His voice has also been featured on TV and in movies, and he's appeared with symphony orchestras. Tavis: He’s a Black guy with long dreads, yeah [laugh]. Tyrell: Yeah, and he started going around places in Virginia, you know, karaoke places and, everywhere he’d go, he saw he’d knocked people out. Tyrell: Yeah, ’cause his album was coming out the next week. Tyrell: Well, actually I started out as a singer first. There was no like we would record today pro tools and tune it up. Everybody was playing at the same time, you know, and Dionne was in the booth and Cissy was in there and Dee-Dee Warrick, her sister, sang on those and Valerie Simpson sang on a lot of those records too. Tyrell: You know, after Dionne’s success, Cissy had a group called the Sweet Inspirations and then they went out with Elvis. You know, we had “Alfie,” we had the theme from “Valley of the Dolls,” we had “The Look of Love.” All those songs came from films. Tyrell grew up in Houston's 5th Ward with a mixture of music, including tunes from the neighborhood. So he got this idea himself to go audition for “America’s Got Talent.” He went on his own. You got a room full of white folk, room for my Jewish brothers and sisters in New York honoring Larry King, and this Negro stands up with all these dreads and they had no idea who the guy was. So when Larry had asked me to do it, I said, “Well, I want to bring a friend of mine on too.” Tavis: I have never seen somebody – Matt Lauer and I were sitting together that night and I remember saying this to Matt, “I have never seen somebody transform a room so fast.” I mean, this guy walks up looking the way he looks, you do not expect Frank Sinatra. Tavis: Did you ever hear or sense that Whitney had any talent way back then? So very early on, I saw as a record guy that you could take a good song, man, and put it out at the same time with the film and you could have extra marketing, you know. So we started working on movies and television shows and we would make demos. I mean, he wrote songs like “On Broadway,” “You Lost That Loving Feeling,” “Just Once,” “Here You Come Again.” So sometimes we would write and make demos and pitch them to different movies and television shows and I would sing the demo.
Then again, this Texas-born crooner performs it virtually every time he takes the stage.“I sang it in the movie and it changed my life,” he said.
Summer Concert at The Grand Del Mar presents Steve Tyrell When: 7 p.m.
Sunday Where: The Grand Del Mar, 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, Carmel Valley Admission: general admission; reserved; room-and-concert package information: (855) 272-2756Phone: (800) 820-9884Online: Life imitating art became a happy reality for veteran singer Steve Tyrell when his daughter, Lauryn, got married last weekend in Laguna Beach.
Tavis: Steve Tyrell is a popular singer who is out now with his latest project. You know, we’d see if we could get us a little place on a lot somewhere, you know, and walk around at the commissary. Tyrell: Yeah, the famous Teddy Z, “Frank’s Place,” you remember that show with Tim Reed?
It’s called “I’ll Take Romance.” The disk is a collection of covers from the Great American Songbook featuring artists ranging from Etta James to Linda Ronstadt to Sam Cooke. Tavis: It’s good to see you in Los Angeles for a change. Tavis: The last time we saw each other, we were at the Larry King Friar’s Roast in New York City.