Saturday, July 04, 2009

"Honky Tonk Blues"

"Honky Tonk Blues" was a hit country and western song written and performed by Hank Williams. The original 1952 recording was a major hit and it later became a hit for latter-day superstar Charley Pride. The song was part of the Beatles' live act from 1957 to 1959.

Song history

The song was about a young farm boy who leaves his father's farm for the enticements of the city, only to become worn down and disillusioned. Williams' version reached No. 2 on the Billboard magazine country best-sellers chart.


Since the release of Williams' hit version, the song has been covered by Doc Watson, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (with Watson for the album Will the Circle Be Unbroken), and Williams' son, Hank Williams, Jr.

Huey Lewis and the News covered the song on their 1983 album Sports.

The song was covered in 1990 by Pirates of the Mississippi. Their version was released as a single, and peaked at No. 26. In 2004, The Kentucky Headhunters also covered the song on their Big Boss Man album.

The most successful cover version was by Charley Pride; his version reached the top of the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in April 1980.


The title served as the name for a documentary about Williams broadcast by PBS as part of its American Masters series. The documentary was also shown at the 48th London Film Festival in 2004.

Single by Charley Pride
from the album There's a Little Bit of Hank in Me
Released: January 1980
Format: 7"
Recorded: 1979
Genre: country
Length: 2:00
Label: RCA Records
Writer: Hank Williams


"The End" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1969)

Oh yeah, alright
Are you gonna be in my dreams tonight?

Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you
Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you
Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you
Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you
Love you, love you, love you, love you.

And in the end
The love you take is equal to the love you make.

Beatle People: Jimmy Nicol

James George Nicol, known as Jimmie Nicol or Jimmy Nicol (born August 3, 1939), is a British drummer, best known for being a temporary member of The Beatles.

When Ringo Starr collapsed and was hospitalised on 3 June 1964 with tonsillitis on the eve of The Beatles' 1964 Australasian tour, manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin discussed the possibility of using a stand-in drummer rather than cancel part of the tour. Martin suggested Jimmy Nicol, as he had recently recorded a Tommy Quickly session with him. Nicol had also drummed on a budget label album of Beatle covers called "Beatlemania" and knew the songs. The whole thing happened very quickly, from a phone call to attend a run-through at Abbey Road Studios to packing his bags all in the same day.

Nicol wore Ringo Starr's suit on stage, and apparently needed clothes pegs to make the jacket fit. His first show with The Beatles took place on 4 June in Copenhagen, Denmark. He played a further nine shows, until Starr returned to the group in Melbourne, Australia, on 14 June. Nicol said he was "praying he [Starr] would get well at the same time I was hoping he would not want to come back." He was not able to say goodbye to The Beatles as they were still asleep when he left, and Nicol did not want to disturb them. At the airport, Brian Epstein presented him with a cheque (probably for around £500, although much bolder figures have been quoted) and a gold Eternamatic wrist watch inscribed: "From The Beatles and Brian Epstein to Jimmy - with appreciation and gratitude."

After his time with The Beatles, Nicol and his band, The Shubdubs, released the single "Husky"/"Don't Come Back," followed by "Humpty Dumpty"/"Night Train," neither of which was a commercial success. Nicol was reunited with The Beatles when his band was set down on a bill with The Beatles and The Fourmost. They performed on 12 July 1964 at the Hippodrome Theatre in Brighton.

During Nicol's stay with The Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were constantly questioning him about how he was coming along, and his answer would always be, "It's getting better." A couple of years later, McCartney was walking his dog, Martha, with Hunter Davies, when the sun came out and Paul commented that the weather was "getting better," and began to laugh, remembering Nicol. This event inspired the song "Getting Better" on 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

On Let It Be tapes from 12 January 1969, Paul comments, "I think you'll find we're not going abroad. 'Cause Ringo just said he doesn't want to go abroad. You know, he put his foot down. Although Jimmy Nicol might go abroad."

Later career and life

After his brief time with The Beatles, Nicol declared bankruptcy in 1965. That year, he joined numerous bands including Swedish group The Spotnicks, which he left in 1967. In 1975 he returned to England after setting up a button factory in Mexico. Other work in this time included housing renovations and carpentry.

Later in his life, it was rumoured that Nicol had died in 1988, but a report in 2005 by the Daily Mail confirmed that he was still alive and living as a recluse in London.

Nicol's son, Howie, is a BAFTA-winning sound recordist.

