Jim Morris: Singer-Songwriter, Recording Artist

Jim Morris is perhaps the most popular independent singer-songwriter and recording artist making island-inflected music.  To say he is a Jimmy Buffett clone is not completely accurate.  Although influenced by Jimmy Buffett, Jim Morris was very influenced by singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker and much of his songwriting seem to be lyrical.  He’s a storyteller first and foremost.

This interview was recorded in an empty bar in Key West, Florida several years back.  He told the story behind several of his popular songs and how he came to be the Jim Morris people travel very far to see and hear.

David Martin: singer-songwriter

David Martin lives and breathes the songs.  Chances are, you’ve heard something David Martin wrote.  His songs have sold over 26 million records around the world, but all stories have a beginning.  For the British singer-songwriter, he began his career as a member of the group Butterscotch on RCA Records.  Soon after, he formed a songwriting partnership with Chris Arnold and Geoff Morrow.  The partnership resulted in many the composition of many songs recorded by the true legends of recorded music, including Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Wayne Newton, Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Mama Cass.  Many others would perform and record their well crafted songs.

One of the songs David Martin would write has brought many smiles to the world.  David Martin’s song “Can’t Smile Without You” would become a pop standard and worldwide hit after being recorded by Barry Manilow.  Manilow was not the first, nor the last artist to record the song.  The Carpenters, Engelbert Humperdinck, Vic Damone, Andy Williams, Gino Cunico and others would perform and record their own versions.  The song has been performed countless times in concert and featured in motion pictures as well as earning Martin three BMI awards for over 3 million airplays.

Although he has written and continues to write songs, he is still very much a singer.  As a songwriter, he has a great admiration for the great songwriters of the American Songbook, those great lyricists and composers who wrote the standards: Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer and Sammy Cahn.  It is his love for these American classics that resulted in his new album “Silky Smooth Moments.”  Accompanied by the Terry Coffey Trio, David Martin sings such standards as “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” as well as one written by David Martin himself.

It’s a beautiful gesture from David Martin.  Although he has accomplished so much with his own songs, he pays tribute to the great songwriters who came before him.  We invite you into the world and passion of David Martin, where songs with great messages never die.  They endure.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to welcome this man, he’s a singer, song writer, his name is David Martin and he has a brand new album ‘Silky Smooth Moments,’ welcome.
Thank you Paul and thank you for inviting me to be part of your show, I’m really looking forward to speaking with you.

The pleasure is all ours, I think most stories are best from the beginning, what was life like growing up?
Well, you know, it was pretty tough, happy, very happy, I had a… thank God a very happy home life with my parents, we had… the best years I can remember were  in West London, where… in a little place called Hammersmith, which is a pretty throbbing place these days, and it was a happy time really, I was an only child, strange as it may seem and a lot of time in those days just spent playing on the street, which is kind of different to how it is now, because now a days people don’t let their children go out on the street understandably, but it was happy and we had fun and you know, I was kind of a young sporty, I did a lot of sport as a young kid and my school days were great, so, I’d have to say, didn’t have lots of money, but in those days, you know, it didn’t matter, in fact in these days it doesn’t matter really, cause money is just a thing isn’t it really, yeah, I’d have to say that I had a fundamental, happy home life and it was a good start for me to enter into the big, wide world.

Was it a very musical household?
My Father was very, very musical, well, I think it’s a 50-50 situation, my Father had an amazing operatic voice, although by trade, funnily enough a bit like Perry Como, he was a hairdresser by trade and he never ever took his singing seriously, but he had a great, powerful, strong voice and on my Father’s side, he had a Great Aunt who had two children and one of them was a lady called May and he remembers vividly when he was a child, that they would spend weekends, evenings, weekends with May sitting at the piano, thumping out tunes and everybody would be singing away, so, I think it’s my Father’s side where that musical strain came from.

And when did you realise that you had a musical talent?
I realised that Paul as long ago as when I was seven years of age, I remember being in a playground with a friend at school, and we were walking, just walking across the playground and I was singing away, singing away something or another and he said to me “oh that’s really nice, what song is that you’re singing?”, and I said “I don’t know I must have heard it on the radio,” so I kind of listened out for a few days and didn’t hear this song and realised that at the age of seven I had actually made a song up. That’s when I realised I had that gift really and to be honest I’ve been making songs up ever since. (David and Paul laugh)

So you think the ability to write songs was something you were pretty much born with?
Oh there’s no question about it, there is no question, it has always come very naturally to me it’s always been something that…. you know, you could say to me now, I mean if you could come up with a song called  Paul Leslie Show, I can probably do it on the spot. It’s one of those things which, it’s always been there, I kind of have a… I can wake up in the middle of the night with a whole melody going through my head, or I can be in the car or whatever, and it’s just always been there, it took some years for me to develop it and own it and in actual fact, I mean jumping forward a bit, when I was first signed as a singer, ’cause I started out as a singer, but I was signed to a record label called Pie Records, and it was then that it really started properly, because the record producer said to me, you know, “we’re going to go out and look for some material today” and I went all around the publishers with him and they played these songs, most of which I thought were pretty boring and he just happened to say “do you write yourself?” And I said “ohyeah, sure”, you know, kind of bluffing it really, and I went home and wrote a couple of songs and we put them on a recording session, and that’s really  how it started out, then I realised that I had something which was approaching something professional, it’s always been there.

What about the group ‘Butterscotch’ how did you come to be in that group?
By that time, I had two writing partners, Geoff Morrow and Chris Arnold. Chris Arnold, Geoff Morrow and we were known in the industry as Arnold, Martin and Morrow and we were kind of jumping, working songwriters, writing away trying to get artists to record our songs, in the middle of this wave of euphoric activity, a record came out which was number one in the USA, I’m sure your listeners will know it called ‘Love Goes Where My Rosemary Goes’ and a pal of mine called Tony Burrows was the lead singer on that record. It shot to number one in the UK, shot to number one in the USA and the bizarre thing was that I started getting telephone calls from friends saying “oh, we’ve heard this fantastic single that you’re singing on David and how fantastic for you” and I said “well it is a great single, but it’s not me singing.” (David and Paul laugh) it’s actually Tony Burrows, ’cause we both have kind of a similar kind of sounding voice I guess, but what that did was, made me think we’ll maybe we should do something like that, so Geoff, Chris and I put our heads together and we came up with this song, ‘Don’t you know, She Said Hello’ and I did the vocal and we decided to call it… call the band ‘Butterscotch,’ and it was a bit hit in the UK, so that’s how that happened, it was kind of triggered from one thing that led to something else and that’s how that happened.

