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Redemption Songs: One Love, One Heart

Bob Marley performing at Dalymount Park, on 6 July 1980.

By Abby Zimet | Common Dreams

For a break from the madness, and to honor a much-missed voice these days, we celebrate the 76th birthday (on Feb 6) of the great Bob Marley – reggae legend, devout visionary, fighter for the rights of the oppressed and fervent believer that “righteousness someday prevail.” Marley’ died of cancer at 36, an incalculable loss the more you know of his life and work. Still, his music and message of resistance live on.

His birthday last year launched a year-long celebration of his legacy dubbed BobMarley75; as a first installment, his estate released a stirring, animated new video to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the emblematic “Redemption Song” from Marley’s final album Uprising, issued the year before he died. Created by French artists Octave Marsal and Theo De Gueltzl, the video features nearly 3,000 original drawings representing Marley’s message of the journey to emancipation: “None but ourselves can free our minds.”

Marley also sang the song in Pittsburgh in September 1980 in his last public appearance; given he’d newly learned he was dying, it was a more than brave” performance. May he rest in peace and power.

“My music will go on forever. Maybe it’s a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever.” – Bob Marley

One Love

Redemption Song

How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look
Some say it’s just a part of it
We’ve got to fulfill the book

Won’t you help to sing,
These songs of freedom
‘Cause all I ever had, redemption songs
All I ever had, redemption songs
These songs of freedom

 Redemption Song

Pittsburgh 1980’s Redemption Song

Get Up, Stand Up

The new video:

Image Credit

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.




Can You Learn Playing Drums on Your Own?

Learning drums (like anything else) seems easy nowadays. Get yourself a set of training pads on stands, select your rock drum sticks, find a channel on YouTube with your favorite tracks – and go! Then analyze audios, separate drum sounds, imitate them. And finally, write your own!

But though it looks simple in theory, there are some problems to solve and questions to answer. Here I’ll cover the most important of them.

Virtutors

The easiest part of it is finding someone to learn from. You can, of course, just analyze drum parts of your favorite rock tracks. But we live in 2021, and everything can be found on YouTube. Just type in “drum lessons”, “drum school” or something like that, and you’ll see dozens of relevant videos.

Select those you find the clearest to see. Teachers are different; find yours. Though the basics are common, playing jazz, funk, or rock on an advanced level can be different, so choose things closest to your preferences.

May the Force Be with You

Unless you can afford a silenced room for your sessions, you’ll have to moderate the noise you make. There are different ways to achieve that: using training pads, silencers, electronic drums instead of acoustic ones (if you are ready to afford all that). A good training kit provides the bounce and the entire physical feel of a real drum kit.

Remember, though, that the way your extremities move and the way you hear the drum sounds may differ at the real kit. Despite all the perfect imitation, a real kit will be positioned a bit differently. The stage will probably shake a little if you’re at a gig. Home kits can help you with the basics, but for mastering the art, you’ll need to go out.

Prepare yourself that this sort of practice will take more time than getting behind a real drum kit. Each hour spent with real drums equals to about five hours at pads. This goes out to both body training (drumming requires that as well) and musical perfecting.

Get Electronic?

Well, in 2021, investing in an electronic drum kit sounds reasonable. It does not produce loud sounds unless you make it loud. You can exercise with your headphones on, almost silently for others. In addition, electronic drums are easy to record and then analyze your mistakes. Or to use in your electronic tracks if you’re recording them at home.

All these advantages make e-drums a solid choice even for some experienced musicians. But here is the moment of choice. What sort of drums do you intend to play in the future? Electronic ones are great for studio production, for playing with DJ’s and keyboardists, in retrowave bands and electronic collaborations. They are great to record MIDI drum tracks and then edit them if something goes wrong, share with remote co-producers, try different sounds.

But it completely differs from how a rock gig feels, with acoustic power produced by your sticks. This is a different drumming, and skills at one do not apply at another.

No Drummer Is an Island

There is one thing you can never learn alone, and it’s called interaction. Playing in a band means you need to speak to other musicians, to argue on various issues, to solve everyday problems when on the road, and so on. Even the brightest moments, like sharing the same groove while playing, need you to be ready.

Communication is what you can never learn alone. Just accept that. One day you’ll need to venture outside and find a band to use your acquired skills. And you’ll discover there is a lot more to learn; but that’s a different story.

Marching to Different Drums Together

If you’re going to learn to play drums alone, it doesn’t mean you can’t communicate on that. What kit did you use? How do you deal with neighbors about that? What manner do you consider the best? What about e-drums? What YouTube channels would you recommend? Let’s talk in the comments. Or bring it to your friends on Facebook and Twitter to discuss there.




Meditate America: Graham Nash Beautifully Performs “Our House” with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Click the above image to watch the video on YouTube

Video Source: David Lynch Foundation

Graham Nash performs “Our House” (featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus) during the “Meditate America” virtual benefit concert and celebration. This event honored the “Peace On Earth Award” recipient, Dr. Tony Nader, and featured performances by Sting, Angelique Kidjo, Graham Nash, Elvis Costello, Kesha, Jim James, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Co-hosts included Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, Katy Perry, as well as ABC’s Good Morning America George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, and Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

Meditate America is a national initiative led by the David Lynch Foundation to bring Transcendental Meditation® to millions of adults and children suffering from trauma and stress. Help us bring TM® to those who need it most. DONATE TODAY at https://guest.davidlynchfoundation.or….

Watch the full benefit celebration and concert here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgF-a…




417 Hz Remove All The Negative Energy In and Around You | 9 Hours

Video Source: Meditative Mind

417 Hz Music to REMOVE ALL THE NEGATIVE and BBAD ENERGY In and Around You. This is a special sleep music edition. The screen will turn to black slowly in 7-10 mins.

READ more about how to cleanse negative energy from your home here using 417 Hz solfeggio frequency:

http://meditativemind.org/how-to-clea…




Join ‘Peace Through Music’ December 10th | 200+ Musicians | Streaming on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1awTZrBZh0

Source: Playing For Change

In honor of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary and #HumanRightsDay, Playing For Change and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are proud to announce an encore presentation of ‘Peace Through Music: A Global Event for Social Justice,’ presented by Corning® Gorilla® Glass in partnership with Gibson and produced by Playing For Change and Blackbird Presents. The event will be released December 10th at 12pm PST/3pm EST/8pm GMT on the Playing For Change YouTube channel and be available until December 31st. #UN75 #LeavingNoOneBehind #PeaceThroughMusic

Featuring performances from more than 200 musicians including: Aloe Blacc, Angélique Kidjo, Becky G, Brandi Carlile with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman Santana, Gabi Melim, Gary Clark Jr., Jack Johnson, Keith Richards, Mavis Staples, Nathaniel Rateliff, Peter Gabriel, Rhiannon Giddens, Ringo Starr, Robbie Robertson, Run The Jewels with Josh Homme, Sheila E., Skip Marley and Cedella Marley, The War and Treaty, Yo-Yo Ma and many more. Special Appearances include Billie Eilish, Danny Glover, Jamal Murray, Killer Mike, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, Norman Lear, Prince Ea and Sara Bareilles.

Contributions from partners and all donations will support the Playing For Change Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme, Sankofa, The Bob Marley Foundation, Silkroad, and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation – organizations that strive to eradicate poverty, inequality, and systemic racial and gender discrimination around the world. Learn more at https://peacethroughmusic.live




What Is the Value of Art?

Art is something that we all enjoy in different ways, some of us may enjoy listening to a certain genre of music, watching movies and television shows, or going to galleries to look at world-renowned art. Therefore, there are many different ways to interpret the value of art that is different for various groups of people. We will be discussing these factors below and answering the question of what is the value of art?

 Sentimental Value.

One of the biggest factors that decide the value of art is how valuable it is to its owner, for example, if it has a lot of sentimental value such as pictures of romantic couples that were taken when a couple was at the beginning of their relationship this will be very valuable to them. Although it will not be as valuable to other people.

Such value will not influence the market value of the art, but it may make it much harder to sell even if you are offering a very good price since for some people it will be priceless due to sentimental value. However, as we stated earlier this sentimental value will not be taken generally into account when it is independently valued.

The only example where sentimental value may increase the value of a piece of art is if it holds sentimental value to a very famous person such as Michael Jackson allowing the art to be memorabilia.

