Steve Allen and His Music
     Although he was best known as a comedian, Steve Allen's primary gift was for the composition of music.  For more than 50 years he enjoyed a stellar career as a composer, lyricist, conductor, singer and pianist. Click here for a list of prominent artists who have performed Allen songs.
     In 1999, Steve released "Steve Allen's Songs: 100 Lyrics with Commentary" with a foreword by noted author, critic and jazz historian Gene Lees.  In the book are collected lyrics to 100 of his favorites, including "This Could Be The Start of Something Big," "Gravy Waltz," "The South Rampart Street Parade," and the themes to Picnic, On the Beach, and Bell, Book, and Candle.
     Honored in the 1985 edition of the Guinness Book of Records as the most prolific composer of modern times, Steve Allen wrote more than 8,500 songs during his extraordinary lifetime.

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      Although Steve produced more than 75 albums/CD's, his musical training was limited to three years of piano lessons, starting at the age of seven.  Despite his lack of training, he continued to create highly melodic numbers at the rate of about 40 per month, and in one recent instance, in the sight of over 200 witnesses in the lobby of a Kalamazoo, Michigan, hotel, wrote a total of 400 songs in one day.  Many of his songs, strangely enough, were not created at the piano.  They "happened" while he was driving, taking a shower, at work, even asleep.  (He actually dreamed one of his biggest hits: "This Could be the Start of Something Big.")
     Among the dozens of prominent artists who have recorded and performed Steve's work are Aretha Franklin, the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Joe Williams, Andy Williams, Ann Jillian, Perry Como, Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Diane Schuur and Mel Torme.

     Among his hits are such popular standards as "South Rampart Street Parade," Gravy Waltz," "Pretend You Don't See Her," "Picnic," "Impossible," and "Cool Yule."
     He composed the music for his award-winning PBS series, Meeting of Minds, and has written the title lyrics for such films as Picnic, Houseboat, On the Beach, Sleeping Beauty, and Bell, Book and Candle, as well as the musical scores for the MGM film A Man Called Dagger and the NBC-TV documentary film, Remember Illinois.

Musical Theater

For the musical theater, Steve wrote:

- The Bachelor, which was presented on NBC Television in the mid-50's, earning the composer/lyricist a Sylvania Award.  Two lasting standards "This Could Be the Start of Something Big" and "Impossible," emerged from its score.
- Sophie, based on the life of Sophie Tucker, which premiered on Broadway.
- Belle Starr, starring Betty Grable, which toured the British Isles.
- The Al Chemist Show, starring Georgia Brown, which had its premiere in 1980 at the Los Angeles Actors' Theatre.
In October 1982, Steve's comedy musical review Seymour Glick is Alive but Sick (a satire on Jaques Brel Is Alive and Well) opened at the St. Regis Hotel, New York, to critical approval.  In 1983, the show played at The Horn in Los Angeles, with Bill Maher its emcee.
Also in 1983, Steve wrote the score for a Fantasy Island show.

In 1985, he wrote the words and music for Irwin Allen's CBS-TV all-star production of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland.  Click here for list of songs and artists from this show.

Also in 1985, at the invitation of the Professional Football Hall of Fame, Steve composed "Ten Feet Tall," a march played each year at the Enshrinees Hall of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio.

In 1986, Steve provided 12 songs for an Ann Jillian album and another dozen highly melodic compositions for an album by jazz pianist Paul Smith.  In the 1990's, his music has been featured on CD's with vocalists Frankie Randall, Roseanna Vitro, and George Bugatti.

In Fall 1999, Theatre West in Los Angeles produced Allen's version of the Charles Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol" for which Steve provided music and lyrics.  Click here for more information.

Allen's hundreds of concert engagements with symphony and pop orchestras featured entirely his own compositions.

The entertainer was also a jazz pianist.  His rewards as a piano player, he stated, were largely selfish in nature, which is the reason he frequently played small jazz clubs around the country, for modest fees, as a way to relax and stir his creative juices.  Over the years, he had also been featured in major jazz concerts and in 1993 released, on the Concord label, the highly praised CD "Steve Allen Plays Jazz Tonight."

Embedded in hundreds of popular recordings, TV Shows and major motion pictures, Steve Allen's music will live on forever.
During the 2001 Holiday Season Steve's songs can be heard in the major motion pictures Serendipity, Blow, and Small Time Crooks.
His Jazz Christmas classic Cool Yule recorded by Louis Armstrong, is featured on three new Christmas Season CDs.  It's also available right here at the Steve Allen Store on the Songs of Steve Allen CD.