Going back then, before that, you mentioned Chris Arnold and Geoff Morrow, the songwriters that you wrote so many songs with, what circumstance led you to meet them.
You know, it’s the old story, isn’t it Paul, we all lived in… at that time I’d grown up and I was engaged, or about to be married, I can’t remember at what stage, but we all… I’d moved well away from West London and I was now living in North London, and they were living in North London as well, so we knew each other socially and they were song writers, Geoff and Chris and I was a vocalist, ’cause I’d signed my deals I said just now with Pie, so although we were great friends, it was one of those situations where they wrote songs and didn’t really tell me much about what they were doing and I was kind of trying to make my way as an artist, and so we were friends but weren’t really involved together, until one day Jeff called me up and said “look, we’ve got this song that we’ve written for Billy Fury, do you remember Billy Fury, Paul?

I have to be honest, I don’t know that name.
Well, Billy Fury was a massive artist in the UK and I’m going about the late, late sixties, into the seventies, he was a really big, big artist over here and he had a lot of big hits, ‘Half Way To Paradise’ and all sorts of things, they had this song that they’d written and Geoff said to me, you know, “would you be interested in demoing the song for us, doing a demo of the song?” I said “yeah, I’d love to,” I went over to their place one evening where they used to work, and they played me this song, which was called ‘In Thoughts Of You’ and half way through the song or when the song ended, I said “yeah, I love the song, I’m happy to do it” I said, “but, I hope you don’t my saying so, I think the middle section’s a bit weak and Geoff said “what do you mean, what’s wrong with it?” and Chris wasn’t very happy with me making that comment (Paul laughs), I said “well, I just think.. I don’t think it’s really going anywhere, I think it needs to…”well, what would you do with it?” Said Geoff, I said “well, okay, play it again,” so they played it again and I said “well I think I would do this, and suggested a couple of changes, which in fact they made, I did the demo, Billy Fury recorded it, it went top five in the UK and then Geoff approached me and said “look, why don’t we work together as a team?” So I said “okay, fine” and that’s how it started.

Of the songs that the three of you wrote, could you pick a best interpretation of a song that you wrote?
Do you know, it’s a really good question, it’s a really good question because the thing about writing songs… I mean at the beginning you’re only too happy for anybody to take the trouble to record something you write, I mean, you’re desperately trying to get your songs covered by anybody, you get over that stage after a while, because sometimes what happens is, you write a song, and people record it and when you hear it, sometimes you get quite disappointed because you don’t feel they’ve treated it in the way that you would like them to have done, I think there are two answers to that question, if I may, one of them has to be the Presley version, Elvis Presley version of our song called ‘This Is The Story,’ the reason why I say that is because we did a demo of the song, obviously aimed for him, I tried to do, dare I say, my best Elvis Presley impression I could, although I didn’t sound anything like him, but I did a really… tried to get the essence of it if you like and when we heard the recording, it was absolutely fantastic because it was exactly the way we demoed it and the phrasing and everything, I think that was one of the best. The other one was a song that Cliff Richard recorded of ours, called “So Long,” which is a really beautiful recording and one of the best lyrics I think that Chris wrote, ’cause Chris in those days wrote most of the lyric and Jeff and I did most of the melodies in those days. Cliff did the song ‘So Long’, which sadly ended up on the ‘B’ side of a single, but I think we all felt should have been an ‘A’ side and would have been a very big hit in this country, so I would say those two songs stand out for me.

The number of artists have recorded all the songs that you guys wrote, you mentioned Elvis Presley recorded a few of those songs, but then you mentioned Cliff Richard, has there been an artist that you had an emotional attachment to that you were just had a over the moon that they recorded one of your songs?
Well, I mean, you know, you’d have to say, again, there’s a wonderful answer, we had a song called ‘Who In The World’ that was recorded by Mama Cass which was fabulous and always comes back every time I suppose, to ‘Can’t Smile Without You’ Barry Manilow, which is impossible not to be emotional about it, I mean, it was a most fabulous recording and I think even though, funnily enough a number of recordings before he did it, when he did it, I think he made it into the essential recording of that song, you see, it’s a very good question Paul, because you get very mixed emotions when artists record your songs and I think the Mama Cass version of ‘Where In The World’ was just gorgeous really, beautiful, beautiful recording.

 A second ago you mentioned the song ‘Can’t Smile Without You’ and I suppose as a great testament to what a great song it is, it’s been recorded by Barry Manilow, The Carpenters, Engelbert Humperdinck, Vic Damone even  recorded it, the late Andy Williams, why do you think it is, because people universally seem to love that song. Why do you think it’s so beloved?
It’s a very good.. these questions are very good questions, because if we only knew, if one even had a clue, it’s so difficult to understand what makes this one song stand head and shoulders above another one, I mean, again, the story behind that song was a fascinating one because it was during the time of my marriage to a lady called Debbie and she had a greeting card shop in Hampstead, North London, I went and picked her up to take her home one night in Hampstead… we lived in a place called Harrow and when I arrived, she gave me an envelope and in the envelope was a plain blue card, with a small badge on it with a tear, and I opened the card and it just said ‘can’t smile without you’ and I thought ‘well, a brilliant song title’, so by the time we got to Harrow, which is about thirty minutes from Hampstead, to be honest the song was written and I actually recorded it, the first recording of the song and from that recording, all these other recordings were emanated, and our publisher at the time was an American guy in America, we were with Dick James Music, with a guy called Arthur Braun in America and he had great beliefs in the song and he went running around with this song and first, when he went to see Clive Davis, Clive played it for Barry Manilow, who kind of, actually passed on the song and they recorded it on Arista with a new up and coming guy called Gino Cunico.
Oh yes.
Do you remember that?
I have that vinyl album.
You do.. fantastic, and then, as you say Engelbert Humperdinck did it and this one did it, a UK guy called Des O’Connor did it, and also, The Carpenters recorded it and it was one of these songs that kept on being picked up, until of course, Barry picked it up, eventually Clive persuaded him to do it and the rest I guess is history, but, you know, to answer the question, it’s really difficult, because when a song is written, as the writer of it, you have a ‘thing’ about it, you kind of like it, or love it, or whatever, but you have no way of knowing whether that song is going to end up being a world monster or not, it’s very difficult to understand, I think what it is, is that the message and the style and everything about it resonates so strongly with people and perhaps they recognise their own situation in the song, which is what makes them make it their own. I remember going to the O2 a couple of years ago, ’cause Barry was over here at the O2 Arena, 25,000 people and when he just played the introduction, and he whistled (David whistles the intro) just whistles the introduction, the whole place, 25,000 people stood on their feet and sang the song from beginning to end with him all the way through, now that was emotional experience, I can assure you.