Historical Value.

Art that is historic does not have to be very good or for you to even know who the artist behind it is. Instead, if it is of considerable age such as from the Roman times or prehistoric times. A simple handprint in a cave or dented metal vase could be worth millions just because it is very old.

However, the age is not the main influence that comes into play; it is actually the rarity of the art. Very old art is usually the only or one of the few in the world still left, and many of the old art that is left is likely to not be in great condition.

Another aspect that comes into play is that such art cannot be recreated, although more can be found at an archaeological site it is very unlikely. You are not able to go back into the Roman times and make more Roman art, meaning that the value of art from that period of history for example will continue to maintain a steady value.

Current Trends.

What is the value of art? The truth is that trends play a very big part in the value of a particular form of art. This includes both the trends of the popularity of a particular type of art as well as the artist behind the art. Therefore, for a few years or if you are lucky decades, a particular style of art may be very popular and sought after but eventually, something new will come along that will capture people’s attention.

You can learn more about popular art trends on the LeoSystem.art art portal.

Furthermore, with art that is famous because of the artist themselves, there is always the chance that the artist may get embroiled in some kind of controversy that will ruin their reputation and make large groups of people less likely to want to be associated with him by buying in their artwork.

Edition.

The edition of the art is also very important, for example, an award-winning album could be bought very easily and cheaply for around $11. But the first original copy of that album will be many times more expensive, potentially costing millions depending on the album’s cultural influence.

Furthermore, in paintings and drawings, there are also editions, many artists will come up with a concept and create it. Then people can pay the artist to reproduce that art, then sign and add the date or edition number.

The original edition is unlikely to be any better from the other editions however collectors may be attracted to its exclusiveness because everyone can own the subsequent editions, but only a finite number of people can own the original. Furthermore, for example with music and movies, often owning the original edition will give you rights to the revenue of the art form.

 Size and Cost of Materials.

Very often overlooked, the size and the cost of the materials that were used to create the artwork are also very important. For example, there is an artwork called ‘My Bed’ by Tracey Emin which can be viewed at the Tate museum. The artwork is simply a normal bed that is exhibited along with many other items. This artwork was created by accident when Emin was feeling depressed and stayed in bed for over four days. Emin then decided to put it up on display.

Moreover, you have the famous duo consisting of Bulgarian artist Christo Javacheff and French artist Jeanne Claude who created what is known as environmental installations which are when you use the environment as well as props to create a mesmerizing appearance. Today much of their existing artworks are tourist attractions worth millions with thousands of people viewing and exploring them every single day.

 The Message Behind the Art.

Finally, when asking the question of what is the value of art, we should talk about the message behind the art. A good example of this is Banksy, a British graffiti artist; there are many graffiti artists in the world. For some people, graffiti is a form of vandalism, but Banksy on the other hand is one of the most famous artists from all of Great Britain.

But why is that? It is because Banksy’s graffiti artwork addresses key societal problems such as corruption, war, income inequality, and poverty among many other topics. Banksy may not be the best graffiti artist out there, but he is one of the first well known to use graffiti to deliver a deeper message and raise awareness about the difficult topics in our society.

Other examples of this are artwork that promoted the French Revolution that took place at the end of the 18th century leading to the establishment of the First French Republic and the creation of the first modern-day republic. This had a very big impact as it was the inspiration to the creation of republics in many other places around the world such as the United States and Mexico.

Therefore, due to this original artwork for this period will have a lot of inspirational value to people that support such ideas, moreover, it is also a way to support artists that you think are raising awareness about the important topics.




Solfeggio Frequency Music: 963 Hz Frequency of Gods, Pineal Gland Activator + Deep Healing 285 Hz

Video Source: Meditative Mind

Listen to this beautiful Solfeggio Frequency Music that includes both 963 Hz Frequency of Gods to activate the Pineal Gland and 285 Hz for Deep Healing



There is Light Here [Incredibly Beautiful and Uplifting Music Video with Lee Harris & Barry Goldstein]

Video Source: LeeHarrisEnergy

Watch this incredibly beautiful and uplifting music video of the song “There is Light Here” with Lee Harris & Barry Goldstein. Lyrics below:

There is a LIght In Here
Close your eyes
If the world hurts
When it seems
It’s moving in reverse
Can you stay open?
You are not broken
So spirit can come through
There is Light Here Somewhere
You’re just coming back to you

Keep Looking
Stay Open
Stars Shine, Star Light
There is Light Here Somewhere
Even in the Darkness
Remember
There is Light
There is Light here

Open wide
As your world births
Every ending,
A beginning in reverse
Maybe tomorrow,
Maybe your sorrow paved the way,
You will understand today
Paved the way,
Keep Looking
Paved the way
Into a brand new day

There is Light Here Somewhere
There is Light Here Somewhere
Stay Open
There is Light
Even in the Darkness
Stars Shine, Star Light
There is Light here
Remember

Lookup
Sometimes it takes the darkest night
To let us see the brightest lights
Light is everywhere
Lookup




See the Waste-Free Making of Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ ‘Where Do the Children Play?’ Video

By | Rolling Stone 

Last month, Yusuf/Cat Stevens released a charming stop-motion video for “Where Do the Children Play?” off his upcoming Tea for the Tillerman².  Now, you can watch three videos explaining how it was made.

The clip was directed by Chris Hopewell — who previously worked on Radiohead’s “Burn the Witch” — and 90% of the material used was derived from recycled matter. “The track itself has a very strong environmental message so we decided very early on that the video itself should have as low an environmental impact as possible,” Blackwell said in a statement. “Film production can cause a lot of waste as a by-product of the model-making, set, scenery design and construction so we went into this trying to use as much recycled, upcycled material as possible.”

Blackwell noted that the material was gathered from recycling centers, “rubbish tips,” and items donated by friends and family. “It did make the production a little more complex as we couldn’t simply just go out and buy from a hardware shop what was needed,” he said. “We had to make do with what we’d gathered, but this make do and mend approach actually turned out to be quite fun — although a little more time-consuming.”

The video’s ocean scene — where the children free flying fish from a net — was made from plastic waste that Jacknife Films collected on a 2-kilometer stretch of beach in South Wales in January. Only a fraction of the plastic gathered that day made it into the video. “We collected 10 Ikea bags of washed-up plastic waste and barely made a dent!” Blackwell added. “I’d like the video to make people think about the legacy of what we’re leaving for future generations. We need a total rethink about the way we consume.”

[Read more here]

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




Rona Geffen: “We Are One”

By Frieda Shapiro

In December 2019, long before the coronavirus brought us all inside or uprisings filled streets around the world, Rona Geffen (Israel/Germany) collaborated with musicians Heidi AL-Sabban (Egypt) and Elly Kellner (the Netherlands) to make “We Are One.” The song is short and sweet: a brief dip into an ethereal world, an ambient chorus of women voices offered like a mantra. So much of “We Are One” feels just right for this time: a message of unity, love, and belonging, offered by three artists who produced the collaborative track without ever having met in person. Their song offers guidance, harmony, and peace.

“We wanted to create an embracing and warm sacred space of union, love, and acceptance. We Are One is an anthem of unification and love for humankind, bridging borders and boundaries.” — Rona Geffen

In addition to Rona’s work with “We Are One,” Geffen has also been working for several years on The Sound Is The Scenery, combining extensive sound research with an immersive live concert. The Sound Is The Scenery, when performed in full, is a sound healing experience performed with  planetary calibrated tuning forks and an array of drums from around the world threaded together with her low, centering singing voice. Rona offers regular YouTube editions of The Sound Is The Scenery-inspired sound healing with singing bowls.

Rona Geffen is a musician and sound healer based in Berlin. Her work has brought her around the world, from the renowned O.Z.O.R.A. music festival and the Spatial Sound Institute in Hungary to Asso Apo in Nantes and Anjos70 in Lisbon. In addition to her recorded works, which can be found online, Rona is researching sound and offers private and virtual sound healing sessions. To learn more about Rona’s work and to contact her for sound healing work, please see Rona’s website




Dolly Parton’s New Song: “When Life is Good Again”

By Dolly Parton | Youtube

Most everyone knows the name, Dolly Parton. She is an iconic singer, instrumentalist, and actor, with a career that has spanned 6 decades (and soon to be seven decades). She is a gifted and award-winning singer/songwriter, too, with many classic songs in different genres. She is equally adept at solo material and duets. Most recently, she has brought her immense musical talents to write a song which speaks to the current pandemic. The song (with video below) is inspirational and full of hope, and may just be the balm you need today.

