elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Fred Palmisano (October 3, 1945 - February 26, 1990)

Fred ("Freddie") J. Palmisano (October 3, 1945, Gretna, Louisiana - February 26, 1990, New Orleans, Louisiana) was a Composer, Musical Director, Pianist, Vocalist.

Studied piano at University of Southeastern Louisiana and drama at University of New Orleans

Fred Palmisano created songs and scores for nearly every show in the era now known as "The Golden Age of Children's Corner" at Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans.

He started playing the piano at age six. While still in elementary school he played for school functions, and as a West Jefferson High School student became the first musical director of the NORD (New Orleans Recreation Department) Theater in Gallier Hall. After graduation Palmisano attended the University of Southeastern Louisiana as a piano major for two years before serving in the Navy, during which time he organized a little theater in Morocco and helped produce a production of Showboat in Scotland. After his discharge he studied drama at the University of New Orleans for two years.

Palmisano wrote and composed his first successful show for children, Rapunzel, at the Gallery Circle Theater in 1969. Writing with Sharon O'Brien, and later with Ricky Graham, he then composed a series of musical entertainments directed by Luis Barroso and presented in Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré's Children's Corner. These were mini-musicals that appealed to adults as well as children. One of the shows, Rumpelstiltskin, was taped by WYES-TV as a local television special in 1978.

The children's shows gave way to adult musical revues such as Tunes, A Night on the Town and Nighttime Naughties, and a nightclub act with Becky Allen and Ricky Graham. Palmisano played in theaters, nightclubs, restaurants and piano bars in New Orleans, including the Beverly Dinner Playhouse and Mr. B's Bistro, for more than twenty years.

Palmisano ended his career with two Le Petit Theatre productions for which he was arranger, composer and keyboard accompanist: Silver Scream, a 30-song revue, and Cinderella Batistella, a New Orleans version of the fairy tale. His last public appearance was the December 17, 1989 performance of Cinderella Battistella at Le Petit Theatre.

Fred Palmisano died of AIDS in New Orleans at the age of 44 on February 26, 1990. —adapted from liner notes to Do You Know What It Means

Source: http://www.artistswithaids.org/artforms/music/catalogue/palmisano.html

Further Readings:

Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality by Patrick Moore
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press (January 14, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 080707957X
ISBN-13: 978-0807079577
Amazon: Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality

The radical sexuality of gay American men in the 1970s is often seen as a shameful period of excess that led to the AIDS crisis. Beyond Shame claims that when the gay community divorced itself from this allegedly tainted legacy, the tragic result was an intergenerational disconnect because the original participants were unable to pass on a sense of pride and identity to younger generations. Indeed, one reason for the current rise in HIV, Moore argues, is precisely due to this destructive occurrence, which increased the willingness of younger gay men to engage in unsafe sex.

Lifting the'veil of AIDS,' Moore recasts the gay male sexual culture of the 1970s as both groundbreaking and creative-provocatively comparing extreme sex to art. He presents a powerful yet nuanced snapshot of a maligned, forgotten era. Moore rescues gay America's past, present, and future from a disturbing spiral of destruction and AIDS-related shame, illustrating why it's critical for the gay community to reclaim the decade.

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics

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Tags: gay classics, musician: fred palmisano

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