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CAREER

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Paul Jabara was born on January 31st 1948 in Brooklyn, New York to Olga and Sam Jabara of Lebanese heritage (Ghassanid actually). A shiny leaf on a family tree with royal origins. The only son with 2 older sisters, he was a born entertainer.

"He was always singing and dancing, laughing and funny. He was a constant source of entertainment. We used to hang around together at the local malt shop, Hinsch’s, on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, with the Fort Hamilton High “In Crowd.”" (Dr. Bill)

His professional career began in his teens, modeling for magazines and appearing in TV commercials. He would have been a member of the Original Broadway Cast of The Sound of Music, only his parents forbid him.

In 1968 he made his major debut in the very original Off-Broadway cast of HAiR. Joined 2 years later by his good friend Susan Morse.

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At 23, he wrote the book, music, lyrics and starred in his own Broadway musical at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York entitled Rachel Lily Rosenbloom - and Don't You Forget It. The show was produced by Robert Stigwood. Paul met Bob Esty (under the same management as Ellen Greene) at this time, who arranged one of the songs in the show, and would go on to be a major player in Paul's career. The show did not have the opportunity to go on the road first to get the kinks ironed out and unfortunately, the show closed in previews.

herod

PAUL JABARA as HEROD

In 1972, Paul travelled to London to play the role of Herod in the original London cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Jim Sharman and designed by Brian Thomson. His understudy was Richard O'Brien. Paul's performance of Herod garnered standing ovations every night. O'Brien only played the role one time, and lost his job! The role of Herod in the Melbourne leg of the Australian tour of Superstar, was played by Reg Livermore (who had been in the original Australian cast of HAiR and then played Australia's Frank'n'Furter). It's seems only fitting that in 1974, Paul Jabara took over the role of Frank 'N' Furter in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at The Roxy, when Tim Curry left to make the motion picture.

Not content to simply write songs for, and act in, musicals, he excelled at writing popular hits for numerous major talents including:

It's Raining Men for The Weather Girls

No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) for Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand

The Main Event for Barbra Streisand

Last Dance for Donna Summer, for which Paul won the Academy Award for Best Song, as the song was the main theme for the film Thank God It's Friday.

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Something's Missing (In My Life) for Donna Summer and himself as a duet, however in Australia it was a hit for Marcia Hines.

Work That Body for Diana Ross

Two Lovers for Julio Iglesias

In 1983 he was responsible for the first recording of Whitney Houston as a young "friend" on his Paul Jabara and Friends LP.

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He also released his own LPs and Singles

Singles

Studio albums

Soundtracks and compilations

  • Various Artists - Original Soundtrack - Thank God It's Friday (2 tracks as performer, 4 as composer, Casablanca Records, 1978)
  • Greatest Hits... and Misses (Casablanca Records/PolyGram, 1989)
  • The Casablanca Records Story (PolyGram, 1994)
  • Mother, Jugs and Speed soundtrack (Dance)

Portrait

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HAiR

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As if that wasn't enough , , ,

Paul Jabara appears in many films including Midnight Cowboy, The Lords of Flatbush, The Day of the Locust, Medea, Light Sleeper, The Ski Bum, Les Patterson Saves the World, Honky Tonk Freeway, Star 80, Legal Eagles, and Thank God Its Friday. Television credits include: The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, American Bandstand, Dinah Shore, Starsky and Hutch, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, The Equalizer, The Rubber Gun Squad, and the made-for-television films: The Last Angry Man and Out of the Darkness.
Paul Jabara has been honoured for creativity and excellence winning numerous awards including The Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe, People's Choice Award, Your Choice for the Oscar, and many others.

In 1991 Paul Jabara help found the Red Ribbon Project, and made and distributed the first AIDS Red Ribbon.

Tragically he lost his own life from complications of the disease in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 44 on September 29, 1992. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS HITS

38ad

Paul Jabara's 38th birthday invitation.

Memories of Paul Jabara

Oh the seventies were pretty wild. That constant party that never stopped. From one club to the next. Then to an after-hours, then someone's house or apartment, before starting the cycle all over again. Did you girls have fun?? It sounds like it. I knew Paul, but my meetings were all about the MUSIC! He put out a lot of great stuff didn't he! I was working, just started, at Miami Beach radio station DISCO 96. It was the summer of 1979, the station was giving away a "Honeymoon in Puerto Rico" with Paul Jabara as the main prize in their "Disco Wedding" promotion. It went on for over six weeks, thousands of couples entered hoping to get this all-expenses paid free trip. We had a stupid deejay who was friends with Paul, his name was "OZ". He arranged everything. He did too good a job, because "OZ'S" sister won the contest!! Off she went with "OZ" and Paul for their HONEYMOON IN PUERTO RICO. When they returned ten days later, "OZ" was out of a job, so was I, Al Chio, Frank Walsh, Leo Vella because the complaints were so many, that the FCC did the unthinkable, and pulled DISCO 96's operating license.That was that! We were all pissed off, but not at PAUL, he wasn't at fault. He just made great DISCO records!!
Randall