 

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




Neil Sedaka … To Brighten Your Day

By Robert O’Leary

Neil Sedaka is a prolific and successful singer/songwriter, and piano player. Baby boomers may be fans, or at least familiar with the man and his music. His songwriting behind the scenes is likely less well-known. During the time of this pandemic, Sedaka, now in his early 80’s, has begun to share his music freely with the world in 10 to 15 minute videos every couple of days (and sometimes every day) for the nearly last 2 months. He began to do it because fans have shared with him how much his music makes them feel better – in times of stress and in general. This prompted him to begin making these videos. Below are his videos from May 20th to May 22nd, and his first one, from April 6, 2020.

Sedaka’s music originals were reportedly lost in the Universal fire of 2008. Were there other original copies, kept elsewhere I do not know? In any case, to me these videos become more valuable to us because they are glimpses into history from the man who lived it. I am happy to share this posting with the readers because I believe that we should cherish the inventive people in our pasts while they are still here; and not just rekindle an interest in them and their creations when they are gone. Sedaka is a humble genius whose music stands the test of time, and can bring an immediate smile to your face. I have believed this since I was a kid in the 1970’s.

Fortunately, these days you don’t have to rely on a lucky chance to recognize talent. Any parent can purchase a small synth for their child and after a while it will become clear if your child has a penchant for music. Our friends researched the market and compiled a list of budget piano keyboards for kids.

Below the videos are entries from Wikipedia.org for those who are interested in learning more about Neil Sedaka. You can also look to his website, www.neilsedaka.com for more information.Without further ado, here are some wonderful Neil Sedaka videos:

Here is a video from May 22, 2020:

Here is one from May 21 2020:

And here is yet another one, from May 20, 2020 (which I particularly appreciated as it was my birthday):

Finally, here is his first video from April 6, 2020:

And here is what Wikipedia has to say about Neil Sedaka:

Neil Sedaka (born March 13, 1939) is an American pop singer, pianist, composer and record producer. Since his music career began in 1957 as a short-lived founding member of the Tokens, he has sold millions of records as an artist and has written or co-written over 500 songs for himself and others, collaborating mostly with lyricists Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody.

Early life: Juilliard and the Brill Building

Sedaka was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Mac Sedaka, was a taxi driver and a Sephardic Jew of Lebanese descent[1][2][3] whose parents came to the United States from Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1910.[4][5][6] Sedaka’s mother, Eleanor (née Appel), was an Ashkenazi Jew of Polish and Russian descent. He grew up in Brighton Beach, on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.[7] Sedaka was a first cousin of the singer Eydie Gormé.[8]

He demonstrated musical aptitude in his second-grade choral class, and when his teacher sent a note home suggesting he take piano lessons, his mother took a part-time job in an Abraham & Straus department store for six months to pay for a second-hand upright. In 1947, he auditioned successfully for a piano scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music‘s Preparatory Division for Children, which he attended on Saturdays. His mother wanted him to become a classical pianist like his contemporary Van Cliburn, but Sedaka was discovering pop music. When Sedaka was 13, a neighbor heard him playing and introduced him to her 16-year-old son, Howard Greenfield, an aspiring poet and lyricist. They became two of the Brill Building‘s composers.

Sedaka and Greenfield wrote songs together throughout much of their young lives. When Sedaka became a major teen pop star, the pair continued writing hits for Sedaka and numerous other artists. When the Beatles and the British Invasion took American music in a different direction, Sedaka was left without a recording career. In the early 1970s, he decided a major change in his life was necessary and moved his family to Britain. Sedaka and Greenfield mutually agreed to end their partnership with “Our Last Song Together”. Sedaka began a new composing partnership with lyricist Phil Cody, from Pleasantville, New York.

Rise to fame with RCA Victor: the late 1950s

After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School, Sedaka and some of his classmates formed a band called the Linc-Tones. The band had minor regional hits with songs like “While I Dream”, “I Love My Baby”, “Come Back, Joe”, and “Don’t Go”, before Sedaka launched his solo career and left the group in 1957. The Linc-Tones, later renamed the Tokens after Sedaka’s departure, went on to have four top-40 hits of their own without Sedaka. Sedaka’s first three solo singles, “Laura Lee”, “Ring-a-Rockin'”, and “Oh, Delilah!” failed to become hits (although “Ring-a-Rockin'” earned him the first of many appearances on Dick Clark‘s American Bandstand), but they demonstrated his ability to perform as a solo singer, so RCA Victor signed him to a recording contract.[citation needed]

His first single for RCA Victor, “The Diary“, was inspired by Connie Francis, one of Sedaka and Greenfield’s most important clients, while the three were taking a temporary break during their idea-making for a new song. Francis was writing in her diary, Sedaka asked if he could read it, and Connie said no. After Little Anthony and the Imperials passed on the song, Sedaka recorded it himself, and his debut single hit the Top 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 14 in 1958.[citation needed]

His second single, a novelty tune titled “I Go Ape“, just missed the Top 40, peaking at No. 42 but it became a more successful single in the United Kingdom with a No. 9. The third single, “Crying My Heart Out for You“, was a commercial failure, missing the Hot 100 entirely, peaking at No. 111 but it reached No. 6 on the pop charts in Italy. RCA Victor had lost money on “I Go Ape” and “Crying My Heart Out For You” and was ready to drop Sedaka from their label. But Sedaka’s manager, Al Nevins, persuaded the RCA executives to give him one more chance.[citation needed]

Sedaka then bought the three biggest hit singles of the time and listened to them repeatedly, studying the song structure, chord progressions, lyrics and harmonies before writing his next songs.[citation needed]Oh! Carol” delivered Sedaka his first domestic Top 10 hit, reaching No. 9 on the Hot 100 in 1959 and going to No. 1 on the Italian pop charts in 1960, giving Sedaka his first No. 1 ranking. In the UK, the song spent a total of 17 weeks in the top 40, peaking at No. 3 (4 weeks).[9] In addition, the B-side, “One Way Ticket“, reached No. 1 on the pop charts in Japan. Sedaka had dated Carole King when he was still at high school, which gave him the idea to use her name in the song. Gerry Goffin – King’s husband – took the tune, and wrote the playful response “Oh! Neil”, which King recorded and released as an unsuccessful single the same year.[10][11][12] Thus, this was the only time the melody of the song was used by a popular artist and a future sensation around the same time.

Big hits in the early 1960s

After establishing himself in 1958, Sedaka wrote many more hits from 1960 to 1962. His flow of Top 30 hits during this period included: “Stairway to Heaven” (No. 9, 1960); “You Mean Everything to Me” (No. 17, 1960); “Run, Samson, Run” (No. 27, 1960); “Calendar Girl” (No. 4, 1961; also reached No. 1 on the Japanese and Canadian pop charts); “Little Devil” (No. 11, 1961); “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” (No. 6, 1961); his signature song, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” (No. 1, two weeks: August 11 and 18, 1962); and “Next Door to an Angel” (No. 5, 1962). Singles not making the Top 30 during this period included “Sweet Little You” (No. 59, 1961) and “King of Clowns” (No. 45, 1962). RCA Victor issued four LPs of his works in the United States and Great Britain during this period, and also produced Scopitone and Cinebox videos of “Calendar Girl” in 1961, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” in 1962, and “The Dreamer” in 1963. (His second LP was an album mostly of old standards.) He made regular appearances on such TV programs as American Bandstand and Shindig! during this period.

Writing for other performers

Connie Francis

When Sedaka was not recording his own songs, he and Howard Greenfield were writing for other performers, most notably in their earliest days Connie Francis. Francis began searching for a new hit after her 1958 single “Who’s Sorry Now?“. She was introduced to Sedaka and Greenfield, who played every ballad they had written for her. Francis began writing in her diary while the two played the last of their songs. After they finished, Francis told them they wrote beautiful ballads but that they were too intellectual for the young generation. Greenfield suggested that they play a song they had written for the Shepherd Sisters. Sedaka protested that Francis would be insulted by being played such a puerile song, but Greenfield reminded him Francis had not accepted their other suggestions and they had nothing to lose. After Sedaka played “Stupid Cupid“, Francis told them they had just played her new hit. Francis’ rendition of the song reached No. 14 on the Billboard charts, while it topped the UK Singles Chart.