Be sure to check out these great Steve Allen music items:

A Rare Collector's Item!  Personally-autographed sheet music "The Saturday Evening Post" - words and music by Steve Allen
Personally autographed by Steve Allen. Sheet music from "Saturday Evening Post" -- words and music by Steve Allen. To quote Steve Allen, "In my youth the Post was a true American institution. Its covers alone, many which were done by Norman Rockwell, were charming and the contents were warmly typical of the time when American dreams were simpler and more civilized than at present. The melody is structured in sort of Vaudeville, soft-shoe style."
Click here to order online
A Rare Collector's Item!  Personally-autographed sheet music -- "I'll Show Them All" words & music by Steve Allen (from the Broadway musical Sophie).  

Personally autographed by Steve Allen! Sheet music from "I'll Show Them All" -- words and music by Steve Allen. From the original Broadway musical score "Sophie," I'LL SHOW THEM ALL was originally sung on Broadway by Libi Staiger. This song became a popular hit after Judy Garland included it on her album "The Unforgettable Judy Garland."
Click here to order online
Rare!  The Steve Allen Song Book
-- $7.95 plus s&h
The Steve Allen Song Book includes sheet music for 27 Steve Allen standards including "This Could Be The Start of Something Big," "Gravy Waltz," "Impossible," "Picnic," and "South Rampart Street Parade."
Click here for ordering information.
Steve Allen's 75th Birthday Celebration -- The Steve Allen Big Band -- CD
On Sale For The Holiday Season
-  $11.95 plus (s&h)
Enjoy the Steve Allen Big Band recorded at Steve Allen's 75th Birthday Celebration. The CD features 15 clips including "This Could Be The Start Of Something Big," "South Rampart Street Parade," "Gravy Waltz," and "Skipping Along The Rainbow." Also includes Steve's classic comedy sketches including "Senator Buster" (with Jayne Meadows, and "Steve-On-The-Street."
Click here for ordering information.
The Songs of Steve Allen -- All-star CD
-- $9.95 plus shipping and handling.
A terrific collection of Steve Allen's greatest songs sung by some of music's greatest artists. 17 tracks including: "This Could Be The Start Of Something" sung by Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme; "Picnic" sung by The McGuire Sisters; "Oh What A Night For Love" sung by Ella Fitzgerald; "Gravy Waltz" sung by Mel Torme; "Impossible" sung by Nat King Cole; "South Rampart Street Parade" sung by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters; "Cool Yule" sung by Louis Armstrong; "I Love You Says It Very Well" by Ann Jillian. A must for any collector of Steve Allen music!
Click here for ordering information.
Steve Allen Plays Jazz Tonight -- CD
-- $10.95 plus shipping and handling.
13 tracks with Steve Allen at Piano, Frank Capp on drums, Ken Peplowski on clarinet and tenor saxophone, Glenn Zottola on trumpet, Howard Alden on guitar, and Chuck Berghofer on bass. Songs include "Tangerine," "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else," "Body and Soul," "After You've Gone," "Don't Cry, Little Girl," "Steve's Blues," "Gone With The Wind," "You Go To My Head," "Fine and Dandy." Frank Capp writes: "A few years back I was honored when Steve Allen wrote the liner notes for the Capp-Pierce Big Band first album ("Juggernaut"). Now I'm delighted to return the favor with a few words about this record, a spontaneous session where Steve and I joined forces with some of the best jazz players in our business. The result of that night's jamming is this fun-filled album of standards and some of Steve's own ballads. It's usually a professional musician's worst nightmare to have some celebrity who used to play an instrument, ask to sit in with you. But in the case of Steve Allen -- who's not only a celebrity but also a professional musician of the first caliber, the nightmare is over. If you don't believe me, just listen to this baker's dozen of swinging tracks!"
Click here for ordering information.
Steve Allen Plays Hi-Fi Music for Influentials -- CD
--  $9.95 plus shipping and handling. 
A soothing instrumental CD with 16 tracks including: "Love For Sale," "Laura," "You're So Influential," "This Could Be The Start Of Something," "Easy To Love," "Adios," "Theme From Lawrence Of Arabia," "Impossible," "Take Up The Slack," "Tonight," "Stormy Weather," The Peanut Vendor," "Lovely To Look At," ""A
Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody," "Theme From A Man Called Dagger," and "Leave It To Me."
Click here for ordering information.