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Charlie Smalls

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Charlie Smalls

Biography

Charlie Smalls (25 October 1943, Queens, New York – 27 August 1987, Belgium) was an American composer and songwriter.

After graduating from the High School of Performing Arts, Smalls, a musical prodigy, attended the Juilliard School at age 11 in 1954, staying until 1961. He wrote the song From Me to You for Hugh Masekela's 1966 album Hugh Masekela's Next Album and a song for John Cassavetes's 1968 film Faces called "Never Felt Like This Before."

Smalls was best known for writing the music and lyrics for playwright William F. Brown's 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz and the 1978 film version of the same name. An African American urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wiz was adapted into a feature film in 1978. Smalls also wrote the score for the 1976 film Drum.

Smalls appeared in the tag scene of the "Some Like It Lukewarm" episode of The Monkees, which aired on March 4, 1968, chatting at a piano with singer Davy Jones.

Smalls won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Score for his work on The Wiz.


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