Tag Archives: Carly Simon

20 Duets

Duets. Twenty of ’em.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Throwback Thursday – The Hits Of 1977

An instrumental performed by then new Eagles member Don Felder was submitted to his bandmates Glenn Frey and Don Henley to add lyrics. The first working title the guys gave the song was “Mexican Reggae.”

Henley was determined to create the perfect song, spending eight months in the studio working on “Mexican Reggae,” which came to be called “Hotel California.” A lyric referring to the band Steely Dan was added (“They stab it with their steely knives but they just can’t kill the beast”) after Steely Dan included the lyric “Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening” on their song “Everything You Did.”

In 2009, music critic John Soeder asked Don Henley about the lyric “So I called up the Captain / ‘Please bring me my wine’ / He said, ‘We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969’,” pointing out that wine isn’t a spirit, as wine is fermented whereas spirits are distilled. Soeder asked the singer/composer “Do you regret that lyric?” Henley replied “Believe me, I’ve consumed enough alcoholic beverages in my time to know how they are made and what the proper nomenclature is….My only regret would be having to explain it in detail to you, which would defeat the purpose of using literary devices in songwriting and lower the discussion to some silly and irrelevant argument about chemical processes.” Insert steely knife here!

This week for Throwback Thursday, Tunes du Jour listens to the hits of 1977, kicking off with Eagles’ “Hotel California.”

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Throwback Thursday – The Hits Of 1973

Singer/Songwriter/Record producer Ed Townsend had, in his own words, “a monstrous addiction to alcohol.” While in rehab he wrote a song which he described as a message to himself “about the business of getting on with life.”

On March 13, 1973, Townsend recorded a demo of Marvin Gaye singing this composition.

Nine days later, the men were again in the studio. Visiting the two men there was Barbara Hunter, a friend of Townsend. She came with her 16-year-old daughter, Janis.

Gaye was immediately smitten with Janis. As he often did, Gaye made up new lyrics in the studio. Inspired by the presence of this beautiful teenage girl, Townsend’s song about understanding and brotherhood became a paean to enjoying sex for its own sake, particularly when it is with someone you love.

Marvin and Janis got married in 1977, four years after the song Gaye recorded the day they met, “Let’s Get It On,” hit #1.

This week’s Throwback Thursday playlist consists of twenty big hits from 1973, kicking off with the classic “Let’s Get It On.”

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The Song Retains The Name

Winston + Bobby Brown
Today is Bobby Brown’s 46th birthday. A former member of New Edition, Brown had his first solo hit in 1988 with “Don’t Be Cruel,” which reached #8 on the Hot 100. Though it shares its title with an Elvis Presley #1 hit from 1956, Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” is not a remake.

That brings us to today’s playlist, which I call The Song Retains the Name. It consists of different songs with the same title. I initially planned to include twenty such songs, but more kept springing to mind. Before I knew it, I passed 100 entries. There are plenty more, so I decided to open this up to my reader(s). If you have songs that share titles you’d like to add, feel free to do so.

(NOTES: I included The Jacksons’ “This Place Hotel” because when it was released in 1980 its title was “Heartbreak Hotel.” Thought he didn’t have to, Michael Jackson, the song’s writer, later changed its name to “This Place Hotel” to avoid confusion with the Elvis Presley song “Heartbreak Hotel.” Whitney Houston didn’t feel the need to make the same Hotel accommodation.

Also, though it is listed on Spotify as “The Best of My Love,” the Eagles track does not have a “The” on the 45 or the band’s On the Border album.)

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Hitting A Home Run

speech comments
Last night I spoke about my journey to improved self-confidence. As you can see from the above comments, it was well-received.

I love speaking. I love sharing my stories and messages with an audience. I love to inspire people to pursue their dreams and to better enjoy their lives. I can usually sense when a speech is really connecting with the audience. It’s a great feeling, like hitting a home run.

I’ve never actually hit a home run playing baseball, but I used that phrase to segue into today’s playlist. The World Series begins tonight, I think. I don’t know who’s playing, but it’s a good excuse to collect baseball songs. Here are twenty fun ones.

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I Love You! You’re So Vain! Have A Great Day!

At Sony, Warner and Zomba, I licensed recordings for inclusion in films, television programs, commercials, videogames, on compilation albums and as samples. Around ten years ago I added greeting cards to the list.

It was then that Hallmark and American Greetings started distributing greeting cards that play a song snippet when opened. Though one may think physical greeting cards had gone out of favor, enough of them sold that we made some nice extra cash from this avenue.

One day I got an email from Carly Simon. She had heard about these musical greeting cards and asked me to explain how the economics would work. “For example, how much would I make if you licensed ‘You’re So Vain’ for a greeting card?”

The question made me chuckle. For what occasion would “You’re So Vain” be an appropriate song to have in a greeting card? I made that observation to Carly and broke down the royalties should for some crazy reason that song be used.

A week later both Hallmark and American Greetings sent me requests to license “You’re So Vain” for in-card use. I’ll never know for what holiday they found this song expressed the right sentiment as it ended up not being used.

doggies + Carly 2014-06-25 14.31
One can give Carly Simon a musical greeting card today, as it is her 69th birthday. Here are ten of her best.

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Phil Everly 1939-2014

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In 1974, the year my grandfather gave me a radio and in doing so gave me something about which I’d be passionate, Linda Ronstadt released her cover of Betty Everett’s “You’re No Good.” It became Ronstadt’s first top ten single.

Her next single was her version of The Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved,” on which the duo sang back-up. I was familiar with a few of the brothers’ hits – “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Bye Bye Love” – probably from Happy Days or the oldies radio station my parents played in the car. I liked those and I was curious to hear the original recording of the Ronstadt hit, so I ordered an Everly hits collection from the Columbia House Record Club.

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I liked their version of “When Will I Be Loved.” There were other songs on the album I enjoyed as well – “Bird Dog,” “Devoted to You” (which Carly Simon later covered) and “Let It Be Me” among them. The record included all of their hits on Cadence Records.

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In 1960 the duo singed with Warner Brothers in what was reportedly a multi-million dollar deal. The hits continued – “Cathy’s Clown” and “Walk Right Back” being two of the best-known ones.

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They had their last top 40 hit in 1967, a forgotten track called “Bowling Green.” They wouldn’t hit the Billboard Hot 100 again until 1984, when a fan named Paul McCartney penned “On the Wings of a Nightingale” for them. (Paul also mentioned the brothers, Phil and Don, in his hit “Let ‘Em In.”) In total they had 26 top 40 singles and 35 Hot 100 singles, the most of any duo in rock history.

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Phil Everly, the younger of the two brothers, died this past Friday, two weeks before his 75th birthday. Today’s playlist is in remembrance of one of pioneers of rock and roll.

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