(October 3, 1945 - February 26, 1990) USA
Composer, pianist, vocalist
Fred "Freddie" J. Palmisano was born in Gretna, Louisiana. He started playing the piano at age six. While still in elementary school he played for school functions, and as a West Jefferson High School student became the first musical director of the NORD (New Orleans Recreation Department) Theater in Gallier Hall.
After graduation Palmisano attended the University of Southeastern Louisiana as a piano major for two years before serving in the Navy, during which time he organized a little theater in Morocco and helped produce a production of Showboat in Scotland. After his discharge he studied drama at the University of New Orleans for two years.
Palmisano wrote and composed his first successful show for children, Rapunzel , at the Gallery Circle Theater in 1969. Writing with Sharon O'Brien, and later with Ricky Graham, he then composed a series of musical entertainments directed by Luis Barroso and presented in Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré's Children's Corner. These were mini-musicals that appealed to adults as well as children.
Palmisano ended his career with two Le Petit Theatre productions for which he was arranger, composer and keyboard accompanist: Silver Scream , a 30-song revue, and Cinderella Batistella , a New Orleans version of the fairy tale. His last public appearance was the December 17, 1989 performance of Cinderella Battistella at Le Petit Theatre.
Fred Palmisano died of AIDS in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the age of 44.