Discography and performance history

1950s Choir boy at Honeywell Road School, Wandsworth, in London. The Boys Brigade (percussion). Army Cadet Military Band (percussion and xylophone). For a short time, Nicol also worked as a drum repairer for (UK) musical instrument distributor Boosey & Hawkes

1957/1958 Colin Hicks & The Cabin Boys (Colin Hicks is the younger brother of British rock 'n' roll star Tommy Steele). Singles:

* Pye 7N15114 Wild Eyes And Tender Lips / Empty Arms Blues -
* Pye 7N15125 La Dee Dah / Wasteland -
* Pye 7N15163 Little Boy Blue / Jamabalaya

1959/60 Vince Eager and the Quite Three. Jimmy on drums. Kenny Packwood/Colin Green, guitarists. Tex Makins, bass.

1960: Oscar Rabin Band. 1961: Cyril Stapleton Big Band. 1961-1963: session work (including jobs with musicians from the orchestras of Ted Heath and Johnny Dankworth).

1964: The Shubdubs Singles:

* Pye 7N15623 2/1964 Humpty Dumpty / Night Train
* Mar-Mar 313 1964 Humpty Dumpty / Night Train (US)
* Pye 7N15666 6/1964 Husky / Please Come Back
* Pye 7N15699 10/1964 Baby Please Don't Go / Shubdubery

1964 April / May: Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames.

June: The Beatles (temporary stand in for Ringo Starr)

* June 4, 1964: KB Hallen, Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark.
* June 5, 1964: Treslong, Hillegom, Holland, (recording TV show, VARA).
* June 6, 1964: Auction Hall (Veilinghal), Blokker, Holland.
* June 9, 1964: Princess Theatre, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
* June 12, 1964: Centennial Hall, Adelaide, Australia.
* June 13, 1964: Centennial Hall, Adelaide, Australia.

1964/1965: Jimmy Nicol & The Shubdubs (touring). Solo single as The Sound of Jimmy Nicol - Decca F12017

1965 (Sept) - 1967 (Feb) : The Spotnicks. In September 1965 joined the well-known Swedish guitar group The Spotnicks. He was also offered the drumming job for the musical West Side Story on the same day which he turned down. The Spotnicks rush-released a single, The Spotnicks Introducing Jimmy Nicol, titled Husky and Drum Diddley.

In 1967, Nicol lived in Mexico working with samba & bossa nova groups. He married and had a son, Howard, who in the 1990s was to win an award as sound engineer for his work on a BBC collection of Beatles recordings.

In 1969, he recorded "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (sung in Spanish) with his own band, "Jimmie Nicol Show." 1969 Discos Orfeon LP-E-12-623 (Mexico) (LP) Era Psicodelica Del A Go Go Jimmie Nicol Show: Jumpin' Jack Flash (Spanish)


Friday, July 03, 2009

"Eight Days a Week" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1964)

Ooo I need your love babe
Guess you know it's true
Hope you need my love babe
Just like I need you.

Hold me, love me
Hold me, love me
I ain't got nothing but love babe
Eight days a week.

Love you every day girl
Always on my mind
One thing I can say girl
Love you all the time.

Hold me, love me
Hold me, love me
I ain't got nothing but love girl
Eight days a week.

Eight days a week I love you
Eight days a week is not enough to show I care.

Ooo I need your love babe
Guess you know it's true
Hope you need my love babe
Just like I need you, oh - oh.

Hold me, love me
Hold me, love me
I ain't got nothing but love babe
Eight days a week.

Eight days a week I love you
Eight days a week is not enough to show I care.

Love you every day girl
Always on my mind
One thing I can say girl
Love you all the time.

Hold me, love me
Hold me, love me
I ain't got nothing but love babe
Eight days a week
Eight days a week
Eight days a week.

November 3, 1968 - All My Loving

Aired: Sunday 3 November 1968

On May 23, 1968, Paul and Ringo were interviewed at Abbey Road for Tony Palmer's BBC Television Omnibus documentary on pop music called All My Loving.

Outtake of the Week: "I'm A Loser" (Takes 4-7)

The Beatles work through "I'm A Loser" during sessions for Beatles For Sale. The take that followed (take 8) turned out to be the album version.

"Sally G" Lyrics

by Paul McCartney

As Released by Paul McCartney & Wings (1974)

Somewhere to the south of New York City
Lies the friendly state of Tennessee
Down in Nashville town I met a pretty
Who made a pretty big fool out of me
And they call her Sally, Sally G
Why do you wanna do the things you do to me?
You're my Sally, Sally G
You took the part that was the heart of me, Sally G

The nightlife took me down to Printers Alley
Where Sally sang a song behind the bar
I ran my eyes across her as she sang a tangled mime
I used to love to hear her sweet guitar

And they called her Sally, Sally G
Why do you wanna do the things you do to me?
You're my Sally, Sally G
You took the part that was the heart of me, Sally G

Me and Sally took up
Things began to look up
Me and her were going strong
Then she started lying
I could see our love was dying
I heard a voice say, "Move along, move along"

Well now I'm on my own again
I wonder if she ever really understood
I never thought to ask her what the letter "G" stood for
But I know for sure it wasn't good

And they call her Sally, Sally G
Why do you wanna do the things you do to me?
You're my Sally, Sally G
You took the part that was the heart of me, Sally G

Take it chaps
Sally G
Yeah, Sally G

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Beatle People: Doris Troy

Doris Troy (6 January 1937 – 16 February 2004) was an American R&B singer, known to her many fans as "Mama Soul."

