Electrified Hand Holding: British Invasion

by Kevin Burton    The song that launched the British Invasion was released on this date 59 years ago.    “I Want To Hold Your Hand” holds up to this day, but to get the full impact of it you’d have to hear it with ears attuned to the sounds of 1963.    God bless …

Songwriter Cynthia Weil Turns 82

by Kevin Burton    Happy 82nd birthday to a great American songwriter you may not know much about, Cynthia Weil.     If her name doesn’t ring a bell, her music sure will.  She and her husband Barry Mann formed one of the most important songwriting teams of the 60s. They were contemporaries of writers you …

Did Gilbert O’Sullivan Launch Disco Era?

by Kevin Burton    There have been many theories to explain the rise and fall of disco music. Here’s a new one for its rise:    Disco music exploded in the mid-70s as a direct result of “Alone Again Naturally” by Irish singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan.    OK, so I can’t prove I’m right, but you …

Wedding Bells Are Music To My Ears

by Kevin Burton    Songwriters Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich were married in 1962. The next year they wrote “Chapel Of Love,” perhaps the most famous pop song about a wedding.    In 1964 The Dixie Cups took Chapel of Love to number one on the Hot 100, where the song enjoyed a three-week honeymoon. …

“The Immigrant” Didn’t Fit John Lennon

by Kevin Burton    For about three minutes and fifty seconds a tidy story unfolds from the pen of lyricist Phil Cody and the voice of the great Neil Sedaka.    Attempt to read between the lines though and you have a mess on your hands, especially with Sedaka dedicating the song to ex-Beatle John …

Simon At His Best On “Me And Julio”

by Kevin Burton    The lyrics say crime and punishment, the delivery, whimsy and jest.     The package came from Paul Simon, and he was hot in the early 70s. So I am amazed to learn that this song qualifies for inclusion in our 2022 series on songs that peaked at number 22 on the …

Eddie Money’s Definition Of Paradise

by Kevin Burton    A song that Cash Box called “an excellent punchy rocker” has become a necessary part of our shared musical vocabulary.    The signature song of the late Eddie Money, “Two Tickets To Paradise,” peaked at number 22 on the American chart. So it has a place in our 2022 series.    …

A Farewell To Everyday People?

by Kevin Burton    Sly Stone’s spot-on cultural signpost “Everyday People” topped the American charts 53 years ago.  But where is that message today?    The song is brilliant in its simplicity. Sung partially to the rhythm of a children’s rhyme, it contains a message even a child can understand.    “The song takes some …

The Rubberband Man Is Out Of Sight

by Kevin Burton    A song that producer Thom Bell wrote for his overweight son is by far my favorite Spinners tune and has always been a guilty pleasure.    Now I’m trying to get to the bottom of it.    The song is “The Rubberband Man.” Bell wrote the song to help improve his …

Steely Dan’s Link To WKRP In Cincinnati

by Kevin Burton    It was 1978 when FM radio overtook AM. But the song that marked the occasion was sort of a medium-sized hit.      We’re talking “FM” by Steely Dan.     So what’s your definition of a hit song?     Is it based on how much it sells? How high it gets on …