Contributor Jim Gladstone chats with vocalist and author Sam Harris about his new book, Ham: Slices of Life.
(photo: Ray Garcia)
Before there was American Idol, X Factor or The Voice, there was Star Search and a tuxedo-clad belting tenor who won America’s hearts.
“I found a formula that worked for me back then,” says Sam Harris, who first came to national fame 31 years ago, belting ‘Over the Rainbow’ as Grand Champion of the Ed McMahon-hosted TV talent show, Star Search. “But I started to feel boxed in by it. I always wanted to explore different areas.”
“It would have been very easy for me to build a career as a pop torch singer who does a big dramatic key change at the end of each song like his head is going to blow off. But my taste in music is eclectic. And my interests are eclectic, too.”
Instead of allowing himself to be wedged into a simplified persona and packaged as Brand Sam, Harris—who will present a theatrical blend of songs and stories at Feinstein’s at the Nikko January 24 and 25—has chosen “for my happiness, for my creative soul” to follow a wandering path.
He’s performed in Broadway and touring musicals (The Life, The Producers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hair), written for—and acted in—television sit-coms, headlined concerts and cabarets, been an interviewer for television’s EXTRA, and most recently, written a book, Ham: Slices of a Life.
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