Internationally acclaimed for her work on both the stage and screen, Brooklyn native Lillias White – who won a Tony Award for Best Featured Performance by an Actress in a Musical for Cy Coleman’s The Life, and a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series for her role as Lillian Edwards on Sesame Street – will release her first solo studio album, Get Yourself Some Happy! on Friday, July 23, via Old Mill Road Recording – a state-of-the-art recording studio that opened in Vermont in 2018.
In her signature style, the debut album, following the cast recordings on which she is heard, presents a contemporary mix of Motown, standards, rock-and-roll, Broadway, blues, and jazz, re-invented for current audiences. It also represents a culmination of a 30-year friendship and professional collaboration between White and her musical director/accompanist Timothy Graphenreed, best known for his arrangements on the iconic musical, The Wiz, who sadly passed away on March 1, 2020. The album is dedicated to his memory.
The fourteen tracks feature musical arrangements by Graphenreed, Joshua Sherman, and Benjamin Lerner, with mastering by Jim Brick/Absolute Audio, and Benjamin J. Arrindell serving as recording/mix engineer. White’s expressive and soulful powerhouse vocals are backed by Graphenreed on piano, Leonard Kenyon on drums/percussion, Steve Cady on bass, Aidan Ajit Singh on strings, and Adam Kornreich on guitar.
According to White, the recording “is a labor of love put together by the late, great Timothy Graphenreed, Dr. Joshua Sherman, and myself. It was a joy to create. The songs were handpicked and heartfelt – and we hope the album brings smiles to your faces. I want people to see you (with your earbuds in) smiling – and wonder what you’re listening to. I hope you go out and get yourself some happy!”
To that end, the selection is focused on the theme of happiness, with blockbuster songs that range from “Accentuate the Positive” and “Put On A Happy Face” to “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “Make Someone Happy,” and “Get Happy” – which you will surely do when you listen to this ebullient and uplifting album.
“Lillias is an inspiring human being with an unmatched ability to raise the spirits of an audience,” said producer Joshua Sherman. “Stop what you’re doing. Forget your troubles, and Get Yourself Some Happy!”
Among White’s many other notable credits are Broadway’s Fela! (for which she received a Tony nomination), Dreamgirls, Once on This Island, and Chicago. She is also known to audiences worldwide for voicing the character of lead muse Calliope in Disney’s animated movie Hercules. And fans of her rich and powerful voice have enjoyed her concerts at such renowned venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and DC’s The Kennedy Center, along with her recurrent cabaret performances at popular New York nightclubs like Feinstein’s/54 Below, Birdland, and The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue, 4th floor, inside the YOTEL), which she opened on Valentine’s Day of 2017, reopened in April 2021, after the COVID-19 shutdown of more than a year, and returns to with an all-new show, We’re Back, this August 12-14.
To order the CD or digital download of Lillias White’s Get Yourself Some Happy!, or to pre-order the vinyl album (not available until the holiday season), go online. For a preview video, click on the arrow below: