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On The Boards
The Beatles | Pink Floyd | Fleetwood Mac | Moody Blues | Jethro Tull | Les Paul | Tina Turner | Cyndi Lauper

Through The Cracks
Clouds | Danny Gatton | Roy Buchanan | TimeBox - Patto | Joe Stanley


 In the music business there are many factors that define the razor edge between the "'Legends' and the Lost". The right sound, at the right time, in the right place are foremost on the list, but are not the only factors that will determine the placement of any musician in the history books. The pages are also subject to edit by record companies and producers, the fickle nature of fans, the general acceptance and understanding of your work by other musicians, and, of course, "Luck".    The Musicians profiled in "On The Boards" are those who, having reached the pinnacle of their particular music genre, gave us a sound that is uniquely definable as belonging to the individual musician(s). Feel free to add, correct, or debate the contents herein.  Submission/comment

Cyndi Lauper
Everybody Loves Cyndi!!!!

Cyndi Lauper 

  Cynthia Ann Stephanie "Cyndi" Lauper, was born June 22, 1953. This American singer-songwriter and actress achieved success in the mid-1980s with the release of the album "She's So Unusual" and became the first female singer to have four top-five singles released from one album. Lauper has released 11 albums and over 40 singles, selling more than 25 million records worldwide. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't love Cyndi lauper, with her bubbly and very colorful personality and performance style, she is definitely proof that "Good things coming in small packages". Cyndi burst onto the world stage as the "Wanna have fun girl". After more than 20 years she has proven that she has the heart and soul to keep her legion of fans captivated by her creativity.

 Cindy was born in Queens, a borough in New York City, where she lived with her parents, Fred and Catrine Lauper, an older sister Ellen, and a younger brother Fred. At a young age Cindy Lauper began listening to artists like Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Beatles. Catrine who was now a single parent, through divorce, encouraged independence and creativity in her children, and by age 12 Cindy learned how to play guitar and began writing her own lyrics. Even at this early age Cyndi showed a flair for what was soon to become her very colorful signature persona.
  After a few false starts, a love for music and the arts soon brought Cindy to NY metropolitan area in the 1970's where she performed as a vocalist with various cover bands, Doc West and Flyer, aka, Gap Wilson Band and Red, White and Blues Band. In 1977 Cindy's budding career almost came to an end due to damaged vocal cords, the result of improper singing techniques. Luckily after a full year of therapy with voice coach Katie Agestra, Cyndi's voice was back, and having met saxophone player John Turi with whom she became writing partners, they formed a band called Blue Angel. Blue Angel toured the US and even supported Joe Jackson on his tour of Germany and Holland.

  Laying it all on the line Cyndi and John put everything they had into an album of original material, which had the good fortune to end up in the possession of Allman Brothers manager Roger Massarky. The demo album itself was of little interest to Massarky who was more intrigued by Cyndi's unique vocal style. Roger started managing the band after seeing them perform live and buying out their contract. Others wanted to sign Cyndi, as a solo artist, but Cyndi held out, wanting the band to be included in any deal she made. Polydor Records eventually signed them as a band. In 1980, they released a self-titled album on Polydor Records. This album received critical acclaim as "New Wave", but did poorly in sales, apparently new wave was still too new for the masses. The end result of this failure was a temporary band breakup, the eventual firing of Massarky, an ensuing $80,000 lawsuit, and Cyndi going bankrupt.

  Lauper started working in retail stores but she still sang in local clubs. Music critics that saw Cyndi perform with Blue Angel thought that she had star potential with her four octaves range, perfect pitch, and of course her unique vocal style. It was David Wolff, who having met Cyndi when she was singing in a local NY bar, took over as her manager and got her signed with Portrait Records. He introduced Cyndi to CBS executive Lennie Petze, who in-turn introduced them to producer Rick Chertoff.

