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Harry Connick, Jr.

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With very few exceptions, the career of Harry Connick, Jr., can be divided in half -- his first two albums encompassed straight-ahead New Orleans jazz and stride piano while his later career (which paralleled his rising celebrity status) alternated between more contemporary New Orleans music and pop vocals with a debt to Frank Sinatra. Born in New Orleans on September 11, 1967, Connick grew up the son of two lawyers who owned a record store. After beginning on keyboards at the age of three, he first performed publicly at six and recorded with a local jazz band at ten. Connick attended the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and studied with Ellis Marsalis and James Booker. A move to New York to study at Hunter College and the Manhattan School of Music gave him the opportunity to look up a Columbia Records executive who had asked to see him, and Connick's self-titled album debut -- a set of mostly unaccompanied standards -- appeared in 1987. Jazz critics praised Connick's maturity and engaging style as well as his extended stays at New York hot spots during the year. His second album, named for his age in 1988, was the first to feature him on vocals. Already well known within jazz circles, Connick entered the American consciousness with the soundtrack to 1989's popular film When Harry Met Sally. Director Rob Reiner had asked Connick to compose a soundtrack, and he recorded several warm standards ("It Had to Be You," "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore") with a big-band backing. A world tour followed, and When Harry Met Sally eventually reached double-platinum status. With Connick a major celebrity, he diverged into an acting career, playing a tail gunner in 1990's Memphis Belle. That same year, he released two albums simultaneously: one, We Are in Love, was another vocal outing with similar standards as had appeared on When Harry Met Sally, while Lofty's Roach Souffle was all-instrumental. (Of course, the vocal album performed much better in the pop charts, hitting double platinum, while the instrumentals worked better with jazz audiences.) Connick toured again, this time with a big band, and recorded the group on 1991's Blue Light, Red Light. Though his celebrity decreased slightly during the mid-'90s, Connick's albums continued to reach platinum status, including 1992's 25, a 1993 Christmas album, and 1994's She. Connick continued his acting work with a starring role in 1995's Copycat (where he played a serial killer), and he married actress Jill Goodacre. In 1996, he had a brief role in the year's biggest blockbuster, Independence Day, but his album Star Turtle failed to connect with pop audiences. Come by Me, a return to big-band sounds, followed in 1999. In the new millennium, Connick cycled between albums exploring his jazz roots and those with songbook standards. Interestingly, post-2001 Connick moved between two labels with albums getting released on both Columbia Records and saxophonist Branford Marsalis' Marsalis Music label. Among these were the big-band album Only You, featuring popular music from the '50s and '60s, and the more intimate releases Other Hours: Connick on Piano, Vol. 1 (2003) and Occasion: Connick on Piano, Vol. 2 (2005), which focused on Connick's instrumental abilities. As well as releasing albums, Connick continued to act, appearing regularly on the television sitcom Will & Grace before it ended in 2006. Ever devoted to his hometown, Connick was also heavily involved in the support and rebuilding of New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. In early September 2005, he organized the benefit telethon A Concert for Hurricane Relief on NBC to raise money for and draw attention to the beleaguered residents of New Orleans. Afterward, he worked closely with Habitat for Humanity in helping victims of Katrina. In 2007, Connick once again expressed his deep love for his hometown with the release of his New Orleans tribute album, Oh, My Nola, on Columbia Records. The similarly New Orleans-themed Chanson du Vieux Carré also appeared in 2007. A year later, Connick returned with his third holiday album, What a Night! A Christmas Album. He once again revisited a set of American popular song classics and contemporary pop standards with 2009's Your Songs. In 2011, as part of WNET's Great Performances series on PBS, Connick released the live album and DVD In Concert on Broadway. The concert featured Connick backed by his big band and orchestra performing at the Neil Simon Theater in New York City. In 2013, Connick returned with the funk-oriented album Smokey Mary. The album coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Krewe of Orpheus, the Mardi Gras super krewe that Connick co-founded in 1993. Included on the album was the song "Smokey Mary Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train," which Connick penned in homage to the krewe's signature float. Also in 2013, Connick released the eclectic album of all-original songs, Every Man Should Know. In 2014, Connick signed onto be a judge on the 13th season of American Idol. He stayed with the show through its final season -- the one that ran from 2015-2016 -- but he made plans to stay on television via a daytime variety show scheduled to appear in the autumn of 2016. While all these plans were being laid, Connick released the poppy album That Would Be Me in the fall of 2015. ~ John Bush
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Albums by
Harry Connick, Jr.

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    11 songs

    On Air

    That Would Be Me

    12 songs

    On Air

    Every Man Should Know

    11 songs

    On Air

    Smokey Mary

    13 songs

    On Air

    Music from The Happy Elf

    12 songs

    On Air

    Other Hours: Connick on Piano, Vol. 1

    14 songs

    On Air

    Your Songs

    15 songs

    On Air

    What a Night! A Christmas Album

    15 songs

    On Air

    Occasion: Connick on Piano, Vol. 2

    16 songs

    On Air

    Oh, My Nola

    12 songs

    On Air

    Only You

    16 songs

    On Air

    Harry for the Holidays

    14 songs

    On Air

    30

    16 songs

    On Air

    Songs I Heard

    14 songs

    On Air

    When My Heart Finds Christmas

    13 songs

    On Air

    Come by Me

    10 songs

    On Air

    To See You

    16 songs

    On Air

    Star Turtle

    14 songs

    On Air

    She

    13 songs

    On Air

    25

    12 songs

    On Air

    Blue Light, Red Light

    11 songs

    On Air

    Lofty's Roach Souffle

    12 songs

    On Air

    We Are in Love

    11 songs

    On Air

    20

    36 songs

    On Air

    Harry on Broadway, Act 1

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Top Songs by
Harry Connick, Jr.

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  3.   Sleigh Ride
  4.   It Had to Be You
  5.   Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  6.   One Fine Thing
  7.   When My Heart Finds Christmas
  8.   It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  9.   I Could Write a Book
  10.   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  11.   Nowhere With Love
  12.   Hello Dolly
  13.   Recipe for Love
  14.   Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey?
  15.   This Christmas
  16.   We Are in Love
  17.   Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
  18.   Come by Me
  19.   What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
  20.   I Wonder as I Wander
  21.   The Christmas Waltz
  22.   The Way You Look Tonight
  23.   Love Is Here to Stay
  24.   Where or When
  25.   Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Harry Connick, Jr.

    On Air

    Sinatra And Friends

    On Air

    Slacker 20: Wedded Bliss

    On Air

    Jazz Christmas

    On Air

    Holiday Party

    On Air

    Top Christmas Hits

    On Air

    The Wolf Lounge

    On Air

    Thompson Square: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    One-Night Standards

    On Air

    Mardi Gras

    On Air

    Vocal Standards

    On Air

    Jeff & Jenn's Christmas Channel

    On Air

    Soothing Lullabies

    On Air

    Big Dave's Christmas Favorites

    On Air

    Big Band/Swing

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    Holiday Deep Dive

    On Air

    Family Road Trip

    On Air

    New Holiday Hits

    On Air

    Smooth Jazz

    On Air

    Jazz