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Singer and songwriter Tom Lehrer picture(s)/pic(s), wallpaper and photo gallery.
Birth name: Thomas Andrew Lehrer.
Born: April 9, 1928

Tom Lehrer biography (bio):
Thomas Andrew "Tom" Lehrer is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. He also lectured on mathematics and musical theater.

Lehrer is best known for the pithy, humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and 60s. His work often parodied popular song forms, notably in "The Elements", where he sets the names of the chemical elements to a tune from Gilbert and Sullivan. Lehrer's earlier work frequently dealt with trivial subject matter, but he also produced a number of songs dealing with the social and political issues of the day, particularly when he went on to write for the TV show That Was The Week That Was.

Musical career:
Before attending college, Lehrer graduated from the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. As an undergraduate student at Harvard University, he began to write comic songs to entertain his friends, including "Fight Fiercely, Harvard" (1945). Those songs later became (in a joking reference to a leading scientific journal, The Physical Review) The Physical Revue. Influenced mainly by musical theater, his style consisted of parodying various forms of popular song. For example, his appreciation of list songs led him to set the names of the chemical elements to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Major-General's Song".

Inspired by the success of his performances of his songs, he paid for some studio time to record an album, Songs by Tom Lehrer, which he sold by mail order. Self-published and unpromoted, the album, which included the macabre ("I Hold Your Hand in Mine"), the mildly risqu ("Be Prepared"), and the mathematical ("Lobachevsky"), became a cult success via word of mouth. Lehrer then embarked on a series of concert tours and released a second album, which came in two versions: the songs were the same but More Songs by Tom Lehrer was studio-recorded, while An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer was recorded live in concert.

Lehrer's major break into the United Kingdom came as a result of the citation accompanying an honorary degree given to Princess Margaret, where she cited musical tastes as "catholic, ranging from Mozart to Tom Lehrer". This produced significant interest in his works, and helped secure distributors for his material. Ironically, it was in the UK where his music ended up more popular due to the proliferation of university newspapers referring to the material, and the willingness of the BBC to play his songs on the radio (something that was a rarity in the USA).

By the early 1960s, Lehrer had retired from touring (which he intensely disliked) and was employed as the resident songwriter for the U.S. edition of That Was The Week That Was (TW3), a satirical TV show. An increased proportion of his output became overtly political, or at least topical, on subjects such as pollution ("Pollution"), Vatican II ("The Vatican Rag"), race relations ("National Brotherhood Week"), education ("New Math"), American militarism ("Send the Marines"), World War II nostalgia ("So Long, Mom", premiered by Steve Allen), and nuclear proliferation ("Who's Next?" and "MLF Lullaby"). He also wrote a song that satirized the alleged amorality of Wernher von Braun. A selection of these songs was released on the album That Was The Year That Was.

The record deal with Reprise Records for the That Was The Year That Was album also gave Reprise distribution rights for Lehrer's earlier recordings as Lehrer wanted to shut down his own Lehrer Records. The Reprise issue of Songs by Tom Lehrer was a stereo re-recording. This version was not issued on CD, but the songs were issued on the live Tom Lehrer Revisited on CD instead.
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