 On October 14, 1983, "She's So Unusual" was released and became a worldwide hit. With help from Rick Chertoff, Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman (of The Hooters) as her primary studio musicians, She's So Unusual's popularity spread like wildfire, partly due to her new wave/ punk image. The record company had a lot of material they wanted Cyndi to record, but being an excellent song writer herself she altered a lot of these lyrics allowing her to claim credit as a co-writer and collect royalties. Along with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, other top 10 album hits included "Time After Time" ( her second million-selling 'Gold' 45), "She Bop" ( her third consecutive million-selling 'Gold' 45), and "All Through the Night" which was written by Jules Shear. Shear and Lauper had also collaborated on his single "Steady", a Billboard Top 40 hit that year. The album also includes a cover of The Brains' New Wave track "Money Changes Everything" (another Top 40 hit for her), and "When You Were Mine", a cover of Prince's song that was later released as a promotional single in 1985. With “She’s So Unusual” Cyndi became the first artist in history to have five top ten singles released from one album.
  The video for "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" made Lauper an MTV staple. The video ran constantly on MTV and featured the late wrestler Captain Lou Albano as Lauper's father, and her real-life mother, Catrine, as her mother. Also in the video are her attorney, her manager and her brother, Butch. It won the first-ever award for Best Female Video at the 1984 Video Music Awards. Lauper appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in May 1984 and she also appeared on the cover of Time and Newsweek with the headline "Women In Rock". Lauper was voted by Ms. Magazine one of its women of the year.

 In 1985, Cyndi contributed her writing and singing talents to the movie, The Goonies. She provided the Goonies theme song entitled " The Goonies 'R' Good Enough". It became a top 10 hit around the world. Cyndi Lauper also took part in the unforgettable "We Are The World" for which she won the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Award for Vocalist on Record Of The Year. "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The video featured many guests, including WWF Wrestlers, the Goonies cast, and the Bangles. The connection to WWF, at the insistence of Cyndi's husband David was a sort of mutual promotion/marketing attempt, and while it did initially help with album sales it also tarnished Cyndi's reputation as a singer/songwriter.

 Time after TimeCyndi Lauper released her second album, "True Colors", on September 15, 1986, with an increased involvement in both production and songwriting. Cyndi co-wrote most of the album with Essra Mohawk, John Turi, Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. Although not as commercially successful as its predecessor was, it contained three high-charting singles, "True Colors" #1; "Change of Heart" #3; and the Marvin Gaye cover "What's Going On" (#12). The fourth single from the album, "Boy Blue", became Lauper's first solo non-top-40 single. The proceeds of the song were donated to AIDS research. The album sold close to 3 million copies in the United States, 12 million copies worldwide.
  Also in 1986, Lauper appeared on the Billy Joel album The Bridge on a song called "Code of Silence". Lauper also sang the theme song for the series "Pee-wee's Playhouse" the same year, under the nom de plume "Ellen Shaw". In 1987, David Wolff produced a concert film for Lauper called "Cyndi: Live in Paris". The concert was broadcast on HBO that same year.
  Lauper made her film debut in August 1988 in the comedy "Vibes", alongside Jeff Goldblum, Julian Sands, Elizabeth Peña and Peter Falk. Lauper played a psychic in search of a city of gold in South America. The film was produced by Ron Howard and David Wolff acted as the film's associate producer.The film was poorly received by critics and commercially flopped, though it reached the Top 30 in America’s Most Rented Movies.
  "A Night to Remember", Cyndi Lauper's third album - was released in the spring of 1989. Reviews were mixed and it sold approximately 300,000 copies in the United States. The album spawned only one big hit, the #6 single "I Drove All Night".
  On July 21, 1990, Lauper joined many other guests for Roger Waters' massive performance of The Wall in Berlin, performing "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II". She also performed on the song, "The Tide Is Turning" with Waters, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams, Paul Carrack and Van Morrison. Lauper wore a school girl outfit, performing to over 300,000 people. The concert was watched live by over five million people worldwide.
 Lauper having become friends with Yoko Ono took part in a John Lennon 1990 tribute concert in Liverpool, performing the Beatles song "Hey Bulldog" and the John Lennon song "Working Class Hero". The concert was aired on the Disney Channel. She also took part in a project Ono and Lennon developed called "The Peace Choir". They performed a "Give Peace a Chance" was re-written by Sean Lennon. In 1990, Lauper co-wrote the song "Paper Heart" (a song about drug addiction) with Go-Go's alumna Jane Wiedlin.
 Cyndi worked on the movie originally titled Moon Over Miami, which later became Off and Running with David Keith, Richard Belzer and David Thornton, whom she started seeing romantically. On November 24, 1991 Cyndi and David Thornton were married at the Friends Meeting House in New York. Rock and Roll pioneer Little Richard, who at one time gave up Rock and Roll to become a minister performed the ceremony. Patti LaBelle sang Procol Harum's classic "A Whiter Shade of Pale", and Lauper's grandmother served as the matron of honor.