She was born Doris Higginson in The Bronx, the daughter of a Barbadian Pentecostal minister. Her parents disapproved of "subversive" forms of music like rhythm & blues, so she cut her teeth singing in her father's choir. She was working as an usherette at the Apollo where she was discovered by the "Godfather of Soul," James Brown.

Troy worked with Solomon Burke, The Drifters, Cissy Houston, and Dionne Warwick before she co-wrote and recorded "Just One Look," which hit #10 in 1963. The song has been covered by The Hollies, Linda Ronstadt, Bryan Ferry, Klaus Nomi, and Harry Nilsson, among others. As her solo career peaked, she did back-up for the Rolling Stones, Humble Pie, Kevin Ayers, Pink Floyd (on their seminal album Dark Side of the Moon), George Harrison, Dusty Springfield, Nick Drake, Junior Campbell and Carly Simon.

Doris worked in the UK throughout the 1970s, appearing at Ronnie Scott's Club and recording a live album (The Rainbow Testament). Her People records album Stretching Out showed her versatility, though it was not a seller.

Mama, I Want To Sing is a stage musical based on her life, and was co-written with her sister, Vy. It ran for 1,500 performances at the Heckscher Theatre in Harlem. Troy played her own mother, Geraldine. Chaka Khan played her Aunt in the London production, as did Deniece Williams. The musical has been reinterpreted as a motion picture, due for release in early 2009. The film's cast includes musicians Ciara, Ne-Yo, Bobby Valentino, Ralph Tresvant and Patti Labelle. Also starring is CSI: NY actor, Hill Harper.

Troy died from emphysema at her home in Las Vegas, Nevada, aged 67.


"Clean Up Time" Lyrics

by John Lennon

Original Manuscript, Bermuda (July 1980)

Moonlight on the water
Sunlight on my face
You + me together
we are in our place
the Gods are in the heavens
the angels treat us well
the oracle has spoken
we cast the (perfect) spell

now it begins - let it begin
clean-up time

the Queen is in the counting house
counting out the money
the King is in the kitchen
making bread + honey
no friends + yet no enemies
absolutely free
no rats aboard the magic ship
of (perfect) harmony

now it begins
clean-up time

However far we travel
wherever we may roam
the centre of the circle
will always be our home

As Released by John Lennon (1980)

Moonlight on the water
Sunlight on my face
You and me together
We are in our place
The Gods are in the heavens
The angels treat us well
The oracle has spoken
We cast the perfect spell

The queen is in the counting house
Counting out the money
The king is in the kitchen
Making bread and honey
No friends and yet no enemies
Absolutely free
No rats aboard the magic ship
Of perfect harmony

Now it begins
Let it begin

Clean up time
Clean up time
Clean up time

Well, well, well

However far we travel
Wherever we may roam
The center of the circle
Will always be our home
Yeah, yeah

Clean up time
Clean up time
Clean up time
Clean up time
Clean up time
Clean up time
Clean up time

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

"Don't Pass Me By" Lyrics

by Richard Starkey

As Released by the Beatles (1968)

All right!

I listen for your footsteps
Coming up the drive
Listen for your footsteps
But they don't arrive.
Waiting for your knock, dear
On my old front door,
I don't hear it
Does it mean you don't love me any more?

I hear the clock a - ticking
On the mantelshelf
See the hands a - moving
But I'm by myself.
I wonder where you are tonight
And why I'm by myself
I don't see you
Does it mean you don't love me any more?

Don't pass me by, don't make me cry, don't make me blue
'cos you know, darling, I love only you
You'll never know it hurt me so
How I hate to see you go
Don't pass me by - don't make me cry.

I'm sorry that I doubted you
I was so unfair
You were in a car crash
And you lost your hair.
You said that you would be late
About an hour or two
I said that's alright I'm waiting here
Just waiting to hear from you.

Don't pass me by, don't make me cry, don't make me blue
'cos you know, darling, I love only you
You'll never know it hurt me so
How I hate to see you go
Don't pass me by - don't make me cry.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Don't pass me by, don't make me cry, don't make me blue
'cos you know, darling, I love only you
You'll never know it hurt me so
How I hate to see you go
Don't pass me by - don't make me cry.

