Adam Schlesinger

Adam Schlesinger
Born (1967-10-31) October 31, 1967[1]
Origin New York City, New York, United States
Genres Power pop, rock
Occupation(s) Bassist, songwriter, producer
Instruments Bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, drums, vocals
Years active 1990–present
Associated acts Fountains of Wayne, Ivy, Tinted Windows, The Monkees

Adam Schlesinger (born October 31, 1967) is an American songwriter, composer and record producer. He has won Emmy and Grammy Awards, and has also been nominated for Oscar, Tony, and Golden Globe Awards. He is also a winner of the ASCAP Pop Music Award.

He is the bassist for the bands Fountains of Wayne, Ivy and Tinted Windows. He is also a key songwriting contributor and producer for Brooklyn-based synth-pop duo Fever High. Schlesinger grew up in Manhattan and Montclair, New Jersey.[2]

Awards and nominations

Schlesinger was nominated for an Academy Award[3] and a Golden Globe Award[4] in 1997 for writing the title track of the Tom Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do![5] as well as two other songs for the film.

Fountains of Wayne was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2003 for Best New Artist and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Stacy's Mom".[6]

Schlesinger and David Javerbaum received two Tony nominations in 2008 Best Musical and Best Original Score for the musical Cry-Baby,.[7] They also received a 2009 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music And Lyrics, for their song "Much Worse Things", performed by Elvis Costello and Stephen Colbert on the television special and album A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! The album, co-written by Schlesinger and Javerbaum, and co-produced by Schlesinger and Steven M. Gold, also won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.

Schlesinger received a 2013 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Song for his "Elmo The Musical" theme for Sesame Street. He and Molly Boylan received a 2011 Daytime Emmy nomination for the song "I Wonder" from Sesame Street.

Schlesinger and Javerbaum received a 2012 Emmy Award for Outstanding Music And Lyrics for their song "It's Not Just For Gays Anymore", performed by Neil Patrick Harris as the opening number of the 65th Tony Awards telecast; and a 2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Music And Lyrics for their song "If I Had Time", performed by Neil Patrick Harris as the closing number of the 66th Tony Awards telecast.

Schlesinger received two 2016 Emmy nominations for his work on the CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for "Settle For Me" (co-written with Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen), and Outstanding Main Title Theme (co-written with Rachel Bloom).


In films

In addition to writing and co-producing the title song to That Thing You Do!, he composed "Master Of The Seas" for Ice Age: Continental Drift performed by Jennifer Lopez, Peter Dinklage and others. He wrote and produced three songs for Music and Lyrics.,.[8][9] His music has also been featured in films such as Shallow Hal (which he scored with Ivy);[10] Robots;[11] There's Something About Mary;[10] Me, Myself & Irene;[12] Josie and the Pussycats;[9] Scary Movie;[13] Art School Confidential;[14] Fever Pitch;[15] The Manchurian Candidate;[16] Because of Winn-Dixie;[17] Orange County;[18] Two Weeks Notice,[12] and others.

Songs performed by other artists

In theatre

Schlesinger and The Daily Show executive producer David Javerbaum co-wrote the songs for the musical theater adaptation of the John Waters film Cry-Baby.[19] Cry-Baby debuted at the La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California, in November 2007.[19] Previews for the Broadway run began at the Marquis Theatre on March 15, 2008. Its official opening night was April 24, 2008.[20]

Schlesinger and Javerbaum co-wrote the closing song "I Have Faith In You" for Javerbaum's play An Act Of God which opened on Broadway on May 28, 2015. The song is performed by Jim Parsons, Chris Fitzgerald, and Tim Kazurinsky.

Schlesinger and Sarah Silverman are currently working on a musical entitled The Bedwetter, based on her book of the same name.

In television

Schlesinger and Javerbaum co-wrote the opening number of the 2011 Tony Awards ceremony, "It's Not Just For Gays Anymore", as well as the opening and closing numbers of the 2012 Tony Awards, "What If Life Were More Like Theater" and "If I Had Time", all performed by Neil Patrick Harris. They also wrote the opening number of the 2011 Emmy Awards, "TV Is A Vast Wonderland", performed by Jane Lynch; and "The Number In The Middle Of The Show", performed at the 2013 Emmy Awards by Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, and Nathan Fillion.

Schlesinger's television composing work includes theme music, songs, and/or score for The Maya Rudolph Show (NBC), A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!, the 2011 and 2012 Tony Awards, the 2011 and 2013 Emmy Awards, Big Time Rush, T.U.F.F. Puppy (Nickelodeon), Good Luck Charlie (Disney Channel), Fresh Beat Band (Nickelodeon), Kathy (Bravo), Crank Yankers, "Wedding Band" (TBS), the Billboard Music Awards, Bubble Guppies (Nick Jr.), The Howard Stern Show, Sesame Street, Comedy Central's "Night Of Too Many Stars", Robert Smigel's cartoons for Saturday Night Live, The Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade with Neil Patrick Harris, the Comedy Awards (Comedy Central), American Dreams, Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital, The In-Laws, The Man Show, Too Late with Adam Carolla, The Dana Carvey Show, John Leguizamo's House Of Buggin', My Kind of Town, and others. His songs have also been licensed for use on numerous television series including Scrubs, The Hills, Gossip Girl, Melrose Place, Felicity, Roswell, and others.

He is currently writing songs for, and is Executive Music Producer of, the scripted comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on The CW Network.

Production work

As a record producer and mixer, he has worked with The Monkees, Fever High, Dashboard Confessional, Swirl 360, Tahiti 80, Motion City Soundtrack,[21] Verve Pipe,[13] Robert Plant, America,[22] The Sounds, They Might Be Giants,[23] Fastball, and many other artists, as well as producing or co-producing five Fountains of Wayne and five Ivy albums.

Side projects

Schlesinger is also in a side project band called Tinted Windows formed by guitarist James Iha, previously of The Smashing Pumpkins and A Perfect Circle, singer Taylor Hanson of Hanson, and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick. This new project will run alongside all the artists' main bands. He has also collaborated with Iha on Look to the Sky (2012), Iha's second solo album.

He is currently the main composer and producer for Brooklyn-based synth-pop duo Fever High.

Personal life

Schlesinger is a cousin of Jon Bernthal, an actor who is best known for his role on the AMC television series The Walking Dead.[24] He is also the grandson of Murray Bernthal (1911–2010), a musician and producer, long active in Syracuse, New York.[25]


  1. Steve Bekkala (1967-10-31). "Adam Schlesinger | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  2. Wise, Brian (2004-02-08). "Eclectic Sounds of New Jersey, Echoing From Coast to Coast". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  3. Drees, Rich. "That Tune You Do: Writing The Music For That Thing You Do". FilmBuffOnline.
  4. Aswad, Jem. "Adam Schlesinger: Those Things He Do". The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
  5. " Talks To Fountains Of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger". KTVU. 2007-06-22.
  6. "OutKast leads Grammy nods". CNN. 2003-12-04. Archived from the original on April 7, 2005.
  7. "'In the Heights' heads list of Tony nominees". MSNBC. Associated Press. May 13, 2008.
  8. Leopold, Todd (2007-04-03). "Creating some 'Music and Lyrics'". CNN.
  9. 1 2 Rabin, Nathan (2007-04-25). "Interview with Adam Schlesinger". A.V. Club.
  10. 1 2 Daly, Sean (2005-04-03). "Songwriter Schlesinger: His Expertise Is Catchy". The Washington Post.
  11. "Robots". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 23 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
  12. 1 2 Kenny, Glenn. "The Music — and Lyrics — Man". Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
  13. 1 2 Cohen, Jonathan. "Andy Chase, Dominique Durand and Adam Schlesinger: No Distance Too Far". Nude as the News.
  14. "Art School Confidential". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
  15. Vancheri, Barbara (2007-02-14). "Music and Lyrics: Comedy's catchy, but not classic". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  16. Harris, Will (2007-04-05). "A Chat With Adam Schlesinger".
  17. Hay, Carla (2004-11-30). "Harris, Colvin, Finns Whistle 'Dixie'". Billboard.
  18. "Orange County". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
  19. 1 2 "La Jolla Playhouse Presents Broadway-Bound Cry-Baby" (PDF). La Jolla Playhouse (Press release). 2007-09-27.
  20. Cry-Baby at the Internet Broadway Database
  21. "Motion City Soundtrack: Full Biography". MTV.
  22. Cohen, Jonathan (2006-01-17). "Schlesinger, Iha Producing New America Disc". Billboard.
  23. Di Perna, Alan. "Adam Schlesinger: Welcome Interstate Musicians". Harp (November/December 2004).
  24. "AOL - News, Sports, Weather, Entertainment, Local & Lifestyle". Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  25. "Murray Bernthal dies at 99". BWW News Desk. December 11, 2010.. Adam graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, MA.

External links

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