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Woody Allen

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Biography

Before he emerged as one of the foremost American filmmakers of the 20th century, Woody Allen was a standup comic. Although his tenure as a performing comedian was relatively short-lived, its importance to the development of his later work was pivotal; on-stage and on record, Allen honed to perfection the uniquely neurotic and uniquely New York sensibility which became the hallmarks of his career as an actor, writer, and director, firmly establishing the self-deprecating, awkward persona which long defined him in the eyes of the movie-going public. Woody Allen was born Allen Stewart Konigsberg in Brooklyn, New York on December 1, 1935. After adopting his stage name at the age of 17, in 1953 he enrolled in New York University's film program, quickly failing the course "Motion Picture Production" and dropping out of school to begin writing for comedian David Alber for the sum of $20 a week. Two years later, Allen graduated to writing for television, working on the staff of the legendary Your Show of Shows as well as penning material for Pat Boone. During his five-year tenure in television, his efforts won him an Emmy nomination, but like Mel Brooks, Allen found a career as a writer stifling, and eventually decided to try his hand as a performer. He made his professional debut in 1960 at the Blue Angel club in Manhattan; success came slowly, and the first major published review of his act did not appear until two years later. However, his comic worldview was different and fresh, and his talents soon caught the eye of television booking agents; beginning in 1963, Allen became a frequent talk show guest, and by the following year, he recorded his self-titled debut LP, a litany of regrets about his marriage, his collegiate years, and his stint playing Little League. Woody Allen, Vol. 2, a collection of ambitious comic tales, followed in 1965, although by this point Allen was already losing interest in the standup form; that same year, he made his film debut in the comedy What's New, Pussycat?, which he also wrote. For all intents and purposes, his career as a stage comedian -- a period he later admitted was wracked with fear and self-doubt -- ended with the release of 1968's Woody Allen Three; a year later, the success of the feature Take the Money and Run (which he wrote, directed, and starred in) guaranteed him a future as a filmmaker. By 1977's Academy Award-winning Annie Hall, Allen stood as one of the truly monumental talents of his time, a position solidified by later masterpieces including 1979's Manhattan, 1986's Hannah and Her Sisters, and 1989's Crimes and Misdemeanors. His longtime interest in playing jazz was the subject of the 1998 documentary Wild Man Blues, as well as its accompanying soundtrack. Allen's three comedy albums have been periodically reissued over the years, first in 1972 by United Artists in a two-LP package called The Night Club Years 1964-1968, and later in a set titled Standup Comic (which at various times was issued by United Artists, Casablanca, and Rhino Records). In 2014, Razor & Tie-issued The Stand-Up Years, which collected Allen's three albums in full along with unreleased bonus material. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   The Science Fiction Film
  3.   Unhappy Childhood
  4.   Bullet in My Breast Pocket
  5.   Pets
  6.   The Army
  7.   My Grandfather
  8.   Vegas
  9.   N.Y.U.
  10.   The Moose
  11.   The Great Renaldo
  12.   European Trip
  13.   Down South
  14.   The New Comic
  15.   Loyalty
  16.   Mort Sahl - Changed the History of Comedy
  17.   Whispering by Goodman Group
  18.   Mechanical Objects
  19.   After You've Gone by Woody Allen Trio
  20.   Eggs Benedict
  21.   Woody's Influences
  22.   Private Life
  23.   My Marriage
  24.   Brooklyn
  25.   The Police
  26.   The Rolls Royce of Management
  27.   You Made Me Love You
  28.   The Lost Generation
  29.   What's New Pussycat
  30.   Frenesi
  31.   A Love Story
  32.   Live in Chicago: Part 2
  33.   The Kidnapping
  34.   Truckin'
  35.   At the Jazz Band Ball
  36.   Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
  37.   Kidnapped
  38.   Alabama Song
  39.   Moonglow by Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
  40.   Tickle-Toe by Count Basie Orchestra
  41.   Body and Soul by Goodman Group
  42.   Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula
  43.   Writing
  44.   Wild Man Blues
  45.   Tie Me to Your Apron Strings Again
  46.   The Vodka Ad
  47.   Swing Lullaby
  48.   Second Marriage
  49.   Poor Butterfly by Red Nichols & His Orchestra
  50.   Pappy's B Flat Blues
  51.   Oral Contraception
  52.   Hear Me Talkin' to Ya?
  53.   Summing Up
  54.   Dippermouth Blues
  55.   Advice
  56.   Swedish Movie
  57.   The Village
  58.   Footnote
  59.   Sunrise Serenade by The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  60.   Audience Response
  61.   Sophisticated Lady
  62.   She's Funny That Way
  63.   Penthouse Serenade (When We're Alone)
  64.   That Jungle Jamboree
  65.   Lonesome Blues by Woody Allen Trio
  66.   Formats and Styles
  67.   Rise to Stardom
  68.   Caravan
  69.   Superman
  70.   Questions and Answers
  71.   Taking a Shower (A Pantomime)
  72.   Live in Chicago: Part 1
  73.   Relating to Woody
  74.   Stage Persona
  75.   Ad Libs
  76.   Science Fiction Movie
  77.   Comedy and Pain
  78.   Reminiscences
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