Tune in to Jazz with Victor Cooper - weekdays from 6-9 a.m. MT - for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long presented by Rodney Franks starting Monday, April 15!
Stories of Standards is sponsored by ListenUp - If you love music, you’ll love ListenUp.
“Pure Imagination” was written in 1971 by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the movie “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, where it was sung by Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. It has since been recorded by a wide variety of performers.
Leslie Bricusse (1/29/1931-present) is best known for musicals and movie theme songs. He attended University College School in London then Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge, where he was Secretary of Footlights from 1952 – 1953 and President the following year. His partnership with Anthony Newley produced some very well-known musicals. They wrote “Stop the World – I Want to Get Off”, in which Newley was nominated for a Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. They also co-wrote 1965’s “The Roar of the Greasepaint-The Smell of the Crowd”.
Bricusse later worked with Henry Mancini on “Victor/Victoria” (1982) and “Tom and Jerry the Movie” (1992).
Anthony Newley (9/24/1931-4/14/1999), actor, singer, and songwriter, with John Barry co-wrote the title song for 1964’s film “Goldfinger”. His recordings between 1959 and 1962 included a dozen Top 40 entries on the UK Singles chart, with two making #1 on the list. Newley wrote “Feeling Good”, which was popularized by Nina Simone. Newley was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989.