Nanette Workman

Nanette Workman. Singer, songwriter, actress, b Brooklyn, NY, 20 Nov 1945. Her father played trumpet in Tommy Dorsey's orchestra, and her mother acted in Broadway theaters. She began her career at 11 in Jackson, Miss, where she appeared in the television series 'Mr. Magic'.

Workman, Nanette

Nanette Workman. Singer, songwriter, actress, b Brooklyn, NY, 20 Nov 1945. Her father played trumpet in Tommy Dorsey's orchestra, and her mother acted in Broadway theaters. She began her career at 11 in Jackson, Miss, where she appeared in the television series 'Mr. Magic'. Two years later, she hosted her own show for teenagers, singing every week. In 1964, her attempt to enter the Juilliard School was not successful. In New York, she met singer Rudy Vallee and, for two years, sang the title role in the Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Later on, she met Tony Roman (Antonio D'Ambrosio, b Montreal 1942, d Montreal 8 Jun 2007) in a Manhattan club; he offered her the chance to sing a rock version of 'Et maintenant' by Gilbert Bécaud. She thus learned French and charmed the Quebec public with her ingenue looks and her American accent, making many appearances on televison, in particular on the program 'Jeunesse d'aujourd'hui' (CFTM-TV). In 1968, she went to England where she acted in a television comedy with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, while acting as back-up singer for the Rolling Stones ('Honky Tonk Women'), John Lennon and Elton John.

When her visa expired, she moved to Paris where she sang with Johnny Halliday, touring Africa, Polynesia and Europe prior to coming back to Quebec in 1974. 'Lady Marmalade', 'Danser danser', and especially 'Call Girl' (by Luc Plamondon) placed first on the hit parades. She subsequently played the part of Sadia in the rock opera Starmania by Plamondon-Berger which ran at the Paris Convention Centre in 1979 (recorded on 2-Kébec-Frog KF-8001-8002). Along with Jean-Pierre Ferland, Marie-Claire Séguin and Louise Portal, she toured Quebec with the show Du gramophone au laser which recounted the history of the Quebécois chanson. She was part of the cast of Plamondon-Berger's second rock opera, La Légende de Jimmy, based on the life of James Dean; in 1990, this show ran for five months at the Mogador, in Paris, and the recording sold over 100 000 copies (CBS CK-90857-CD).

Writings

Workman, Nanette. Nanette (Montreal 1999)


Further Reading

  • Quintal, Louis. 'Nanette Workman,' MSc, 345, Sep-Oct 1985