With the Beatles

With The Beatles is The Beatles' second UK album, recorded four months after the band's first album and released on 22 November 1963 on Parlophone in mono (catalogue number PMC 1206) and stereo (PCS 3045.)

The album features eight original compositions (including the first by George Harrison) and six covers, mostly of Motown and R&B hits. Most of the songs from the album were released in the United States as Meet The Beatles! on 20 January 1964, and the remaining that were not, were released on their next U.S. album, The Beatles' Second Album.

The LP had advance orders of a half million and sold another half million by September 1965 — making it the second album to sell a million copies in the UK (the first being the South Pacific soundtrack). It stayed at the top of the charts for 21 weeks, displacing Please Please Me, so that the Beatles occupied the top spot for 51 consecutive weeks. It even reached number eleven in the "singles charts" (because at the time UK charts counted all records sold, regardless of format).

In 2003, the album was ranked number 420 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

On 26 February 1987, With The Beatles was officially released on Compact disc (in mono only, catalogue number CDP 7 46436 2), as were three other of the Beatles' albums, Please Please Me, A Hard Day's Night, and Beatles for Sale. Having been available only as an import in the US in the past, the album was also issued domestically in the US on LP and cassette on 21 July 1987.

Along with all the other original UK studio albums, it will be re-released on CD in newly remastered versions on 9 September 2009 in stereo and mono editions. The expected 2009 remasters will replace the infamously poor quality 1987 remasters.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Lennon/McCartney, except where noted.

Side one
# Title Length
1. "It Won't Be Long" 2:13
2. "All I've Got to Do" 2:04
3. "All My Loving" 2:09
4. "Don't Bother Me" (George Harrison) 2:29
5. "Little Child" 1:48
6. "Till There Was You" (Meredith Willson) 2:16
7. "Please Mister Postman" (Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland, Robert Bateman) 2:36

Side two
# Title Length
8. "Roll Over Beethoven" (Chuck Berry) 2:47
9. "Hold Me Tight" 2:32
10. "You Really Got a Hold on Me" (Smokey Robinson) 3:02
11. "I Wanna Be Your Man" 1:59
12. "Devil in Her Heart" (Richard P. Drapkin) 2:27
13. "Not a Second Time" 2:08
14. "Money" (Janie Bradford, Berry Gordy) 2:47


The Beatles

* George Harrison – lead, harmony and background vocals; lead and acoustic guitars; handclaps; nylon-string acoustic guitar on "Till There Was You"
* John Lennon – lead, harmony and background vocals; rhythm and acoustic guitars; harmonica and handclaps; nylon-string acoustic guitar on "Till There Was You"; Hammond organ on "I Wanna Be Your Man" and tambourine on "Don't Bother Me"
* Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and background vocals; bass guitar and handclaps; piano on "Little Child" and claves on "Don't Bother Me"
* Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, maracas, handclaps; lead vocals on "I Wanna Be Your Man" and Arabian loose-skin bongo on "Don't Bother Me"


* Robert Freeman – cover photograph
* George Martin – arrangements, producer and mixer; piano on "You Really Got a Hold on Me", "Money (That´s What I Want)" and "Not A Second Time"
* Norman Smith: engineer and mixer

Sales chart positions


Billboard charts (North America) Year Song Chart Rank
1964 "All My Loving" Billboard Hot 100 45[citation needed]
1964 "Roll Over Beethoven" Billboard Hot 100 68[citation needed]

Released: 22 November 1963
Recorded: 18 July – 23 October 1963, Abbey Road Studios, London, United Kingdom
Genre: Rock and roll, pop, beat music
Length: 32:24
Language: English
Label: Parlophone
Producer: George Martin


Photos of Pattie Boyd - Part 8

Beatles Covers: Neil Young - A Day in the Life

Bigger Than the Beatles: Liverpool's Mersey Beat Goes on

by Bill Harry

A fascinating and entertaining insight into the cultural phenomenon that was Merseyside in the 1960s. Featuring rare and exclusive photographs from the archives. Documents the success of Mersey Beat and beyond, from global superstars to hidden gems - a must for any music fan. AT the start of the Swinging Sixties, Liverpool was a remarkable place. A global music and fashion revolution was about to explode,inspired by a sound that was tagged by journalist, music promoter and author Bill Harry as 'Mersey Beat'. If you read the well-prepared script written by the publicists of the day, it was all about four lads who shook the world. The truth is that Liverpool was actually Bigger Than The Beatles. Liverpool was a hub of talent, and while the giant acts under the management of the legendary Brian Epstein swept all before them, the city was much more than Mersey Beat as we know it. There were more country and western groups than anywhere else in Britain, more folk groups, more soul singers, more black artists and more female artists. This book investigates the Liverpool scene and the people who inspired John, Paul, George and Ringo to believe anything was possible.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Holy Grail Recording #3 - Revolver studio outtakes (1966)

In this series, In The Life Of...The Beatles presents the top 10 unreleased recordings of the Beatles.

