1943 - 1987
Charlie Smalls was an American composer and songwriter who wrote the music and lyrics for the musical The Wiz with a book by playwright William F. Brown. Smalls began studies at the Juilliard School in 1954. After graduating from the High School of Performing Arts, was the pianist in the New York Jazz Repertory Company, and he toured with such artists as Harry Belafonte and Hugh Masekela. In 1974, he was recruited to work on The Wiz by the show’s producer, Ken Harper. The Wiz had its Broadway premiere in 1975. It won the 1975 Tony award for Best Musical; Smalls won the 1975 Tony for Best Original Score, along with a Drama Desk award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics.