Showing posts with label James Taylor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Taylor. Show all posts

James Taylor - Handy Man - on James Taylor Greatest Hits Volume 2 Album (1977)

James Taylor - Handy Man - on James Taylor Greatest Hits Volume 2 Album (1977)
'70s Lite Rock on WLCY Radio




"Handy Man" is a rock and roll song written by singer Jimmy Jones and songwriter Otis Blackwell. Recordings by Del Shannon and also The Sparks Of Rhythm list Charles Merenstein as a co-writer as does BMI. The Sparks Of Rhythm version on the Apollo 541 single version released in 1959 credits Andrew Barksdale and Merenstein as writers omitting Jimmy Jones. The song is noted for Jone's singing "Comma, Comma Comma Comma" lyrics, which is heard at the beginning as well as in the Coda of the song, before the song's fade.

It was originally recorded by The Sparks Of Rhythm, a group Jones had been a member of when he wrote it, although he was not with them when they recorded it. That version was in a minor key, and had a completely different melody. When Jimmy Jones recorded it, the song was changed to a major key, with a completely different melody, which has become the version that is generally known today. In 1959, Jones recorded the song himself, in a version which had been reworked by Blackwell, who also produced the session. The song featured a whistler, who is heard throughout the lyrics. "Handy Man" went to number three on the R&B charts and number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960, becoming a million seller. The song was a hit again in 1964, hitting at Number 22, for Del Shannon, and again for James Taylor, whose slow version was a hit in 1977.

Measured in terms of popularity on any chart, Taylor's version of the song was the most successful. It hit #2 on the Cash Box Top 100 chart and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and was knocked out of the pole position by his then wife Carly Simon. Taylor's version also earned him his second Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Male. Taylor's version featured Leah Kunkel, the ex-wife of Russ Kunkel, as backup singer, singing the "Comma Comma" sections in harmony, which is heard after the first time the whole lyrics is sung, as well as in the Coda of the song.

Allmusic critic Jason Elias compares Jones' original with Taylor's version stating that "where Jones’s version was chipper and a little obnoxious," Taylor's version "is so laid back it’s almost somnolent." Elias notes that Taylor's slowed down version has the benefit of allowing him to shade the words in new ways. Elias also praises Taylor's guitar playing.
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James Taylor - You've Got A Friend (1971)

James Taylor - You've Got A Friend (1971)
'70s #1 Hits on WLCY Radio




"You've Got a Friend" is a 1971 song written by Carole King. It was first recorded by King, and included in her album Tapestry, although the better known version is by James Taylor from his album Mud Slide Slim, which was released as a single in 1971, and reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The two versions were recorded simultaneously in 1971 with shared musicians.

"You've Got a Friend" won Grammy Awards both for Taylor (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and King (Song of the Year). Dozens of other artists have recorded the song over the years, including Dusty Springfield, Michael Jackson, Anne Murray and Donny Hathaway.
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James Taylor - Fire And Rain

James Taylor - Fire And Rain
"Fire and Rain" is a folk rock song written and performed by James Taylor. It appeared on his second album, Sweet Baby James. The album was released in February 1970, with the song being released as a single that month. "Fire and Rain" hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It eventually sold over a million US singles, but never received its corresponding certification.

Carole King is the pianist on the song. Drummer Russ Kunkel used brushes rather than sticks on his drum kit and Bobby West played double bass using a bow.

"Fire and Rain" is in the 227th position on Rolling Stone′s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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