was a fixture on New York's cabaret scene for more than four decades. A former featured vocalist for
, he performed in New York piano bars until a few weeks before succumbing to cancer in July 1996, ending his career with a three-year-long residency at Danny's Grand Sea Palace.
made his greatest mark as a songwriter, penning tunes that were recorded by Tony Bennett
, George Shearing
, Chris Connor
, and Marian McPartland
. His final album, Christopher Gines Sings Charles DeForest, released in 1995, featured his piano accompaniment and original songs. According to the New York Times, "The songs [DeForest
] writes are blithe, Porter
-like lyrics riding on a catchy, rhythmic pulse."
A composer, lyricist, and star of musical film City by Dawn, which received a top award at the Atlanta Film Festival, DeForest
received the Mabel Mercer Foundation's Cabaret Classic award in 1992 and Manhattan Association of Cabaret and Clubs award in 1992 and 1995.