 On that note, there’s a picture on your web site, everyone can go to the web site, it’s davidmartinsingersongwriter.com, there’s a picture of you and Mr. Manilow together.
There is indeed, yeah.

Well, there is an article recently where Barry Manilow was talking about that song, all these years later, since it was originally recorded, he was talking about his fondness for that song. I am wondering what your personal experiences have been like with Mr. Manilow.
He really is an absolute lovely, lovely sweet man, very… you know… what you see is what you get, and I’ve on and off been speaking to him for all these years, I mean we’re talking about twenty five years, well, where were we when he first recorded it? Seventy… wait a minute… he recorded it in… it was a hit in America in 1976 I think, so we’re talking twenty four… we’re coming up to thirty, thirty nine years ago that he did the song, the last time I saw him was at the O2 as I think I mentioned, I said “Barry,” I said “you know, we’ve been involved with this song for so long,” he said, he said “David”, he said “it’s kind of like ‘Yesterday,’” he said and “may it carry on for another thirty odd years”,  you know, he said, he’s a really lovely person and very articulate, very much involved in his career and how he comes across for the public in terms of his vocal and everything else and he’s very professional, and a great guy, with a beautiful voice, which seems to do the trick wherever he goes.

Our special guest is David Martin. I wanted to bring everybody up to the present, you have this brand new album out, it’s entitled ‘Silky Smooth Moments.’
Right.

Just to tell everybody a little bit about it, most of the tracks… you have a song you wrote on there, but most of the tracks are the classics from The American Songbook.
Yes.

What is it about the American Songbook that made you want to record an album of standards?
Well, obviously like everything in my life, there’s always a story behind it, it’s just simply this, as I mentioned to you Paul when we started talking, I began.. I started out as a singer, I was never intending to become a songwriter to be honest, I started out as a singer and in the UK I was travelling around doing little clubs in army bases ’cause in those days you had a lot of army bases over here, entertaining US troops and stuff like that, and most of the songs that I did in those days were these kind of standard songs, and then lo and behold, about, I suppose about two years ago now, eighteen months, two years ago, I got a call from a friend of mine, a promoter friend of mine who puts on concerts and shows and he said “David,” he said, “I don’t know if you’d be interested,” he said “but I’m putting on an American Songbook show, would you be interested in taking part, you know, as one of the artists in the show?” So I said “Well, why not, I’d love to, be lovely to go back to all those beautiful songs again.”

So I did this show for him, which was called ‘The Seasonal Great American Songbook,’ ’cause it was heading into the Christmas period, and the show ran for about five weeks in a small theatre called ‘The New End Theatre’ in North London, and we got pretty good people turning out and during the course of the show, which was really enjoyable, I got a lot of reviews from people and also a lot of… a lot of comments from all sorts of people, and in the reviews that I got, they were referring to me as the ‘honey voiced David Martin,’  ‘listening to David Martin is like listening to confectionary,’ ‘silky tones’ etcetera, and I thought ‘this is really lovely’ and I pitched the songs pretty low in this show, because I was singing with a girl called Sarah Parry who had a big, strong kind of, very big voice and I thought it might be nice if I pitched all my songs really low, so having got all this reaction, I thought it might be a nice idea to go in the studio and see what the voice sounds like with these kind of songs in this low register, so that’s how it all started Paul, and I went in and recorded two or three songs, everybody got so excited because… a little trio got.. trio together, and we ended up actually recording 16 songs, of which ended up… there’s about 11 on the album, one of which is ‘Silky Smooth Moments’ and that song came about because the engineer on the session kept saying ‘God, this sounds so silky smooth’, so we thought, ‘oh great idea, I just called it ‘Silky Smooth Moments,’ and then me as song writer, couldn’t resist coming up with a song called ‘Silky Smooth Moments.’

 The wonderful thing is that a lot of my peers over here in the industry, have heard it and said to me ‘you know, I think this is like a standard song waiting to happen’, so you couldn’t ask for more praise for a song than that, I’m pretty proud of it and actually pretty proud of the album too, I think it’s one of the nicest works I’ve done, so that’s the story behind it, the song called ‘Silky Smooth Moments.’ Obviously I wanted it to be in the same genre as the songs on the album, something in my brain kind of ‘clicks’ and very, very quickly, songs started to form and shape and came out as it was, so I wouldn’t say that I was thinking about any particular song writer, or I was influenced in any way, I think style of the songs written in that period by Irving Berlin, by Cole Porter, etcetera has made an imprint in my mind, so that when I go in to that songwriting mode, it comes out, very much in that style, it’s the best way I can answer it Paul.

 You mentioned a second ago Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.  What are your favourite composers and lyricists from that Tin Pan Alley era?
I’ve got to say Irving Berlin, I’ve got to say Cole Porter, I’ve got to say Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer, fabulous, brilliant writers and if you like, more latterly, Henry Mancini is a great writer, Harold Arlen who wrote ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow,’ I mean these songs frankly, absolutely on a strarter which is top, top, top quality songs, and then if I… I went to a… some years ago now I think, probably going back about 25/30 years, but I went to a celebration dinner in London at a big, one of the swanky hotels on Park Lane in London, and it was in celebration and tribute to the great writer Sammy Cahn who wrote as you know ‘All The Way’ to Sinatra and ‘Second Time Around’ and one of the tracks, I think, ‘Teach Me Tonight’ on the album, he was a giant writer on. I arrived at the… at the hotel and as I walked into the reception area where there must have been about at least 200 people, it was a bit like the parting of the waves, it was coming sort of like a parting of the space and through the middle of this space walking directly towards me was Sammy Cahn himself.
Oh wow.
So I… well, I thought ‘well, I’d better take the opportunity while I’ve got it,’ so as he walked toward… I think he might have been going to the gents, to the gents room, I don’t know, but as he walked towards me, I sort of extended my hand and he took it and I said “I just somehow, just wanted to shake your hand and say ‘thank you for the wonderful, wonderful pleasure that you’ve given me and millions of other people at the same time and may you go on for many, many, many, many, many years,'” he said “well David,” he said “what’s your name?” I said “David Martin” I said “I’m one of the newer breed on the block, one of the new kids on the block” and he said to me “well ummm”, he said “I don’t know you David” he said, “but you must have done something right for you to have been invited to be here”, he said “and if I can give you any words of wisdom it’s this”, he said “stick with what you know best, do what you know best, don’t allow yourself to be influenced by other stars and other people and all the rest of it”, he said “you just stick to what you do best”, he said “and your style will come in to fashion, go out of fashion and come back again,” he said, “but that, I think is the best advice I can give you.” I’ve always kind of remembered those words and there’s a lot to be said for it too.

Thank you very much for sharing that story, that was incredibly interesting. I can’t imagine what it was like to meet him.
It was just… it was one of those enjoyable moments in your life, because he was a very cute, smart, perceptive man and also had a lovely sort of style of fun about him, I think that’s the thing about song writers, you know, we’re all a bit crazy to be honest and we all see life in a funny way, and we all have fun and pull each other’s leg and, but when we get down to it, we do the business, but unless you’ve got a sense of humour, I don’t think you can be a song writer to be honest.

The album, is there a favorite track on the album?
Obviously I ‘m going to push mine to one side, because like I say, I’m very proud of it, but if I had a favorite track of all the other tracks, I’d have to say it was ‘Wee Small Hours Of The Morning,’ I just adore the song, I can’t imagine being able to improve on the vocal that I’ve done, ’cause you know we singers always think we can do better, but I can’t… listened to the album a few time and that track for me, stands out, I’m really, really proud of it.  Love the song. I love the track.

That is the one that also caught my ear.
Wow.                                                                                          

That one, you did that one very well.
Ahhhh, thank you Paul. Thank you very much.

 On that note, what vocalists have influenced you the most?
Well, I’d have to give you different branches of music for that, first of all, in the genre apropos the album, I ‘d have to say Nat King Cole, probably rates as my favorite singer of all time, I  just, when I heard him as a young lad walking through a store in London, I couldn’t be more than 10 or 12, and I was walking, I think, with my Mother through a store and suddenly this voice came out through the store speakers and I remember being routed to the spot, thinking to myself ‘if this is a human being, it’s so utterly beautiful and perfect’, I couldn’t believe it, so Nat King Cole is just, for me, a most wonderful singer. But I love Frank Sinatra, I love Tony Bennett, I love Michael Bublé who I think does a fantastic job these days, great singer, obviously I love Barry Manilow, but Barry’s not in the same… he’s not in that genre, and from the rock side, you know, I was crazy about Elvis. I think Elvis is one of my favorite singers of all time, but funnily enough, going back to, again, into my early days of listening to records and stuff, there was an American singer called Guy Mitchell who I loved to hear, and I used to love Guy Mitchell, so I don’t know if you guys remember him, but I do, he’s really good.

When someone listens to this album.
Yes.
What do you want the listener to get out of the experience?
That’s a really wonderful question Paul, thank you for asking it. I am very impressed when I listen to albums by Ella Fitzgerald, by Sinatra, by Nat King Cole, by various singers of that ilk—Al Jolson going back even further if you like, they all have, even though they may be singing songs that they’ve all recorded, perhaps similar songs or the same song, they all have a uniqueness about them, in their own voice and their own delivery, and something about it, which grips the listener and makes the listener say “well, I love this voice, I want to go out and buy it” and that’s what I’ve tried to accomplish in making this album, to have my own unique sound, which people around me have called ‘silky smooth’, which is very flattering, but nevertheless, my own unique sound, so that anybody listening to anything I sing,  makes them want to go out and buy that record, I think hopefully I answered your question.

Indeed. What is the best thing about being David Martin?
The best thing about David Martin is that he’s got five wonderful children, who he loves to pieces, and thank God they love me. I’ve had a wonderful life. I’m still having a very happy life. I have great friends, a great family, and do you know, all of that, is the most important thing, and all the rest is wonderful, and if I can give people pleasure along the way, then that gives me, makes me happy with my life, and that to me is the best thing about being me.

I have a very strong feeling that there will be people listening to this interview, not just here in the States, but from different places in the world, what would you like to say to the people who are listening to this?
That I hope that all of you are in good spirits and in a good place, that you’re happy in your lives with all your friends and family, that you are good to one another, do the very best you can, if you can do a good deed every once in a while that’s fantastic, but, at the end of the day I think the most important thing, is to be happy with yourself and if you can achieve what you set out to achieve, then, congratulations to you, but, the most important thing you have to do in life, is just try your best, and if you try your best, then you can never say that you did anything but the right thing.

Wow, my last question, who is David Martin?
Who is David Martin?
Yes Sir.
David Martin is a young guy in the UK who wanted to achieve certain dreams, he achieved many, many of them, and is a guy who is probably like Mr Joe, Mr and Mrs Brown who live next door, ’cause I’m kind of like the guy next door, but I, you know, happily I’m able to entertain people and that makes me happy, and also David Martin is a guy who continually has ambitions to continue to do things that will become successful and hopefully give people pleasure, and I think that’s a very important thing, to carry on in life, and always want to do something better and achieve something, rather than decide you’ve reached a point in your life where you’ve done as much as you need to do and then kind of switch off and don’t continue, I think that kind of sums me up, I will always have a little project on my time board and I will always want to give people pleasure by achieving it.

Very well put, may I make a confession?
Please.
I very much respect and admire songwriters and it’s always a very big pleasure for me when I speak to people who compose and write the songs. When you whistled the little beginning part of ‘Can’t Smile Without You.’
Yes.
The hair on my arms stuck up.

(David and Paul laugh.)

It really did and I grew up in part in the Philippines and my Mother sang that song.
Ahhhhhh

And played that song, I’m not kidding you, I probably have heard that song a thousand times in my life, and to speak to you is a very big honor. So I congratulate you on your album, and, much like you thank Sammy Cahn, I just thank all the songwriters for writing something positive.  It makes people smile, because, I also… if I could say one more thing, I witness people cry, mothers and daughters, mothers and sons when that song is being sung and it’s very special.
That’s so lovely Paul, well, thanks for saying that, I think in one of Barry’s books he mentions in a chapter that there was a lady who was… I’m not sure what the illness is called, I think it’s agoraphobia, but there was a lady who suffered from not being able to leave her home, is that called agoraphobia when somebody leaves their home?
I believe so, agoraphobia.
But she had… she just loved ‘Can’t Smile Without You’, and he was coming close to her town to perform, and she left her home to go to the show so she could hear him sing the song. Now that… when I read that in the chapter, that made me feel quite… quite eerie to be honest. Anyway, why don’t I do this, if we’re at the end of the interview, I should go (David sings to the tune of ‘Can’t Smile Without You’)… ‘Paulie my dear, I’m glad to be here, doing your show,  we all think of you as cream of the crop, the man at the top, and we’re glad to know, cause you know we can’t smile without you..’ How’s that?
I am smiling as big as I ever smiled. (David and Paul laugh) That was special, thank you very much.
My pleasure.

TRANSCRIBED BY ROSALIND WINTON.

