Charles DeForest was a fixture on New York's cabaret scene for more than four decades. A former featured vocalist for Benny Goodman, he performed in New York piano bars until a few weeks before succumbing to cancer in July 1996, ending his career with a three-year-long residency at Danny's Grand Sea Palace.
DeForest made his greatest mark as a songwriter, penning tunes that were recorded by Tony Bennett, George Shearing, Chris Connor, and Marian McPartland. His final album, Christopher Gines Sings Charles DeForest, released in 1995, featured his piano accompaniment and original songs. According to the New York Times, "The songs [DeForest] writes are blithe, Porter-like lyrics riding on a catchy, rhythmic pulse."
A composer, lyricist, and star of musical film City by Dawn, which received a top award at the Atlanta Film Festival, DeForest received the Mabel Mercer Foundation's Cabaret Classic award in 1992 and Manhattan Association of Cabaret and Clubs award in 1992 and 1995. ~ Craig Harris~ Rovi