While Francis was writing in her diary, Sedaka asked her if he could read what she had written. As mentioned earlier, Francis said no. This inspired Sedaka to write “The Diary”, his own first hit single. Sedaka and Greenfield wrote many of Connie Francis’ hits, such as “Fallin'” and the “Theme from Where the Boys Are“, the film in which she starred. This hit the Top 5 on the Billboard pop singles chart and Francis had several No. 1 singles. “Where the Boys Are” eventually became her signature song.

Jimmy Clanton

Sedaka and Greenfield also wrote some of Jimmy Clanton‘s hits, such as “Another Sleepless Night,” “What Am I Gonna Do?” and “All the Words in the World.” Sedaka himself recorded each of these three songs: “Another Sleepless Night” appears on his Rock With Sedaka debut album; “What Am I Gonna Do?” was the B-side of “Going Home to Mary Lou” and appeared on his 1961 album Neil Sedaka Sings “Little Devil” and His Other Hits; and “All the Words in the World” was recorded but was kept in the RCA Victor vaults until 1977, at the height of Sedaka’s return to popularity, when it was released on the album Neil Sedaka: The ’50s and ’60s.

Foreign-language recordings

Sedaka was very popular in Italy. Many of his English-language records were released there and proved quite successful, especially “Crying My Heart Out For You” (Italian No. 6, 1959) and “Oh! Carol” (Italian No. 1, 1960).

In 1961, Sedaka began to record some of his hits in Italian, starting with “Esagerata” and “Un giorno inutile”, local versions of “Little Devil” and “I Must Be Dreaming”. Other recordings were to follow, such as “Tu non-lo sai” (“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”), “Il re dei pagliacci” (“King of Clowns”), “I tuoi capricci” (“Look Inside Your Heart”), and “La terza luna” (“Waiting For Never”). “La terza luna” reached No. 1 on the Italian pop charts in April 1963. Cinebox videos exist for “La terza luna” and “I tuoi capricci”. From a language standpoint, his recordings in Italian had very little American accent. RCA Victor’s Italiana branch distributed his records in Italy and released three compilation LPs of Sedaka’s Italian recordings.

Sedaka also recorded an album in Yiddish (Brighton Beach Memories — Neil Sedaka Sings Yiddish), several songs in Spanish, a handful of songs in German, and one single apiece in Hebrew, Japanese, and Canadian French. His English-language recordings were also quite popular internationally; “One-Way Ticket to the Blues” and “Calendar Girl” reached No. 1 on the Japanese pop charts in 1959 and 1961. He enjoyed popularity in Latin America for his Spanish-language recordings. Many of these were pressed onto 78 rpm discs.

Mid-1960s

The year 1962 was one of the most important of Sedaka’s career, with “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” reaching No. 1 and “Next Door to an Angel” reaching No. 5. But after this his popularity began to wane and his 1963 singles enjoyed only moderate success: “Alice In Wonderland” (No. 17), “Let’s Go Steady Again” (No. 26), “The Dreamer” (No. 47), and “Bad Girl” (No. 33). “Bad Girl” was Sedaka’s last Top 40 hit in the U.S. until 1974.

In 1964 Sedaka’s career began a sharp decline, hastened by The Beatles‘ arrival on the radio and TV, and the rest of the so-called British Invasion. When describing the Beatles’ effect on his career in the mid-1960s, Sedaka put it brusquely: “The Beatles—not good!”[13] From 1964 to 1966, only three of his singles cracked the Hot 100: “Sunny” (No. 86, 1964), “The World through a Tear” (No. 76, 1965), and “The Answer to My Prayer” (No. 89, 1965). His other singles from this era—”The Closest Thing To Heaven”, “I Hope He Breaks Your Heart”, “Let The People Talk”, “The Answer Lies Within” and “We Can Make It If We Try”—all missed the Hot 100, the same fate since Sedaka’s third U.S. single for RCA Victor, and became commercial failures.

To make matters worse, RCA Victor refused to release his new recording, “It Hurts to Be in Love“, because he had not recorded at their own studios, as stipulated by his contract. Sedaka attempted another recording of this song in RCA’s studios, but the results were unsatisfactory. Howard Greenfield and Helen Miller, the song’s co-writers, offered it instead to Gene Pitney. Pitney took the existing musical track, replacing Sedaka’s lead vocal track with his own. Everything else was Sedaka, including his own arrangement and backing vocals, piano-playing, and usual female backup singers. Pitney ended up with a No. 7 hit for himself and his record label, Musicor, in 1964.

For the remainder of his tenure with RCA Victor, Sedaka never fully recovered from the effects of Beatlemania, the loss of “It Hurts to Be in Love” to Pitney, or the failure of his recordings. RCA decided not to renew his contract when it expired in 1966, leaving Sedaka without a recording label.

Although Sedaka’s stature as a recording artist was at a low ebb in the late 1960s, he was able to maintain his career through songwriting. Because his publisher, Aldon Music, was acquired by Screen Gems, two of his songs were recorded by The Monkees. Other hits Sedaka wrote in this period included The Cyrkle‘s versions of “We Had a Good Thing Goin'” and “Workin’ On a Groovy Thing“; a Top 40 R&B hit for Patti Drew in 1968; and a Top 20 pop hit for The 5th Dimension in 1969. Also, “Make the Music Play” was included on Frankie Valli‘s charting album Timeless.

On a 1965 episode of the quiz show I’ve Got a Secret, Sedaka’s secret was that he was to represent the United States at the 1966 Tchaikovsky classical piano competition in Moscow. Unaware of Sedaka’s secret, panelist Henry Morgan challenged Sedaka with the fact that the Soviet bureaucracy had outlawed rock ‘n’ roll music, and that any Western music young Russians wanted had to be smuggled into the country. Once Sedaka’s secret had been revealed, he impressed the show’s panelists with his performance of Frederic Chopin’s “Fantaisie Impromptu“.[14] Morgan’s warning turned out to be prescient, however: despite Sedaka’s classical roots, his “other” life as a pop star spurred the Soviet Union to disqualify him from entering the competition.

Sedaka also made an appearance in the 1968 movie Playgirl Killer, where he performed a song called “The Waterbug”.

Struggles of the late 1960s to early 1970s

Australia years

Sedaka worked to revive his solo career in the early 1970s. Despite his waning chart appeal in the US in the late 1960s, he remained very popular as a concert attraction, notably in the UK and Australia. In 2010, as a guest on Australian disc jockey Bob Rogers’ radio show, he thanked Rogers and Australian music fans for standing by him during that challenging time: “You know, Bob, in my lean years—I called them ‘The Hungry Years‘—it was Bob Rogers and Australia who welcomed me.”[15] Sedaka made several trips to Australia to play cabaret dates, and his commercial comeback began when the single “Star-Crossed Lovers” became a major hit there. The song went to No. 1 nationally in April 1969—giving Sedaka his first charting single anywhere in four years. It also came in at No. 5 in Go-Set magazine’s list of the Top 40 Australian singles of 1969.[16] Later that year, with the support of Festival Records, he recorded a new LP of original material entitled Workin’ on a Groovy Thing (released in the United Kingdom as Sounds of Sedaka) at Festival Studios in Sydney. It was co-produced by Festival staff producer Pat Aulton, with arrangements by John Farrar (who later achieved international fame for his work with Olivia Newton-John) and backing by Australian session musicians including guitarist Jimmy Doyle (Ayers Rock) and noted jazz musician-composer John Sangster.[17] One of the tracks from the album, “Wheeling, West Virginia”, reached No. 20 in Australia in early 1970.[18] The album is also notable because it was Sedaka’s first album to include collaborations with writers other than longtime lyricist Howard Greenfield; the title track featured lyrics by Roger Atkins and four other songs were co-written with Carole Bayer Sager.

