Charles Strouse is a 3-time Tony Award winning Broadway composer and lyricist. His first musical was the hit show Bye, Bye, Birdie, with lyrics by his longtime collaborator Lee Adams. Bye, Bye, Birdie won Strouse his first Tony Award and was considered the precursor of the rock musical. He went on to write Golden Boy, starring Sammy Davis Jr, Applause starring Lauren Bacall, (which won him his second Tony), and in 1977, he adapted a comic strip for the stage, creating the hit musical Annie, for which he won his third Tony Award, two Grammys and several Emmys for the television adaptations. His film scores include Bonnie and Clyde, There Was a Crooked Man... (with Henry Fonda and Kirk Douglas), The Night They Raided Minsky's, and the popular animated movie All Dogs Go to Heaven. Charles Strouse is a member of the Theater Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he's the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award and the Oscar Hammerstein Award.
In this conversation, Charles Strouse explains what it means to "sweat" over a piece of music, and why it's important to both let go and find the "reason" behind each note. Also, he talks about how accepting the childlike qualities in his music allowed him to find his voice as a composer, and what he's learned about love: "If you love somebody and want that love back, you've got to make them feel like they're doing their best work."
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