Will Holt
April 30, 1929 - May 31, 2015 Will Holt was born in 1929 and spent his childhood between Portland and North Bridgton, Maine. He was a singer and musician from an early age, learning to play the piano at six. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Williams College and studied with folk singer Richard Dyer-Bennet. He later toured Europe on a motorcycle, seeking out real life experiences and collecting folk songs from country to country, and also served in the Air Force. He married Dolly Jonah Holt, a singer and actress, and they settled in New York's West Village, becoming a part of the emerging bohemian community. Holt was known first and primarily as a folk performer during the '50s and '60s and as an interpreter of the music of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht in performances and recordings with soprano singer Martha Schlamme. Holt recorded songs for several record labels including Coral, Elektra and Atlantic Records and many of his songs were popularized by other artists of the era. Holt wrote his biggest hit in 1957, "Lemon Tree," which has been recorded by a diverse roster of artists including Peter, Paul and Mary, The Kingston Trio, The Seekers, Bob Marley, Sandie Shaw and Trini Lopez. Holt made his Broadway debut in 1969 with "Come Summer" directed by Agnes de Mille. He enjoyed great success with "The Me Nobody Knows," which opened the following year and won him the Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Musical Writer and a Tony nomination for Best Lyrics. In 1974, Holt wrote the book for the musical "Over Here!" starring the Andrews Sisters, with a song score supplied by the Sherman Brothers. With Linda Hopkins, he conceived and wrote "Me and Bessie," a 1975 revue about the life and career of blues singer Bessie Smith. He collaborated with George Abbott and Richard Adler in 1976 on "Music Is," an adaptation of the Shakespeare play "Twelfth Night". He also wrote the lyrics for the 1978 musical "Platinum," starring Alexis Smith as a '40s and'50s film star attempting a comeback as a rock singer. His last Broadway project was the 1979 revival of "A Kurt Weill Cabaret," in which he performed and translated some of the lyrics. Holt won the Los Angeles Dramalogue Critics Award in 1988 for "A Walk on the Wild Side," for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics. Holt is survived by his wife, Dion Alden, and his son, Courtney, who resides in Los Angeles with his wife Carrie and their two children. He will be buried in North Bridgton, Maine at the end of June.
Published by Los Angeles Times from Jun. 6 to Jun. 8, 2015.
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19 Entries
Valenda Newell
November 26, 2016
I saw The Me Nobody Knows in 1970; I was nine-years-old. I am now 54 (soon to be 55) and I can still remember the night I saw the show. It was beautiful, painful, haunting and inspiring. It had an incredible impact on me; thank you, Will Holt.
May 28, 2016
I worked for Mr.Holt's mom and dad as a teenager at their lovely cottage at the head of Long Lake in North Bridgton. I meet Will their a few times as he would visit his mom and dad there. He and his family were very loving caring people. So sorry to hear of Will's passing and condolences to his wife and children.
Jerry Howard
June 27, 2015
I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Holt's death. I am very appreciative for the contribution he made to the Folk Music genre. My earnest petition is that the peace of God that surpasses all understanding caresses this family during your time of sadness.
A Fan
June 17, 2015
I would like to offer my deepest condolences for your loss. May your family find peace and comfort in knowing sickness, pain and death will one day be gone for this has been promised.
June 15, 2015
Thank you, Mr. Holt, for "Lemon Tree" and I never forgot seeing John Travolta and the Andrews Sisters in "Over Here!" Your talents will live on forever.
June 12, 2015
My condolences to the family. May God comfort you during this time of sorrow. 2Cor 1:4
June 11, 2015
michelle plakas-kaiser
June 11, 2015
My deepest condolences for your great loss. May you draw close to God; He in turn will draw close to you during this difficult time of sorrow and grief (Jas 4:8).
June 11, 2015
My sincere sympathy to the family . Please be comforted knowing GOD's kingdom will bring peace we pray for it . MATTHEW 6:10
June 11, 2015
May the God of all Comfort grant you peace. Very sorry for your loss.
June 11, 2015
Sorry for your loss may God Bring your family comfort in the day a heads Revelrtion 21:3-5
June 11, 2015
RIP, Will. You did many very good things in your life on Earth. This isn't the end of your life. It's another turn of direction. Mr. Holt, you upheld folk music so very well.

God bless and keep your loved ones left behind - to follow later on!
June 11, 2015
In God's care rest in peace
Dwayne Bickham,Sr.
June 10, 2015
my warmest sympathy to the family we all look forward to the day John 11 :11-14 will come true for all the ones we loved and lost
June 10, 2015
We'll miss you !
Adrian Barnette
June 10, 2015
My condolences to Will Holt's loved ones. May you draw comfort from memories shared while looking ahead to the wonderful blessings promised in God's Word.
June 10, 2015
Rest in Peace
Scott Chamberland
June 10, 2015
With deepest sympathy on the loss of your loved one. May it comfort you to know that he will return to the days of his youthful vigor as promised at Job 33:25.
June 10, 2015
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