Alan Paul

Alan Paul is an entertainer in every sense: He has always loved to perform, from the early days in Red’s Candy Store to concert stages all over the world, he has delighted audiences during his lifelong career.

Alan was born in Newark, New Jersey on November 23, 1949. His earliest musical experiences came from his family. “There was always a lot of singing in my house. We had an old Emerson tape recorder that we would all take turns singing into. My grandfather was a cantor and his singing influenced my mother, who in turn sparked me,” he recalls. When Alan was about seven years old, his family bought the album Jerry Lewis Just Sings. Lewis had recorded this album of old songs, with the most prominent in the collection being his version of the old Al Jolson song “Rock-a-bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody.” It was fairly popular at the time, and the family heard it on the radio, which prompted them to buy the album. Alan loved “Rock-a-bye” and sang it all the time. Alan was never shy and would sing for anyone, anywhere, anytime. His first performances were in Red’s Candy Store in his neighborhood. Red would ask Alan to sing “Rock-a-bye” for him, and Alan would, drawing a small crowd. The man who cut his hair at Joe’s Barbershop would ask him to sing as well, and he would sing and then the man would give him a free haircut! It was during this time that his family noticed he could sing, and sing well.

Around this time, he joined the South Ward Boy’s Club of Newark. “The people at the Boy’s Club were very supportive of my singing and encouraged me to develop my talents,” Alan says. He credits them with helping in his early theatrical training by awarding him a scholarship that enabled him to study privately in New York and put him through college. Alan’s talent led to invitations to sing at Boy’s Club events. The president/founder of the Boy’s Club was active in the political scene and he asked Alan to perform at many important events for councilmen, the mayor, and the Governor of New Jersey. He also landed his first theatrical role during this time, playing Ally in “A Hole In The Head.” In 1959, when he was nine years old, Alan entered a statewide talent contest open to all kids under age 18, hosted by New Jersey’s Governor Meyner. Over 500 contestants entered, and it was narrowed down to about thirty finalists, including Alan. The finals were held in Atlantic City. He sang a medley his mother wrote for him entitled “A Song & A Dance Man/A Quarter To Nine.” He won the contest hands down! Right after that, he began studying with Charlie Lowe, a vaudevillian who held classes in Manhattan. “From Charlie, I learned the fundamentals of performing, like how to use your hands and body to express the words of a song,” Alan recalls. By age 12, he landed a role in the original Broadway cast of “Oliver!” This opened up many opportunities for Alan, who attended a school for professional children. Richard Rodgers personally cast him for the role of the Crown Prince in “The King and I.” He toured the country performing in the production. He also had a small part in the movie, “The Pawnbroker.”

Upon entering Hillside High School, Alan “wanted to be just a regular guy, but somehow people always knew of my show business side. So I sang at a school talent show, and was amazed when I got a standing ovation. It was at that moment I discovered the performer was the real me. I loved to perform. I had a real drive for it.” It was difficult to get out to auditions in the city, so Alan put together an act and performed around the New Jersey and New York areas to “keep my vocal and performing chops,” he says. Much of the music that he sang was influenced by the singers and groups that he listened to: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Frankie Valli, Frankie Lymon, The Young Rascals, Jackie Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Temptations, just to name a few. He was also attracted to groups like The McGuire Sisters and The Mills Brothers – “That sound just knocked me out,” Alan adds.

After high school, he attended Newark State College (now Kean University) where he earned a BA in Music Education. With college behind him, he was working in the Catskills when he heard about a part in the original Broadway production of “Grease.” Auditioning, he landed the role of Teen Angel/Johnny Casino. “It was an easy part. I came on in the second act. I had the best entrance of the show – I came in swinging on a rope,” he says. It was while he was appearing in “Grease” that he met Tim, Janis, and Laurel, who were looking to reform The Manhattan Transfer and needed a fourth voice to complete their quartet. “I had no intention of getting involved with a group,” he recalls. “I was in a hit show and doing a lot of television work. Who needed uncertainty? But they came to see me, and the way they felt about music, the kind of act they wanted to do – it all suddenly made absolute sense to me. In an hour and a half, I changed the whole course of my career.” Alan once said of The Manhattan Transfer: “We are truly a unique vocal group. We can handle almost everything from R&B and jazz, to swing and pop, and are always striving for perfection. Although we are all extremely different individuals, our greatest achievement has been the merging of our four voices into a cohesive whole.”