  In 1992, Lauper contributed two tracks to the European musical Tycoon, an English version of the hit French-Canadian stage show Starmania. She scored another Top 20 hit in Europe with "The World Is Stone", penned by Tim Rice, Michel Berger, and Luc Plamondon. The two tracks were included on a compilation released in the U.S. in 2000. Lauper recorded "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", a duet with Frank Sinatra, which was released on the album Very Special Christmas II. Sinatra's vocals were taken from his original recording and mixed with Lauper's in the studio.

 Cyndi Lauper wanted to write her own material and stop doing cover songs, and with a push from Tommy Mottola, president of CBS Records, she wrote some songs on the album with other people, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Allee Willis, Nicky Holland, Tom Gray, Hugh Masekela and The Hooters. The same year, Lauper recorded "Boys Will Be Boys" with The Hooters. The song "Private Emotion" was dedicated to her by The Hooters. Both songs appeared on the Hooter's CD Out of Body. Lauper also returned to acting, playing Michael J. Fox's ditzy secretary in 1993's Life with Mikey, which also starred Nathan Lane.
 In June of 1993 Lauper released her fourth album, "Hat Full of Stars", which tackled such topics as homophobia, spousal abuse, racism and abortion. Despite good reviews it was a sales failure with less than 100,000 copies in the United States largely a result of poor promotion.
 "Twelve Deadly Cyns...and Then Some", was released worldwide in 1994 (1995 in the U.S.). The album was a greatest hits compilation that included two re-recorded tracks, "I'm Gonna be Strong", first recorded with her band Blue Angel, and a reworking of her first big hit, newly christened "Hey Now (Girls Just Want To Have Fun)". The Japanese edition of the CD includes the single "Hole In My Heart (All The Way To China)" as the final track. Twelve Deadly Cyns sold over 6 million copies worldwide and Lauper began a world tour to promote the album, and a 12 Deadly Cyns VHS tape featuring most of Lauper's videos was released. Cyndi Lauper also won a Emmy Award for her role as Marianne on the sitcom Mad About You.

 In 1997, Lauper gave birth to Declyn Wallace Thornton Lauper who was born on November 17 of that year; he was named after Elvis Costello (whose first name is Declan) and William Wallace. He was born while Lauper was putting the finishing touches on her fifth album, "Sisters of Avalon" . Sisters of Avalon, failed in America claiming only a single week on the Billboard album chart at #189, but brought her moderate global success selling close to a million copies worldwide. The album was quickly embraced by the gay community for its dance and club styling. The song "Ballad of Cleo and Joe" addressed the complications of a drag queen's double life. "Brimstone and Fire" painted a portrait of a lesbian relationship, and "You Don't Know" showed Lauper flexing more political muscle than on her previous albums. "Say a Prayer" was written for a friend of hers who had died from AIDS. "Searchin'" was used in one of Baywatch's episodes and "Unhook the Stars" was made into a movie of the same name. Ellen, Cyndi's sister was doing a lot of charity work for the gay community, and was working out of a clinic, helping people who were suffering from AIDS. Lauper began performing as a featured artist at gay pride events around the world and had performed at the closing ceremonies for Gay Games IV in New York City). She also served as the opening act for Tina Turner's summer tour, which was one of the highest grossing tours that year. Lauper took up the Appalachian dulcimer, taking lessons from David Schnauffer.