Emergence and Solitaire

In 1971, Sedaka reunited with RCA and released the Emergence album. Singles from that album included “I’m A Song (Sing Me),” “Silent Movies,” “Superbird,” and “Rosemary Blue”. Good friend and New York music impresario Don Kirshner attempted to make the U.S. release of “Emergence” a comeback for Sedaka, but the album and single releases had no appreciable success, and RCA showed little interest in promoting the album. After the failure of “Emergence” in the US market, Sedaka left New York and moved his family to the UK.[citation needed]

In 1972, Sedaka embarked on a successful English tour and was introduced by Harvey Lisberg to the four future members of 10cc (best known to American audiophiles for “I’m Not in Love” and “The Things We Do for Love“) with whom he recorded the Solitaire album at their Strawberry Studios in Stockport[19] issued by RCA in 1972. As well as the title track, “Solitaire“, which was successfully covered by Andy Williams (UK Top 5 singles chart) and the Carpenters (US Top 20), it included two UK Top 40 singles, one of which (“Beautiful You”) also charted briefly in America, Sedaka’s first US chart appearance in ten years.

Return to success in the mid-1970s

Newfound success

A year later he reconvened with the Strawberry team, who had by then charted with their own debut 10cc album, to record The Tra-La Days Are Over for MGM Records, which started the second phase of his career and included his original version of the hit song “Love Will Keep Us Together” (also a US No. 1 hit two years later for Captain & Tennille). This album also marked the effective end of his writing partnership with Greenfield, commemorated by the track “Our Last Song Together” (later the last hit song for Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, whose version hit No. 95). They reunited, however, and composed together again, before Greenfield’s death in 1986. From 1974 onward, Sedaka’s records were issued in Europe and around the world on the Polydor label. His first album of new material with Polydor was Laughter in the Rain (1974).

Career with The Rocket Record Company

Elton John and Sedaka met at a party in London in 1973. When John learned Sedaka had no American record label, he suggested Sedaka sign with his Rocket Record Company, Limited, and Sedaka accepted the proposition. When John visited Sedaka at his London apartment, they discussed plans for relaunching his career in the United States.[20]

John said he had “always been a Sedaka fan anyway”.[20] He went on to say:

So the basic plan was as simple as finding out what he wanted to have on his album – which turned out to be a compilation from his British albums. It had been like Elvis coming up and giving us the chance to release his records. We couldn’t believe our luck.[20]

Sedaka’s Back

Sedaka returned to the U.S. album charts with the release of Sedaka’s Back, a compilation of songs from three albums he had already recorded in the UK—namely “Solitaire,” “The Tra-La Days Are Over,” and “Laughter in the Rain.” It was only the second Sedaka album ever to chart in the U.S. Sedaka was known principally as a singles artist up to that point in his career; his only other American charting album was Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits, a compilation of his early singles. Although the single was released in the autumn of 1974 and was very slow in building in sales and at radio, eventually Sedaka found himself once again topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (February 1, 1975) with “Laughter in the Rain.” It was Sedaka’s second No. 1 single thus far at that point in his career (after 1962’s original version of “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do“) and solidly reestablished Sedaka’s popularity in America.

Writing for artists of the 1970s

In late 1972, producer Stig Anderson approached Sedaka to write the lyric for a single by a new Swedish pop quartet then known as Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid. Sedaka agreed, on the condition he liked the song. Anderson, who had co-written the Swedish original with lyricist Björn Ulvaeus and composer Benny Andersson, intended to enter “Ring Ring” in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest and believed with a strong English lyric it had the potential to become an international hit. He sent a tape of the song together with a rough translation to Sedaka, who within days returned an original lyric, co-written with Phil Cody.[21] The song was entered into the Swedish Eurovision selections on February 10, 1973, but placed third. The band, renamed ABBA, made “Ring Ring” the title track of their first album, released on March 26, 1973. The single, credited to Andersson, Ulvaeus, Anderson, Sedaka and Cody, reached number 1 in Sweden and Belgium, and charted in the top 5 in at least four other countries.[22] Sedaka later said that ABBA’s “songwriting and production are in a class by themselves.”[23]

Sedaka and Greenfield co-wrote “Love Will Keep Us Together,” a No. 1 hit for Captain & Tennille and the biggest hit for the entire year of 1975. Toni Tennille paid tribute to Sedaka’s welcome return to music business success with her ad lib of “Sedaka is back” in the outro while she was laying down her own background vocals for the track.[24] “Captain” Daryl Dragon and Toni also recorded a Spanish-language version of the song the same year that cracked the top half of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart (“Por Amor Viviremos,” US pop No. 49).

Overnight Success/The Hungry Years

In late 1975, Sedaka’s most successful year of his career continued as he earned yet more chart success with the release of his second Rocket Records album, The Hungry Years. This album was an American edition of Sedaka’s British Polydor album Overnight Success. The first single, “Bad Blood,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard 100 and stayed there for three weeks (October 11, 18 and 25, 1975), was certified Gold® by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and was the most commercially successful individual single of his career. Elton John provided uncredited backing vocals for “Bad Blood.” Despite their later falling out that resulted in Sedaka moving from Elton’s Rocket Records to Elektra, Sedaka has credited John as being responsible for his successful return to the U.S. pop music scene.[25] John has stated, “I only appear on the records of people I really know or like.”[20]

Another highlight from The Hungry Years was Sedaka’s new version of “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.” His 1962 original, a No. 1 hit single, was upbeat; the remake was a slow ballad, based on a similar arrangement by a Lenny Welch 1970 recording.[citation needed] Sedaka’s version hit No. 8 on the Hot 100 in early 1976, making him the only artist to ever record an entirely reinterpreted version of a song where both versions reached the Billboard Top 10. (Welch’s version, re-released at the same time, reached No. 34.) The 1976 ballad version also hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.

Steppin’ Out

Later in 1976, Sedaka released a third (and final) album with Elton John’s label The Rocket Record Company, Steppin’ Out. The first single, “Love in the Shadows,” was an uncharacteristically solid rock song featuring a scorching guitar solo. While it peaked at No. 16 on the Hot 100, it was the first of his three “comeback” albums’ debut singles not to hit No. 1—or even the Top 10. The second single was the album’s title track, once again featuring Elton on uncredited backing vocals. While it cracked the Top 40 (peaking at No. 36), it also signaled the beginning of a slowdown in Sedaka’s music sales and radio play not unlike what he experienced in 1964 when The Beatles and the “British Invasion” arrived.

By this point, Elton John was starting to lose interest in Sedaka. Members of John’s inner circle, jealous of Sedaka’s success, worked to undermine the friendship by telling John falsehoods about Sedaka. Consequently, when it was time to renegotiate Sedaka’s contract with Rocket, John did not offer Sedaka the amount of money he was looking for, and he did not promote Steppin’ Out as extensively as he had Sedaka’s Back and The Hungry Years. Sedaka subsequently left Rocket and signed with Elektra Records.

Sedaka met John again several times after his departure from Rocket, and he described their meetings as “cordial, but cold”. The coldness eventually thawed, however, and in the foreword to Sedaka’s 2013 biography, John wrote of their friendship in glowing and positive terms.[26]

Late 1970s

Transition from Rocket to Elektra

Sedaka’s new US label, Elektra, did not put as much effort into promoting Sedaka’s music as Elton John had at Rocket Records, and that, combined with the arrival of the disco era, marked another downturn in Sedaka’s career.

His first Elektra album, A Song, enjoyed only moderate success. Things got worse with his 1978 album All You Need Is the Music which was a dismal failure, because as Sedaka attempted to release disco-themed music himself in the late 1970s, his album sales were weak and singles could not get a foothold on the radio. However, on one track of “All You Need Is the Music” was a ballad called “Should’ve Never Let Her Go.” Sedaka released the song but it was not a success. In his next album, 1980’s In the Pocket, he released an early single in the autumn of 1979, “Letting Go,” which peaked just above the Hot 100. For the second single in the winter of 1980, Sedaka changed the lyrics and title to “Should’ve Never Let You Go,” and re-recorded the song with his then-17-year-old daughter, Dara. Their father-daughter duo, along with Frank and Nancy Sinatra and Nat “King” (posthumously) and Natalie Cole (via recording manipulation in “Unforgettable“, 1991) are the only father-daughter duets to reach the Top 40. Neil and Dara’s pairing returned Neil to the Top 20 for his last Hot 100 charted single and to the Top 5 on the Adult Contemporary Chart.

Reissue of RCA-era recordings

Throughout the 1970s, Sedaka’s former record company, RCA, reissued his 1960s-era songs on compilation LPs on the RCA Victor and RCA Camden labels, a practice which continues to this day. The idea was to capitalize on Sedaka’s newfound popularity by making his RCA-era recordings available to younger generations of fans.

