Claim to fame:
Tom Lehrer is perhaps one of the most unique pioneers of the "cult following" phenomenon: By day a mild-mannered Harvard University professor of mathematics, by night a singer-songwriter of scathing comedic parody as yet unmatched in cleverness and musicality.
See references below for more lengthy accounts of Tom's career, but in a nutshell, he was teaching math at Harvard in the early 50's and composing satirical parodies on the piano.
These began to get a following so he eventually spent $15 on studio time and recorded Songs by Tom Lehrer and had 300 copies pressed at his own expense.
The first run sold out like hotcakes and Tom embarked on a tour. A cult phenomenon was born.
Where are they now?
In 1959, after serving his time in the US Army, he grew tired of touring and recorded An Evening (Wasted) With Tom Lehrer and returned to Harvard.
He later became the in-house composer for the NBC news satire That Was the Week That Was in the early 60's and in the 70's he wrote a number of songs for the children's favorite TV series The Electric Company.
Rhino Records released The Remains of Tom Lehrer in 2000.
He continued teaching mathematics and a course in "music appreciation for non-musicians" at University of California at Santa Cruz until 2001.
At age 75 (in 2004) he lives in a beach house in Santa Cruz and still hangs around the university campus.
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