Adam Schlesinger Obituary, Death – Adam Schlesinger, a renowned singer-songwriter who was a member of the bands Fountains of Wayne and Ivy and who went on to have a successful second career writing songs for film, theater, and television, passed away on Wednesday in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was 52 years old. Schlesinger won awards for his work in his second career. According to his relatives, the cause of death was complications from the coronavirus.
In the band Fountains of Wayne, which Mr. Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood formed in 1995, they perfected a novelistic form of hummable pop-rock in a style that was derived from the Kinks as well as from 1970s groups such as Big Star and the Cars. They chronicle the lives of suburban mall shoppers, Generation X slackers, and low-end cover bands in songs like “Hackensack” and “Red Dragon Tattoo.” They chose northern New Jersey and the boroughs outside of Manhattan as their thematic territory.
The band Fountains of Wayne, in which Mr. Schlesinger played bass and Mr. Collingwood played guitar and sang lead vocals, became a cult favorite but only sold a relatively small number of records despite receiving a lot of praise from music critics. Its breakthrough came in 2003 with the release of the winking novelty track “Stacy’s Mom,” which told the story of a young man who became obsessed with the mother of a friend. The song reached position No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after being accompanied by a racy music video that featured the supermodel Rachel Hunter.
Mr. Schlesinger was successful in a variety of other mediums almost immediately after he began his career. The Beatles-inspired theme song for “That Thing You Do!” was written by him. “, a film directed by Tom Hanks in 1996 about a mediocre rock band from the 1960s; like the best songs by Fountains of Wayne, “That Thing You Do! ” featured a melody that was immediately memorable, a chord progression that was twisting, and plenty of opportunities for wordplay.
Mr. Schlesinger received nominations for both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe thanks to the success of the film. In addition, he was awarded three Emmys, one of which he received just recently, for his work as a songwriter on the television show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” This show frequently incorporated campy numbers in the style of Broadway into its narrative.
As a journeyman songwriter, he was responsible for writing jingles for a number of different companies, including the Maryland State Lottery and Gillette. Mr. Schlesinger was nominated for two Grammys with Fountains of Wayne, but the only Grammy he won was for his work with another frequent collaborator, David Javerbaum, on Stephen Colbert’s “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! which was awarded the Grammy for “Best Comedy Album” in 2010.
In the world of musical theater, Mr. Schlesinger collaborated with Mr. Javerbaum on the composition of songs for the 2008 Broadway musical “Cry-Baby,” which was adapted from the film of the same name directed by John Waters. That resulted in them receiving a nomination for a Tony Award in 2008, and Mr. Schlesinger and Mr. Javerbaum collaborated once more in 2015 on the play “An Act of God.”
Adam Lyons Schlesinger was born in Manhattan on October 31, 1967, to parents Bobbi and Stephen Schlesinger. He grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, and attended Williams College in Massachusetts, where he met Mr. Collingwood. Adam Lyons Schlesinger studied philosophy at Williams College.
While Mr. Schlesinger traveled to New York after graduation and co-founded the band Ivy with Andy Chase and Dominique Durand, Mr. Collingwood settled in the Boston area. Later on, the two men found each other in New York and created the band Fountains of Wayne. They wrote the majority of the songs for their debut album in a bar located in the West Village.
Atlantic Records became the band’s record label, and in 1996 they released their debut studio album titled “Fountains of Wayne.” The band embodied the characteristics of post-grunge alternative rock with songs such as “Radiation Vibe,” which included angular guitars and snarling vocals.