Few vocalists have gone through as many permutations in their career in popular music in the manner of Paul Nicholas. Best known as a singer, Nicholas began his career in professional music at the keyboard at age 19, playing piano with Screaming Lord Sutch and his backing band, the Savages, in 1964. He didn't remain with the band too long, however, choosing to give up playing full-time in favor of studying drama and developing his acting skills. Nicholas continued to record occasionally, but despite his access to early compositions by Pete Townshend ("Join My Gang") and David Bowie ("Over the Wall We Go"), he failed to chart a single with any of his work.
In 1968, Nicholas joined the British cast of the musical Hair, which was brought to London in 1968 by Robert Stigwood in the lead role of Claude. The two years he spent in the part marked Nicholas's first time crossing paths professionally with the producer, and he was later cast in Stigwood's productions of Jesus Christ, Superstar and Grease. Nicholas also appeared in the rock-related movies Tommy, Lisztomania, and Stardust. Nicholas's extensive credits in Stigwood's productions and his resulting popularity inevitably led to his recording several singles for the producer's RSO Records, mostly in a disco-pop vein, but his success was largely confined to the stage, where he continued to earn leading roles in major productions, including Barnum, the Pirates of Penzance, Jesus Christ, Superstar's 20th anniversary concert tour, and the 1995 production of Singin' in the Rain. He also began working behind the scenes in theater during the 1990s, producing the 1993 West End revival of Grease on behalf of the Stigwood organization. ~ Bruce Eder