At least they are on Movies Broadway Singers and Beyond. It’s hard to picture Carly Simon as part of “the good old days”. On this station I play people like Frank Sinatra, Carmen McRae, and others who were part of the generation before mine, but Carly Simon is part of my generation and now she is at a time in her life when she is reflecting upon her past, which in terms of time, is my past. I have all of her albums as she has gone through her transitions.
I recently saw an interview with her and Dan Rather. It was very telling. Carly is an open person who likes to connect with others. She had both a privileged but challenging childhood. She was born into wealth as her father was one of the founders of the Simon and Schuster Publishing Company.
Money was always available and she always associated with interesting people. A negative childhood experience influenced her music and her life, but what I discovered is that she managed to take every experience and use it for her writing.
When she was very young she performed with her sister, Lucy. Both of her sisters, Lucy and Joanna, were both singers. Talent was in abundance in that family. In 1972 Carly’s breakthrough album No Secrets rose to number 1 on the US album charts. The album cover became famous because of Carly’s looks and the music brought her success. Her music touched my heart. Her top 10 hit, That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be, reminded me of my parents who were divorced. Carly had a way of touching the heart.
Her most famous song might be You’re So Vain. For many years people wondered who this song was about. There was speculation that it was about Mick Jagger or Warren Beatty. It could have been about both of them. All Carly has admitted is that the second verse was about Warren Beatty. The other verses . . . who knows.
In 1977 the single Nobody Does It Better from the James Bond film became her second biggest hit after You’re So Vain. In 1978 a duet with her husband, James Taylor, became successful. Their song Mockingbird was recognized the world over.
One of my favorite Carly songs is Have You Seen Me Lately. All of my friends love this song. Even my daughter, who is much younger than me, loves this song. And while Carly is an incredible songwriter who sings her own music, she also managed to step out of the box and sing songs of the previous generation like the music of Rodgers and Hart.
Oddly enough, Carly’s No Secrets album was released on my birthday in 1972. I was visiting my father and stepmother in Philadelphia and on our way back to the airport my husband took a picture of me outside of my dad’s house. When the picture was developed (in those days we had to do that) it reminded me of Carly’s cover, hat and all.
On Wednesday, December 21st, at 12:00 pm Eastern /9:00 am Pacific Time Movies Broadway Singers and Beyond will pay tribute to this beautiful and talented woman. And why not, that’s the way I’ve always heard it should be.
With a song in my heart.