Category 1941

The Talented Helen Reddy Part Four

The Talented Helen Reddy Part Four

Family

Reddy is an enthusiastic genealogist; she has researched her family’s history extensively and founded the Tasmanian Genealogical Society. “Genealogy is addictive; it begins as an interest, becomes a hobby, then a passion, and finally an obsession. Not only with each generation uncovered does the number of people to investigate double but so too does the desire to understand the forces that shaped them,” she writes in her autobiography.
Reddy was once asked in an interview once whether her name had any connection to the Reddy caste from India. Her response was: “I have done some research on my father’s side; most of my research has been done on my mother’s side...

Read More

The Talented Paul Simon Part Four

The Talented Paul Simon Part Four

1993–1998

After Unplugged, Simon’s place in the forefront of popular music dropped notably. A Simon & Garfunkel reunion took place in September 1993, and in another attempt to capitalize on the occasion, Columbia released Paul Simon 1964/1993 in September, a three-disc compilation that received a reduced version on the two-disc album The Paul Simon Anthology one month later. In 1995 he made news for appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he performed the song “Ten Years,” which he composed specially for the tenth anniversary of the show. Also that year, he was featured on the Annie Lennox version of his 1973 song “Something So Right,” which appeared briefly on the UK Top 50 once it was released as a single in November.
Since the early stages of the n...

Read More

The Talented Pete Best Part Three

The Talented Pete Best Part Three

Reasons for dismissal

Best was never directly told, by anybody involved in his sacking, exactly why he was dismissed; the only reason Epstein stated to him was, “The lads don’t want you in the group any more”. Epstein subsequently claimed in his autobiography that Lennon, McCartney and Harrison thought that Best was “too conventional to be a Beatle” and added that “though he was friendly with John, he was not liked by George and Paul”. It has been documented, notably in Cynthia Lennon’s book, John, that while Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison usually spent their offstage time together in Hamburg and Liverpool, writing songs or socialising, Best generally went off alone...

Read More

The Talented Art Garfunkel Part Three

The Talented Art Garfunkel Part Three

Poetry

Garfunkel, an avid reader and bibliophile, has admitted that the Garfunkel household was not a literary family and that it was not until entering Columbia College in 1959 that he began to “read a million books and became a reader.” Thus began his interest in poetry.
Garfunkel’s poetic career began in 1981 while on the Simon & Garfunkel 1981–1982 tour in Switzerland. He was riding a motorcycle and began writing a poem describing the countryside. In 1989, Still Water, Garfunkel’s collection of prose poetry, was released to acclaim. Topics included his depression over the loss of his father; Laurie Bird, his companion who committed suicide; his friendship with Paul Simon; and the joy of returning to music.
Garfunkel’s website contains a year-by-y...

Read More

The Talented Helen Reddy Part Three

The Talented Helen Reddy Part Three

Later recordings

In 1990, Reddy issued Feel So Young – on her own label – an album which included remakes of Reddy’s repertoire favourites; her one interim recording had been the 1987 dance maxi-single “Mysterious Kind”, on which Reddy had vocally supported Jessica Williams. 1997 saw the release of Center Stage, an album of show tunes which Reddy recorded for Varèse Records; the track “Surrender” – originating in Sunset Boulevard – was remixed for release as dance maxi-single. Reddy’s final album to date was the 2000 seasonal release The Best Christmas Ever. In April 2015, Reddy released a cover of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” for the album Keep Calm and Salute the Beatles on the Purple Pyramid label.

Film, theatre and television

Reddy (...

Read More

The Talented Paul Simon Part Three

The Talented Paul Simon Part Three

1977–1985

After three successful studio albums, Simon became less productive during the second half of the 1970s. He dabbled in various projects, including writing music for the film Shampoo, which became the music for the song “Silent Eyes” on the “Still Crazy” album, and acting (he was cast as Tony Lacey in Woody Allen’s film Annie Hall). He achieved another hit in this decade, with the lead single of his 1977 compilation, Greatest Hits, Etc., “Slip Slidin’ Away,” reaching No. 5 in the United States.
In 1980 he released One-Trick Pony, his debut album with Warner Bros. Records and his first in almost five years. It was paired with the motion picture of the same name, which Simon wrote and starred in...

Read More

The Talented Pete Best Part Two

The Talented Pete Best Part Two

“My Bonnie”

The reunited Beatles returned to Hamburg in April 1961. While they played at the Top Ten Club, singer Tony Sheridan recruited them to act as his backing band on a recording for the German Polydor label, produced by bandleader Bert Kaempfert, who signed the group to a Polydor contract at the first session on 22 June 1961. On 31 October 1961, Polydor released the recording “My Bonnie” (Mein Herz ist bei dir nur/My heart is only for you) which appeared on the German charts under the name “Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers”—a generic name used for whoever happened to be in Sheridan’s backup band. The song was later released in the UK. There was a second recording session on 23 June that year, and a third in May 1962.

Decca, Parlophone, and dismis...

Read More

The Talented Art Garfunkel Part Two

The Talented Art Garfunkel Part Two

1970–1975: Hiatus and first album

During a three-year hiatus after Simon & Garfunkel’s break-up, Garfunkel starred in two Mike Nichols films, Catch-22 (1970) and Carnal Knowledge (1971). He also spent late 1971 to early 1972 working as a mathematics teacher teaching high school sophomores geometry at Litchfield Academy in Connecticut, at the request of his fiancée Linda Marie Grossman.
In late 1972, with Simon & Garfunkel having released their Greatest Hits album and briefly reuniting to perform a benefit concert for presidential candidate George McGovern, Garfunkel felt ready to return to his musical career. His first album was 1973’s Angel Clare, which contained “All I Know” along with “I Shall Sing” and “Travelling Boy” as singles...

Read More

The Talented Helen Reddy Part Two

The Talented Helen Reddy Part Two

The “I Am Woman” era and stardom

Helen Reddy, 1975
Within a year, Wald relocated Reddy and Traci to Los Angeles, where he was hired at Capitol Records, the label under which Reddy was to attain stardom; however, Wald was hired and fired the same day.
Reddy became frustrated as Wald found success managing such acts as Deep Purple and Tiny Tim without making any evident effort to promote her; after 18 months of career inactivity, Reddy gave Wald an ultimatum: “he [must] either revitalize her career or get out… Jeff threw himself into his new career as Mr. Helen Reddy. Five months of phone calls to Capitol Records executive Artie Mogull finally paid off: Mogull agreed to let Helen cut one single if Jeff promised not to call for a month...

Read More

The Talented Paul Simon Part Two

The Talented Paul Simon Part Two

Simon & Garfunkel

Garfunkel, left, with Paul Simon, right, performing as Simon & Garfunkel

In early 1964, Simon and Garfunkel got an audition with Columbia Records, whose executive Clive Davis was impressed enough to sign the duo to a contract to produce an album. Columbia decided that the two would be called simply “Simon & Garfunkel,” abandoning the group’s previous name “Tom and Jerry.” Simon said in 2003 that this renaming as “Simon & Garfunkel” marked the first time artists’ surnames had been used in pop music. Simon and Garfunkel’s first LP, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., was released on October 19, 1964; it consisted of 12 songs in the folk vein, five written by Simon. The album initially flopped.
Simon moved to the UK to pursue a solo career, touring f...

Read More