Some performers are simply born great. It is their combination of talent and charisma which makes them legendary. Neil Ritchie examines what makes a performer great and looks at how their early lives, family, education, career choices, mentoring, integrity, musicality, direction, timing, and of course luck impacted their careers.
Week 1: Tony Bennett. Bennett, who died at the age of 96 on July 20, 2023, was revered by singers of all genres.
Week 2: Welsh vocalists. A country of only 3 million produced an incredible number of great voices. Richard Burton, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, baritone Bryn Terfel and dramatic soprano Gwyneth Jones.
Week 3: Max Steiner(1888-1971). The first composer who convinced Hollywood moguls that an original soundtrack added extra dimension whether it be comedy or drama. Films included King Kong, Gone With the Wind and A Summer Place.
Week 4: Andrew Lloyd Webber. The most successful musical composer of them all. His 1986 musical Phantom of the Opera is the longest running show on Broadway, closing this year after a 35-year run.
Week 5: Carole King. The recent hit musical "Beautiful" featured a dramatization of her life and many hit songs, but there ain't nothing like the real thing. The amazing songwriter and performer is now 81 years old.