There are too many great as-yet-unheard outtakes from the Revolver sessions to choose from. Here are some examples:
  • "Mark I" ("Tomorrow Never Knows") - takes 2-3 - take 1 was released on Anthology 2.
  • "Got To Get You Into My Life" - takes 1-4, 6-8. Take 5 was released on Anthology 2.
  • "Love You To" - take 1 - An acoustic recording with George on guitar and lead vocal, with Paul providing backing vocals. The song was titled "Granny Smith" at the time.
  • "Rain" - takes 1-5
  • "Dr. Robert" - takes 1-7
  • "And Your Bird Can Sing" - take 1, takes 3-13. Take 1 was reportedly unrecognizable in terms of how it ended up on the album (take 2 was released on Anthology 2).
  • "Taxman" - takes 1-10 (take 11 was released on Anthology 2).
  • "I'm Only Sleeping" - takes 1-11 (An early all-acoustic "take 1" was released on Anthology 2).
Here's an outtake that did surface thanks to the Anthology series (released on the "Real Love" single), this is "Here, There and Everywhere" take 7 (with overdubs from take 14):

Next installment: July 7

"Doctor Robert" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1966)

Ring my friend I said you'd call, Dr. Robert
Day or night he'll be there any time at all, Dr. Robert
Dr. Robert, you're a new and better man
He helps you to understand
He does everything he can, Dr. Robert.

If you're down he'll pick you up, Dr. Robert
Take a drink from his special cup, Dr. Robert
Dr. Robert, he's a man you must believe
Helping anyone in need
No-one can succeed like Dr. Robert.

Well, well, well, you're feeling fine
Well, well, well, he'll make you, Dr. Robert.

My friend works for the National Health, Dr. Robert
Don't pay money just to see yourself with Dr. Robert
Dr. Robert, you're a new and better man
He helps you to understand,
He does everything he can, Dr. Robert.

Well, well, well, you're feeling fine
Well, well, well, he'll make you, Dr. Robert.

Ring my friend I said you'd call, Dr. Robert
Ring my friend I said you'd call, Dr. Robert
Dr. Robert!

December 11, 1968 - Yer Blues

Taped: Wednesday 11 December 1968

John and Yoko, with John's son, Julian, spent the day and most of the night at Wembley Studios filming the all-star jam session: The Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus. John led a band that called themselves The Dirty Macs and included Yoko, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards (on bass) and Mitch Mitchell (drums), performing Yer Blues' and a free-form jam that featured Yoko's unusual vocals and guest violinist Ivry Gitlis. In the event, Jagger thought The Stones were outperformed by The Who and the project was shelved until 1997 when it was released on video. Around midnight John and Yoko drove back to central London to appear live on BBC Radio's Night Ride where they talked to DJ John Peel about their Two Virgins album and played a few minutes of the new The Beatles album.

"Watching Rainbows" Lyrics

[Improvisation based on "I've Got a Feeling" and "I Am the Walrus" - January 14, 1969]

by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Richard Starkey

Standing in the garden, waiting for the sun to shine
Hand my umbrella with these days, I wish it was mine
Everybody knows [...] it comes
Instead of watching rainbows, I'm gonna make me some
I said I'm watching rainbows, I'm gonna make me some

Standing in the garden, waiting for the English sun to come and make me brown so I can be someone
Looking at the bench of next door neighbours
Crying, I said c'mon, I said, save us
Everybody's got to have something hard to hoe
Well, instead of watching rainbows under the sun
You gotta get out son, and make you one
You gotta get out son, and make you run
Because you're not gonna make it if you cry, cry, you know

Shoot me
Shoot me
Whatever you do, you gotta kill somebody to get what you wanna get
You gotta shoot me
You gotta shoot big
Until you shoot me
I can't stand

Monday, June 29, 2009

Beatle People: Harry Nilsson

Harry Edward Nilsson III (June 15, 1941–January 15, 1994) was an American songwriter, singer, pianist, and guitarist who achieved the height of his fame during the 1960s and 1970s. For most of his recordings, he did not use his first name, and was credited only as Nilsson.

