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Paul Shaffer is best known as David Letterman’s musical director and sidekick for the past 33 years. But his illustrious career goes far beyond the Ed Sullivan theater! Paul began his career working with Stephen Schwartz in 1972 as musical director for the Toronto production of “Godspell.” From there he went on to spend 5 years with the original cast of “Saturday Night Live” where he was the band leader and performer – most notably for his parody of Don Kirschner. Shaffer occasionally teamed up with the “Not Ready for Prime-Time Players” off the show as well, including work on Gilda Radner’s highly successful Broadway show and as the musical director for John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd whenever they recorded or performed as The Blues Brothers. In 1984, Shaffer played keyboards for The Honeydrippers, a group formed in 1981 by former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, and performed on the hit single “Sea of Love” which reached #1. Paul Shaffer has been musical director at the White House; served as musical director and producer for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony since its inception in 1986; he led the band for the “We Are The World” finale of Live Aid; authored the best-selling memoir We’ll Be Here For the Rest of Our Lives; co-wrote the Number One 80s dance hit It’s Raining Men; and acted in feature films and television shows.
He has released two solo albums, 1989’s Grammy-nominated Coast to Coast, and 1993’s The World’s Most Dangerous Party, produced by rock musician Todd Rundgren. Shaffer has also recorded with a wide range of artists, including Donald Fagen, Ronnie Wood, Grand Funk Railroad,Diana Ross, B.B. King, Asleep at the Wheel, Cyndi Lauper, Carl Perkins, Yoko Ono, Blues Traveler, Cher, Chicago, Peter Criss, Scandal, Brian Wilson, Late Show regular Warren Zevon, jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff, and bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs. In 2002 he received his first Grammy award for Best Country Instrumental, for the Earl Scruggs and Friends album.
Tired yet? Check out this musical legend live on stage!
Valerie Simpson, is one half of the legendary songwriter/producers and performers Ashford & Simpson. As one of music’s most famous duos, Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford have written some of the biggest hits of their generation including “Solid,” “Let’s Go Get Stoned”, “Your Precious Love”, “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”, “You’re All I Need To Get By”, “Reach Out and Touch”, “The Boss”, “I’m Every Woman” and scores of other tunes.
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