Jabara on balcony of the Palace Theatre, London in 1972
|Died||September 29, 1992 (aged 44)|
|Occupation||Actor, singer, songwriter|
Paul Jabara, also known as Paul Frederick Jabara, (January 31, 1948 – September 29, 1992) was an American actor, singer, and songwriter of Lebanese ancestry, born in Brooklyn, New York City. He wrote Donna Summer's Oscar-winning "Last Dance" from Thank God It's Friday (1978) as well "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" her international hit duet with Barbra Streisand. He also cowrote The Weather Girls iconic hit "It's Raining Men" (with Paul Shaffer). Jabara's cousin and close friend Jad Azkoul is also a Lebanese-American musician specializing in classical guitar.
Jabara was in the original cast of the stage musicals Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. He took over the role of Frank-N-Furter in the Los Angeles Production of The Rocky Horror Show when Tim Curry left the production to film the movie version in England. He appeared in John Schlesinger's 1969 film Midnight Cowboy, as a hippie handing out pills ("Up or Down?") at the counterculture party, and in Schlesinger's 1975 film The Day of the Locust, where he sang a cover of the Marlene Dietrich song "Hot Voo-Doo" in drag. In the 1978 film Thank God It's Friday he played the role of Carl, the lovelorn and nearsighted disco goer, and he also contributed as a singer on two tracks on the original soundtrack album. In 1981 Jabara starred in another John Schlesinger film, the comedy Honky Tonk Freeway, as truck driver/songwriter T. J. Tupus, hauling lions and a rhino.
Songwriter and singer
Jabara wrote the book, music, lyrics and starred in an aborted Broadway musical, Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It) which played the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City in 1973. It closed in previews prior to its official opening and was never reviewed by the press. No recording was made of the score, which featured both Jabara's trademark disco music as well as more traditional Broadway-style numbers.
Jabara released his debut album, Shut Out, in 1977. Jabara's solo albums on the disco label Casablanca Records include three duets with Donna Summer: "Shut Out" (1977), "Something's Missing (In My Life)" (1978) and "Never Lose Your Sense Of Humor" (1979).
Donna Summer performed his song "Last Dance" for the 1978 film Thank God It's Friday winning Jabara the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song, the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song as well.
In 1979 he co-wrote with Bruce Roberts Barbra Streisand's US top 3 hit "The Main Event/Fight" - the title theme from her film The Main Event before the pair penned their biggest success with the international smash No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) recorded as a duet by Striesand and Donna Summer.
In 1981 he penned the song "No Jinx" for Bette Midler as the theme tune to her movie "Jinxed!". Diana Ross scored a 1982 UK top hit with his song "Work That Body", included on her Platinum album Why Do Fools Fall in Love.
In 1982, Sylvester's former backing singers Two Tons O' Fun agreed to record his song "It's Raining Men", previously rejected by both Summer, Streisand, Cher and Ross. Renaming themselves The Weather Girls the song became an international hit, topping the US Dance chart and peaking at #2 in the UK. That song was re-recorded in 1998 by drag supermodel RuPaul and Martha Wash as "It's Raining Men... The Sequel" and later by Geri Halliwell in 2001 when it reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart.
The original Weather Girls' recording of "It's Raining Men" was included on Jabara's 1983 album Paul Jabara & Friends which significantly included one of the first recordings by then 19-year-old Whitney Houston on "Eternal Love" (previously recorded by Stephanie Mills) as well as a Jabara/Diana Ross co-write "Ladies Hot Line." Other songs Jabara had covered by major artists include "Hope" by Billy Preston (1981), "Two Lovers" by Julio Iglesias (1984) and "This Girl's Back In Town" by Raquel Welch (1987).
In 2005, a workshop of a musical entitled Last Dance played New York City. It was a musical assembled from Jabara's well known disco songs and told the story of a modern-day teenager who goes back in time to spend one night at Studio 54.
- Shut Out (Casablanca, 1977)
- Keeping Time (Casablanca, 1978)
- The Third Album (Casablanca, 1979)
- Paul Jabara & Friends with The Weather Girls, Leata Galloway, Whitney Houston] (CBS, 1983)
- De La Noche: The True Story - A Poperetta with Leata Galloway (CBS, 1986)
Soundtracks and compilations
- Original Soundtrack - Thank God It's Friday
- Greatest Hits... and Misses (Casablanca/PolyGram, 1989)
- The Casablanca Records Story (PolyGram, 1994)
- Mother, Jugs and Speed soundtrack
- "Shut Out" [duet with Donna Summer] (1977)
- "Dance" (1977)
- "Slow Dancing" (1977)
- "Dancin' (Lift Your Spirits Higher)" (1978)
- "Pleasure Island" (1978)
- "Take Good Care of My Baby" / "What's a Girl to Do" [Paul Jabara & Pattie Brooks] (1978)
- "Trapped in a Stairway" (1978)
- "Disco Queen" (1978)
- "Never Lose Your Sense Of Humor" [duet with Donna Summer] (1979)
- "Disco Wedding" (1979)
- "Honey Moon in Puerto Rico" (1979)
- "Disco Divorce" (1979)
- "Take Me Home" [w/ Brenda & The Tabulations] (1982)
- "Ocho Rios" (1986)
- Midnight Cowboy (1969) - The Party #2
- Medea (1969) - Pelias
- The Out-of-Towners (1970) - First Hippie (uncredited)
- Necropolis (1970)
- Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me (1971) - Heap
- Blu Gang e vissero per sempre felici e ammazzati (1973) - Teddy Fog
- The Lords of Flatbush (1974) - Crazy Cohen
- The Day of the Locust (1975) - Nightclub Entertainer
- Peeper (1975) - Janitor
- Thank God It's Friday (1978) - Carl
- Honky Tonk Freeway (1981) - T.J. Tupus
- Legal Eagles (1986) - Taxi Driver
- Les Patterson Saves the World (1987) - Leroy
- Slaves of New York (1989) - Derelict
- 9 1/2 Ninjas! (1991) - Mr. Ninja (voice)
- Light Sleeper (1992) - Eddie (final film role)
-  Archived August 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "Biography". The Official Web Site of Paul Jabara. Olga Music. Archived from the original on 27 February 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- Mandelbaum, Ken (1991), Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops, New York: St. Martin's Press, pp. 29–31, OCLC 23901074
- "The Estate Project". Artistswithaids.org. Archived from the original on 2014-05-16. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Location 23189). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- "Gay Green-Wood Trolley Tour". Green-Wood. Green-Wood.
- "The Gay Graves Tour". Walk About New York. Walk About New York. June 18, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
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