In a 40-year partnership with composer John Kander, Ebb wrote more than a dozen Broadway musicals, including Tony winners Cabaret and Kiss of the Spider Woman and the longest-running American-written musical in Broadway history, Chicago.
Even his lesser-known shows are respected and performed, including The Rink; 70, Girls, 70; Woman of the Year; and Zorba, the latter of which will get a revival on the City Center's Encores! series next month.
Born in New York City and died there Sept. 11, 2004, Ebb seemed destined to pen perhaps his best-known individual song, the Gotham anthem "New York, New York," which was written for the film of the same title.
The prolific Ebb was working on so many shows when he died that Broadway has continued to see a steady stream of them, including Curtains (2007), The Scottsboro Boys (2010), and his latest show, The Visit, which is scheduled to have its Broadway debut April 23.
Never mind Frank Sinatra or Liza Minnelli or any of the others who have sung "New York, New York" over the years. Here (below) is the source: lyricist Ebb singing and composer John Kander at the piano, and this is how the song sounded to them. And if the lyrics sound a little different from what you remember — well, they're his words; he can sing them any way he likes:
Click through to see even more performances celebrating the late Tony winner!
2012 Gypsy of the Year Fred Ebb Tribute.
Kander and Ebb perform "All That Jazz."
Kander and Ebb perform "Ring Them Bells."
Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Kander & Ebb: 1984 Tony Awards
Fred Ebb performs "Mr. Cellophane":
Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera perform "Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag":
Rivera sings "All That Jazz":
Bebe Neuwirth sings "All That Jazz":
Rivera and Verdon - "Nowadays"/"Hot Honey Rag":
Liza Minnelli - "My Own Best Friend":
"The Cell Block Tango" from the film "Chicago":
Chicago revival at the Tony Awards.
Press footage of Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen in the Las Vegas run of Chicago.
Ute Lemper and Ruthie Henshall perform "Hot Honey Rag":
Ruthie Henshall sings "Roxie":
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah perform "Move On."
Jerry Orbach - "All I Care About":
Goldie Hawn and Liza Minnelli - "All That Jazz":
Liza Minnelli at the piano with John Kander for "Nowadays":
Jill Haworth - "Cabaret" at the 1968 Tony Awards:
"Willkommen" from the Bob Fosse 1972 film:
Judi Dench performs "Don't Tell Mama" in the original London production.
Cabaret 1998 Tony Awards performance.
"The Muppet Show": Joel Grey - "Willkommen."
Ruthie Henshall - "Maybe This Time":
Jason Tam - "I Don't Care Much."
Liza Minnelli singing "So What"
Joel Grey and Alan Cumming duet on "Willkommen":
"Liza with a Z" - Cabaret Medley.
Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman:
Rivera and the cast of Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Tony Awards:
Rivera and Liza Minnelli sing "The Apple Doesn't Fall" from The Rink:
Highlights from Steel Pier:
The cast of Steel Pier performs at the Tony Awards:
Debra Monk performs "Everybody's Girl" from Steel Pier:
The Scottsboro Boys in rehearsal:
More rehearsal footage of The Scottsboro Boys:
The cast of The Scottsboro Boys performs at the Tony Awards:
Playbill Video highlights of The Scottsboro Boys:
The cast of Curtains performs at the Tony Awards: