BARBARA COOK, 89, from respiratory failure on August 8 in New York City. A singer and actress who first came to prominence in the 1950s as the lead in the original Broadway musicals Plain & Fancy (1955), Candide (1956) and The Music Man (1957), winning a Tony Award for the latter. She continued performing mostly in the theatre until the mid-1970s, when she began a second career as a cabaret and concert singer.
During her years as Broadway’s leading ingenue, she was lauded for her excellent lyric soprano voice. In her later years, she was widely recognized as one of the premier interpreters of musical theatre songs and standards, especially those composed by Stephen Sondheim.
Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag almost thirty years ago and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we became The Syncopated Times. 47 of his profiles are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, containing profiles from 2013-2016 will be available on Amazon soon. He taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.