♫ Her Town Too ♫

I was going to play something meaningful tonight … you know, something to make us believe that there are brighter days ahead, that the human experiment isn’t failing, something like Cat Stevens’ Peace Train or the composite of so many artists for a good cause, We Are The World.  Or even John Lennon’s Imagine, or Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney’s Ebony and Ivory.  Instead, I settled on the voice of James Taylor to bring a smile to my face, and I hope he brings one to yours as well.

James Taylor and J.D. Souther wrote this song with Waddy Wachtell, a guitarist known for his work with Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt and Warren Zevon. The song tells the story of a woman who finds herself living alone after a breakup with her man, and has to deal with the small town gossip. Many people speculated that the song was doubly autobiographical: Taylor’s marriage with Carly Simon was ending, as was Souther’s relationship with Linda Ronstadt. Taylor and Souther refuse to say who they were singing about, though many speculate it was his breakup with Carly that inspired the song.

Her Town Too
James Taylor / J.D. Souther

She’s been afraid to go out
She’s afraid of the knock on her door
There’s always a shade of a doubt
She can never be sure
Who comes to call
Maybe the friend of a friend of a friend
Anyone at all
Anything but nothing again

It used to be her town
It used to be her town, too
It used to be her town
It used to be her town, too

Seems like even her old girlfriends
Might be talking her down
She’s got her name on the grapevine
Running up and down
The telephone line
Talking ’bout
Someone said, someone said
Something ’bout, something else
Someone might have said about her
She always figured that they were her friends
But maybe they can live without her

It used to be her town
It used to be her town, too
It used to be her town
It used to be her town, too

Well, people got used to seeing them both together
But now he’s gone and life goes on
Nothing lasts forever, oh no
She gets the house and the garden
He gets the boys in the band
Some of them his friends
Some of them her friends
Some of them understand
Lord knows that this is just a small town city
Yes, and everyone can see you fall
It’s got nothing to do with pity
I just wanted to give you a call

It used to be your town
It used to be my town, too
You never know ’till it all falls down
Somebody loves you
Somebody loves you
Darling, somebody still loves you
I can still remember
When it used to be her town, too
It used to be your town
It used to be my town, too

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John David Souther / James Vernon Taylor / Waddy Wachtell
Her Town Too lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Don’t Know Much ♫ (Redux)

I have had this bloomin’ song stuck in my head for two whole days now, so you guys know what that means, right?  Yes, it means I simply must share it before it drives me nuts.  Mind you, I love this song … but anything that inhabits your sleeping as well as waking moments really needs to be shared.  I last played this in September 2018, so it’s time to feature it again.


The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote this with Tom Snow, who is known for his work on music for movies such as Footloose.  The song first appeared on Mann’s self-titled album in 1980. Bill Medley recorded it in 1981, and Bette Midler released a version called “All I Need To Know” in 1983. But the version that stands above the crowd is this one, a duet with Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.

Ronstadt and Neville met at the 1984 World’s Fair when both were performing there and realized their mutual admiration. When they decided to work together, they picked this song, which was brought to their attention by producer Steve Tyrell.  This won a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance by a Pop Group or Duo. Ronstadt and Neville would team up for another Grammy-winning song, “All My Life,” which earned the same prize in 1990.

Neville and Ronstadt portray in the song’s music video a couple still in love in their middle age. Neville told Mojo magazine February 2013 that despite the rumors, he and Ronstadt were no more than friends. He said: “The guy who directed called us in a room and said, ‘Look – if y’all ain’t gonna make this thing believable, there ain’t no sense in doin’ it.’ Linda’s a pretty woman – it wasn’t hard to portray that. But they had all kinda stupid rumors out. None of ’em were true ‘cos we’re friends. We respected each other. But I look at the video and it looks kinda suspect (laughs).”

Don’t Know Much
Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville

Look at this face I know the years are showing
Look at this life I still don’t know where it’s going

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

Look at these eyes they never seen what matters
Look at these dreams so beaten and so battered

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

So many questions still left unanswered
So much I’ve never broken through
And when I feel you near me, sometimes I see so clearly
That only truth I’ll never know is me and you

Look at this man so blessed with inspiration
Look at this soul still searching for salvation

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all there is to know

Songwriters: Tom Snow / Cynthia Weil / Barry Mann
Don’t Know Much lyrics © Karen Schauben Publishing Administration

♫ Heart of Gold ♫

While this one is not in my top ten list of favourites, I do like the song, and it was Neil Young’s biggest solo hit, released in 1972 and reaching #1 in the U.S. and Canada, and #10 in the UK.