Sedaka also released a final album of new material with RCA, consisting of a live concert he gave in Sydney. The album was released on the RCA International label in Australia and Europe as Neil Sedaka On Stage in 1974. It saw a US release on the RCA Victor label in 1976 as Sedaka Live in Australia. The album’s songs were mostly cover versions of rock and pop songs from the previous 25 years, such as “Proud Mary“, “Everything Is Beautiful” and “The Father of Girls”.

For decades, RCA and Sedaka have disputed the ownership rights of Sedaka’s original master tapes from his late 1950s/early 1960s hits. RCA has released various repackagings of his old hits, prompting Sedaka to rerecord his old hits and make them sound as close and authentic to the originals as possible.

1980s and 1990s

Sedaka released one final album with Elektra – Neil Sedaka: Now in 1981. None of the songs on this album made any significant waves on the pop music charts.

During this time, Sedaka lost his father to cancer. Sedaka’s mother and father had moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the 1970s. Mac Sedaka had a tumor in his colon, and had it surgically removed. After that, they thought he would recover, but the cancer had spread to his bones. Neil was at his bedside singing his father’s favorite song, “Pictures From The Past” (a song he had recorded twice, in 1965 and 1981), when his father briefly awoke from his coma and then died a moment later, on June 6, 1981.

Meanwhile, due to the failure of “Now”, Sedaka left Elektra and signed with Curb Records. Sedaka recorded two albums on the Curb label – Come See About Me in 1983 and The Good Times in 1986. Neither of these albums fared well on the charts or in terms of sales, with only modest success for the singles that were released from them. After 1986, Sedaka was once again left without a record label.

He then created his own music label, ensuring that his catalog of hits would find the marketplace, and he released occasional CDs of self-produced new, original material. He also proved to be a popular concert draw on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, performing for thousands of adoring fans. To this day, he maintains a rigorous tour schedule.

Other successes

American singer-songwriter Ben Folds credited Sedaka on his iTunes Originals album as an inspiration for his own song-publishing career. When Folds heard that Sedaka had a song published by the age of 13, Folds set a similar goal, despite the fact that Sedaka did not actually publish until he was 16.[27]

In 1985, songs composed by Sedaka were adapted for the Japanese anime television series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. These included the two opening themes “Zeta-Toki wo Koete” (based on Sedaka’s “Better Days Are Coming”) and “Mizu no Hoshi e Ai wo Komete” (originally in English as “For Us to Decide”, but the English version was never recorded), as well as the end theme “Hoshizora no Believe” (based on Sedaka’s “Bad and Beautiful”). Due to copyright restrictions, the songs were replaced for the North American DVD, as well as for Japanese online releases of the series until 2017.

In 1994, Sedaka provided the voice for Neil Moussaka, a parody of himself in Food Rocks, an attraction at Epcot from 1994 to 2006.

A musical comedy based on the songs of Sedaka, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,[28] was written in 2005 by Erik Jackson and Ben H. Winters; it is now under license to Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

A biographical musical, Laughter in the Rain, produced by Bill Kenwright and Laurie Mansfield and starring Wayne Smith as Sedaka, had its world premiere at the Churchill Theatre in the London borough of Bromley on March 4, 2010. Sedaka attended the opening and joined the cast onstage for an impromptu curtain call of the title song.

Into the 21st century

Sedaka recently[when?] has maintained a rigorous concert schedule in the U.S. and around the world. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983,[29] has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was an October 2006 inductee of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. On November 15, 2013, Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters in Los Angeles gave him their Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award at a luncheon in his honor.[30]

American Idol

Eventual Season 2 runnerup Clay Aiken chose Sedaka’s 1972 song “Solitaire” for his performance. As Aiken explained to the studio and TV audiences, host Ryan Seacrest, and the four regular judges, “Solitaire” had long been one of his mother’s all-time favorite songs. When she learned that Sedaka was going to be a guest judge and that the finalists would be singing Sedaka’s songs, she begged Clay to sing “Solitaire.” The performance was uniformly given extraordinarily high praise by the judges (including perennial skeptic Simon Cowell). Sedaka dissolved into tears, telling Aiken that he officially passed ownership of the performance of “Solitaire” to Clay, offering to record and produce a single of the song or an entire CD with him.In May 2003, near the end of the second season of the Fox TV series American Idol, Sedaka appeared as a guest judge and mentor to the five remaining finalists. (The “guest judge” aspect of the series was later discontinued.) Several of the contestants’ performances from Sedaka’s songbook sparked particular praise from the guest judge. One of those performances came from eventual third-place finalist Kimberley Locke, who sang “Theme from Where the Boys Are.” The Sedaka/Greenfield composition was originally recorded by Connie Francis and became her signature song. Sedaka termed Locke’s performance “ear-licious.”

Although it did not appear on his debut CD itself, Aiken recorded and added “Solitaire” as the B-side to the single “The Way,” whose sales were faltering. “Solitaire” was quickly moved to the A-side, and radio airplay and single and download sales responded immediately. “Solitaire” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart and was, in fact, the top-selling single for all of 2004. It also hit the Top 5 on Billboards Hot 100. Sedaka was invited back to American Idol to celebrate the success of “Solitaire” several times, as it continued to reach new milestones. Since then, Aiken has mined the Sedaka songbook again, recording a cover of probably Sedaka’s best-known song, “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” on the “deluxe version” of his 2010 CD release, Tried and True.

Sedaka continued to be seen in the American Idol studio audience—most recently on May 19, 2011, when Seacrest had Sedaka stand and greet the audience on-camera during Season 10’s “Top 3” results show.

Amarillo – Guinness World Record

On a business trip to New York in mid-1971, Harvey Lisberg, who was a longtime fan of Sedaka, asked Don Kirshner if he’d written anything new. Kirshner took Lisberg to a small room with a piano where Sedaka was already seated, and he tapped out a few songs. One of these was the Sedaka/Greenfield composition “(Is This the Way to) Amarillo?” which Lisberg loved and placed with his artist Tony Christie who recorded and released it in 1971.[31] The song did relatively well on the UK singles chart, reaching the Top 20.

It lay dormant for more than three decades, when UK comic Peter Kay lip-synched it for a 2002 video in his TV series Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights. For the 2005 annual Comic Relief charity drive, he solicited a number of celebrity friends of his and updated the video, and it became an enormous hit. The original 1971 Tony Christie single was re-released to radio and CD/download sales, and hit No. 1 for seven weeks and was the biggest hit in Britain for all of 2005.

When interviewed for an “extras” feature for a DVD set of a concert filmed in London on April 7, 2006 (see below), Sedaka jokingly had heard that Christie had retired and was “golfing in Spain.”[32] The sudden revival of “Amarillo” summoned Christie back to the UK for an unexpected return to fame. Sedaka also released the song in the U.S. in 1977 as the shortened “Amarillo,” but it was only a mid-chart entry, peaking just shy of the Top 40. In early 2006, the song received new life yet again when a dance beat was added and the lyrics were revised to become a novelty hit, released as “Is This the Way to the (England) World Cup?”, to mark the appearance of the England football team at that summer’s FIFA World Cup finals. It was used yet again later that summer by the Central Band of the Royal British Legion prior to the Men’s Finals of the 2006 Wimbledon tennis tournament.[citation needed]

On April 7, 2006, Sedaka was appearing at the Royal Albert Hall and filming for the above-referenced CD/DVD package, when he was interrupted mid-concert by a gentleman who walked onstage from the wings. The planned scenario was that Sedaka was to begin performing “Amarillo”, and after one verse, the audience was to be surprised by the appearance of Christie for an eventual duet. At the interruption, a confused Sedaka asked, “What is this?” The interloper was a representative from Guinness Records, and he was there to present Sedaka with an award from Guinness World Records: British Hit Singles and Albums for composing “(Is This the Way to) Amarillo?“, the most successful UK single of the 21st century (up to that date, of course).[33][34] After the presentation, Sedaka proceeded into “Amarillo,” Christie entered onstage to an eruption of cheers from the audience, and after the successful duet performance, the two men walked offstage together, triumphantly arm in arm, as the first half of Sedaka’s concert came to a close.

