Dory Previn Shannon's career has included works as a lyricist, composer, novelist, non-fiction author, playwright and recording artist. She has written extensively for film and television, garnering Academy Award nominations for "Come Saturday Morning" (from THE STERILE CUCKOO, 1969) with Fred Karlin, "The Faraway Part Of Town" (from PEPE, 1960) and "Second Chance" (from TWO FOR THE SEESAW, 1962), both written with Andre Previn. She and Previn also wrote the theme and score for Valley of the Dolls, as well as "You're Gonna Hear From Me" from Inside Daisy Clover. Among her other film credits are the theme to ONE, TWO, THREE and the title song for LAST TANGO IN PARIS. For television, Previn Shannon won an Emmy Award in 1984 for "We'll Win This World" (from TWO OF A KIND) with Jim Pasquale and an Emmy nomination in 1985 for "Home Here" (from TWO MARRIAGES) with Bruce Broughton.
As a composer/lyricist/librettist, her works include a new libretto for Mozart's opera THE IMPRESARIO (RCA Records); THE MAGIC NUMBER, a work for voice and orchestra written with Previn, given its world premiere by the New York Philharmonic in April 1997; and SCHIZO-PHREN, a one-woman play with songs. In 1983 Previn Shannon wrote and appeared in a musical statement on nuclear war, AUGUST 6, 1945, at the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, featured alongside Tyne Daly, Judd Hirsch, Thelma Houston and Bernadette Peters. Revues devoted to her songs include: DORY PREVIN-LADY WITH A BRAID (Manhattan Theater Club, 1977); HUNKY DORY (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, 1979); CHILDREN OF COINCIDENCE (Gaiety Theatre, 1980, performed by Previn Shannon and subsequently broadcast); DORY-A MUSICAL PORTRAIT (Los Angeles, 1991); and ON MY WAY TO HERE (South Africa, 1996).
Her recording career began in 1970 with United Artists Records, for whom she made five albums, including On My Way to Where and the best-selling Mythical Kings and Iguanas. Her third album, Reflections in a Mud Puddle, which contained a eulogy to her father, was voted one of the best albums of 1972 by Newsweek Magazine, and was included in the New York Times critics' choice as one of the outstanding singer-songwriter albums of the '70s. Other albums include: Mary C. Brown and the Hollywood Sign (1973); Live at Carnegie Hall (1973), featured in a book of the two hundred best rock albums; Dory Previn (1975); We're Children of Coincidence and Harpo Marx (1976); and In Search of Mythical Kings, a compilation of 21 songs released by EMI Records in the U.K. (1993).
Artists who have recorded Previn Shannon's works include Georgia Brown, Tony Bennett, Zoe Caldwell, Diahann Carroll, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Doris Day, Blossom Dearie, Eileen Farrell, Michael Feinstein, Judy Garland, Dexter Gordon, Sylvia McNair, Mark Murphy, Houston Person, Leontyne Price, Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, k.d. lang and Nancy Wilson.
As a writer of poetry and prose, Previn Shannon's works include three books, On My Way to Where, Midnight Baby (also translated and published in Germany) and Bog-Trotter. Her numerous short stories have appeared in The American Voice, the USQR, Trinity Press International and Cowley Publications. She also has worked on a novel, Word-Play with an Invisible Relative.
Dory Previn Shannon has appeared in SRO concerts around the world, including Carnegie Hall. She last appeared in concert during the 1987-88 season, with performances at the Olympia Theater, Dublin, and the Donmar Warehouse, London. Between her writing and performing engagements she has lectured on numerous topics, including: lyric writing (UCLA and The New School); lyric writing for film (USC); recording albums (UCLA); and writing autobiographies (Claremont College).
In 1995 Williamson Music published 16 of her compositions in The Dory Previn Songbook, which has been eagerly received by an ever-growing following of avid devotees.
Dory Previn Shannon currently lives on a farm in Massachusetts with her artist husband Joby Baker.
Shows Associated this writer
Songs Associated this writer
- Mamas Gonna Have To Take Away Your Toys
- Mythical Kings And Iguanas
- New Enzyme Detergent Demise Of Ali Macgraw
- Stone For Bessie Smith
- Play It Again Sam
- Aint No Fair
- Empress Of China, The
- Crooked Christmas Star 73
- S.s. Censorship
- Coldwater Canyon
- Respectable Man
- This Man
- Obscene Phone Call
- Mama, Mama, Comfort Me
- Taken Yesterday
- Comedian, The
- Im Gonna Keep Myself Together
- Children Of Coindcidence
- So Much Trouble
- Owl And The Pussycat
- I Wake Up Slow
- Woman Soul
- Wild Roses
- Froggy, Jolly And The Midnight Baby
- Side By Side With The Sun
- Midnight Baby An Autobiography
News about this writer
We mourn the passing of Williamson Music writer Dory Previn Shannon, who died this morning. Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner, this lyricist/composer/novelist/author/playwright and recording artist died on Tuesday morning, February 14, at her home in Massachusetts, according to her husband, artist Joby Baker. She was 86 years old.