David Pomeranz: Singer-Songwriter, Recording Artist

David Pomeranz is one of the most successful and prolific songwriters and performing artists on the scene today. His songs and recordings have sold over 40 million copies worldwide, earning him a total of 18 Gold and 22 Platinum records, and his live concerts have delighted and inspired millions all over the world.

The songs of David Pomeranz have been recorded and performed by the likes of Barry Manilow, (“The Old Song” and “Tryin’ to Get the Feelin’ Again”) Freddie Mercury, Bette Midler, Harry Belafonte, The Carpenters, Cliff Richard and Donna Summers.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to welcome our special guest, David Pomeranz. Thanks so much for joining us.
Oh, you’re very welcome Paul, nice to speak with you.

My first question. For all those that are listening from everywhere, who is David Pomeranz?AAAHHHH, (David laughs) Well, good night everybody. Ever since I was a little boy, in this lifetime, I have been very inspired by beautiful music and rhythmic music, and just music in general, you know Pop music, Broadway music, anything great, and I would feel things and go places emotionally that nothing in the world took me to, nothing, and so I kind of… patterned my artistic life anyway to be involved with this whole beautiful area of music, and work really hard at it and try to be as good at it as I can, so as to how people experience what I experienced when I was a kid, you know, and it’s a……and continue to obviously, you know, when you get the goose bumps or you get the emotional affect or you get the inspiration or whatever that is, that uplifts the person, that’s what I’m into, whether it’s up tempo music or ballads, doesn’t matter.

When you were growing up, would you say your house was a musical house?
Very, yeah, my Father is a terrific singer, my mom played the piano, my sister sang and we all would perform around…… you know….sing songs around the piano in the living room and such, and they always played music, you know, again, show tunes, classical tunes, my parents were into early rock too, you know, so, yeah, we were always playing music, always, always, and it was a big part of what we shared together as a family. 

What was your favorite music growing up?
There are two answers really; my favorite piece of music probably was the score to West Side Story, that was the thing that made me go “Oh my God, somebody wrote that” (David laughs), you know, happened to be Leonard Bernstein and Steven Sondheim, but, I mean as an eight or nine year old boy, that really impacted me, compositionally, and then listening to, you know, the song… the older songs of, you know, Richard Rodgers and such, that… again…compositionally, these guys just moved me very deeply, but as far as performers and recording artists and such.. and obviously, the Beatles and you know everything I was raised with along those lines, performing wise, there was a guy, maybe you remember, John Sebastian who used to be with the ‘Lovin’ Spoonful’ (Paul cuts in ‘Oh yeah’) he was the lead singer, yeah, you know, ‘Do You Believe In Magic?’ and all that, ‘What A Day For A Daydream’, John Sebastian was someone, growing up in New York I used to see at the ‘The Bitter End’ Club in the Greenwich Village and he was by far the most incredible performer I had ever seen, cause he was so in communication with the audience and I said ‘I want to do that,’ so you know, so pop wise, he was my inspiration as a performer, and compositionally it was Bernstein and Rodgers and those guys, and then of course, I was in bands all the time,  mostly because I loved playing music and mostly because I wanted to, you know, I wanted girls to look at me, which I think (David laughs) most male musicians , you know, would have to cop to, and so I was in bands, you know, and I played all the pop music of my childhood, you know and it was good fun, good fun.

 I’m glad you said that about John B. Sebastian.
mmmm hmmmmm

He still remains an incredible performer…
Have you seen him, did you ever catch him live?

Yeah, (David and Paul talk over each other then Paul continues)…  yeah, he is amazing.
Where did you see him? I’m sorry go ahead

I saw him….no, it’s all right, I don’t mind, I saw him in Roswell, at the Roswell Cultural Art Center, this was probably six months ago and I interviewed him before the show.
Ohh you’re kidding me, you just saw him, oh my lord.

I was on cloud nine (Paul laughs), I loved it.
That’s extraordinary, yeah, he’s got some very, very unusual…….. Anyway, go ahead, what were going to ask?

I was going to ask you, can you remember the first song you ever wrote?
Yeah, it was called ‘Queen Cleopatra’, and it really stunk, and…but.. but it was…but you know, I just went to play the guitar, I was maybe.. I don’t know, maybe, I don’t know, what was I? Thirteen, twelve and I had some new chords and I played it for my parents and it went… ohhhh… ‘Queen Cleopatra was irresistible, the owl and the cat were nonsensical, but you and I could be inseparable if you were in love with me’, and I thought that was pretty, frigging cool (David laughs), you know, and my parents went “very good David, that’s very good”, and I’m sure my dad turned to my mother and said “where did he learn those words?” you know, but, there you go, that was my first song.

You’ve done so many things in music; from singing, songwriting, performing, recording, could you pick a favorite part within music?
(sighs)… Oh boy, no, you know, I can’t, and the reason is that they scratch different itches, you know, performing and singing and recording, even, have their own special perk for me, personally, their own special fun, their own special requirements, you know, that I get into and try to best myself in, you know,  and get really good at, and that’s one area and then writing music and lyrics is a whole other muscle, and then writing music and lyrics for the theatre, verses pop records is yet a different thing, but it all sort of boils down to singing and playing… I mean.. pardon me…singing and writing.. you know people ask me, like, ‘how do  you do all these things in all these many areas and it’s like, it’s just I’m just singing what I write, and sometimes other people sing what I write and that’s the simplicity of it and it goes together.

What does it feel like when you’re writing a song and you think you have a keeper? Like when you look at it and you say ‘I think people are going to respond to this emotionally’.
Mmmm mmmmmm Oh it’s very exciting, because, if I’m moved by it, then it’s what you just said you know, I know kind of instinctively ‘ooooh this is a keeper’. This is really good and I get very, very tickled by it and it’s funny, you know, most of the time, those kind of songs do connect with others and every once in a while they don’t and when that happens, I’m always surprised, I mean, you know, like, I’ll go ‘listen to this,’ and I’ll just play it in concert or whatever and I’ll get maybe a polite applause and I’ll go, you know, ‘are you guys listening?’ (David laughs) ‘is there anybody out there?’ You know, it’s always a funny one, but generally, I think it’s… if I’m feeling really strong about it, then other people do too.

Is there a song of yours that you think people have connected to the most?
I mean, my most popular song, I think is ‘Trying To Get The Feeling Again,’ that Manilow popularized years ago, and I think many people know me for that, but the most…. if I say it’s the most popular or most successful song I should say. My most popular song is something called ‘It’s In Every One Of Us’, and that’s something I wrote on the Arista album that I did years ago, and it seems to be… and it’s sung all over the world and has been recorded countless times by, I mean recently Clay Aitkin, Kenny Loggins, John Denver, the Muppets, on and on and on over the years, it seems to resonate with people most perfectly and kind of goes on, it’s the most timeless thing I think I’ve ever written.

