it, launching             
Holmes on a successful career. She then used some of his songs in the movie A           
Star Is Born. His second, self-titled album led Rolling Stone to compare him to         
Bob Dylan in the sense of being an artist of unprecedented originality that             
commanded attention.                                                                     
Holmes' production skills were also in demand during this period, and he took on         
this role for Lynsey De Paul on her album "Tigers and Fireflies", which spawned         
the radio hit "Holiday Romance". That album also featured a song, the bluesy "'Twas",   
co-written by the two.                                                                   
"Escape" was included on his fifth album, Partners in Crime, and reached the Hot         
100 No. 1 Hits of 1979. The song hit #1 late December 1979, becoming the last           
song to top the pop chart in the 1970s. The song fell to #2 for the first week           
of January, 1980 and then rebounded to #1 the next week, making Holmes the only         
artist to ascend to the #1 spot with the same song in different decades. Another         
popular song on that album was "Him".                                                   
Holmes wrote a song for the band The Buoys called "Timothy," possibly the only           
top-40 song about cannibalism. Holmes was not in the band, but did play piano on         
the track. He also wrote "Give Up Your Guns", "The Prince of Thieves", "Blood           
Knot", and "Tomorrow" for the band. "Timothy" charted at #17 and "Give Up Your           
Guns" at #84. In 1986 Holmes's composition "You Got It All" (sometimes called "You       
Got It All Over Him") was a hit single for The Jets and later recorded by pop           
superstar Britney Spears, featured in her internationally released version of           
Oops!...I Did It Again (2000).                                                           
In the 1980s and 1990s, Holmes also played in cabarets and comedy clubs, mostly         
in New York City, telling often autobiographical anecdotes illustrated with his