Not only is Alan a talented singer and performer, he is also an accomplished songwriter and arranger. He earned Grammy nominations for his songs “Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone” and “Code of Ethics.” Many of his songs are well known to Transfer fans: “Smile Again,” “Spies In The Night,” “Malaise En Malaisie,” “What Goes Around Comes Around,” and the additional lyrics on “It’s Good Enough To Keep (Air Mail Special)” from SWING. As far as individual projects go, Alan has worked on the soundtrack to “The Marrying Man,” which was produced by his partner Tim Hauser. He would like to release a solo album, and has worked on some tracks for the future project with legendary arranger Ray Ellis, who is most known for the work he did on the early Johnny Mathis albums as well as Billie Holiday’s last album, Lady In Satin. He has also performed with the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra in the Los Angeles area. Alan is now working as a personal development & performace coach through a masters program with Coach University. The coaching is specifically but not exclusively with people in the creative arts in areas like career development, relationships, and personal foundations.

Alan Paul’s first ever solo CD was released in March 2003 and is entitled Another Place And Time after one of the songs on the CD written by Michel Legrand. The collection is a collaboration that Alan did with Peermusic. The CD features a 30 piece orchestra, big band, and members of the The Manhattan Transfer band — as well as a guest appearance by Janis Siegel on the song “Everything’s made For Love”. Alan co-produced the CD with David Snyder, who also did many of the orchestrations. ORDER HERE

Alan lives in California with his wife Angela and their daughter, Arielle.

Angela Paul – www.angelapaul.com

41 Responses to Alan Paul

  1. Peter Eedy says:

    Hello Alan

    Sitting here listening to ‘Little gal in Calico’ (inter alia) … love your work

    Regards

    Peter

  2. Paul Abramson says:

    Hi Alan,
    Revisisted Vocalese recently…decided I like Frankie Valli after seeing Jersey Boys last year. Your work has always thrilled me since hearing you at Newark Y in high school.

  3. Tim Haight says:

    I moved your show at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival last February and have been listening a lot of the Chick Corea songbook,

    Your bandmates have very nice web sites talking about the other projects, but I can’t find yours. Do you have a site?

  4. Yasmine says:

    Alan, I was your groupie in the late seventies. Loved all your MT songs. So good to read your bio here. Best wishes!!

  5. Gregg Weir says:

    Hi Alan
    I worked with you in Oliver with Barry Pearl.Baryy still calls me,love to hear from you
    Best Regards
    Gregg

  6. Anna says:

    HI Alan,

    just found the record “on a little street in singapore”. Have never heard such a wonderful voice.

    Brilliant!
    Best regards,

  7. Alan Paul says:

    Hi Gregg,
    so great to hear from you. Wow! it’s been a long time since “Oliver” I’d love to talk sometime. I have a photo of you in I when we were in San Francisco, it was a jewish holiday and we went to a temple there. Are you on Facebook? drop me a line at my e-mail, I check that everyday. alapal@aol.com
    Cheerio!
    Alan

  8. Mike Barriatua says:

    Hello Alan
    I like your version of Cherry….Looking forward to seeing you again here in Boise Feb 2..Last time you caught the biggest fish..

  9. Phil Croft says:

    Hello Alan–it’s great to be able to talk direct to you–although i feel a tinge of guilt. I recently found my worn out ‘Pastiche’ vinyl album again, and then decided to buy the recently released dual cd of ‘Pastiche’ and ‘Coming out’, –and boy was i knocked out afresh, by the sheer elegance, beauty, and unmatched perfection of those performances. Man/ Trans music will never be equalled–let alone bettered. I suppose the group has evolved over the years, and you have all done seperate projects etc. but does it still exist as an entity ? and will there be any visits to the UK ? Regards Phil Croft

  10. Ellen says:

    Dear Alan,

    I love your voice, always loved it! Especially on ” Who, What, When, Where, Why…just brilliant…one of my all time favs…
    Love from the Netherlands, Havelte..

  11. Debbie says:

    Hey there Alan, have been a fan since the beginning. I have seen the Transfer too many times too count. Have seen Janis perform on her own and Cheryl as well. LOVE those girls. Keep singing with that beautiful voice of yours – you are an amazing talent and I am hoping to catch the Transfer at your Newport Beach gig in September.

    XOXO
    Deb

  12. Bubbles Love says:

    Hello Alan: I have seen The Manhattan Transfer so,so, many times back in the 70′s! Laurel was still in the group! It’s now 30 some years later n i’m sitting here with my 3yr.old grand daughter Alyssa and she loves to hear you sing GLORIA! Over and over she wants to hear it! I just found your web site n seen that there are performances in New York in December! If the weather permits i’m gonna find my way to New York from Philadelphia to see you guys again…Thank You So Much Manhattan Transfer…….
    HOPE TO SEE YOU GUYS SOON!
    LONG TIME FAN BUBBLES LOVE………………………….