New recording contract, new chart success

Since Sedaka had lost his recording contract in the mid-1980s, he had used his own business, Neil Sedaka Music, to finance the recording, production, and distribution of new CDs and repackaging of his existing catalog of music. Because of ongoing disputes with RCA Records over the ownership of Sedaka’s original late 1950s/early 1960s hits, in 1991, Sedaka re-recorded those early recordings, note-for-note. Sedaka has taken meticulous care of his voice over the years and still sings in the original keys recorded in his youth. This allowed him to repackage his catalog to include both his early recordings along with his mid- to late 1970s hits and later recordings.

In early 2007, Sedaka signed his first recording contract in nearly two decades with Razor and Tie Records, a small-but-growing, New York-based independent label with a talent roster that also includes Joan Baez, Vanessa Carlton, Foreigner, Joe Jackson, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The first release was The Definitive Collection, a life-spanning compilation of his hits, along with outtakes and songs previously released but unavailable in CD and/or download format. It debuted in the Top 25 on Billboards Top 200 Albums chart in May 2007, one of the highest-charting albums of his entire career. It also includes “It Hurts to Be in Love“, Sedaka’s version of the Gene Pitney hit which RCA had refused to release in 1964. Best known as a “singles artist,” this album chart activity was considered a significant comeback for the veteran entertainer. The last time Sedaka had an album on the Top 200 albums chart was in 1980, with his album In the Pocket – when “Should’ve Never Let You Go,” the 1980 duet with Sedaka and his daughter Dara, was Sedaka’s last Top 20 hit on the Hot 100 singles chart.

Waking Up Is Hard to Do was Sedaka’s next release with Razor and Tie, hitting the albums chart in May 2009. The CD was a children’s album that used the melodies of many of Sedaka’s best-known songs but changed the lyrics to fit, and hopefully have fun with, the everyday lives of babies and toddlers, along with their parents, grandparents, babysitters, and other caregivers. The CD title is an example. Lastly, The Music of My Life entered the albums chart in February 2010[35] and comprised almost all new material. The first track, “Do You Remember?,” is Sedaka’s first foray into spicy salsa and was produced by music producer, composer, and pianist David Foster. “Right or Wrong,” co-written with original music partner Howard Greenfield, was done in traditional street-corner, layered doo-wop vocal harmonies with Sedaka overlaying his own voice to achieve the effect for which he was well known in his “early” heyday of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The final track, “You”, has been previously released, but was remastered for this project and is one of several titles dedicated to his wife and career guide of over 50 years, Leba. Neil Sedaka Music continues to be listed as co-producer along with Razor and Tie.

A concert performance on October 26, 2007 at the Lincoln Center in New York City paid homage to the 50th anniversary of Sedaka’s debut in show business. Music impresario (and producer for The Music of My Life track “Do You Remember?”) David Foster served as emcee. Other guests included The Captain and Tennille; Natalie Cole; Connie Francis; recording legend and decades-long Sedaka friend and former manager Don Kirshner; and new Solitaire “owner” Clay Aiken, among many others. Also in 2007, Donny Osmond released a CD, Love Songs of the ’70s, which included a cover of Sedaka’s 1975 No. 1 hit “Laughter in the Rain.”

During his 2008 Australian tour, Sedaka premiered a new classical orchestral composition entitled “Joie de Vivre (Joy of Life).”[36] Sedaka also toured The Philippines for his May 17, 2008, concert at the Araneta Coliseum.[37]

In early 2010, his original uptempo version of “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” (performed by a group of uncredited singers) was being heard as the impetus for a series of insurance TV commercials, featuring actor Dennis Haysbert assuring that TV viewers not insured by Allstate can break up with their current insurer without much ado at all.

On September 11, 2010, Sedaka performed to a public and TV audience at the Hyde Park, London, venue of the “Proms in the Park” for the BBC. The UK continues to be probably Sedaka’s most welcoming nation, and has been since first moving his family there (temporarily) four decades ago. The irony of the place whose music scuttled his “first” career, namely the Beatles and the British Invasion, and yet has constantly welcomed him with open arms for more than 40 years, is not lost on him, he has stated in many interviews. Indeed, it was his work with the musicians who, in a few years, became the hit-making group 10cc that brought him back to the U.S. as a major star with No. 1 hits and a number of other major Top 40 singles. The UK always takes up a major portion of Sedaka’s touring year in the 21st century.

In early 2011, Sedaka recorded two duets (“Brighton” and “The Immigrant“) with singer Jim Van Slyke for Van Slyke’s Neil Sedaka tribute album, The Sedaka Sessions. LML Records released this album in August 2011.[38]

In 2010, Sedaka duetted with his good friend, West End (London) and Broadway theatre legend Elaine Paige, on their cover of “Make It With You,” from Ms. Paige’s UK CD release Elaine Paige and Friends. The track was originally a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts for the soft-rock group Bread in 1970.[39] In 2014, Neil duetted with another friend who was a pop sensation “on both sides of the pond” in the 1960s and ’70s, Engelbert Humperdinck. The pair recorded the title song from Sedaka’s 1975 album The Hungry Years. The track is from Engelbert’s UK/USA CD release Engelbert Calling.

Also in 2014, Sedaka duetted with up-and-coming Nashville star Mary Sarah (Gross) on Connie Francis‘ classic, “Theme from Where the Boys Are,” on her all-duets CD Bridges. Mary Sarah was also a Season 10 (spring 2016) contestant on NBC‘s The Voice, and once again relied on Neil’s “Where the Boys Are” for her blind audition. She turned all four chairs around, and ultimately placed seventh in the competition. In 2015, Neil duetted on his #1 hit from 1974–75, “Laughter in the Rain,” with Steve Tyrell, on Tyrell’s 2015 album That Lovin’ Feeling.

On February 1, 2016, Sedaka performed to a sold-out audience in The Villages.[40] Then, on August 12, 2016, Sedaka released his new acoustic album, I Do It for Applause, which includes 11 new tracks and a bonus of his first symphony that was debuted in Australia in 2008 (see above), “Joie de Vivre (Joy of Life)”; the recording features the London Philharmonia Orchestra.[41]

On May 27, 2019, Sedaka’s “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” [original 1962 version] was featured as a double-money ‘Fast Track’ answer in the category of “Breakup Songs” in the Name That Tune-style game show, Beat Shazam, on Fox. A team of two can win as much as $1 million. Jamie Foxx is host and executive producer and his daughter, Corinne Marie Foxx, serves as DJ of Shazam, now in its third season. In this episode, three pairs of theologians competed, and the answer was correctly given by one of the pair of rabbis, Andrew. He then exclaimed, “Yes! I love my Neil Sedaka!”

In April 2020, Sedaka launched a series of free mini-concerts, released through his social media channels, as a method of entertaining his fans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each daily concert features three songs from Sedaka’s discography.[42]

Material loss

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Neil Sedaka among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[43]

Personal life

Sedaka attended Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, from which he graduated in 1956.[44]

He and his wife Leba (née Strassberg) have been married since 1962. They have two children: a daughter, Dara, a recording artist and vocalist for television and radio commercials, and who sang the female part on the Sedaka Billboard Top 20 hit duet “Should’ve Never Let You Go” from 1980, and “Angel Queen” on the Queen Millennia soundtrack; and a son, Marc, a screenwriter who lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Samantha, and their three children.

Sedaka’s nephew, by marriage, is CNN Politics political writer Harry Enten.[45][46]

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Sedaka

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




Actor and Anchorman John Krasinski’s Show ‘Some Good News’ Signing Off … at Least for Now

By Robert O’Leary

John Krasinski has reportedly aired his last (?) episode of Some Good News with John Krasinski. It is sad news for his fans and for fans of good news. A few months ago, Krasinski mentioned that he had been wondering for some time why there are no news sites that bring out good news stories to the public. One could blame this on corporate fears of losing viewers or because the corporate interests, which fund them, make their money and increase their control by keeping people divided and in disagreement with nightly news controversies and crises. Krasinski decided to do something about this.

He had an idea, and the courage, to launch his own show. He did not let the pandemic stop him either.  He decided to do this … from home. So it is that the star who entertained us so much on the TV show, The Office, is doing so again … on Some Good News with John Krasinski. The show began to air on YouTube on March 29, 2020. That first episode has garnered 17 million views. Episodes 2 through 7 have averaged 7.84 million views each.