Despite some significant critical and commercial successes, including two Grammy Awards and two Top 10 singles, Nilsson's tendency to make broad stylistic jumps from one record to the next – coupled with his generally iconoclastic decision-making – kept him from fully capitalizing on his career. Among Nilsson's best-known recordings are "Without You," "Jump into the Fire," "Everybody's Talkin'" (theme from the movie Midnight Cowboy) and "Coconut."

Early years

Nilsson was born in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York in 1941. His paternal grandparents were Swedish circus performers, especially known for their "aerial ballet" (which is also the title of one of Nilsson's albums). His father, Harry Edward Nilsson, Jr., abandoned the family three years later. An autobiographical reference to this is found in the opening to Nilsson's song "1941":
Well, in 1941, the happy father had a son
And in 1944, the father walked right out the door
Nilsson's "Daddy's Song," recorded by The Monkees, also refers to this period in the artist's life.

Harry grew up with his mother, Bette Nilsson, and his younger half-sister. His younger half-brother Drake was left with family or friends during their moves between California and New York, sometimes living with a succession of relatives and stepfathers. One relative who had an important influence on him was his Uncle John, a mechanic in San Bernardino, California, who helped Nilsson improve his vocal and musical abilities.

Drake and Diane were his half-brother and half-sister through their mother. He also had three half-sisters through his father: Carol, Barbara and Rainy, and another half brother, Gary, all of whom lived in Florida during Nilsson's childhood.

Due to the poor financial situation of his family, Nilsson worked from an early age, including a job at the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles. When the Paramount closed, Nilsson applied for a job at a bank, falsely stating he was a high school graduate on his application (he only completed ninth grade). He turned out to have an aptitude for computers, which were beginning to be employed by banks at the time. He did so well that the bank retained him after discovering the lie about his education. He worked on bank computers at night, and in the daytime pursued his song writing and singing career.

Musical beginnings

As early as 1958, Nilsson was intrigued by emerging forms of popular music, especially rhythm and blues artists like Ray Charles. He had made early attempts at performing while he was working at the Paramount, forming a vocal duo with his friend Jerry Smith and singing close harmonies in the style of the Everly Brothers. The manager at a favorite hangout gave Nilsson a plastic ukulele, which he learned to play, and he later learned to play the guitar and piano. When Nilsson could not remember lyrics or parts of the melodies to popular songs, he created his own, which led to writing original songs.

Uncle John's singing lessons, along with Nilsson's natural talent, helped when he got a job singing demos for songwriter Scott Turner in 1960. Turner paid Nilsson five dollars for each track they recorded. (When Nilsson became famous, Turner decided to release these early recordings, and contacted Nilsson to work out a fair payment. Nilsson replied that he had already been paid — five dollars a track.).

In 1963, Nilsson began to have some early success as a songwriter, working with John Marascalco on a song for Little Richard. Upon hearing Nilsson sing, Little Richard reportedly remarked: "My! You sing good for a white boy!" Marascalco also financed some independent singles by Nilsson. One, "Baa Baa Blacksheep," was released under the pseudonym "Bo Pete" to some small local airplay. Another recording, "Donna, I Understand", convinced Mercury Records to offer Nilsson a contract, and release recordings by him under the name "Johnny Niles."

In 1964, Nilsson worked with Phil Spector, writing three songs with him. He also established a relationship with songwriter and publisher Perry Botkin, Jr., who began to find a market for Nilsson's songs. Botkin also gave Nilsson a key to his office, providing another place to write after hours.

Nilsson's recording contract was picked up by Tower Records, who in 1966 released the first singles actually credited to him by name, as well as the debut album Spotlight on Nilsson. None of Nilsson's Tower releases charted or gained much critical attention, although his songs were being recorded by Glen Campbell, Fred Astaire, the Shangri-Las, the Yardbirds, and others. Despite his growing success, Nilsson remained on the night shift at the bank.

Signing with RCA Victor

Nilsson signed with RCA Victor in 1966 and released an album the following year, Pandemonium Shadow Show, which was a critical (if not commercial) success. Music industry insiders were impressed both with the songwriting and with Nilsson's pure-toned, multi-octave vocals. One such insider was Beatles press officer Derek Taylor, who bought an entire box of copies of the album to share this new sound with others. With a major-label release, and continued songwriting success (most notably with The Monkees, who had a hit with Nilsson's "Cuddly Toy," after meeting him through their producer Chip Douglas), Nilsson finally felt secure enough in the music business to quit his job with the bank. Monkees member Micky Dolenz maintained a close friendship until Nilsson's death in 1994.

Some of the albums from Derek Taylor's box eventually ended up with the Beatles themselves, who quickly became Nilsson fans. This may have been helped by the track "You Can't Do That", in which Nilsson covered one Beatles song but added 22 others in the multi-tracked background vocals. When John Lennon and Paul McCartney held a press conference in 1968 to announce the formation of Apple Corps, John was asked to name his favorite American artist. He replied, "Nilsson". Paul was then asked to name his favorite American group. He replied, "Nilsson."