Tell us about the inspiration for that song.
Oh interesting, I was working…. I was living in San Francisco, I was living in San Francisco, and I had just read some books by a guy called L. Ron Hubbard, who.. I don’t know if you know him but he wrote a book called ‘Dianetics’ and he was the founder of Scientology, anyway, I was very inspired by what he had written and I was driving down the 80 turnpike near San Francisco and I wrote this song in the car,  and I was just very, very moved and touched by the simplicity of what Mr. Hubbard had said, cause it was true for me, you know, and it’s in every one of us to be wise, true, (David laughs), you know, maybe not, and the truth of it is, perhaps, is what’s made it so liked and sought after.

And, tell us about the other song, ‘Trying To Get The Feeling Again,’ that’s a song that a lot of people have connected to.
Ohhh yeah, well, I wrote that in San Francisco also, interestingly, and it was an assignment for the Carpenters years ago, my Publisher said the Carpenters were looking for a song, and, so I went home and worked for months writing that song, honestly it was months, I couldn’t be satisfied with what I was doing, and I wrote version after version, finally did a demo of it, sent it to the Carpenters, they liked it I heard later, but I never heard back from them. and then the next thing I knew, the demo found its way to Bette Midler, and Barry Manilow at the time was Bette Midler’s producer you may remember,he produced some of her early albums, and he heard it at her house, the report goes, and said ‘gosh this is a great song and if you don’t cut it, can I?’ And she said ‘yeah,’ so that’s how it happened, but I was having a rocky time with my first wife back then and feelings weren’t always there, that’s what the song is about.

What did you think of Mr. Manilow’s version of your song?
Well, I liked it a lot and I never thought of it the way he did it. He also did one of my songs called ‘The Old Songs,’ which we can talk about later, but, it was a similar thing, I’d listen to it and I’d go ‘OH’ and I was surprised, you know, and I liked it, very much, but it was not what I heard in my head, it was what he heard and I was fascinated with it, and I do like it very much, both of those records he did.

Take us back to when you were nineteen and you got your record deal with MCA, what was going through your mind when that happened?
Oh when it happened you mean?

Yeah, what happened and what were you thinking at the time, what was going through your mind?
Ohhh I wanted to be a rock star and I was thrilled, I mean my God, you know, I was gonna… I was gonna, you know, be Paul McCartney, that was it, you know, I was, I don’t know, eighteen, or whatever, I remember my parents had to…. or nineteen maybe… they had to sign the guardian contract cause I wasn’t of age. That was great, and, you know, we recorded with a guy called Ray Ellis, who was the Producer, and Ray Ellis was the Producer of  Billie Holiday and I went ‘WOWWWWWW, it’s like….WOWWWWW are you kidding’ (David laughs) and so I got to work with this legendary arranger, producer, you know, in the jazz world and it was a very interesting record we put together, it was pop music and it had some jazz spin on it because of Ray, you know, it was fun.

And from there you got to perform with a lot of people, touring.
Yeah. 

Tell us about some of the ones that stand out in your mind the most.
(David sighs) Well, gosh, I got to tour extensively with the Carpenters  in the seventies, interestingly, and that was my first sort of… big step and as you can imagine, with a full blown, pro, you know, rock circus tour, you know, with airplanes not buses and that level you know, so that was pretty great, I remember Karen Carpenter, I remember once, we were in a plane going from somewhere to somewhere, Karen wasn’t around because it was a small chartered plane, I couldn’t see her and then somebody said that Karen wanted to see me, and I looked up and she was flying the plane (David laughs) and I went ‘urrrrghhhh, urrrghhh, aaahhh urrrgghh urrrghhhh’…  and we sat down and we were talking and she was very competent, she had the headset down and she was flying the plane, pretty amazing. That was pretty cool and then after that, oh my God, Air Supply, was the next level of tour, but that was buses and that was more Rock n Roll, that was more of a archetypical Rock n Roll tour, you know, with buses and, you know, guys drinking and doing all kinds of stuff, and that was fun, you know, it was just fun, and then, you know, I got to play on a lot of shows with a lot of artists, but then there came a time when I started more headlining myself and like that, but those were great days, those were really fun days, a lot with George Benson, and I did some very funny things back then too, because the agencies that I worked with didn’t always match us up, and I wasn’t the only one,  but they didn’t always match us up with the perfect grade act, so there were a couple of occasions where, you know, I was coupled with Like, say a guy Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who’s like, I don’t know if you know… do you remember him?

Yeah, I do.. I listen to his music…
And he’s a genius, he’s absolute genius, but completely wrong (David laughs) on a show with me, because, you know, I mean, you know, his audience would come, you know, he’s very, sort of, you know, fundamental, kind of, R&B black, Kaftans, you know, at the time, you know, black power thing, you know, that vibe, and I showed up, this old white guy with an acoustic guitar and I come out and I go ‘Hiiiiiii Everybody’ and they go (David laughs) ‘what is going on?’ The fun is, you do it, (David laughs). And they started to heckle me and they were booing, ‘get off’ and all that and all that and I remember getting so mad during one of the shows, you know, I just stopped, because, you know, I liked what I was doing, you know, and I remember and I talked to them and I said ‘hey, you know, I said ‘look,’ I said ‘you may not….. you didn’t come here to see me, obviously, but, I think if you listen to what I’m about to do here, you will like it, so just please, just respect me enough to just listen’ and they went silent and I started to play and then I’d get, sort of like, you know,  ‘GO DAVE!’ you know, ‘DAVID BOY’ (Dave laughs) they were like backing me, you know, cause, you know, they knew I was right, and they gave me the respect and that was a real, great moment for me personally, because I… I knew that they weren’t…. they were sitting there with a bias and if I could cut through that circuit, that mental circuit, you know, the bias, the prejudice or whatever the heck that was, then it would be fine, and I sort of, really adopted that to my whole career and I really….. Like Sebastian, like John Sebastian, that’s what I loved about him, that communication was the deal, that you stand there and you ‘be’ with those people, and you give it ‘to them,’ that they are not some amorphous crowd in the dark or something. You know, that they are people, individuals and you play your music for each one of them, so those kind of experiences really trained me and helped me and… there you go.

I wanted to talk about your album ‘Born For You’.
Sure.

This is.. was…either was, or is, an all time bestselling album in the Philippines?
Yeah, yeah, I think the category is the biggest selling international pop album in the history of that country, yeah, in the Philippines, that came out in 1999, so it’s about eleven years ago now.