He had numerous guests on the show, from Oprah Winfrey to members of The Office cast.  His short-lived show has inspired others around the world to do their own versions of the show. Krasinski has left things open to do more episodes in the future, but for now he is signing off. In the meantime, I will be watching the “repeats”, just as my family has been happily binge watching repeat episodes of The Office.

It will be strange not seeing new shows coming out every couple of weeks, especially during these pandemic times. I am a big believer that in the darkest times there must come some light. I am grateful that John Krasinski brought us some light, and comfort to millions.

So, without further ado, please enjoy Episode 8 of Some Good News with John Krasinski …

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




How To Get Over a Heartbreak, As Explained By Your Favorite Pop Songs

Whether you’re a teenager or in your late forties, heartbreaks never get easier. Are you going through a breakup? Even if you were the one to break things off, it’s still an emotionally draining experience.

Like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, you can eat chocolate, be mad at rom-coms and get into Harvard Law to prove your love. Or you can take it slow and let these pop songs heal your heart.

Cry it all out with Adele

If you don’t put on Someone Like You and let Adele encourage a full-on cry fest, was your love even real?

Whether your ex has already moved on or pretending just to make you jealous, the healthiest way to deal with it all is to feel sad. Just remind yourself, “Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead”.

Let out your rage with CeeLo Green

Denial is usually followed by anger. If you were treated badly or cheated on, let CeeLo Green help you let out your rage. What line could better express your disdain for a shellfish ex than “I pity the fool that falls in love with you”. The genius of his song Forget You is comparable to a Shakespearean sonnet.

Accept it with José González

It’s time to move on and finally accept the reality of the situation. Light up some candles, get a glass of wine, and put everything that reminds you of your ex in a box, while listening to Heartbeats by José González. There might be a few tears, but this time as a sign of moving forward.

Look after yourself with Lorde

You can only heal if you take care of yourself. It’s time to love yourself just as intensely you loved someone else. On Hard Feelings/Loveless, Lorde sings, I light all the candles/ Got flowers for all my rooms/ I care for myself the way I used to care about you. Listen to her soothing voice and follow her incredible advice.

Let the other party do the crying with Justin Timberlake

Now that you’ve done your fair share of crying, hand over the baton to the other party. And for that, there’s no better song than Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake.

Feel liberated with Kelly Clarkson

A romantic relationship can become so consuming that you can alienate your other relationships and completely lose yourself. Do you feel a sense of liberation? Then this hard time does have a silver lining. Celebrate it by listening to Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson.

Establish boundaries with Taylor Swift

There’s nothing more dramatic than an on-again and off-again relationship. If you’re tired of the back and forth, establish boundaries and make it clear that you are moving forwards. And let Grammy-winning Taylor Swift offer you solidarity with We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.

Don’t move backwards with Dua Lipa

One night you’ll drink too much or desire the comfort of a familiar relationship and call your ex. Make New Rules by Dua Lipa your mantra for moving on from an unhealthy relationship.

Make peace with Ariana Grande

Every relationship, good or bad, teaches you something. Take a page out of Ariana Grande’s thank u, next, and express gratitude for whatever those relationships taught you.

Give love another chance with Finneas

It’s finally time to get out there and date new people. And it would be best to start slow. Like perfectly expressed by Finneas, Let’s fall in love for the night/ And forget in the mornin’.

It might feel like you’ll never stop hurting. But take solace in the fact that it will, sooner than you think. Until then, you should get affordable psychic readings to discover your path to healing.

Are you looking for a truly amazing experience? Connect with a trustworthy online psychic network for spiritual and emotional advice, such as MeetYourPsychic.com. First time users can receive an elite online Psychic Reading for only $1 per minute (for up to 20 minutes), and get a bonus first 3 minutes FREE! Their psychics provide insights and clarity to all your questions regarding your love life, career paths, and soul purpose and so much more.  Call now to speak to their member car at 18779877792 for more information. You will be glad you took the step!




How Music Can Boost Your Immune System During Coronavirus Lockdown

By Curtis Dean

Do you know that music can help you boost your immune system and help people recover from illness? That’s really interesting to know since most of us take music as our relaxation or therapy. 

Music is everywhere and we could hear it on radios, televisions, the start or end of the movie, both in private and public places. Music sets the mood up and almost every one of us can’t live without it.

And now that the world is stuck in a crisis which mandated everyone to stay at home, music gave us the company to kill the boredom as we stayed within our premises. 

This article will help you know how music can boost your immune system during coronavirus lockdown. Feel free to crank up the melodies and boom those beats, because the outcomes are in — music is good for you.

Music and Immune System

There are many benefits to listening to music. Music has healing power. For those of who’ve been in a bad break up, tend to cling and cry along with the depth of lyrics from Taylor Swift or so while some wanted to power up through a long run by jamming on Eminem’s quality music.

Music can relax the brokenhearted, encourage runners, and kickoff the grandest dance parties, but for our health and overall well-being, music could give us some significant scientific benefits. 

It has shown that listening to music improves memory functioning, escalate the rate of healing, develop your workouts, and more.

Additionally, scientists have revealed that if you listen to only 50 minutes of “inspiring” dance music, your antibody levels will strengthen suggestively. After being exposed to music, they also found that stress hormones can decline the immune system drop.

It seems to be quite actual to recover the quality of life of those suffering physical health problems and music therapy is used often to encourage mental and emotional health. Therefore, taking music lessons is highly recommended. 

How Music Can Boost Immune System

Happy dance music has a vital role in increasing immunity while relaxing music helps to decrease stress. Another essential thing to retain in mind is the listener’s taste in music. The music chosen by someone seems to have a bigger impact on his health.

The following are the important benefits of music to our immune system:

  • Singing For An Hour Can Increase Levels Of Immune Proteins

Music can have extensive effects on the hormones cortisol and adrenaline – which frequently kick in for the period of nerve-wracking situations. However, when playing music or singing, the body experiences fewer of the indications in terms of the ‘fight or flight’ retort and leads to a decrease in adrenaline.

  • Playing Musical Instruments Helped to Lower the Levels of Harmful Stress Hormones

A study shows that those who have the utmost amount of musical experience did best on tests of mental perception and show that it helps reduce the levels of harmful stress hormones. 

Compared to non-musicians, the individuals with an extraordinary degree of musical involvement had much higher totals on the cognitive tests because they tend to have a calmer condition, plus those related to visual and special memory, identification of objects and the brain’s aptitude to acclimatize to new information

  • Listening to Music Can Reduces Stress and Eases Anxiety

Research has found that music has a unique link to our emotions and it can be used as an exceptionally effective stress management means.

Music can also have a relaxing effect on the mind just like listening to slow music to calm the body. Researchers at Stanford University originate that listening to music appears to be capable to change brain functioning to a similar degree as medication. 

It’s an easy stress reduction option since music is so widely available and inexpensive.

  • It Helps You Heal

Music links with the automatic nervous system comprising the brain function, blood pressure, and heartbeat. It also connects to the limbic system such as feelings and emotions.

The bodily reaction follows suit when slow music is played, – the heart blow slows down and blood pressure descents. This results in the inhalation to slow, which helps discharge tension in the neck, shoulders, stomach, and back. 

Listening to slow or calming music on a steady basis can benefit our bodies to relax, which over time, means a smaller amount of pain to experience and faster recovery time.

A similar study with stroke patients Finnish researchers. They discovered that if stroke patients listened to music for a couple of hours a day, their verbal memory and attentive responsiveness improved better and they had a more optimistic mood than patients who did not listen to anything or who listened to acoustic books.

What Kind of Music Can Boost the Immune System?

Music is so voluntarily available, not many people understand the benefits that music can have on their lives, particularly when it comes to anxiety.

  • Meditative Music For Relish 

Meditation is well-known for being one of the most prevalent and most active practices you can relish and participate in to lessen the levels of stress in your life and it is best paired up with meditative music. 

Meditation music is widely available, meaning you can meditate and find the present moment, notwithstanding where you are or what you’re doing.

  • Dance Music For Activation

Something about music is enticing — chiefly upbeat music — that stimulates and actuates the body. Music very much has a way of augmenting the quality of life and can, in addition, promote recovery for both physical, emotional, and mental health.

Overall, turning up your tunes can also awake the effort you use during exercise, study, or even doing simple chores are home. 

So what are you waiting for during this lockdown boredom? Seize your earbuds and start jamming!