In Memoriam|

Stephen J. Lawrence (September 5, 1939 – December 30, 2021) was an American composer, who lived and worked in New York City. He was also known as Stephen Lawrence, but used his middle initial to differentiate him from the singer Steve Lawrence.

Lawrence was born on September 5, 1939. He gained his B.A. in music from Hofstra University and during his lifetime composed more than 300 songs and scores for Sesame Street, resulting in three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition. He also composed the title song and four others for Marlo Thomas’s Free to Be… You and Me, the landmark million-selling record, book and Emmy Award- and Peabody Award-winning ABC television special; composed the million-selling Gold Record You Take My Breath Away; scored the 1973 Robert De Niro movie Bang the Drum Slowly and the cult horror classic Alice, Sweet Alice (1976), which won the music award at the Paris International Festival of Fantasy and Science Fiction; composed score for One Summer Love (1976), a.k.a. Dragonfly, composed the songs and score for the 1989 live-action movie musical Red Riding Hood starring Isabella Rossellini and Craig T. Nelson, lyrics by Michael Korie; composed songs for the live-action movie musical The Emperor’s New Clothes, starring Sid Caesar and Robert Morse; composed songs and score for The Tale of Peter Rabbit, an HBO animated musical starring Carol Burnett, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.

He married Christine Jones in 1984, and their daughter Hannah was born two years later. After divorcing, he then married Cathy Schwartzman in 2002. He was the Music Director of Temple Sinai, Stamford, Connecticut, from that year until 2012. Lawrence died in Belleville, New Jersey on December 30, 2021, at the age of 82.

Awards: Gold Album for Free to Be… You and Me – Composed the title song and four others for Marlo Thomas’s Free to Be… You and Me, the landmark million-selling record, book and Emmy Award – and Peabody Award-winning ABC television special (1972). Musical Director.


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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…

If you want to know more about any of the musicians we lost this past week, please check out http://www.wikipedia.com

January 2022
5: Neil Nongkynrih, 51, Indian pianist, founder of Shillong Chamber Choir.

4: Jessie Daniels, 57, American R&B singer (Force MDs) (death announced on this date); María Mérida, 96, Spanish folk singer; Andrzej Nowak, 63, Polish guitarist (TSA), composer and music producer.

2: Ana Bejerano, 60, Spanish singer (Mocedades); Nindy Ellesse, 54, Indonesian singer, actress and TV presenter; Jorma Katrama, 85, Finnish double bassist; Kenny J, 69, Trinidad and Tobago calypsonian and soca parang singer, COVID-19; Traxamillion, 42, American hip hop producer, cancer; Jay Weaver, 42, American bassist (Big Daddy Weave), COVID-19.

1: Nick Colionne, American jazz guitarist.

December 2021

31: Juraj Filas, 66, Slovak composer, complications from COVID-19; Ivan Mozgovenko, 97, Russian clarinetist and music teacher.

30: Stephen J. Lawrence, 82, American composer (Sesame Street, Bang the Drum Slowly, Alice, Sweet Alice).

29: Kaithapram Viswanathan Namboothiri, 58, Indian film score composer (Kaliyattam, Kannaki, Thilakkam), cancer.


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