 Do you have a pretty big following in the Philippines?
Yeah, it’s quite remarkable, for some reason or other, that county has really embraced my records and it’s been a wonderful experience, I go there quite often and have many, many friends and play coliseums and huge, huge theatres there and it’s just been a real blessing for me, I just love those people and love going there.

I grew up in the Philippines.
Really?

Yeah, I sure did.
Wow.

Well, you know, while we’re on the subject of the Philippines, over there, we watched a television show, growing up, I was born in 81, we watched ‘Perfect Strangers,’ religiously, and that’s a really, it’s a terrific song.
Oh well thanks.

The theme song, you know, it works as more than just a theme song for a television show and a lot of people remember that show and so, I’m hoping you can tell us about that.
Sure, it was an interesting project, I didn’t write that song, but.. it’s called… what is it?…. ‘Standing Tall on the Wings of my Dream,’ right? I think… I forget the title exactly, but I was asked to sing it and the way that came about was, that I had done some songs for television shows produced by guys called Miller and Boyett back there, did some of their theme songs and then when ‘Perfect Strangers’ came in they asked me to sing that one as well, it was written by Jesse Frederick and Bennet Salvay and they did a lot of the …shows back then, they did ‘Full House’ and they did, you know, some of these other great ones, so yeah, but that was wonderful and I love the song myself and I do it in my conscious even now, you know, as a lark and people really like it.

 You’ve had your songs, been covered by so many people, can you pick anybody who’s recorded your song that you would say ‘this is my favorite rendition of one of my songs.’
Wow, what a good question, these are good questions by the way, thank you. Well, you know, there have been, there have been a pot of songs that I can answer that more truthfully that way, and then I’ll look and see what.. if there’s a whole recording that I feel that way about, usually I’m a little critical of them and there are recordings that I’ve heard that are beautiful, but again I would maybe have done it differently or whatever, but do you know who Cliff Richard is or… do you know that name? Cliff Richard… a lot of Americans don’t know him as well as the UK guys, the guys in England, he’slike… he is like one of the gods of the UK, he’s like.. so well known and he recorded several of my songs, and on one of them called  ‘I Still Believe In You,’ that I wrote with Dean Pitchford and he recorded it and there was a part in the song that they orchestrated it much more beautifully than I imagined and I fell apart listening to it, I thought ‘oh my God, that is so beautiful’ and I… and it was one of those moments like when I was a kid again, the thing with West Side Story, it was one of those moments and it was with my song, which made it all the more sweet, so.. that was one, the other interesting one, which you might not think would be, but there it is anyway, I had a song, two songs in a West End musical called ‘Time’, which was produced by Dave Clark, from the Dave Clark Five, those of you who may remember that, that band, and he was in ‘Bits And Pieces’ for God’s sake.. anyway, so, in the show, one of my songs happened to be ‘It’s In Every One Of Us’, that they used for the show, was performed and recited by Sir Laurence Olivier and as you can imagine, you know, it’s like, oh my God, so my parents came over to see the opening with me and my mom and dad are sitting on either side and on comes Laurence Olivier saying my song.

Wow..
Yeah… it was one of those wow moments, and my respective parents on either side, each dug their claws into my leg (David laughs) on either side at the same time, you know, that was quite a sweet moment, and you know, all sorts of interesting things like that, you know, when we did the ‘Little Tramp’ album, my Charlie Chaplin musical and Richard Harris sang the role of Elder Chaplin, I went down to his house in Nassau and we found a studio there, anyway, and he recorded one of the songs and he added some little Richard Harris-isms that I didn’t expect, again, you know, I fell apart, you know, these little things that these artists do, that are just… that make them as great as they are, I mean, very, very privileged to have those moments with these great, great artists.

I wanted to ask you specifically about the song that Harry Belafonte did of yours.
Mhmm.

Tell us about that.
Well, you know, that’s also ‘It’s Every One Of Us,’ and here’s what I know about it, I never actually heard him do it in concert, but he did and it was  part of his show for some time, and the story goes that my Mother was in an eye glass store an optometrist place in New York City and Harry Belafonte walked in, and she said ‘Oh Mr Belafonte, I’m the Mother of David Pomeranz who wrote ‘It’s In Every One Of Us’ and (David Laughs) the story went that he came up to her face to face, nose to nose and sang the entire song for her in the store, (David laughs) you know, and that’s also one of those moments where my Mother said, “you know, Dave, I left my body”, (David laughs), it took me a few hours to, you know, to get it back in again, you know,” so, that’s that story, I never got to hear him do it, which I’m sorry to say.

 Well, just a second ago, you mentioned the Chaplin, you have this project, ‘Chaplin, A Life In Concert.’.
Mhmm.

Very interesting, tell us about that.
Well, the musical I wrote about Chaplin, is called ‘Little Tramp,’ we did it in England and then we made a recording of it and it’s about the life of Chaplin, you know, this very interesting life and Richard Harris is on the album, along with Mel Brooks who played the part of Max Senate on the recording, we had Tim Curry, we had Petula Clark playing Charlie’s Mother, Lea Selonga, you know, from Les Mis and Miss Saigon sang the role of Charlie’s wife, you know, so all these songs of mine and then since then, when I came back to the States, I decided to make it a performance piece for myself, so aside from the fact that it’s a full scale musical with lots of people in it, I went and did it as a one man show, and that’s what I’m doing now, I’m actually… I sit there at the piano and I perform all 30 characters and I sing the entire two hour show,  and so that’s ‘Chaplin, A Life In Concert’ and we’ve been doing it at the Performing Arts Centers around the States and it’s going really well and we have so much fun doing that.

You mentioned earlier about a project that you’re going to be launching soon with Kathie Lee Gifford.
Mhmmm yeah.

I think everybody would like to hear about that.
Well, sure. Kathie and I have written two musicals, one called ‘Under The Bridge,’ which ran off Broadway, in 2004, 2005, which is a lovely family musical and then, we wrote one called ‘Saving Aimee’ along with the wonderful composer David Friedman, David and I each wrote half the score, with Kathie’s lyrics, and what people don’t know about Kathie Lee, and hopefully… and certainly soon will, is what an incredibly talented writer she is, I mean, people know her as the charming host and they know her as the terrific singer and, like that, but they don’t know her writing ability, so, for both of these musicals, she wrote the book or the script and the lyric, and in the new one, actually she wrote one of the songs, she wrote one melodies as well, so she’s very very talented, so the three of us wrote this thing called ‘Saving Aimee’ and it’s about the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson who was very, very famous in the twenties in America, thirties, and it’s a great story, and so we’re opening the show in Seattle at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, the end of September and we’ll run to the end of October, if all goes well, we’ll bring it to Broadway from there, so we’re very excited about it, so, something we’ve worked very hard on, and hope people will love it.

