Rupert Holmes was born on February 24, 1947, in Northwich, Cheshire, England, the first of two sons born to clarinetist, conductor, and later high school music teacher Leonard Eliot Goldstein—at the time leader of an Army infantry band—and his British war bride Gwendolen Mary Pynn Goldstein. In 1950 the family came to the United States, where Rupert grew up in the New York City suburb of Nanuet. As a youth, he was an avid reader and at the age of nine was determined to become a mystery writer. He was an eager listener to such radio dramas such as Suspense (1942-1962), Have Gun—Will Travel (1958-1960), and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (1949-1962). Holmes, who learned to play more than a dozen musical instruments, joined his first rock band, the Nomads, as a teenager. In his senior year, he wrote his first one-act play, “Countdown for George.”
Following graduation from Nyack High School, Holmes attended the Crouse College of Music at Syracuse University for a year before transferring to the Manhattan School of Music. Holmes soon dropped out to work on Tin Pan Alley, acting in a variety of capacities, including studio and session musician, backup vocalist, producer, arranger, and songwriter. Holmes in 1969 married a childhood sweetheart, now attorney Elizabeth “Liza” Wood Dreifuss, and the couple produced three children, Wendy, Nick, and Tim.
Holmes composed and arranged songs for a number of groups and...
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