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October 2018



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Others say he could SING like NEIL SEDAKA

Yesterday evening I watched That’s When the Music Takes Me on BBC 4. I knew nothing at all about Neil Sedaka’s life but found I know every word and note of Oh! Carol, Calendar Girl, Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen and Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. When British groups invaded the States his career seemed over but the songs kept coming. In my ignorance I hadn’t known he wrote Laughter In The Rain, The Immigrant, Amarillo or Solitaire. I may not like them but I have to admit they’re good songs.

They used to call Alma Cogan ‘the girl with the laugh in her voice’. Neil Sedaka is the man with the smile in his voice; he sings smiley, talks smiley, acts smiley. Now he’s seventy years old, still in good voice, still smiling and loving the love he gets from audiences. Apparently, he’s even more popular here in the UK than he is back home. Goodness, he’s cheesy but I’ll always love the pure pop of those early, pre-Beatles numbers. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do was recorded in 1962 and is shown here from an American TV show of 1966.


I often think of you now when I hear songs from the 1960's :-)

I am reading Joan Baez' autobiography now, and i've got to the bit where she meets Bob Dylan. It's pretty much as she tells it in No Direction Home. Have you read it? If not I could send it ...
Ha ha! I don't mind that, though I do like a lot of other music, too.

I think huskyteer probably has the book. Did you watch the Imagine programme about Baez just recently? I'm sorry to say I was only really interested in the Dylan parts and he was one of the commenters! Still calls her 'Joanie'. There's another side to the story: Suze Rotolo's.
I did realize that you listen to other things too, I promise!

I didn't see the programme; I wish I had. Suze Rotolo - the girl in No Direction Home? There are definite gaps in my knowledge ...
She's the girl on the cover of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Like Paul Simon's 'Cathy', she's notoriously never said much. Quite recently though I caught her on the radio and the story went, 'nasty, famous Joan stole my Bobby'. This was just after husky & I had sat through a lot of Dylan footage saying, 'Oh, poor Joanie!'
Yes, that's the one I was thinking of!

I find that I really relate to Joan, probably more than Bob, although his was the truly outstanding contribution to music in that era. She certainly has my sympathy, although I think she could be quite predatory with her relationships. I have been surprised by her honesty in the book (although, I suppose, I shouldn't be).


I have that 45 somewhere in my collection. Great to see the old clips, is it the quality of the recording or do you think he was miming? I'm sure TOTP's audiences were a bit more active than the ones in that studio!

Wee sister
Lucky you! I got the impression he was miming in that clip. I looked at a few other YouTube videos but the sound quality was usually terrible.


I have a soft spot for Neil Sedaka, too. Sweet Sixteen was always my favourite and still has a kind of innocence to it - although it would probably be banned in these politically correct times! Nicola@vintagereads
Innocence! Yes, that's exactly it. And those songs were happy.


I'll stand up proud and say I love Neil Sedaka! And I, too, know all those words. We would have been such friends in high school - walking down the halls, singing his songs!
Oh gosh and Bobby Vee, Take Good Care of My Baby, how I loved that one. The programme made the point that the early songs hit the everyteen market with what the kids felt. We can still sing the songs!