Jabara on balcony of the Palace Theatre, London in 1972
January 31, 1948|
Brooklyn, New York City, United States
|Died||September 29, 1992
Los Angeles, California
|Occupation||Actor, singer, songwriter|
Paul Jabara, also known as Paul Frederick Jabara , (January 31, 1948 – September 29, 1992) was an American actor, singer, and songwriter of Lebanese ancestry, born in Brooklyn, New York City. He wrote Donna Summer's "Last Dance" from Thank God It's Friday (1978) and Barbra Streisand's song "The Main Event/Fight" from The Main Event (1979). He cowrote The Weather Girls hit "It's Raining Men" with Paul Shaffer. Jabara's cousin and close friend Jad Azkoul is also a Lebanese-American musician specialising in classical guitar.
Jabara was in the original cast of the stage musicals Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. He took over the role of Frank-N-Furter in the Los Angeles Production of The Rocky Horror Show when Tim Curry left the production to film the movie version in England. He appeared in John Schlesinger's 1969 film Midnight Cowboy, as a hippie handing out pills ("Up or Down?") at the counterculture party, and in Schlesinger's 1975 film The Day of the Locust, where he sang a cover of the Marlene Dietrich song "Hot Voo-Doo" in drag. In the 1978 film Thank God It's Friday he played the role of Carl, the lovelorn and nearsighted disco goer, and he also contributed as a singer on two tracks on the original soundtrack album. In 1981 Jabara starred in yet another John Schlesinger film, the comedy Honky Tonk Freeway, as truck driver/songwriter T. J. Tupus, hauling lions and a rhino.
Songwriter and singer
Jabara wrote the book, music, lyrics and starred in an abortive Broadway musical, Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It) which played the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City in 1973. It closed in previews prior to its official opening and was never reviewed by the press. No recording was made of the score, which featured both Jabara's trademark disco music as well as more traditional Broadway-style numbers.
Jabara released his first album, Shut Out, in 1977. Jabara's solo albums on the disco label Casablanca Records include three duets with Donna Summer: "Shut Out" (1977), "Something's Missing (In My Life)" (1978) and "Never Lose Your Sense Of Humor" (1979).
In 1979, Jabara won both Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song performed by Donna Summer, "Last Dance". Jabara's album Paul Jabara & Friends, released in 1983, features guest vocals by a then 20-year-old Whitney Houston. It also includes the song "It's Raining Men". That song was re-recorded several years later by drag supermodel RuPaul and Martha Wash. Wash sang on the original recording as part of the group The Weather Girls.
Some other songs Jabara wrote for others to perform include:
- "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)", a duet by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer which was a Platinum-certified, #1 Billboard hit;
- "Jinxed!", 1981, written for Bette Midler and her movie of the same name but never commercially released;
- "Work That Body", Diana Ross' a modest 1982 hit single included on her Platinum album Why Do Fools Fall in Love;
- "Two Lovers" for Julio Iglesias (1984).
In 2005, a workshop of a musical entitled Last Dance played New York City. It was a musical assembled from Jabara's well known disco songs and told the story of a modern-day teenager who goes back in time to spend one night at Studio 54.
- "Shut Out" [duet with Donna Summer] (1977)
- "Dance" (1977)
- "Slow Dancing" (1977)
- "Dancin' (Lift Your Spirits Higher)" (1978)
- "Pleasure Island" (1978)
- "Take Good Care of My Baby" / "What's a Girl to Do" [Paul Jabara & Pattie Brooks] (1978)
- "Trapped in a Stairway" (1978)
- "Disco Queen" (1978)
- "Never Lose Your Sense Of Humor" [duet with Donna Summer] (1979)
- "Disco Wedding" (1979)
- "Take Me Home" [w/ Brenda & The Tabulations] (1982)
- Shut Out (Casablanca Records, 1977)
- Keeping Time (Casablanca Records, 1978)
- The Third Album (Casablanca Records, 1979)
- Paul Jabara & Friends [featuring The Weather Girls, Leata Galloway & Whitney Houston] (CBS Records, 1983)
- De La Noche: The True Story - A Poperetta [featuring Leata Galloway] (CBS Records, 1986)
Soundtracks and compilations
- Various Artists - Original Soundtrack - Thank God It's Friday (2 tracks as performer, 4 as composer, Casablanca Records, 1978)
- Greatest Hits... and Misses (Casablanca Records/PolyGram, 1989)
- The Casablanca Records Story (PolyGram, 1994)
- Mother, Jugs and Speed soundtrack (Dance)
-  Archived August 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Biography". The Official Web Site of Paul Jabara. Olga Music. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- Mandelbaum, Ken (1991), Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops, New York: St. Martin's Press, pp. 29–31, OCLC 23901074
- "The Estate Project". Artistswithaids.org. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Location 23189). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- "Gay Green-Wood Trolley Tour". Green-Wood. Green-Wood.
- "The Gay Graves Tour". Walk About New York. Walk About New York. June 18, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
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