Lana Cantrell

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Cantrell circa 1970s.

Lana Eleanor Cantrell[1] AM (born 7 August 1943)[2] is an Australian-American singer and entertainment lawyer.[3] She was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in the Grammy Awards of 1968.[4]

Music career[edit]

Cantrell recorded for RCA Victor Records,[5] releasing seven albums.[3] Her preferred style of music was pop standards, but she later made contemporary pop rock a significant part of her performances.[6] Cantrell commented in a 1994 profile, "Think of how few people can still make their careers by singing standards.... There's Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand, and I don't know anyone else."[7]

Cantrell was a frequent guest on television shows including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and The Mike Douglas Show.[3][7][8] However, she never had a top 40 hit in the Billboard Hot 100.[9]

Transition to law career[edit]

Cantrell eventually decided to make a transition out of music in the 1980s due to a decline in the number of venues where she could sing in her preferred style, the size of her audiences, and her working conditions.[3][7] Although she had once been able to tour at supper clubs that would furnish a 20-piece orchestra for her and her conductor, in later years she toured with only a five-piece band that she had to pay herself.[3] She decided to pursue a law career in part because a former manager had spent much of her earnings over the years and she wanted to protect other performers from similar experiences.[3][7]

In 1986, Cantrell enrolled at Marymount Manhattan College, where she majored in history.[7] After receiving her bachelor's degree, she attended Fordham University School of Law.[7] After graduation, she began practicing law with the firm of Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler in New York City.[3]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 1966, Cantrell won the Amber Nightingale award for singing at a festival in Sopot, Poland.[10]

In 2003, Cantrell was named a member of the Order of Australia.[11] The honour was conferred for "service to the entertainment industry, and for assistance to the Australian community in New York."[1]

Personal life[edit]

It was reported in 1973 that Cantrell was engaged to Australian television personality Graham Kennedy.[12] This turned out to be a hoax—Kennedy was homosexual, although this did not become public knowledge until late in his life.[13] Kennedy later claimed that his romance with Cantrell was purely an invention of the Sunday Observer, although at the time Kennedy himself had publicly portrayed the relationship as real.[14] Judy Carne, Laugh-In's Sock-it-to-Me girl, claimed she had a love affair with Cantrell.[15]



  • And Then There Was Lana, RCA Victor LSP-3755, 1967
  • Another Shade of Lana, RCA Victor LSP-3862, 1967
  • Act III, RCA Victor LSP-3947, 1968
  • Lana!, RCA Victor LSP-4026, 1968
  • The Now of Then, RCA Victor LSP-4121, 1969
  • The 6th of Lana, RCA Victor LSP-4263, 1969


  1. ^ a b "Search Australian Honours". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  2. ^ Lana Cantrell at AllMusic
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Ziegel, Vic (29 April 1995). "Lana Sings Different Tune". New York Daily News. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "1967 Grammy Awards Finalists". Billboard. 17 February 1968. p. 10. Retrieved 6 September 2009. 
  5. ^ "Lana Cantrell on Move Again". Billboard. 7 October 1967. p. 20. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  6. ^ Holden, Stephen (12 April 1985). "Lana Cantrell and Trio at the Park Ten". The New York Times. p. C28. Her small sultry alto, which breaks into a wide vibrato at the ends of musical phrases, is much better suited to quiet, intimate ballads than to the contemporary pop-rock that takes up two-thirds of her show. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Kaufman, Michael T. (13 July 1994). "About New York; Spotlight Gives Way to Statutes". The New York Times. p. B3. 
  8. ^ Vilanch, Bruce (18 April 1975). "Lana: The image now fits". Chicago Tribune. p. B5. 
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. New York: Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-7690-3. 
  10. ^ "Miss Cantrell Wins Pole Festival Award". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. 28 August 1966. p. B14. 
  11. ^ Stephens, Tony (27 January 2003). "Politics and religion left behind on honours list". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  12. ^ Goodwin, Richard (24 September 1973). "I'll chat with Lana on the show: Kennedy". The Age. Melbourne. p. 2. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  13. ^ Gressor, Megan (26 April 2003). "King of comedy, fears of a clown". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  14. ^ Dale, David (25 April 1985). "Stay in Touch". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 10. Retrieved 27 July 2009. [dead link]
  15. ^ Lisanti, Paul. p. 91

External links[edit]