 I wanted to ask you about this latest album of yours, ‘A Personal Touch.’
Yes.

It’s a very romantic album.
(David laughs) Yes, it is…

On that note, would you say writing romantic songs come easier for you?
Oh I don’t know, sometimes, there’s no rule for that, depends if I’m moved or it depends on what or who I’m writing about, I think even if I write on an assignment, I mean I… you know, I’m sure you feel the same way, you know, as somebody in the media, you know, you have to sort of find something honest and true otherwise it’s going to be bad, you know, and people will smell it a mile away, you know, that you’ve been false, so you  have to sort of dig in and even if there’s nothing there, you’ve got to find something and so that’s true for me with my spiritual songs, and my rock songs, with my love ballads, it’s got to be something that moves me, and so I go and find it, I go and look in my own Universe or if I’m co writing, I’ll do it with my friends or whatever, and we’ll find something that gets us off, you know, that makes us excited, yeah, there you go.

When you take a song like ‘The Old Songs,’ I was looking at the latest… I think it was called Ultimate Manilow, the latest, it’s so hard for me to pick, cause I like a lot of the songs he’s recorded, but that might be the best song on the album.
Ohh, cool…

I wanted you to tell us about that, to me it’s a great song, because it… not only do you get the feeling of the song, but also, you almost… I anyways, I almost see a story taking place, I can see the old 45s, so, tell us about that song.
Sure, I’d be happy to and especially because I want you to know about who I wrote it with, it was a guy called Buddy Kaye, and Buddy Kaye was a songwriter, he passed away, I guess about five years ago or so, but through the forties, fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties he had hits, in the forties he wrote ‘Full Moon and Empty Arms,’ in the 50’s he wrote ‘’Speedy Gonzales for Pat Boone, which is like, something like, I heard when I was a little kid (David breaks into song)  “and you’d better come home Speedy Gonzales do do um doo” that thing and so Buddy Kaye, was like  ‘oh my god, it’s Buddy Kaye,’ and then he wrote.. and THEN he wrote ‘A You’re Adorable’, remember that tune?

 I know that song, yes.
(Breaks into song) ’A’ your adorable, ‘B’ you’re so beautiful***, that thing, so this is like one of the real guys, you know, and so, he and I sat down and we wrote… we were writing a song for Jennifer Warnes at the time who was one of our favorite singers and….and it was ‘The Old Songs,’ we came up with the idea and I kind of, cobbled the melody together and we wrote a nice lyric together and he put a little special magic in there, and when we finished it I thought ‘my goodness, it’s such a simple song,’ I thought ‘God, is this any good’, (David laughs) you know, I said to him, I said, ‘God Buddy, I don’t know if this is really…. if anyone is going to like this because it’s so simple and he said ‘Noooo, it’s got a thing, wait, wait, wait’ and then I played it for my Publisher which was Warner Brothers at the time and… Ed Silvers  and I played it for him and he cried and I went ‘Ooooo, I’m very glad I didn’t throw the song away’ (David laughs), so I recorded it on my Atlantic album, and Barry heard it from my record, I guess we had sent it to him or something, like that, and the rest they say is history.

What is it you like about music?
Music is a very inside experience and it’s just something that gives me just deep joy you know, I can’t really say much more about it, probably the same thing for you and for anybody else, it’s just a… it’s a.. it’s a vibration, it’s a frequency, for some reason, beings, people, you and me, we all like these frequencies and God knows why, but we do and I’m so glad, I don’t really have much more to say, it’s just there and it’s a great, great gift and I’m very… always very appreciative to be here on earth to experience music, and you know we’ve got spaghetti and meatballs, and there’s sex, and there’s good friends and there’s perhaps a glass of wine at, you know, at your favorite, you know, place where you speak…. where you talk about beautiful things and art and, you know, there’s certain experiences that I have that I count as like ‘yeah, this is why I am here, this is what I love most of all,’ or when I’m studying, you know, Mr. Hubbard’s work or whatever, whatever sends me and does it for me and  music is that other thing.

What is the best thing about being David Pomeranz?
I guess the best thing is that I’ve had a chance to have a lot of friends, I like being their friend and I appreciate that they’re my friend,  and I think that’s kind of the best thing, honestly, aside from the alone moments or the inside moments of hearing and making beautiful music, the other aspect is to work with great people who want to do great things, I love banding with like minded people who are into the human freedoms, you know, human rights, anti-drugs, and people who are feeding people, ending hunger and that sort of thing, I like banding with these kinds of people who are really doing something and really active about it and not just talking about it and complaining and so, that’s what gives me so much excitement in life you know, I actually play with other people and enjoy it so much and it’s a good thing to be here.

On that note, I have two final questions, one is kind of light hearted, but I think, nonetheless, it reveals a lot about a person, what is your all time favorite meal?
Oh! Well, it’s pizza and spaghetti and meatballs, if I could have them in the same sitting, I’m set, I mean, I’m Mr Simple I don’t eat coq au vin or anything like that. (David laughs) That’s what I like.

My last question, it’s open ended for all the people who are listening in, no matter where they are or listening in from, the Philippines, New York City, or wherever, what would you like to say for all the people who have listened in.
I’d like to say that, truly, I know as phoney, show biz this might come off, I really want to say that I love you and I appreciate that you’re there and that I have a chance to play music and that you listen to it, and it’s really truly a thank you and I feel it very strongly, and I want everybody to do well and to know happiness, to have an exciting life and an enriching life, that’s what I wish for everyone.

I like that. Well, Mr Pomeranz, I thank you so much for this interview.
Aaaah well, it’s my great pleasure, you’re really good at this by the way, I know you know this, you’ve been doing it a while.

Thank you for saying that.
No, you’re really good, I really enjoyed talking to you, these are great questions.

Thanks so much and I hope to see you perform in Atlanta at some point.
Good, is that where you are in Atlanta?

I’m in Atlanta, yup.
Good, absolutely, we will be in touch about that.

All right, well have a good one.
All right my friend, thank you and take care, bye everybody.

 TRANSCRIBED BY ROSALIND WINTON

John Sebastian: Singer-Songwriter

“The Paul Leslie Hour” proudly presents an exclusive interview with the legendary John B. Sebastian of Lovin’ Spoonful fame. His songs are loved all over the world – (“Do You Believe In Magic?” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice” “Daydream.”)

This exclusive interview recorded backstage at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center in Roswell, Georgia.