Lucy Simon

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Lucy Simon
Lucy Elizabeth Simon[1]

(1940-05-05)May 5, 1940
New York City, U.S.
DiedOctober 20, 2022(2022-10-20) (aged 82)
Years active1963–2022
David Levine
(m. 1967)

Lucy Elizabeth Simon (May 5, 1940 – October 20, 2022) was an American composer for the theatre and of popular songs. She recorded and performed as a singer and songwriter, and was known for the musicals The Secret Garden (1991) and Doctor Zhivago (2011).

In 1963, Simon began performing with her sister Carly Simon as the Simon Sisters.[2] The duo released three albums, beginning with Meet the Simon Sisters, which featured the song "Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod"; based on the poem by Eugene Field, the song became a minor hit and reached No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] Simon won a Grammy Award in 1981 with her husband, David Levine, in the Best Recording for Children category for In Harmony, and again in 1983 in the same category for In Harmony 2.[4] Simon received Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations for composing the music for the Broadway musical The Secret Garden.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Simon was born in New York City on May 5, 1940.[1][7] Her father, Richard L. Simon, was the co-founder of the book publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc.; her mother, Andrea (Heinemann) Simon, was a former switchboard operator, civil rights activist, and singer. She was the older sister of musician Carly Simon.[1] Her father was from a German Jewish family, while her maternal grandfather Friedrich was of German descent. Lucy's maternal grandmother, known as "Chibie", was a Roman Catholic from Cuba, and was of pardo heritage, a freed-slave descendant (the show Finding Your Roots tested Carly Simon's DNA as "10 percent black"[8]), and was sent to England and raised by nuns until the age of sixteen.[9][10]

In addition to her younger sister Carly, she had an older sister, opera singer Joanna, and a younger brother, photographer Peter.[11] Simon grew up in Fieldston, a section of Riverdale in the Bronx.[12] She attended the Fieldston School,[13] before studying at Bennington College,[14] graduating in 1962.[15]


Simon began her professional career singing folk tunes with sister Carly Simon as the Simon Sisters and later folk-rock. Simon's setting of "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod"[16] has been recorded by many diverse artists, including the Doobie Brothers, Mitzie Collins, and the Big Three (Cass Elliot, Tim Rose, and James Hendricks).[17][16] In the mid-1970s, after a number of years away from recording, Lucy released two albums on the RCA label of mostly original compositions, along with a few collaborations and covers. Her self-titled debut album was more folk-rock in orientation while her second album, Stolen Time, had a contemporary pop sound.[1][7] Carly Simon and James Taylor provided backing vocals on half of the songs from Stolen Time.[18]

Simon won a Grammy Award in 1981 with her husband, David Levine, in the Best Recording for Children category for In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record, and again in 1983 in the same category for In Harmony 2.[4]

Simon made her Broadway debut as the composer of The Secret Garden, for which she was nominated for a 1991 Tony Award for Best Original Score[5] and a 1991 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music.[6] She also wrote songs for the Off-Broadway show A... My Name Is Alice.[19][20]

She composed the music for a musical version of the Russian novel Doctor Zhivago, with lyricists Michael Korie and Amy Powers and book writer Michael Weller. The musical had its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego, California, in May 2006.[21] A new version of Doctor Zhivago ran in Sydney, Australia, Melbourne, and Brisbane in 2011 under the title Doctor Zhivago – A New Musical, starring Anthony Warlow in the title role and Lucy Maunder as Lara, the sensitive doctor's secret muse. The musical was produced by John Frost with Des McAnuff directing.[22] Anthony Warlow starred in the Australian production of The Secret Garden and at that time Simon said of him, "There is my Zhivago".[23] The musical premiered on Broadway on March 27, 2015 (previews), with an official opening on April 21, 2015, at the Broadway Theatre, but was not successful, closing after 26 previews and 23 regular performances.[24][25]

Simon also contributed to the Off-Broadway musical Mama and Her Boys.[26][27]

Personal life[edit]

Simon married David Y. Levine in 1967. They remained married for 55 years until her death. Together, they had two children: Julie and James.[1]

Simon died on October 20, 2022, aged 82, at her home in Piermont, New York. She had suffered from metastatic breast cancer prior to her death,[1][28] which came just one day after her sister Joanna died of thyroid cancer.[29]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Drama Desk Awards[edit]

The Drama Desk Awards is an annual prize recognizing excellence in New York theatre. The awards are considered a significant American theater distinction.[30]

Drama Desk Awards
Year Work Award Result Ref
1991 The Secret Garden Outstanding Music Nominated [6]

Grammy Awards[edit]

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by The Recording Academy of the United States for outstanding achievements in the music industry. Often considered the highest music honour, the awards were established in 1958.[31]

Grammy Awards
Year Work Award Result Ref
1981 In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record Best Album for Children Won [4]
1983 In Harmony 2 Won
1993 The Secret Garden – The Original Broadway Cast Album Best Musical Show Album Nominated

Tony Awards[edit]

The Tony Awards recognize the excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League.