  13. Anne Salvayre says:

    Ever been a huge TMT fan ! I saw you in Marciac 10 years ago, great time ! You’re marvellous, awesome !
    Still together, still singing, it’s so goooood !
    Love you so much Alan, love TMT,
    Take care !
    Anne, from France

  14. Veronica says:

    Hi Alan

    Are you going to sing GLORIA at the Craterion in Medford OR???

  15. Michael Holmes says:

    Hi Alan, My wife and I just saw you guys tonight in Seattle 10-15-11 at 10pm show. We were front and center and you shook my hand and my wife’s ( she told me she’ll never wash that hand again). I have been a fan for 30 yrs(seen you last Oct at Jazz Alley and 11 years ago at the Ste Michelle winery in Woodinville,Wa). I’ve converted my wife who now LOVES MT ( her 2nd time to see you guys). Your music just warms my heart, makes me tap my foot and you guys are AWESOME. Can’t wait to see you again at jazz alley. P.S. I guess none of you noticed tonight the white napkin i slipped onstage with a request for “Ray’s Rockhouse”. It’s ok though, maybe next time. God Bless, Mike and Sue Holmes

  16. John D. says:

    Always wanted to say how much I love Twilight Zone / Twilight Tone. Saw it on a music channel back when it first premiered, which led to me searching out Manhattan Transfer… hooked for life with songs like Ray’s Rockhouse and Operator, Route 66 and Java Jive. Got me into swing, jazz and more. You are all just amazing and fun! Keep rocking forever!

  17. Irene Halperin goldman says:

    Hi Alan,

    Guess who? Goodwin Ave. seems like ages ago. What good times. Loved seeing you in Atlantic City when you gave me a picture and wrote we had such good times on Goodwin. We live in an active adult community in Somerset New Jersey. Guess your to busy to come perform here. Would love to see ya. Will you be in the area anytime soon. Keep singing, you are awesome. Irene

  18. Chuck says:

    I heard “Gal in Calico” on Sirius radio; immediately bought “Pastiche.” Yet ANOTHER Manhattan
    Transfer album I love (I’ve lost count of how many I have!) Especially love “Gal in Calico,” “Love for Sale” and “On a Little Street in Singapore.” Saw MT at Ohio State Fair in 1994; by FAR, the BEST concert I’ve ever seen. You guys are the BEST.

  19. Bruce S. says:

    Alan,

    It’s only been about 50 years. Garage clubhouse on Renner. Pycho dog next door. Those were the days.

  20. Jay Merritt Wilcox says:

    i wished i had gotten to see u guys at the walton center in bentonville arkansas dec 15 i have amired your group for many manjy years as a jazz musician myself since high school (im 50) have been in several jazz choira,orcheatras,combos etc in this jazz vain i only had wished i had been able to see u guys in bentonville on dec 15 would have made my life!!!!! complete!!!!

  21. Frank Kurtz says:

    Hey, Alan, it’s Frank, your accompanist from the old old olden days in Hillside, Clifton, & surrounds. . . . FB page under “Francis Leo Curran.” . . . Hope to catch you Thursday night at U.Fla. Gainesville. Maybe see you afterwards. . . . Cheers, — Frank.

  22. patrticia A says:

    une grande joie que de vous écouter, qui dure et durera encore et encore et encore.
    MERCI
    Patricia une fan française de toujours

  23. Barbara Savidge says:

    Hi Alan,
    For my birthday our children gave me and my husband tickets to your show March 23, 2012 in Reading, PA . You and the group have such fantastic voices. Our children have enjoyed listening to your music and the stories I tell them about college. I remember when we were classmates at Newark State in the Music Ed Department. I was a elementary school music teacher in Pennsylvania for 26 years, now retired. I would love to be able to come back stage and say hello to you on March 23.
    Thanks for having a 40th Anniversary Tour.

  24. Thank you, Barbara! Hope you enjoyed the show!

  25. Robin says:

    Thank you so much for coming to play for us in England at Ronnie Scott’s it is always a treat to see you. Great news about Cheryl, hopefully it wont be two years before we get to see you all together again. Any news on when the Vaults cd will be unleashed on the deprived public?

    thanks again

  26. PAUL ABRAMSON says:

    Alan – Mentioned you in script for pilot of my new radio show, explaining nexus of YM-YWHA of Essex County (Newark Y) in 1960s. Haven’t seen your group in a spell, still love your sound. See you in the future… or as the farmer says “see you in the pasture”. PHA in Madison, Wisconsin

  27. Paul Mendenhall says:

    I woke-up in the middle of the night with “Walk In Love” in my head. I hadn’t thought about you all and your music for many years. You were so much the soundtrack of my life during the happiest/most difficult years, and I suppose I blocked you out for that reason. The “Pastiche” and “Mecca for Moderns” and “Twilight Zone” years in particular. So here I am, sitting here listening to all those wonderful tracks, remembering…

    It’s strange the turns life takes. In recent years I have been working with people in the jazz world as a lyricist, even completing a lyric by Jon Hendricks. No doubt I was unconsciously influenced by the “Vocalese” album while doing so.