 Lauper released her last album for Epic records in late 1998. "Merry Christmas...Have A Nice Life", as the title implies, was a Christmas collection of original material and standards.
 On January 17, 1999, Lauper co-headlined the Do You Believe? tour with Cher. Lauper and Cher performed "Turn Back Time" on VH1 Divas. She also received acclaim for her roles in several independent films including Mrs. Parker And The Vicious Circle, and The Opportunists.
  Lauper contributed a cover version of The Trammps' classic "Disco Inferno" to the soundtrack for the film A Night at the Roxbury. The remixed version became a club hit and received a Grammy nomination that year for Best Dance Recording.
In 2000, Lauper contributed a song called "I Want a Mom That Will Last Forever" for the children's movie Rugrats in Paris. The song was written with Mark Mothersbaugh (of the new wave group Devo). On October 12, 2000, Lauper took part in a television show called Women in Rock, Girls With Guitars. The show featured Sheryl Crow, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Melissa Etheridge, Amy Grant, Wynonna Judd, and Destiny's Child. Lauper performed the Paul McCartney hit "Maybe I'm Amazed" with Ann Wilson of Heart. She also sang the R&B classic "Ooh Child" with the girl group Destiny's Child. She also performed a new song called "Water's Edge" with Ann Wilson. The song was well received and critics saw that performance as one of the highlights of the night. Also in 2000, Lauper co-wrote a song, "If You Believe", with Faye Tozer of the British pop group Steps. It appeared on the band's third studio album, "Buzz", and was subsequently released in the US in July 2001.

 Lauper prepared her sixth studio album in 2001, "Shine", a return to her early pop/rock sound. It featured Japanese pop superstar Ryuichi Sakamoto, and George Fullan of Train. Just weeks before the album's scheduled release on September 11, 2001, her label, Edel America Records, folded, and the tracks were leaked to the public. Although a five song EP of the same name was made available through her website and at Tower Records, the full-length album concept was scrapped. The five song EP was released in June 2002. An album of Shine re-mixes was eventually released through Tower Records. The complete Shine album was released on April 21, 2004, exclusively in Japan. The album has become a collector's item.

 Cyndi's former label Sony issued a new best-of CD entitled "The Essential Cyndi Lauper". She re-signed with Sony/Epic Records and a cover album entitled "At Last" was released in 2003. Lauper received a Grammy nomination in 2005 for the category, "Best Instrumental Composition Accompanying a Vocal." Lauper took part in VH1 Divas Live with Patti LaBelle, Jessica Simpson, Debbie Harry, Ashanti, Sheila E., and the Pussycat Dolls.
 Under a new contract with Sony Music, Lauper released "The Body Acoustic", an album that featured acoustic reinterpretations of tracks from her back catalog. Two new tracks were also written and recorded, one of which is "Above the Clouds". Guests on the album included Shaggy, Ani DiFranco, Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday, Jeff Beck, Puffy AmiYumi, Sarah McLachlan, and Vivian Green. "Time After Time" and "Above The Clouds" charted on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. "All Through The Night" hit the top 5 in the Latin American countries.

On October 16, 2006, she was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. In 2007, she sang "Beecharmer" with Nellie McKay on McKay's "Pretty Little Head" album, and "Letters To Michael" with Dionne Warwick.

 Cyndi Lauper headlined the True Colors Tour for Human Rights through the United States and Canada, in June 2007. The tour also included Deborah Harry, Erasure, The Dresden Dolls, and Gossip, with Margaret Cho as MC and special guests in different cities. The tour, sponsored by Logo, the MTV Networks channel targeting gay audiences, provided information to fans who attended, as well as purple wristbands with the slogan "Erase Hate" from The Matthew Shepard Foundation. A dollar from every ticket sold was earmarked for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender people.

 Lauper was also a judge for the 6th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
Lauper took a role and wrote a song for the Serbian movie Here and There, which stars her husband, David Thornton, in one of the main roles.
Lauper recorded an album of all new material during 2007. The working title given to the project was Savoir-faire, but she announced at her Perth, Australia concert in February 2008 that the name of the album was "Bring Ya to the Brink" and that it would be released in the spring.
The True Colors Tour 2008 debuted on May 31, 2008.

Cyndi and Gaga In August 2008, Lauper contributed an article titled "Hope" to The Huffington Post which encouraged Americans to vote for Barack Obama in the upcoming United States presidential election. Lauper also performed alongside Thelma Houston, Melissa Etheridge and Rufus Wainwright at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
David Byrne stated in his blog that he has collaborated with Lauper on a track for his upcoming "Here Lies Love". He described her performance as "amazingly fine-tuned" and "very impressive." Lauper recorded a special Christmas duet with Swedish band The Hives, entitled "A Christmas Duel", on CD single and 7" vinyl, in Sweden only, on November 19, 2008. It reached number 4 in the Swedish charts.

