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Dave Frishberg

Dave Frishberg

born on 23/3/1933 in St. Paul, MN, United States

died on 17/11/2021 in Portland, OR, United States

Dave Frishberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Dave Frishberg

Dave Frishberg (born March 23, 1933) is an American jazz pianist, vocalist and composer born in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Early years

Frishberg resisted learning classical piano as a boy, developing an interest in blues and boogie-woogie by listening to recordings by Pete Johnson and Jay McShann. As a teenager he played in the house band at the Flame in St. Paul where Art Tatum, Billie Holiday, and Johnny Hodges appeared. After graduating from the University of Minnesota as a journalism major in 1955, Frishberg spent two years in the Air Force.[1]


In 1957, Frishberg moved to New York City,[2] where he played solo piano at the Duplex in Greenwich Village. He first became known for his work with Carmen McRae, Ben Webster, Gene Krupa, Bud Freeman, Eddie Condon, Al Cohn, and Zoot Sims. Later he was celebrated for writing and performing his own, frequently humorous, songs, including favorites "I'm Hip" (co-written with Bob Dorough), "Blizzard of Lies",[3] "My Attorney Bernie" (his most famous),[4] "Do You Miss New York," "Peel Me A Grape," "Quality Time," "Slappin' the Cakes on Me," and "Van Lingle Mungo," the lyrics of which entirely consist of the names of old-time baseball players.[5] Frishberg cites songwriter Frank Loesser as an influence,[6] and has said that Loesser's "Baby, It's Cold Outside", along with Willie Nelson's "Crazy", are songs he wished he had written.

Many of his songs have been performed by artists such as Blossom Dearie, Rosemary Clooney, Shirley Horn,[7] Anita O'Day, Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Stacey Kent, John Pizzarelli, and Mel Tormé.

Frishberg is also noted as having written the music and lyrics for "I'm Just a Bill," the song about the forlorn legislative writ in the ABC Schoolhouse Rock! series, which was subsequently transformed into the popular revue "Schoolhouse Rock Live". For "Schoolhouse Rock!," he also wrote and performed "Walkin' on Wall Street," a song that describes how the stock market works, and "$7.50 Once a Week," a song about saving and balancing a budget.

Select discography

As bandleader

As a soloist

  • By Himself (Arbors Records)

With Jim Goodwin

  • Double Play (Arbors Records)

With Rebecca Kilgore

  • The Starlit Hour (Arbors Records)
  • Not A Care In The World (Arbors Records)
  • Why Fight the Feeling: Songs By Frank Loesser (Arbors Records)


Frishberg currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

Further reading

  • Balliett, Whitney (1988). American Singers: 27 Portraits in Song. New York, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504610-2.


  1. Don Berryman (November 27, 2005). Dave Frishberg at the Jazz Bakery Nov 29 - Dec 4th. Jazz Police.
  2. Andrea Canter (March 13, 2006). Getting Some Fun Out of Life and Music: Back in St. Paul With David Frishberg. Jazz Police.
  3. Mike Joyce, Dave Frishberg, July 24, 1989.
  4. Stephen Holden, Her Voice, His Tender, Cruel Songs, October 19, 2006.
  5. Dave Frishberg's Personal, Peculiar Compositions Songs of Himself, July 1, 1994.
  6. Ketzel Levine (April 19, 2004). Intersections: Reviving the Art of the Witty Lyric; Dave Frishberg's Deft, Wry Wording Recalls an Earlier Era. NPR.
  7. Steve Futterman, The Inimitable Dave Frishberg, August 22, 2001.

External links

This page was last modified 29.04.2014 00:08:23

This article uses material from the article Dave Frishberg from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.