Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies
Johnny Brandon to Ric Burns
Johnny Brandon Biography ((?)-)
Addresses: Home: 200 E. 17th Street, New York, NY, 10003; Agent: Robert Youdelman (attorney), 3 E. 54th Street, New York, NY, 10022.
"In my formative years (10-20) Buddy Bradley was the single most important influence on my professional life and to some extent on my social development.Not only did he teach me to be a very good dancer (tap) but he introduced meto the writings of Langston Hughes, jazz music (we danced to Dizzy Gillespierecords), The Chicago Defender and Ebony, (what other English kid knew of the Black American Press?), the ballet (I was strictly show biz and had at that time little interest in ballet), Wimbledon Tennis, the legit theatre. He also encouraged me to write songs and the exposure he gave me to jazz music still stands me in good stead today with lyrical rhythms and meter.
"I love America and live here because it is the only truly multi-racial society today. I feel strongly that American writers in the theatre should reflectthis multi-racial, multi-ethnic society. There are times, of course, when for dramatic purposes roles have to be cast ethnically, but in the vast majority of cases, when a play or musical is not concerned with specific ethnic groups, I feel strongly that roles should be cast across the board. In this respect, strangely enough, the theatre seems to be lagging far behind national television, due, it seems, to the indifference of the successful Broadwaywriters and dramatists.
"I love class! Lena Horne has it (in abundance), so does Johnny Carson, Reggie Jackson, Julius Irving, Carl Rowan, the Kennedys, Elizabeth Drew, Mayor Andy Young.
"Friendships are the most important human relationships--friends are the 'family one chooses.'"
- composer, lyricist, playwright, dancer, actor, choreographer
Principal Stage Appearances
- as a song-and-dance man in British Vaudeville from are 11, also in Revue;Harry, The Time of Your Life, Old Vic, London; lead, Love from Judy, Saville, London, 1954; tap choreography, Ace of Clubs, London,1950.
The Day Will Dawn, 1940; The Young Mr. Pitt, 1942.
Principal Television Work
- choreography, Jill Darling; series, Dreamer's Highway.Lyrics, music, A Piece of the Action; lyrics, music, Hey, Jennie, 1956--60; themes for Kraft Television Theatre.
- Lyrics, music, sketches, Maid to Measure; lyrics, music, Cindy; lyrics, music, Billy No Name; lyrics, music, concept, Love! Love! Love!.
- lyrics, music, sketches, Party; lyrics, music, Who's Who, Baby?; lyrics, music, Peg; lyrics, music, concept, Ain't Doin' Nothin' but Singin' My Song; lyrics, music, Helen; lyrics, music, Sparrow in Flight; lyrics, music, concept, Suddenly the Music Starts; lyrics, Eubie!; lyrics, music, concept, Touch!; lyrics, music, book, Vonetta Sweetwater Carries On; lyrics, music, The More You Get the More You Want; lyrics, music, Shim Sham;
- Dialogue, lyrics, music, staging, choreography for night club acts for Cab Calloway, Vivian Reed, Chris Calloway, Alexis Smith, Lynnie Godfrey, TerryBurrell, others.
- over 600 published songs including Once Upon a Wintertime, Opportunity, Tomorrow, Hang up the Phone, Let's, The Years Between, Venetian Sunset,A Love to Last a Lifetime, A Screamin' Ball at Dracula Hall.