 In December 2008, "Bring Ya to the Brink" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album. Lauper also signed a book deal for an autobiography that is scheduled to come out at the end of 2009 or early 2010. Lauper also performed on the "Girls Night Out", headlining it with Rosie O'Donnell in the US.

  Cyndi appeared on many TV shows in 2009 including the American soap opera, As the World Turns, supporting gay rights, and promoting her True Colors tour and album, Bring Ya to the Brink. She performed "Into the Nightlife" and dedicated a rendition of "True Colors" to one of the show's characters; Luke Snyder. She appeared on the live finale of the eighth season of American Idol on May 20, 2009, performing a duet of "Time After Time" with top-13 finalist Allison Iraheta, accompanying the song on Appalachian dulcimer.

 Cyndi also appeared on the 2009 TV Land Awards on April 19 dressed as the "Empress of Evil" to perform the theme song for Electra Woman and Dyna Girl as part of a musical tribute to Sid Krofft and Marty Krofft of H.R.PufnStuff fame. Lauper performed a duet with Leona Lewis on VH1 Divas on September 19, 2009 singing "True Colors" and also appeared along side hip hop artist Eminem for a comedy skit at the MTV VMA's in September 2009. In addition, Lauper played herself alongside Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, and Mary J. Blige on 30 Rock's third season finale. She also played Avalon Harmonia, a psychic on the Season 5 premiere of Bones.

  Cyndi Lauper was also one of the celebrities who designed a T-shirt for the second Fashion Against Aids campaign in 2009, a collaboration between H&M and Designers Against Aids to raise HIV/AIDS awareness worldwide, particularly amongst youngsters.
 On November 17, 2009, Lauper performed a collaborative work with Wyclef Jean called "Slumdog Millionaire" and performed it live on The Late Show with David Letterman. The collaborative effort stems from Jean's latest album: Toussaint St. Jean: From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion.
On October 13, 2009, Lauper started filming "The Celebrity Apprentice" along with other celebrities such as Sharon Osbourne and Bret Michaels. It will start airing in Spring 2010. In late 2009, it was confirmed that Lauper joined Lady GaGa for the Spring 2010 Mac Viva Glam Campaign to raise awareness about AIDs, and on April 1, 2010, Lauper launched the Give a Damn Campaign to bring a wider awareness of discrimination of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-gendered community and stop the discrimination. Lauper confirmed that she would be releasing a new album in Spring 2010.


1983: She's So Unusual 1986: True Colors
1989: A Night to Remember 1993: Hat Full of Stars
1996: Sisters of Avalon 1998: Merry Christmas...Have a Nice Life
2001: Shine 2003: At Last
2005: The Body Acoustic 2008: Bring Ya to the Brink
2010: TBA  

Cyndi Appears on

1985: We Are the World 1985: The Goonies: Soundtrack
1986: The Bridge Billy Joel 1990: Another Brick in the Wall
1992: A Very Special Christmas 2 1993: Out of Body
2000: Rugrats in Paris: The Movie 2001: Blowback Tricky
2001: Zero Landmine 2003: Wig in a Box
2004: Creole Bred 2006: My Friends & Me
2006: Pretty Little Head 2007: Storm Chaser
2008: As The World Turns 008: A Christmas Duel
2009: From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion 2010: Here Lies Love


1984 Prime Cuts 1985 The Goonies Music Video
1988 Vibes 1990 Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme
1990 The Wall: Live in Berlin 1993 Life with Mikey
1994 Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle 1996 Sesame Street Elmocize
1999 The Happy Prince Pidge 2000 The Opportunists
2000 Christmas Dream TBA 2009 Here and There
2009 Section B Betty  

Television Appearances

1989 The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! 1993 Mad About You
1995 "Money Changes Everything" 1999 "Stealing Burt's Car"
1999 "The Final Frontier" 1999 Happily Ever After
2004 Higglytown Heroes Operator Hero 2005 That's So Raven Miss Petuto
2005 Queer as Folk 2007 The Backyardigans
2008 Gossip Girl 2008 As The World Turns
2009 30 Rock 2009 Bones Avalon Harmonia
2009 "Harbingers in the Fountain" 2010 Celebrity Apprentice













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On The Boards
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