According to SongFacts …

Young wrote this in 1971 after he suffered a back injury that made it difficult for him to play the electric guitar, so on the Harvest tracks he played acoustic. Despite the injury, Young was in good spirits (possibly thanks to the painkillers), which is reflected in this song.

This song was recorded at the first sessions for the Harvest album, which took place on Saturday, February 6, 1971 and were set up the night before.

Neil Young was in Nashville to record a performance for The Johnny Cash Show along with Tony Joe White, James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. Elliot Mazer, a producer who owned nearby Quadrafonic Studios, set up a dinner party on February 5, inviting the show’s guests and about 50 other people. Mazer was friends with Young’s manager Elliot Roberts, who introduced the two at the gathering. Young and Mazer quickly hit it off when Neil learned that Elliot has produced a band called Area Code 615. Young asked if he could set up a session the next day, and Mazer complied.

Nashville has an abundance of studio musicians, but getting them to work on a Saturday could be a challenge. Mazur was able to get one member of Area Code 615: Drummer Kenny Buttrey. The other musicians he found were guitarist Teddy Irwin, bass player Tim Drummond, and pedal steel player Ben Keith. All were seasoned pros.

Keith, who had never heard of Neil Young, recalls showing up late and sitting down to play right away. He says they recorded five songs before they stopped for introductions.

James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt sang backup; they don’t come in until the end of the song. Like Young, Taylor and Ronstadt were in town to appear on The Johnny Cash Show (the song’s producer Elliot Mazer had produced Ronstadt’s 1970 Silk Purse album). Young convinced them to lend their voices to this track, and they came in on Sunday, February 7, 1971, the day after the rest of the song was completed.

When it was their turn to add harmonies, the task proved rather arduous. Ronstadt recalled to Mojo: “We were sat on the couch in the control room, but I had to get up on my knees to be on the same level as James because he’s so tall. Then we sang all night, the highest notes I could sing. It was so hard, but nobody minded. It was dawn when we walked out of the studio.”

Heart Of Gold
Neil Young

I want to live
I want to give
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold
It’s these expressions
I never give
That keep me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old
Keep me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old

I’ve been to Hollywood
I’ve been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean
For a heart of gold
I’ve been in my mind
It’s such a fine line
That keeps me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old
Keeps me searching
For a heart of gold
And I’m getting old

Keep me searching
For a heart of gold
You keep me searching
And I’m growing old
Keep me searching
For a heart of gold
I’ve been a miner
For a heart of gold

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Neil Young
Heart Of Gold lyrics © Silver Fiddle

♫ Peaceful Easy Feeling ♫

Last night of Eagles Week!  I hope you’ve all enjoyed it … I know I have.  Tonight’s song has a bit of an interesting origin …

A San Diego singer-songwriter named Jack Tempchin wrote this song sometime around 1969. One night after a club gig in nearby El Centro, he waited around trying to hook up with a waitress, but she left and never came back. With no ride home, he crashed on the floor of the club, but couldn’t sleep. To kill the time, he grabbed his guitar and started composing this song, writing lyrics on the back of one of his flyers.

He finished the song in stages, and made his way to Los Angeles, where he hung out at the Troubadour along with Glenn Frey, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther and various other up-and-comers in the West Coast music scene. He was staying with Browne one day when Frey came over and heard Tempchin playing the song. Tempchin made a cassette recording for Frey, who came back the next day with a demo he had worked up with his band that had been backing Linda Ronstadt – the band that would soon become the Eagles.

Peaceful Easy Feeling was included on the Eagles debut album and released as the third single. Tempchin went on to write Already Gone for the Eagles and helped Frey write his solo hit You Belong To The City.  The flyer Tempchin used to start writing the lyrics is now in the Grammy Museum.

This song, like all of those on the Eagles first two albums, was recorded in London, which was a way to minimize distractions for the band.  According to Don Henley …

“They packed us off to England and stuck us in this little apartment, picked us up, took us to the studio, and then we’d go back to this little apartment and drink ourselves to sleep. Then we’d get up the next day and do it all again.”

