Singer/Songwriter, Actor, Producer, Film/TV/Musical
Theatre Composer and Oscar winner, Paul Frederick Jabara, was
born in Brooklyn, New York on January 31, 1948 He was the only
son of Olga and Sam Jabara and was the youngest of three children
and had two older sisters, Delores and Claudette. His love of
music originated almost from birth, and he entertained his family
and their friends as soon as he learned to talk. This multi-talented
phenomenon began his career a teenager modeling for magazines
and appearing in television commercials. As a teenager, he also
auditioned for The Sound of Music and was offered a part in
the road company, but his parents wouldnt allow him to
go. His first big break came when he was offered a feature role
in the original cast of Hair.
Composing myriad hit songs, his credits include many platinum
and gold records. He was best known for Last Dance for Donna
Summer; The Main Event for Barbra Streisand; No More Tears (Enough
Is Enough), a duet for Summer and Streisand; Work That Body
for Diana Ross; It's Raining Men for The Weather Girls, which
was also recorded by Geri Halliwell and a worldwide hit for
the second time in 2001; and Two Lovers for Julio Iglesias.
Last Dance, featured in the film Thank God Its Friday, earned
Jabara a Grammy Award and the 1978 Academy Award for Best Song.
Clearly, his music defined an era and continues to keep us all
As a recording artist, he enjoyed moderate success singing his
own compositions on several record albums. His record Shut Out
featured Dance and a disco version of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Highlights
of Paul's second album, Keeping Time, include his own version
of Last Dance and Something's Missing In My Life, a duet with
Donna Summer. The "epic" medley Disco Wedding/Honeymoon
in Puerto Rico/Disco Divorce can be found on The Third Album.
Paul Jabara and Friends marked the first appearance of the Weather
Girls on It's Raining Men and a young Whitney Houston on Eternal
Love. His later releases include De La Noche - A Poperetta and
Paul Jabara's Greatest Hits and Misses.
As an actor, Jabara made his Broadway debut in the original
cast of Hair. He created the role of King Herod in the original
London production of Jesus Christ Superstar performing Herods
Song to a standing ovation at every performance. As a result
of this performance. Robert Stigwood wanted to cast Jabara in
the starring role in the English production of Joseph and the
Technicolor Dreamcoat on the London stage. British Actors
Equity did not want the part to go to an American actor and
refused to allow Jabara to do the part. In protest, he chained
himself to 10 Downing Street, making headlines in all the British
papers, The New York Times and other papers around the world.
He also starred in The Rocky Horror Show in Los Angeles.
At the tender age of 23, this multi-talented performer wrote
book, music, lyrics and starred in his own Broadway musical
at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York entitled Rachel Lily Rosenbloom
- and Don't You Forget It. The show was produced by Robert Stigwood.
The show did not have the opportunity to go on the road first
to get the kinks ironed out and unfortunately, the show closed
During his career he appeared in many feature films including
Midnight Cowboy; The Lords of Flatbush; The Day of the Locust;
Medea; Light Sleeper; The Ski Bum; Les Patterson Saves the World;
Honky Tonk Freeway; Star 80; Legal Eagles; and Thank God Its
Regularly appearing on television, his credits included The
Tonight Show; Merv Griffin; American Bandstand; Dinah Shore;
Starsky and Hutch; Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; The Equalizer;
The Rubber Gun Squad; and made-for-television films The Last
Angry Man and Out of the Darkness.
Jabara had been honored for creativity and excellence winning
numerous awards including The Oscar; Grammy; Golden Globe; People's
Choice Award; Your Choice for the Oscar and many others giving
him global recognition.
He will always be remembered by those that knew him for getting
up and entertaining people with highlights from his latest production
whether it was at home or at a party. He was a one-man show
and delighted in performing for his audience.
It has been reported that Jabara co-founded the Red Ribbon Project
in 1991, and was credited with conceiving and distributing the
first AIDS Red Ribbons. This highly recognized symbol spawned
the use of different colored ribbons to quickly raise awareness
to other causes and is widely used today.
Paul Jabara passed away in Los Angeles, California at the age
of 44 on September 29, 1992. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery
in Brooklyn, New York.
As a tribute at his memorial service, his friends and collaborators
got together and performed a song he wrote entitled, We're Gonna
Win. Since that time, the song has been officially locked in
a vault and has never been performed again.
Happily, the memory of this entertainment genius will live on
with the anticipation of a new musical entitled LAST DANCE,
based on Paul Jabara's music. LAST DANCE, heralding the glorious
days of disco, promises to be a song, dance and fun-filled evening
of entertainment. The show is scheduled to open in early 2006.