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Alan Copeland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alan Copeland (born Allan Robert Copeland;[1] October 6, 1926 – December 28, 2022), also known as Weaver Copeland,[2] was an American singer, songwriter, composer, and conductor.

Life and career


Copeland was born in Los Angeles, California on October 6, 1926.[3]

Copeland was a member of The Modernaires, first from 1948 to 1956 and then from 1959 to the mid-1960s.[4] He also worked as a songwriter in Los Angeles in the 1950s. He co-wrote the song "Make Love to Me", "Back Where I Belong", "Darling, Darling, Darling", "High Society", "Into the Shadows", "This Must Be the Place", "Too Young to Know", and "While the Vesper Bells Were Ringing". He also worked as a composer for television and did arrangement work for musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby.[5] He also provided lyrics for such jazz instrumentals as Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream"[6] and Clare Fischer's "Gaviota."[7]

Copeland led studio ensembles that released several albums in the 1960s. In 1968, he issued the single, "Mission: Impossible Theme / Norwegian Wood", interpolating the Theme from Mission: Impossible and the Beatles song "Norwegian Wood" in what might be termed a proto-mashup.[a] It peaked at number 120 on the Billboard Bubbling Under chart and won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Pop Performance by a Chorus.[5] In 1980, in collaboration with his wife, fellow vocalist Mahmu Pearl, Copeland formed the band Feathers, which released at least three LPs and one CD compilation.[11]

In November 2007, Copeland published his autobiography, Jukebox Saturday Nights.[12]

Personal life and death


From November 5, 1948 until their divorce in January 1969, Copeland was married to Dolores Mae Barty,[1][13] the sister of actor/activist Billy Barty. They had three children: Christine, Richard and Michael.[14]

Copeland was married to Joyce Abbott Ross—née Manor, aka Mahmu Pearl—from July 22, 1971 until her death on December 22, 2009.[15][16][17]

On December 28, 2022, at the age of 96, Copeland died at Sonora Senior Living in Jamestown, California,[18][16][19] survived by his son Richard Copeland, daughter-in-law Linda, granddaughter Rachel and grandson Samuel. Also a stepdaughter, singer Sheila Ross.[16]




  1. ^ In her 2014 essay, "When Pop Stars Collide: Mashups As Musical Destiny," Assistant Professor of Music Theory Christina Boone of Indiana State University states that this "was probably the earliest example of pop songs being heard at the same time, overlaid on top of one another," while also noting that it cannot literally be termed a mashup since it employed no pre-recorded music but rather Copeland's own newly recorded arrangements of the two compositions.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ a b "California, County Marriages, 1850-1953", , FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8KY-2FY : Thu Oct 19 16:58:08 UTC 2023), Entry for Allan Robert Copeland and Dolores Mae Barty, 5 Nov 1948.
  2. ^ "Copeland, Alan (6 October 1926 – Present)". Feenotes.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  3. ^ Bob Leszczak (22 August 2014). The Odd Couple on Stage and Screen: A History with Cast and Crew Profiles and an Episode Guide. McFarland. pp. 37–. ISBN 978-1-4766-1539-4.
  4. ^ Wesley Hyatt (11 August 2010). A Critical History of Television's The Red Skelton Show, 1951–1971. McFarland. pp. 77–. ISBN 978-1-4766-0875-4.
  5. ^ a b Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola, Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling. Duke University Press, 2011, p. 173.
  6. ^ Kelp, Larry (August 15, 1986). "Horace Silver's Quintet Plays Hot New Rhythms". The Oakland Tribune. p. 48. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  7. ^ Farbey, Roger (November 1, 2016). "Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band: Intenso!". All About Jazz. Retrieved November 3, 2023. "'Gaviota (Seagull)' by Clare Fischer with lyrics by Weaver Copeland, features the inestimable vocal talent of Roberta Gambarini who delivers an enticing scat solo into the bargain."
  8. ^ Jack Boss; Brad Osborn; Tim S. Pack (24 July 2014). Analyzing the Music of Living Composers (and Others). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 168. ISBN 978-1-4438-6471-8.
  9. ^ Boss; Osborn; Pack. op. cit., p. 164.
  10. ^ Boss; Osborn; Pack. op. cit., pp. 161, 275.
  11. ^ Herman, Fred (August 25, 1987). "A Natural Musician; He's Not the Usual Academic". The Modesto Bee. p. 21. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  12. ^ "Entertainer Copeland coming to Twain Harte". The Modesto Bee. November 25, 2007. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  13. ^ "California Divorce Index, 1966-1984," , FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPTS-XDM : 15 May 2014), Dolores M Barty and Alan R Copeland, Jan 1969; from "California Divorce Index, 1966-1984," database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2007); citing Los Angeles City, California, Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento.
  14. ^ Brody, Martin (August 15, 1980). "Innovative Troupe With Vaudeville Roots". Petaluma Argus-Couier. p. 2B, 3B.
  15. ^ "California Marriage Index, 1960-1985," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V6VW-ZX1 : 27 November 2014), Alan R Copeland and Joyce A Manor, 22 Jul 1971; from "California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985," database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2007); citing Los Angeles City, California, Center of Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento.
  16. ^ a b c McCarthy, Guy (January 23, 2023; updated January 24). "Alan 'Weaver' Copeland — vocalist, composer and Grammy-winning arranger — dies at 96". The Union Democrat. Retrieved November 3, 2023. "Alan 'Weaver' Copeland, a longtime Cedar Ridge resident and a gifted vocalist, pianist, composer, and arranger for jazz giants like Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Frank Sinatra and other stars, died Dec. 28 at Sonora Senior Living at age 96, friends and family said." "Keith Evans, 58, a member of Now You Hazz Jazz who recorded a compact disc, 'Tranquillo Trio,' with Copeland, said Thursday in a phone interview. 'I used to go to his house at Cedar Ridge and care for him.' [...] 'I was with Weaver the moment he died at Sonora Senior Living off Highway 108,' Evans said. 'He’d been there I think for two months.' [...] Copeland left Los Angeles in the 1980s and he’d been in Cedar Ridge for 40 years. Copeland’s late wife, Mahmu Pearl, died in 2009. Sheila Ross, Pearl’s daughter and Copeland’s stepdaughter, lives in Truckee."
  17. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JGY9-M3D : 12 January 2021), Joyce Abbott Copeland, 22 Dec 2009; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  18. ^ Barnes, Mike (January 6, 2023). "Alan Copeland, Vocalist With The Modernaires and 'Your Hit Parade,' Dies at 96". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  19. ^ Sonora Senior Living; Overview. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  20. ^ Williams, Neville (July 1974). "Variety Fare: Reviews of Other Recordings". Electronics Australia. p. 93. Retrieved November 2, 2023.

Alan Copeland at IMDb