Aided by the Beatles' praise, "You Can't Do That" became a minor hit in the US, and a top 10 hit in Canada.

When RCA had asked if there was anything special he wanted as a signing premium, Nilsson asked for his own office at RCA, being used to working out of one. In the weeks after the Apple press conference, Nilsson's office phone began ringing constantly, with offers and requests for interviews and inquiries about his performing schedule. Nilsson usually answered the calls himself, surprising the callers, and answered questions candidly. (He recalled years later the flow of a typical conversation: "When did you play last?" "I didn't." "Where have you played before?" "I haven't." "When will you be playing next?" "I don't.") Nilsson acquired a manager, who steered him into a handful of TV guest appearances, and a brief run of stage performances in Europe set up by RCA. He disliked the experiences he had, though, and decided to stick to the recording studio. He later admitted this was a huge mistake on his part.

Once John Lennon called and praised Pandemonium Shadow Show, which he had listened to in a 36-hour marathon. Paul McCartney called later, also expressing his admiration. Nilsson was disappointed that he didn't receive a call from Ringo Starr or George Harrison, but shortly after a message came, inviting him to London to meet the Beatles, watch them at work, and possibly sign with Apple Corps.

Pandemonium Shadow Show was followed in 1968 by Aerial Ballet, an album that included Nilsson's rendition of Fred Neil's song "Everybody's Talkin'". A minor US hit at the time of release (and a top 40 hit in Canada), the song would become extremely popular a year later when it was featured in the film Midnight Cowboy, and it would earn Nilsson his first Grammy Award. The song would also become Nilsson's first US top 10 hit, reaching #6, and his first Canadian #1.

Aerial Ballet also contained Nilsson's version of his own composition, One, which was later taken to the top 5 of the US charts by Three Dog Night. Nilsson was also commissioned at this time to write and perform the theme song for the ABC television series The Courtship of Eddie's Father. The result, "Best Friend", was very popular, but Nilsson never released the song on record; an alternate version, "Girlfriend", did appear on the 1995 Personal Best anthology. Late in 1968, The Monkees' notorious experimental film Head premiered, featuring a memorable song-and-dance sequence with Davy Jones and Toni Basil performing Nilsson's composition "Daddy's Song." (This is followed by Frank Zappa's cameo as "The Critic," who dismisses the 1920s-style tune as "pretty white.")

With the success of Nilsson's RCA recordings, Tower re-issued or re-packaged many of their early Nilsson recordings in various formats. All of these re-issues failed to chart, including a 1969 single "Good Times".

Chart success

Nilsson's next album, Harry (1969), was his first to hit the charts, and also provided a Top 40 single with "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City" (written as a contender for the theme to Midnight Cowboy), but used instead in the Sophia Loren movie La Mortadella (1971) (USA title: Lady Liberty). While the album still presented Nilsson as primarily a songwriter, his astute choice of cover material included, this time, a song by a then-little-known composer named Randy Newman, "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear." Nilsson was so impressed with Newman's talent that he devoted his entire next album to Newman compositions, with Newman himself playing piano behind Nilsson's multi-tracked vocals. The result, Nilsson Sings Newman (1970), was commercially disappointing but was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review magazine and provided momentum to Newman's career.

Nilsson's next project was an animated film, The Point!, created with animation director Fred Wolf, and broadcast on ABC television on February 2, 1971, as an "ABC Movie of the Week." Nilsson's album of songs from The Point! was well received, and it spawned a hit single, "Me and My Arrow."

Later that year, Nilsson went to England with producer Richard Perry to record what became the most successful album of his career. Nilsson Schmilsson yielded three very stylistically different hit singles. The first was a cover of Badfinger's song "Without You" (by Pete Ham and Tom Evans), featuring a highly emotional arrangement and soaring vocals to match, a performance that was rewarded with Nilsson's second Grammy Award.

The second single was "Coconut", a novelty calypso number featuring three characters (the narrator, the sister, and the doctor) all sung in different voices by Nilsson. The song is best remembered for its chorus lyric, "Put de lime in de coconut, and drink 'em both up." Also notable is that the entire song is played using one chord, C 7th. Coconut was featured in Episode 81 (October 25, 1973) of the Flip Wilson Show. The song has since been featured in many other films and commercials. It was also used in a comedy skit on The Muppet Show, which featured Kermit the Frog in a hospital bed. The song was also used during the end credits of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.