Jack Tempchin finished writing this song while waiting for his order (a Polish dog) at the Der Wienerschnitzel restaurant in San Diego. On December 1, 2012, the mayor of San Diego declared it “Peaceful Easy Feeling Day” in the city to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the song’s release. The ceremony was held at the restaurant, which marked the table where Tempchin wrote it with a plaque. Tempchin was also given a golden wiener, of which he is quite proud: “Lots of people have Grammys, but they don’t have a solid gold wiener.”

Peaceful Easy Feeling
Eagles

I like the way your sparkling earrings lay
Against your skin so brown
And I want to sleep with you in the desert night
With a billion stars all around

‘Cause I got a peaceful easy feelin’
And I know you won’t let me down
‘Cause I’m already standin’
On the ground

And I found out a long time ago
What a woman can do to your soul
Aw but she can’t take you any way
You don’t already know how to go

And I got a peaceful easy feelin’
And I know you won’t let me down
‘Cause I’m already standin’
On the ground

I get this feelin’ I may know you
As a lover and a friend
This voice keeps whisperin’ in my other ear
Tells me I may never see you again

‘Cause I get a peaceful easy feelin’
And I know you won’t let me down
‘Cause I’m already standin’
I’m already standin’
Yes, I’m already standin’
On the ground

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jack Tempchin
Peaceful Easy Feeling lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Somewhere Out There ♫

The first time I heard this song was when I saw An American Tail … probably some years after its 1986 release.  It’s a cute film and I fell in love with the song.  The only other song I can remember right offhand from that film is There Are No Cats In America, the title of which, of course, is a blatant lie!

The song was written by James Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and produced by Peter Asher and Steve Tyrell.  It is sung by James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt.  The story goes that Stephen Spielberg, who produced An American Tail, invited songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to collaborate with James Horner on four songs for its soundtrack, to be completed in a four-week timeframe. The composers “felt no pressure to come up with a radio-friendly hit” and were surprised when Spielberg felt the song had Top 40 hit potential and recruited world-renowned recording artists, Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram, to record a pop version of it for the film’s closing credits.

At the 30th Grammy Awards, the song won two awards, one for Song of the Year and the other for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. It also garnered Ronstadt and Ingram a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Somewhere Out There
James Ingram, Linda Ronstadt

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight
Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight
Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer
That we’ll find one another in that dream somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishin’ on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there, if love can see us through
Then we’ll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishin’ on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there, if love can see us through
Then we’ll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

Songwriters: James Horner / Cynthia Weil / Barry Mann
Somewhere Out There lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Don’t Know Much ♫

The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote this with Tom Snow, who is known for his work on music for movies such as Footloose.  The song first appeared on Mann’s self-titled album in 1980. Bill Medley recorded it in 1981, and Bette Midler released a version called “All I Need To Know” in 1983. But the version that stands above the crowd is this one, a duet with Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.

Ronstadt and Neville met at the 1984 World’s Fair when both were performing there and realized their mutual admiration. When they decided to work together, they picked this song, which was brought to their attention by producer Steve Tyrell.  This won a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance by a Pop Group or Duo. Ronstadt and Neville would team up for another Grammy-winning song, “All My Life,” which earned the same prize in 1990.

Neville and Ronstadt portray in the song’s music video a couple still in love in their middle age. Neville told Mojo magazine February 2013 that despite the rumors, he and Ronstadt were no more than friends. He said: “The guy who directed called us in a room and said, ‘Look – if y’all ain’t gonna make this thing believable, there ain’t no sense in doin’ it.’ Linda’s a pretty woman – it wasn’t hard to portray that. But they had all kinda stupid rumors out. None of ’em were true ‘cos we’re friends. We respected each other. But I look at the video and it looks kinda suspect (laughs).”

Don’t Know Much
Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville

Look at this face I know the years are showing
Look at this life I still don’t know where it’s going

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

Look at these eyes they never seen what matters
Look at these dreams so beaten and so battered

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

So many questions still left unanswered
So much I’ve never broken through
And when I feel you near me, sometimes I see so clearly
That only truth I’ll never know is me and you

Look at this man so blessed with inspiration
Look at this soul still searching for salvation

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all there is to know

Songwriters: Tom Snow / Cynthia Weil / Barry Mann
Don’t Know Much lyrics © Karen Schauben Publishing Administration