Jeff Wayne

Born - in New York, NY  |  

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Jeff Wayne is a composer and music producer who has worked in film, television, and theater as well as rock music since the mid-'60s. The son of stage actor-turned-director Jerry Wayne, Jeff Wayne was born in New York City but spent four of his prime childhood years in London where his father was working on stage creating the role of Sky Masterson in the original West End production of Guys and Dolls. He had a special interest in music and studied classical as well as jazz and eventually chose music as his career after attending college in California. Wayne made his debut as a composer with the West End play Two Cities, a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. He wrote and produced music for commercials and established himself in rock music through his work with singer (and sometimes actor) David Essex, which led to Wayne producing on the soundtrack to the Essex-starring feature film Stardust. Wayne's other credits from this period include the scores for several television features, most notably The Knowledge, a documentary about London cab drivers and their required familiarity with the city which was shown around the world. His 1978 double-LP concept album The War of the Worlds, which included Richard Burton as narrator (Curd J├╝rgens narrated a specially produced German version) and actor/singers Julie Covington and Essex, is often misidentified as a soundtrack or cast album but was the biggest selling British release in those categories in over 20 years. From there he moved on to writing and producing the score and the accompanying soundtrack album for the 1980 movie McVicar -- his first theatrical film credit -- starring Roger Daltrey, which became a number one LP. His credits during the '80s included a great deal of music written for various sports and news programs on British television. He returned to the making of concept albums in 1992 with the release of his CD adaptation of Spartacus, which included in its cast Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who was then known principally as a singer.