Jeff Wayne: Wikis

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Jeff Wayne

Wayne in 2007
Background information
Born July 1, 1943 (1943-07-01) (age 66)
Forest Hills, Queens, New York
Origin London
Genres Progressive rock, rock, pop
Instruments Piano, Keyboards
Years active 1966–present
Website http://www.thewaroftheworlds.com

Jeffrey "Jeff" Wayne (born July 1, 1943, in Forest Hills, Queens, New York) is a musician mostly known for his musical version of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. He also wrote several advertising jingles in the 1970s which appeared on television in the United Kingdom, notably the Gordon's Gin commercial, which was then covered by The Human League. Other well-known themes he wrote include Good Morning Britain (TV-am) and London's LBC radio.

Contents

Early life

Jeff Wayne was born 1 July 1943 in Forest Hills, Queens.[1] His father, Jerry Wayne, was an actor, singer and theatre producer who had a profound influence on Jeff's life in many ways, inspiring his love of music and of tennis, and introducing him to H. G. Wells' book The War of the Worlds. Wayne took classical piano lessons from the age of five, moving onto jazz piano, and was taught tennis by his father. He spent four years of his childhood in the UK after his father won the role of romantic gambler Sky Masterson in the original West End musical production of Guys and Dolls.

Four years later they returned to New York. Wayne graduated from Stephen Halsey Jr. High and then attended Forest Hills High School for one year (including playing for its tennis team), before moving to California. He graduated from Grant High School, then from Los Angeles Valley College with a journalism degree. He also played keyboards in local bands and coached tennis to support himself through those years. After completing his journalism degree he switched to music, and played keyboards briefly with the Sandpipers.

Musical career

In 1966, his father Jerry offered Jeff Wayne the opportunity to compose the score for his upcoming West End musical Two Cities based on Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities which ran at London's Palace Theatre. The musical was a great success, winning for Edward Woodward the Evening Standard Award for Best Male Performance in a Musical for 1968-69. Returning to the UK, Wayne's musical career truly began. He became a record producer and helped produce David Essex's album Rock On. Essex was later recruited by Wayne as a voice actor in The War of the Worlds, playing the part of The Artilleryman.

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The War of the Worlds

In 1978, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds was released and achieved international success, including worldwide hit singles "The Eve of the War" and "Forever Autumn", with vocals performed by Justin Hayward in both. It has also won two Ivor Novello Awards along with The Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy, (the judges included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Alfred Hitchcock)."The Eve of the War" was subsequently adopted by the offshore radio station Radio Delmare as its theme tune. The record was re-released in 1995 on audio CD with five tracks remastered and added onto the second disk that were mostly created without Wayne's input.

Later work

Wayne kept a fairly low profile in the decade after The War of the Worlds, but continued to be active in composing and producing. He produced the music for the movie McVicar, released in 1980; he composed the tune for the Fry's Turkish Delight advertisement in 1981, the theme tune for Good Morning Britain in 1982 on TV-am, and composed additional music for the 1984 album Beyond the Planets, Kevin Peek and Rick Wakeman's progressive rock reworking of Holst's orchestral suite.

In 1992 Jeff Wayne released Spartcus, his first major release since The War of the Worlds. It had many of the ingredients for success: a stellar cast, including Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Marillion's Fish; a libretto by Gary Osborne, who had produced most of the haunting lyrics of The War of the Worlds; and a story combining powerful themes of oppression, desperation, love and death. Despite its potential, however, the album was a disappointment both artistically and commercially, with none of the engaging musicality or novel orchestration of The War of the Worlds.

In 1998, Jeff Wayne was involved in producing Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds, a PC computer game including 45 minutes of music from his Musical Version of The War of the Worlds which was re-scored and remixed in a newer electronica style with techno beats.

In 2004, Jeff Wayne and Ollie Record Productions began work on a feature-length animated CGI film version of his musical version of The War of the Worlds, slated for release in 2007. The $48 million project will make use of both state-of-the-art CGI and motion capture technology.

In the summer of 2005 following over a year's work remixing (stereo and surround sound), repackaging and remastering, The War of The Worlds was re-released in the UK and Internationally. The album became one of the big hits of the year occupying 10 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the UK Album charts. The new release pushed sales to 3 million double albums in the UK, and approaching 14 million worldwide. It is now in the upper ends of the all-time best selling list since charts began, as well as amongst the elite of the longest running albums in chart history.

Also In 2005 it was announced that the musical would be going on a UK tour in April 2006. After the 2006 tour, the live show was taken to Australia and New Zealand before returning to further dates in the UK during December 2007. The show, produced by Damian Collier made use of a 10-piece band and a 48-piece string orchestra, as well as voice actors, screen projected images and animatronics to recreate the original album on stage. Universal Pictures released a DVD of the show, filmed at Wembley Arena using 23 high definition cameras and directed by David Mallet.

His first television series, The Book of Tennis Chronicles, began broadcasting worldwide in 2005 (distributed by Fox Sports) and parallels the lives and tribulations of the greatest tennis players, and events, set against the most dramatic and quirky moments in world history, starting in 1877 and up to present time. Wayne created and produced the 8 half-hours series as well as scoring its music. The series was Executive Produced by Damian Collier, Jeff Wayne's producing partner.

Tennis

Tennis has remained an active part of Wayne's life; he has won at club, county, and national levels including, the British National Indoor Veterans singles and doubles titles, and the National Clay Court doubles. In 1992 he partnered his long time friend and former Great Britain No. 1 and Davis Cup captain Roger Taylor at the European Veteran Championships. 1999 also saw Wayne represent Great Britain competing for the Austria Cup in Spain, and achieved an ITF world ranking in his age group. In 2008 Wayne began his 19th year as Hertfordshire County Men's Captain (winners of this years National County Week title) and was elected into the International Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain. Wayne has also played many pro-am tournaments including for: Muscular Dystrophy, Olympic Games fund raising, and Save the Children.

Personal life

Jeff and Geraldine live in Hertfordshire, England, and have four children: Anna-Marie Wayne - an actress now based in California, Jemma Wayne - an author with her debut book Bare Necessities published September 2005, sons Zeb Wayne, DJ'ing on the London club scene as well as composing and producing music, and Joab Wayne at school and training to become a professional tennis player.

Personal appearances

Jeff continues to make many personal appearances to meet his fans at film and collectibles shows in Birmingham, Milton Keynes and London.

Discography

References

  1. ^ Jeff Wayne, Sony Music. Accessed June 18, 2009. "Jeff Wayne was born in Forest Hills, New York and discovered early in his life two passions that have remained with him – music and tennis."

External links


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