"The greatest thing about Kander and Ebb is you sing their songs and you feel good."
- Liza Minnelli
Fred Ebb, the lyricist half of the legendary songwriting team, Kander & Ebb that has produced Cabaret, Woman of the Year, The Act and, of course the incomparable Chicago was born in New York City, NY on April 8, 1935.
His lifelong love of the theater began while Ebb was still a child, and independently from the rest of his family, as there was no music ever performed or listened to in his childhood home. He graduated from New York University and following received his Masters Degree in English Literature from Columbia University. In the early 1950s, Ebb worked at a hosiery company, in a department store credit office, as a trucker's helper, and bronzed baby shoes.
His first songwriting opportunity came when a friend introduced him to songwriter Phil Springer, a composer whom Ebb credits for teaching prosody, form, AABA as opposed to Verse-Chorus, and technique in general. The Ebb-Springer team worked with eight hours every day writing songs in New York's famed Brill Building. The first professional songwriting assignment came in 1953 when he and Springer were hired by Columbia Records to write a song for Judy Garland called "Heartbroken." Highlights from the Springer-Ebb catalog include How Little We Know, Santa Baby, Moonlight Gambler and Nevertheless I Never Lost the Blues.
Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, Ebb wrote for nightclub acts and revues, as well as for the television series This Was the Week That Was. After a few unsuccessful Broadway productions, Ebb was introduced to composer John Kander in 1964. The legendary team would stay together for 21 years.
The first successful Kander…