Tony Awards
Year Work Award Result Ref
1991 The Secret Garden Best Original Score Nominated [5]


Studio albums[edit]

The Simon Sisters


  • 1975: Lucy Simon[33]
  • 1977: Stolen Time[34]


The Simon Sisters


  • 1975: "Sally Go 'Round the Sun"[33]
  • 1977: "If You Ever Believed"[36]

Other appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Genzlinger, Neil (October 21, 2022). "Lucy Simon, Singer and Broadway Composer, Dies at 82". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  2. ^ Jack Harkrider (April 27, 1963). "Smothers Brothers Visit 'Hootenanny'". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Simon Sisters, Lucy and Carly, making their television debut, will sing "Winken, Blinken, and Nod."
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1991). Top Pop Singles 1955–1990. Record Research, Incorporated. ISBN 0-89820-089-X.
  4. ^ a b c "Lucy Simon". The Recording Academy. Archived from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c "Nominations/1991". Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "Nominations/1991". Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Kennedy, Mark (October 21, 2022). "Lucy Simon, composer of 'The Secret Garden,' dies at 82". Associated Press. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  8. ^ Elber, Lynn (October 2, 2017). "Genealogy show unlocks family secrets for Carly Simon, more". Associated Press. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  9. ^ Simon, Carly (November 24, 2015). Boys in the Trees: A Memoir. Flatiron Books. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-250-09590-9.
  10. ^ "Interview with Carly Simon". The Bill Miller Show. January 2007. Archived from the original on August 16, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  11. ^ "Rutgers Plays Host to TV's 'Hootenanny' Show Tonight". The News & Observer. May 4, 1963. p. 15.
  12. ^ Jackson, Nancy Beth. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Fieldston; A Leafy Enclave in the Hills of the Bronx", The New York Times, February 17, 2002. Accessed May 3, 2008. "After World War II, Richard Simon, founder of Simon & Schuster, bought a Georgian red-brick Baum house where he brought up his three musical daughters: Joanna, Lucy and Carly."
  13. ^ Davis, Stephen (2012). More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon. Gotham Books. p. 45. ISBN 9781592407439.
  14. ^ Pollack, Joe (May 3, 1992). "Setting A Children's Classic To Music Lucy Simon, composer for 'The Secret Garden,' comes from a musical family". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 3C. ProQuest 303461902. Retrieved October 22, 2022 – via ProQuest.
  15. ^ "Class of 1962 50th Reunion" (PDF). Bennington College. 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  16. ^ a b Biography and listing AllMusic, accessed February 2, 2010
  17. ^ Chute, James."A new rose blooms in Lucy Simon's secret garden"Union Tribune (San Diego), May 21, 2006
  18. ^ "Stolen Time – Lucy Simon: Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  19. ^ Rich, Frank (February 27, 1984). "Theater: 'My Name is Alice,' At American Place". The New York Times. p. C14. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  20. ^ Toscano, Michael J. (October 26, 2006). "In 'My Name Is Alice,' Laughs, Lore and Lyrics". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  21. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Zhivago Musical — with Hernandez, Burrows, Strober and Hewitt — Opens in CA, May 24" Archived June 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, May 24, 2006
  22. ^ Blank, Matthew. "PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Backstage at the Broadway-Aimed 'Dr. Zhivago', Starring Anthony Warlow, in Sydney" Archived December 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, March 30, 2011
  23. ^ "Doctor Zhivago comes to Brisbane". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. July 15, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2022. In the early 90's composer Lucy Simon was in Australia attending rehearsals for her hit musical, also a famous novel, The Secret Garden. As she watched Anthony Warlow engagingly portray the tortured Archie, she said to producer John Frost, "There is my Zhivago." Simon claims, "Anthony commands a stage, a rare leading man – he gets behind the character and with that unique voice enriches the story being told. I knew in my heart that here was the man to tell this love story."
  24. ^ Hetrick, Adam (March 27, 2015). "Doctor Zhivago Brings Russian Romance to Broadway Tonight". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 26, 2021. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  25. ^ Hetrick, Adam; Gioia, Michael (May 4, 2015). "With No Tony Nominations, Doctor Zhivago Is Next To Post Closing Notice". Playbill. Archived from the original on December 29, 2021. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  26. ^ Mama and Her Boys
  27. ^ Gioia, Michael. " New York Run of 'Mama and Her Boys' Extends Through April:Performances Will Move to Wednesday Nights", February 28, 2014
  28. ^ " Broadway Composer Lucy Simon Has Passed Away", October 20, 2022
  29. ^ Panaligan, EJ (October 21, 2022). "Carly Simon Loses Both Sisters to Cancer: Broadway Composer Lucy Simon And Opera Singer Joanna Simon Die One Day Apart". Variety. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  30. ^ "Baylor's Traveling Lady Production Receives Drama Desk Nomination", Baylor University, April 28, 2006. Retrieved June 8, 2009
  31. ^ O'Neill, Thomas (1999). The Grammys: The Ultimate Unofficial Guide to Music's Highest Honor. Perigee Trade.
  32. ^ a b c d e "The Simon Sisters Albums and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  33. ^ a b Edwards, Henry (January 11, 1976). "Two Unsung Masterminds Of Pop Recording". The New York Times. p. D18. ProQuest 122977382. Retrieved October 22, 2022 – via ProQuest.
  34. ^ "Lucy Simon Albums and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  35. ^ "The Simon Sisters Songs List: All Old & New". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  36. ^ "Lucy Simon Songs List: All Old & New". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  37. ^ Haney, Shawn M. "In Harmony". AllMusic. Archived from the original on May 25, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  38. ^ "In Harmony 2". AllMusic. Archived from the original on August 12, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  39. ^ "William Bolcom – The Rodgers & Hart CD Album Reviews, Songs & More". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2022.

External links[edit]