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Cruel To Be Kind – Nick Lowe

Cruel To Be Kind – Nick Lowe

“Cruel to be Kind” is one of my favorite songs of the 1970s. It doesn’t have a perfect hook. It’s rarely heard these days. Nic Lowe’s voice doesn’t soar or span multiple octaves or anything particularly spectacular. But “Cruel to be Kind” remains spectacular, more than 30 years after it was released. It lives in the same zip code as late 1970s or early ’80s songs from Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Graham Parker and many other guitar-driven … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

You Light Up My Life Songwriter Commits Suicide

You Light Up My Life Songwriter Commits Suicide

“You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone was an inspirational love song and the biggest-selling song of 1977. In fact, it’s one of the top-10 biggest-selling songs of all time according to Billboard Magazine. Sadly, the life of “You Light Up My Life” songwriter Joseph Brooks wasn’t quite as inspirational as the successful songwriter committed suicide on May 22, 2011. Brooks was facing 91 counts of rape, sexual abuse, criminal sexual act and assault … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s

Goin’ Down – Greg Guidry

Goin’ Down – Greg Guidry

If you confuse “Goin’ Down” by Greg Guidry for The Little River Band, don’t be embarrassed. Just go with it. You could also mistake “Goin’ Down” for something from Ambrosia, Climax Blues Band, Player, the Doobie Brothers or “Steal Away” by two-hit wonder Robbie Dupree. Big harmonies. Smooth, soulful voice. Indistinct vocals. And by indistinct I mean you encounter the problem mentioned above that makes it virtually impossible to determine who is actually singing the song. That’s not … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s

Key Largo – Bertie Higgins

Key Largo – Bertie Higgins

The 1970s and early 1980s were strange times in America. It was an era where appearing shirtless on your album cover wasn’t just uncommon, it was almost expected. I imagine the discussion with the art director went something like this: “I’ve got this new artist who sings ballads and plays amazing guitar,” says the manager. “How does he look with his shirt off,” says the art director. “Um. Are you serious?” says the manager. “Of course, I do my … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Pop

Welcome Back – John Sebastian

Welcome Back – John Sebastian

If you were a kid in 1976, Welcome Back Kotter was the greatest show on TV. Better than Happy Days. Better than Good Times. Better than All in the Family. And the theme song, “Welcome Back” by John Sebastian, was a staple on AM radio stations. America fell in love with the Sweathogs that featured Gabe Kaplan and the legendary, Vinnie Barbarino, i.e., John Travolta. Vinnie was the man. With his feathered hair, massive Goody comb … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

I’m Easy – Keith Carradine

I’m Easy – Keith Carradine

Academy Award-winning one-hit wonders are fairly rare. A look of Oscar-winning songs reveals the Academy clearly favors proven, conservative choices. But a few one-hit wonder pop songs have been either nominated or awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Song, including: “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone (a winner) “Gonna Fly Now” (Theme from Rocky) by Bill Contil (a loser) “Jai Ho” by I’m Easy by A.R. Rahman (a winner) Add today’s entry by … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s