I LOVE NEIL SEDAKA… SO THERE

  A SONG FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD

Neil Sedaka

(born March 13, 1939)

An American pop/rock singer, pianist, and composer. His career has spanned nearly 55 years, during which time he has sold millions of records as an artist and has written or co-written over 500 songs for himself and other artists, collaborating mostly with lyricists Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody. ~ Wikipedia

 

I grew up listening to two of Neil Sedaka’s albums: Sedaka’s Back (1974) and The Hungry Years (1975) .  I used to dress up and do skits dancing and singing to these songs.  I think I totally wore my mom out from ever wanting to hear another note he played.  For my 43rd birthday my husband got me tickets to see Neil Sedaka perform.  I went to see Rammstein for his birthday and he was going to see Neil Sedaka with me.  It didn’t work out that way because another band my husband loves was playing on the same night so I was dateless.

A few weeks went by and I couldn’t find anyone who knew who Neil Sedaka was.  I didn’t want to go with anyone who didn’t love him as much as I did so I was pretty much prepared to go alone but after a facebook post I found a few fans and one of them accompanied me.  The evening was wonderful.  The Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra played with him and I couldn’t have loved the event more.  Granted I was the youngest person at the venue, but I am pretty sure I was also the happiest.

HE IS JUST SO DAD-GUM JOVIAL

Truth is I have always loved his music and I know many of his songs word for word but I didn’t know him, who he was, who he is.  I thought, from the few glimpses I had gotten of him performing on stage over the years, that he was gay.  What man smiles that much, is that happy, and that full of energy and isn’t gay?  Of course I just stereotyped gays because that was what I initially thought gays were supposed to be like back before I had ever met a gay person.  That is how “society” had come up with gay being the word for male homosexuals right?   Turns out that a person’s spirited disposition has nothing to do with his sexual preferences.  He has a wife, kids, and grand kids and he is literally just happy happy happy.  You can tell because it is in his music.  Even the sad songs are full of hope and love.

HE HAS TALENT OUT THE  WHAZOO

When you hear the name Neil Sedaka most people who have heard of him automatically think of songs like Oh! Carol (written for an ex high school girlfriend Carol King then Klein), or Laughter in the Rain, Breaking Up is Hard to Do, or Love Will Keep Us Together.  I didn’t realize until I saw him perform that he was first and foremost a classic concert pianist.  He went to prep school at Juilliard when he was only nine with a full ride scholarship.  He is simply brilliant.  I had the honor of getting to see him perform his piano concerto “Manhattan Intermezzo” with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra.

You want to see all the many, many, many other things he has written you can peruse them here.

HE IS AN AWESOME GRANDPA

I read this article about how he re-wrote some of his songs and turned them into a Children’s CD and coloring book.  He was interviewed about this endeavor and this was my favorite question and answer:

GP: Would you ever encourage them to pursue a career in entertainment?

NS: Whatever makes them happy. You can’t force a child. I started playing piano very early. My parents tell me that I wouldn’t eat unless the radio was playing music. I showed musical aptitude at a very early age. I would say my grandchildren should do what makes them happy.

VODKA

I think he likes his vodka.  He has a sense of humor because he said most of his melodies start with Vodka.  He sat at the piano and reached for his drink and then looked at the Orchestra and said, “I don’t think this is Vodka.”  

COLLABORATOR

What amazes me about Neil Sedaka is that he is an amazing collaborator.  When the examiner asked him about his diversified career he said, “It’s not easy, but you do things not out of commerciality, but things that are close to your heart. I’ve done a classical album with lyrics I wrote to Rachmaninov and Chopin melodies [and other composers’, on Classically Sedaka], an album of Christmas songs, a Yiddish album, an album of children’s songs.” He has had numerous singer/songwriter collaborations some being with, Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody, he penned hits written for Connie Francis, Carpenters, Captain And Tennille etc. After the Beatles caused his career to stall Elton John breathed new life into Neil’s singing career in the mid-70’s and signed him to his new Rocket Record Co. label where he sang “Bad Blood”. 

 rs_Neil-Sedaka-The-Music-of-My-Life

Thanks to Twindaddy here are a few other 25 days, 25 songs posts:

Knocked Over By a Feather

Mental In the Midwest

History of a Woman

Over It Blog

Beefy’s House O’ Fun

My Rabbit Hole Trips

Quirky Chrissy

Aiming For Simplicity

Shackled and Crowned

ScottishMomus

Daisies From Dust

Other Than Lovie

Alice At Wonderland

That Montreal Girl

Reviving the Oldies

19 thoughts on “I LOVE NEIL SEDAKA… SO THERE

  1. As soon as I saw the title, my first thought was [insert feigned exasperated sigh] Oh…Carol! 😉 I grew up listening to Sedaka and he had a joy to him. So much better than Presley (who incidentally irritates the crappolas out of me)

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  2. I loved Dean Martin (all), Bobby Vinton (Love Me With All Your Heart), Roy Orbison, The Kingston Trio, Ricky Nelson, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Peter Paul and Mary, Johnny Cash, Lesley Gore, Doc Watson, myself!, Mel Tillis, Mississippi John Hurt, The Animals, Connie Francis and Hank Williams, Jr., The Dixie Cups, Maria Callas, Marianne Faithfull, Mamas and the Papas, Patsy Cline, Andrea Bocelli, Ray Price, Simon and Garfunkel, John Fahey, Donovan, Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, John Lee Hooker (I knew personally), Johnny Rivers, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Rising Sons, Blind Blake, Robert Johnson, Bobbie Gentry, Buffalo Springfield, Pink Floyd, Ray Price, Scott McKenzie, Van Morrison, Cream, (later The Eagles), Mason Williams, Steppenwolf, Tammy Wynette, Blind Willie McTell, Country Joe and The Fish, Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Tommy James and The Shondells, Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Niel Sedaka, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Marziyeh, Michael Jackson and many more.

    I have one to dozens of songs by the artists above. From Blues to Classical. From Country to Rock, etc. I platted many of the songs by artists above.

    I most note that I played guitar since my teens, learned to read music even though my parents were professional level musicians they would only give me piano lessons – so I TAUGHT MYSELF Guitar (I use 4 finger picking), I have played publicly and write music and lyrics, I have a wide spectrum of music that I love.

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  3. This is so nice. Happy childhood memories of a cultural icon. No pop music in Peep’s house growing up. I had one record, the Carpenters, which I could play on low volume 🙂

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  4. I like Neil Sedaka too and especially Laughter In The Rain. I never read much about him until today so this was a learning experience. You know I’m going to have this song in my head all day now…lol!

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  5. Pingback: 25 Days, 25 Songs: Day 5 | Stuphblog

  6. Pingback: 25 Days, 25 Songs: Day 6 | Stuphblog

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