Posts Tagged ‘laura nyro

10
Nov
09

Suck it, Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow once did a sappy song called “I Write the Songs”. Sorry, I used the word “sappy” in a sentence mentioning Manilow and that’s flat-out redundant. Anyway, if he was in any way referring to himself, he was woefully wrong. There was a time when I would have said that song should have been dedicated to Jimmy Webb. Webb wrote “Witchita Lineman”, “MacArthur Park”, Galveston”, “Up, Up and Away”, “The Worst That Could Happen”, “All I Know” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” among many others. I thought he pretty much had “best songwriter ever” wrapped up. But the other night I was surfing youtube for 3 Dog Night Videos because I lead a very exciting life. While reading the info sidebar on “Eli’s Coming”, I see that it was written by a woman named Laura Nyro. Turns out she also wrote “And When I Die” (at age 17, no less), “Stone Soul Picnic” and “Wedding Bell Blues”. Her list of hits is a little shorter than Webb’s, but where she really outshined him was in performing. Webb’s voice isn’t offensive by any means, but he’s just not as dynamic as Laura Nyro was. Yes, the past tense; she died in 1997 at age 49 of ovarian cancer. I’m not going to post a video of Jimmy Webb performing. If you like any of his songs that I mentioned and want to hear him do his version, there’s some on youtube; indulge your own masochistic tendencies. Here’s Laura Nyro, though, performing her song “Poverty Train” at The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967:

In non-music news: Dear Jay Leno, you are the singularly most non-funny person that I have ever seen doing comedy for a living. As long as it doesn’t involve sucking dick amazingly well, how’d you pull that off?




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