I met Paul at Studio One in West Hollywood and we dated for a while in the 80's. He was one great guy. We lost touch when he moved back to NYC. When we met I had no idea he had written such hits, but I thought he was one of the hottest guys around. I sure do miss the times we had..and the fun! But, his music lives on and every time I hear his songs, it brings me back to those days!
David

In 1992 the music world lost a Genius. His music is incredible. I have all of his viynal and his "Hits and Misses" on CD. My favorite is Heaven Is A Disco and It All Comes Back To You. I can only imagine what he would be contributing to the music world if he were still alive. I really miss him.
daniel santana

I'm 29, now, and i grew up in bay ridge, even though i moved here to california last year to try to be a screenwriter. But when i was kid i used to watch Thank God, Its Friday with my mom. I thought paul's character was hysterical. He reminded me of my cousin Franky "Bags" , and i always tried to look for him in movies, but never really found him again. Knowing nobody out here, i would read up on old actors when i was bored, and found out Paul's legendary feats in music, and since i always wanted to write a story about a songwriter, i could't think of a better biographical sketch. I would love to know as much as i could about him. Recently, i found out he was lebanese, and since half my friends are lebanese, and bay ridge being such a close-knit arab community, i've been asking all my friends parents if they knew the Jabara family. I think, his, is a story that MUST be told!!!
Noelle

Paul was my dad's first cousin- he never met him in Lebanon but knew his mother and sister. As musicians, my sister and I are proud to be related and wish he were still around to meet.
There is a party compilation out there that I have heard at more than one person's house that has "Last Dance" and "It's Raining Men" back to back and I look like a liar when I tell people - my cousin wrote that and then the next song comes on and I say - he wrote that too.
I would love to hear from someone who knew him!
Vinnie Leigh

I grew up with Paul. He lived around the corner from me in on 86th street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. We went to grammar school together and took piano lessons from the same piano teacher. I was always amazed at how he played from his heart. I struggled to read the classical music and Paul played for fun. He knew all the great musicals and especially Rogers and Hammerstein. He often came over my house (around age 11- 12) and played the piano for my mother and I. He obviously enjoyed doing it and we loved to listen. He had a gift, a passion for music and life and I feel blessed that we did spend that time together. His teachers never appreciated his gifts/talent but that obviously never stopped Paul. Later on, when I saw him at LIU campus in Brooklyn, Paul was glowing, and surrounded by friends. I'm sorry that we never kept in touch after that.
djfan

I met Paul in the summer of 1975 along with Hiram keller of Fellini's Satyricon fame. They stayed in our house that summer in the Pines on Fire Island. It was a summer to remember; he was so alive with energy. We all were back then. The house then continued to party thru the winter and into the spring and then we all gradually lost touch. He came back into focus during his Hollywood years and with his music. Paul was truly one of a kind.
BillyNYC (Billy Smith)

Yes! Paul Jabara was always the hit of the party, anytime that I went to a hot party PAUL WAS THERE! Then I knew it was going to be a p-a-r-t-y! I had so much fun with him in the sixty's and all though Studio 54 days (11 years) party every nigh until 8am at the after-hours, and guess what Uncle Sam knew nothing what we were really doing, so to our USA, stick that up your know where! I still am LOL! They knew nothing LOL! We all had a ball! From 1964 - 86 and it was the best years of my life, getting paid having a P-A-R-T-Y! Not anymore, but now, who cares. Guess what Paul, I just hit 61yo and loving every minute of it and still having a party, living in NYC in the same place , with a great new look, UWS! We did it all!!!!!!! YES!!!!!! LOL, LOL, LOL. - Billy Smith - still hot and living on the UWS/East Hampton (NYC) Billy Smith
djjohnny

I have been a HUGE fan of Paul Jabara's music and work since I can remember! When I met him at Hulas in Waikiki I was in total shock.He told told me how much he liked the music and I surprised him by showing him that I had EVERY album he ever made. At first he didn't believe me and it was then his turn to be totallly shocked when I pulled all of them out! He autographed them all and told me how flattered he was.....I bumped in to him on the street coming out of a video store in WEHO a couple of years after that and was flattered he remembered me...unfortunaltey I was just getting into a cab to go to a dance marathon to raise money for AIDS research and I couldn't talk to him as long as I wanted....I MISS YOU PAUL!!!! You are one of a kind baby!!!! - Johnny Torres sfterry

I first meet Paul at Steve Paul's The Scene on West 46th Street in 1965 when we all were club kids... and alway hung out and had a great time, I booked the Weather Girls into Studio 54 for him 11 times and it really was "Raining Man"! Paul was FUN! - Thanks Paul! - Billy Smith
kswoak

Even if he was short there was no bigger pain in my a** than Paul. But I miss and love him to this day. I think most of Paul's relationships were of the love/hate variety. A professional relationship that grew into a personal friendship, I will never forget Pauls enthusiasm for his profession and life in general. Even when he was kvetching it was done with such gusto that you couldn't help but be charmed. Though mentioned in disco history, I still don't think PJ has yet received the recognition in all entertainment areas that is due him... Rachael Lily Rosenblum will return some day, I'm sure.
littleboots62

I met Paul Jabara in the early 80's at Studio One in WeHo. He was out promoting his girls. No real story to tell, but just a lifetime memory of a legend.

©2015 Mark Jabara Ellison Productions