    I see you have an appearance coming up in Olympia WA in September. I think it’s time I saw you in person again. It won’t be easy in some ways, as all the people I shared you with “back then” are gone now. But perhaps that is all the more reason why I should go.

    Thanks for all you have brought to my life.

    Paul Mendenhall

  28. Ray Lee says:

    Hi Al

    I’ve seen the Manhattan Transfer 7 times from 1981 in London where i first saw the band playing at the Apollo Victoria. You are the crooner of the band and your voice sounds as good as ever. I last saw you all at Ronnie Scotts and as ever you were all absolutely brilliant. Glad to see Cheryl back in the fold now. I’ll have to come over and see the band in the states for a change

    Ray Lee

  29. Beth Morones says:

    Hello Alan!

    I had never heard of you at first until i was watching Hey Arnold! and you being the singing voice of “Dino Spamoni”, I was really curious of who that voice was so i looked you up. And because I really liked those cheesy songs sung in the show, I found you had a solo CD, I found myself even loving you and your music even more. :) I have thus far downloaded two of your songs and I find myself listening to them over and over again! (I can’t wait to download the rest of the songs!) Wonderful voice you have, my good man!

    I really hope you might come to Arizona! I would totally love to see you and TMT perform live over on the west coast! :)
    Wishing you the best of luck with everything.

  30. Donna Rickerhauser nee:Barbosa says:

    We are both Alums of Hillside high!! Have you ever gone back?

  31. Lynda says:

    Your solo turn tonight in Santa Cruz, like the others, blew us all away. I, along with countless others, am so glad that you are part of the wonderful ensemble that is The Manhattan Transfer, and am especially pleased that TMT booked into the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz on your 40th Anniversary Tour.

    Thanks for the memory!

  32. Lenn Proskoiw says:

    Just seen you guys at the PNE in Vancouver, BC Canada! What a show! You were awesome! Please come back again soon!! best regards, lenn

  33. Glenn olohan says:

    Alan…..born and raised in “Down Neck’, Newark. East Side HS alum. Always great to see a fellow Newarker do so well. Cut my MT teeth on the first album and I’ve been a fan ever since. Will catch you in Seattle tonight at Jazz Alley and really looking forward to it. Thanks for the many hours of beautiful music that has been unquestionably part of the fabric of my life. All the best to you and yours…..Glenn

  34. Steve Davis says:

    You mentioned during the concert in Logan, UT that you have a new album in the works. When can I expect it to be released?

  35. Ric Craig says:

    ALan, saw the show last night in TO…. loved it… friends of Steve Haas. Loved you guys since college days! Im a drummer in LA as well…. brought back many memories.. i used to tour with “rare silk” in the late eighties… they are gone now.. was my dream gig. Thanks again for a wonderful show…

  36. Dr. Tommy O says:

    Good Day Alan Paul,

    It was a pleasure meeting you a week ago when TMT sang in NYC. Wishing you and TMT continued success. God Bless, Dr. Tommy O!

  37. Hi Alan,
    Manhattan Transfer lives !! Shanghai jazz lovers gets 1 step higher hahaha .. I’m an avid fan of TMT since the late 70′s to the present … I’ve got a chance to have a side- job teaching voice harmony with a (chinese) quartet ! now they know what i was talking about who “TMT” is ! !

    BTW, thank you so much for being so nice… remember the guy who was a friend of Bobby Enriquez (RIP) ‘shake hands w/you after the show at the Music Hall, my name is Jeun Nackorda, frm Brooklyn, NY … we’re hoping you guys will have a return engegement here !
    thanks a lot & more power to TMTl !

  38. Ann says:

    Just saw you on a 1970′s “Top of the Pops” on the BBC. It brought back my youth. A real ” Chanson d’amour” Thank you !

  39. Jason Swan says:

    What has happened with your second solo album Shoo Bop? Is it available yet? Will it ever be available?

  40. Joe Lochte says:

    Hi Alan—Saw you in Oakland last night—wonderful show! I thought you might want to know this: In the song “Trickle, Trickle,” the lyric line is, “Gotta go, gotta go to a party, yeah, please lend me your SHORT.” “Short” was street slang in the late 50s and early 60s for a car. It even appears in an early Beach Boys song, as, “two cool shorts runnin’ side by side.” Speaking of the Beach Boys, did TMT ever consider doing material with Four Freshmen-type harmony? Thanks.—JKL

Leave a Reply