Inspired by the October 13 birthdays of Paul Simon, Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, Chicago’s Robert Lamm, Marie Osmond, Sammy Hagar, Cherrelle, Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna, Joe Dolce and John Ford Coley.
Today is the birthday of Carole King, one of the greatest songwriters of the pop era. Chances are you know songs she had a hand in writing: “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “So Far Away,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “The Loco-motion,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “Up on the Roof,” “It’s Too Late,” and “I’m Into Something Good” among them.
King isn’t the only rock era songwriter celebrating a birthday today. It is also the birthday of her contemporary Barry Mann, who is not the same person as Barry Manilow. As a performer, Mann had one hit – 1961’s “Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp).” As a writer, he’s charted nearly 100 times in the US. His credits include “Here You Come Again,” “Bristol Stomp,” “Only in America,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” “On Broadway,” and “Sometimes When We Touch,” many written with his wife, Cynthia Weil.
King and Mann feature in today’s playlist, as do others who share their birthday: The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson, Barbara Lewis, and Major Harris. I also threw in some folks who had birthdays yesterday: Daft Punk’s Guy Manuel, England Dan, and James Dean.
I didn’t get the film Muriel’s Wedding. Not as in I didn’t get the Blu-Ray of this movie for Hanukkah. I don’t even own a Blu-Ray player. No, I mean I didn’t understand it. Or rather, I didn’t buy it. Muriel, the ugly duckling girl who is mocked and abused, ends up marrying a beautiful South African swimmer and then splits up with him because of some self-esteem bullshit. WHAT? For fuck’s sake, Muriel! The man has beautiful eyes, a great body and doesn’t beat you. What more could you want? If this means I’m shallow and superficial then I don’t want to be right. She says to him “I don’t love you” and he replies “I don’t love you either but I think I could like having you around.” He’s so sweet! I dream of the day someone says something so romantic to me! Someone attractive, that is. Oh, um, SPOILER ALERT. I should have said that a few sentences ago. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and plan to (which you should, just to see what Muriel walked away from) then forget what you just read.
Muriel’s Wedding had its good points: a) David (Muriel’s husband), b) it introduced us to Toni Collette as Muriel, c) it introduced us to Rachel Griffiths, and d) along with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, it brought ABBA back into the public consciousness.
Today Tunes du Jour celebrates the birthday of ABBA’s Benny Andersson who, along with the group’s Björn Ulvaeus, co-wrote and co-produced most of their hits.