Steve Tyrell Biography

USA. Raised in Houston, Texas, Tyrell’s professional life began when he was a teenager and he sang with R&B bands at numerous venues in the state. He moved on to work in the music industry for many years, first joining Scepter Records when he was aged 19. Among sessions on which he was active in production capacities are those resulting in Dionne Warwick’s hits ‘Message To Michael’, ‘The Look Of Love’ and ‘Alfie’. He also worked with the Shirelles among many other singers and songwriters, including a role in B.J. Thomas’ 1969 hit, ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head’, and he co-produced Linda Ronstadt’s Grammy Award winners ‘Don’t Know Much’ (in duet with Aaron Neville) and ‘Somewhere Out There’ (in duet with James Ingram), used on the soundtrack to 1986’s An American Tail. Tyrell was for a while a producer of R&B for Atlantic Records. In Los Angeles, he moved into film and television work, sometimes as musical director. Among his credits is the television show WKRP. He composed scores for The Rainbow Warrior (1992), Family Prayers (1993), and Once Upon A Time... When We Were Colored (1995). In 1999 he had musical direction/supervision credits for Dudley Do-Right and Blast From The Past.

While working on the film Father Of The Bride (1991), Tyrell had recorded ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ as a demo and when this was heard by the cast and crew it attracted a great deal of favourable comment and the song was used on the film’s soundtrack. He also sang the song with Rosemary Clooney at a Johnny Mercer tribute concert she gave at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. These events led in time to Tyrell’s decision to record an album. The result, A New Standard, proved to be hugely popular with a wide audience, spending around two years on Billboard magazine’s jazz chart. He has continued to record standards and has enjoyed some success in clubs, especially with the older audience. Tyrell sings with a rough-edged voice and for his recording sessions is backed by front-rank session and jazz musicians.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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