Lucy Elizabeth Simon was an American author of theater music and popular songs. She was born on May 5, 1940 and died on October 20, 2022. She wrote songs and sang on records. The musicals The Secret Garden (1991) and Doctor Zhivago (2011) made her famous.
Lucy Simon has passed away. She was a composer whose work on the long-running Broadway musical “The Secret Garden” earned her a Tony Award nomination in 1991. She lived to be 82 years old.
Composer of ‘The Secret Garden,’ Dies At 82
Simon died Thursday at her home in Piedmont, New York, according to a family representative. Simon was the sister of pop star Carly Simon. Simon suffered from breast cancer.
“The Secret Garden,” a play based on a book by Marsha Norman, premiered in New York in 1991. It received mixed reviews but won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and ran for nearly two years. A slightly altered version was performed in London’s West End, and a version shortened from Broadway toured.
Based on a 1911 children’s book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the musical is about a young English girl named Mary whose parents die of cholera, forcing her to move back to England from colonial India. She moves in with her hunchbacked Uncle Archibald, who is saddened by the death of his wife Lily and believes his bedridden son killed her.
Mary stays with her uncle, and there she finds Lily’s old, forgotten garden. Together with a young gardener, she brings it back to life. At the same time, she gives her uncle and cousin a new life. “The Girl I Mean to Be” and “How Could I Ever Know” are two of the songs.
Some of the Broadway stars who were saddened by Simon’s death were Steven Pasquale and Sierra Boggess. “She gives the world her music. “In one of her last messages to me, she told me, “I wanted to ask you to carry on my voice,” and I sat down and cried,” Boggess wrote on Instagram.
Simon was born May 5, 1940, in New York, the daughter of famed publisher Richard Simon and his wife, Andrea Simon. She was the second oldest of four children: Joanna, Lucy, Carly and Peter were her other siblings.
Carly and Lucy performed as the Simon Sisters in folk clubs in Greenwich Village. They played as opening acts for other bands. When they recorded the song “Winkin’, Blinkin’, and Nod” in 1964, it reached #73 on the Billboard charts.
Lucy went to nursing school, while Carly Simon had hits like “Anticipation,” “Haven’t Got Time for the Pain,” and “You’re So Vain.”
Lucy Simon recorded two solo albums for RCA: “Lucy Simon” in 1975 and “Stolen Time” in 1977, which came after she got married and had children. Lucy and her husband David Levine made two albums for children called “In Harmony” and “In Harmony 2,” both of which won Grammys (1983).
When she returned to Broadway in 2015, “Doctor Zhivago” didn’t do so well. The story about five lovers connected in the last days of czarist-era Russia received poor reviews and ran for only two months.
She will be missed by her husband, Julie Simon and James Levine, and their four grandchildren, Sophie, Ben, Charlie and Evie.
Simon and her sister Carly Simon performed together as the Simon Sisters beginning in 1963.
The duo released three albums, beginning with Meet the Simon Sisters, which featured the song “Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod,” based on a poem by Eugene Field, and became a minor hit, reaching No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Simon and her husband David Levine won a Grammy Award in 1981 for Best Recording for Children for their song “In Harmony.” They won the same award again in 1983 for “In Harmony 2.” Simon was nominated for both a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for the music he wrote for the Broadway show The Secret Garden.