Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Old Newsclip...about origins of some Top Hit songs, Pt 1.

Have you ever wondered how some of the best known pop songs came about? We know that a songwriter needs to create a tune or melody for a song and then have the same inspiration to produce lyrics for it. At times, this is done by the same person. Often, it requires two persons.
In this November 12 1990 article written by Ong Soh Chin under the Arts and Entertainment section of the Straits Times, she provided an interesting background of some of the popular hits from as early as the late 50's and early 60's.
Click on the photo to read.
Many of us have been singing and enjoying these songs from yesteryears without a clue of how they actually came about. Well, wonder no more.
Read on and discover what and how they were originally inspired. You may be surprised.

Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly
Originally Buddy Holly wrote the song for his niece Cindy Lou. It was titled, "Cindy Lou". At that time Holly was in a band called the Crickets. It so happened that his band drummer Jerry Allison had a crush on a girl named Peggy Sue Gerron ( still living today ) and pleaded with Holly earnestly to change the song title to "Peggy Sue" ....as to further attract the girl to him. The song was first released in July 1957.

Something by The Beatles
In 1964, the Beatles were making the movie " A Hard Day's Night" in London. A teenage model by the name of Patti Boyd had a small part in the film as a customer in a restaurant. George Harrison( 1943 - 2001 ) was quite taken up by her looks and charm. He went after her! Later they were married and in 1969 Harrison wrote the song " Something" for her. The song became the 2nd most popular song after "Yesterday". There was a twist in this real life story of Patti Boyd. Eric Clapton, who was Harrison's best friend, was so enamoured for Patti that he was openly pursuing her love. After fending him off for 3 years, Patti finally ditched Harrison and hitched up with Clapton. He was so grateful that he wrote the song " Wonderful Tonight" for her.

Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison ( 1936 - 1988 )
The song was written and sang by Orbison for his beloved wife Claudette.
The inspiration came just when she was going out of her home while he was waiting for her.
The song was released in 1964. Tragedy came later when his wife died in a motorcycle accident and he mourned her with the song" Too Soon To Know".
Personally, I like Roy Orbison's songs and his singing style very much.
He is listed at Number 13 in Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers of all time.

Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack
One of my personal favourites!
This song was written by Fox and Gimble and sung by Roberta in order to "lure" Don McLean out of his self-imposed exile. McLean became well-known with his Big hit," American Pie"...but grew tired of the publicity and the music scene and disappeared for 3 long years. He was a huge talent and this song was written about him.
Remember these lines...
"I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style.
And so I came to see him, to listen for a while..."
" Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words..."
Don McLean had another mega hit later..." Vincent ".

More to come.....


Eden Li said...

Hi Sir,

I am Eden Li, a year 6 student from Raffles Institution. My co-curricular activity, Community Advocates, is organising a forum this year in June called Raffles Community Leaders Forum.

As the leader of the one of the Elderly student interest groups, I would like to cordially invite you to be on our discussion panel for the Active Ageing interest group, as a representative of the active ageing community. We would like to hear from an active ageing advocate like yourself on your personal experiences, and your take on how to better promote active ageing in Singapore.

Do drop me an email at eden_li@hotmail.com for more details. We would be most honoured if you would acede to our request.

Eden Li

unk Dicko said...

Hi Eden Li,
Welcome to the blog!
Thank you for the kind invitation to your Forum as a member of the Discussion Panel, June at RI.
I would be honoured to accept.
Hopefully, you will be able to provide me further details about the event.
And hopefully, it will not clash with the period I'll be away in Vietnam also in June.
I'll contact you by email.
Thanks and regards,

Unk Dicko