♫ Running With The Night ♫

I’m in the mood for some Lionel Richie tonight … what do you say?

Richie co-wrote this with the lyricist Cynthia Weil, and co-produced it with James Anthony Carmichael. The electric guitar solo was played by Steve Lukather, best known as a member of the rock band Toto. Lukather sat down in the studio and the engineer played the basic tracks of the song, for him to hear for the first time, so he could plan his part. As the music played, he jammed along on his instrument. At the conclusion of the tune, he said to the engineer, “Okay, I’m ready for a take.” The producer replied, “That was a take.”  Some adult contemporary stations edited out Lukather’s guitar solo “to make the song less rock-sounding.”  That makes no sense to me, but what do I know?

When a young Richard Marx moved from Chicago to Los Angeles and was amassing rejection letters for his demos, Lionel Richie gave him a shot, and had him sing backup on this track. Before he hit it big as a solo artist, Marx lent his vocals to several other Richie recordings, including All Night Long.

Running With the Night
Lionel Richie

The heart of the city street was beating
Light from the neons turned the dark to day
We were too hot to think of sleeping
We had to get out before the magic got away

We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I, till the morning light
(We were running, running with the night) oh

You were looking so good girl, heads were turning
You and me on the town, ooh, we let it all hang out
The fire was in us, we were burning
We were gonna go all the way and we never had a doubt

We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I, till the morning light
(We were running, running with the night) oh

We were so in love, you and me
On the boulevard wild and free
Giving all we got, we laid it down
Taking every shot, we took the town

We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and I and it was so right
Girl, it was so right

Songwriters: Cynthia Weil / Lionel Richie
Running With the Night lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Right Here Waiting For You ♫

Singer and songwriter Richard Marx wrote this song on the road as a love letter to his wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes.

“I wrote the song for my wife Cynthia who was in South Africa shooting for a film. We were not married then and I wanted to meet her because I had not seen her for a few months. But my visa application was rejected and when I came back I wrote this song which was more of a letter from me to her. It was the fastest song I wrote, in barely 20 minutes. And this was the time when there was no Skype and Social networking so I had to ship the track to her. The song was very personal and was not intended to go public. But my friends pursued me to record it.”

A bit about Richard Marx … His father wrote TV jingles for chocolate bars and peanut butter, and Richard made his professional debut singing on some of his dad’s commercials. When he was 18, Marx left his hometown of Chicago and headed to LA, where another commercial-minded musician, Lionel Richie, took the young singer-songwriter under this wing. After a 5-year apprenticeship in which he sang harmonies on several of Richie’s hits had some of his compositions recorded by artists such as Kenny Rogers and Chicago, Marx finally landed his own recording contract. And he was poised for stardom: Marx’s self-titled 1987 debut album yielded four top-10 hits, including the #1 song Hold On To The Nights.

Marx originally pitched the song to Barbra Streisand. But she had a few issues with his lyrics. “She called and said, ‘I love this music, this melody is gorgeous, but if I’m going to record it, I’m going to need you to rewrite the lyrics because I’m not going to be right here waiting for anybody,'”  I’m rather glad he kept the song … and the lyrics.

Right Here Waiting for You
Richard Marx

Oceans apart day after day
And I slowly go insane
I hear your voice on the line
But it doesn’t stop the pain

If I see you next to never
How can we say forever

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I took for granted, all the times
That I thought would last somehow
I hear the laughter, I taste the tears
But I can’t get near you now

Oh, can’t you see it baby
You’ve got me going crazy

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I wonder how we can survive
This romance
But in the end if I’m with you
I’ll take the chance

Oh, can’t you see it baby
You’ve got me going crazy

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you
Waiting for you

Songwriters: Richard Marx
Right Here Waiting for You lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

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♫ Dance With My Father ♫

Luther Vandross, with help from Richard Marx, wrote this song shortly after he suffered a stroke on April 16, 2003, that left him in a coma for two months and eventually killed him two years later on July 1, 2005. The song is a tribute to his late father, and very poignant as it was one of Luther’s last songs. His father died when he was young, and Luther’s most poignant memory of his dad was him dancing in the house with his kids.

At the 2004 Grammy Awards, Vandross, by then confined to a wheelchair, appeared in a pre-taped video segment to accept his Song of the Year Award for “Dance with My Father”, saying, “When I say goodbye it’s never for long, because I believe in the power of love”. 

His last public appearance was on May 6, 2004, on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

I love this song, but it always leaves me with a tear or two.

Dance with My Father
Luther Vandross

Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me
And then
Spin me around ’till I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure
I was loved

If I could get another chance
Another walk
Another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never ever end
How I’d love love love
To dance with my father again

When I and my mother
Would disagree
To get my way I would run
From her to him
He’d make me laugh just to comfort me
yeah yeah
Then finally make me do
Just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he
Would be gone from me

If I could steal one final glance
One final step
One final dance with him
I’d play a song that would never ever end
Cause I’d love love love to
Dance with my father again

Sometimes I’d listen outside her door
And I’d hear how mama would cry for him
I’d pray for her even more than me
I’d pray for her even more than me

I know I’m praying for much to much
But could you send her
The only man she loved
I know you don’t do it usually
But Dear Lord
She’s dying to dance with my father again

Every night I fall asleep
And this is all I ever dream

Songwriters: Luther Vandross / Richard Marx
Dance with My Father lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management