The third single, "Jump into the Fire", was raucous, screaming rock and roll, including a drum solo by Derek and the Dominos' Jim Gordon and a bass detuning by Herbie Flowers. The song was famously used during the May 11, 1980, scenes in the film Goodfellas.

Nilsson followed quickly with Son of Schmilsson (1972), released while its predecessor was still in the charts. Besides the problem of competing with himself, Nilsson's decision to give free rein to his bawdiness and bluntness on this release alienated some of his earlier, more conservative fan base. With lyrics like "I sang my balls off for you, baby", "Roll the world over / And give her a kiss and a feel", and the notorious "You're breaking my heart / You're tearing it apart / So fuck you", Nilsson had traveled far afield from his earlier work. Still, the album did well, and the single "Spaceman" was a Top 40 hit. However, the follow-up single "Remember (Christmas)" stalled at #53. A third single, the tongue-in-cheek C&W send up "Joy", was issued on RCA's country imprint Green and credited to Buck Earle, but it failed to chart.

The maverick

This disregard for commercialism in favor of artistic satisfaction showed itself in Nilsson's next release, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (1973). Performing a selection of pop standards by the likes of Irving Berlin, Kalmar and Ruby, Nilsson sang in front of an orchestra arranged and conducted by veteran Gordon Jenkins in sessions produced by Derek Taylor. While in hindsight, the sessions showcased a talented singer in one of his best performances, this was not the sort of musical endeavor that was likely to burn up the charts in the 1970s. The session was filmed, and was broadcast as a television special by the BBC in the UK. The performance has yet to be released on home video.

1973 found Nilsson back in California, and when John Lennon moved there during his separation from Yoko Ono, the two musicians rekindled their earlier friendship. Lennon was intent upon producing Nilsson's next album, much to Nilsson's delight. However, their time together in California became known much more for heavy drinking and drug use than it did for musical collaboration. In a widely publicized incident, they were ejected from the Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood for drunken heckling of the Smothers Brothers. Both men also caused property damage during binges, with Lennon trashing a bedroom in Lou Adler's house, and Nilsson throwing a bottle through a thirty-foot hotel window.

To make matters worse, Nilsson ruptured a vocal cord during the sessions for this album, but he hid the injury due to fear that Lennon would call a halt to the production. The resulting album was Pussy Cats. In an effort to clean up, Lennon, Nilsson and Ringo Starr first rented a house together, then Lennon and Nilsson left for New York.

After the relative failure of his latest two albums, RCA Records considered dropping Nilsson's contract. In a show of friendship, Lennon accompanied Nilsson to negotiations, and both intimated to RCA that Lennon and Starr might want to sign with them, once their Apple Records contracts with EMI expired in 1975, but wouldn't be interested if Nilsson were no longer with the label. RCA took the hint and re-signed Nilsson (adding a bonus clause, to apply to each new album completed), but neither Lennon nor Starr switched to RCA.

Nilsson's voice had mostly recovered by his next release, Duit on Mon Dei (1975), but neither it nor its follow-ups, Sandman and …That's the Way It Is (both 1976) met with chart success. Finally, Nilsson recorded what he later considered to be his favorite album, 1977's Knnillssonn. With his voice strong again, and his songs exploring musical territory reminiscent of Harry or The Point!, Nilsson had every right to expect Knnillssonn to be a comeback album. RCA Victor seemed to agree, and promised Nilsson a substantial marketing campaign for the album. However, the death of Elvis Presley caused RCA Victor to ignore everything except meeting demand for Presley's back catalog, and the promised marketing push never happened. This, combined with RCA Victor releasing a Nilsson Greatest Hits collection without consulting him, prompted Nilsson to leave the label.

Harry Nilsson's London flat

Nilsson's 1970s London flat in the building at 12 Curzon Street on the edge of Mayfair, was a two-bedroom apartment decorated by the design company that ex-Beatle Ringo Starr and Robin Cruikshank owned at that time. Nilsson cumulatively spent several years at the flat, which was located near Apple Records, the Playboy Club, Tramps disco and the homes of friends and business associates. Nilsson's work and interests took him to the U.S. for extended periods, and while he was away he lent his place to numerous musician friends. During one of his absences, ex-Mamas and Papas singer Cass Elliot and a few members of her tour group stayed at the flat while she performed solo at the London Palladium, headlining with her Torch Songs and "Don't Call Me Mama Anymore." Following a strenuous performance with encores, Elliot returned to the flat to relax and sleep and was discovered in one of the bedrooms, dead of heart failure, on July 29, 1974.

On September 7, 1978, The Who's drummer Keith Moon returned to the same room in the flat after a night out, and died from an overdose of chlormethiazole, a prescribed anti-alcohol drug. Nilsson, distraught over another friend's death in his flat, and little need for the property, sold it to Moon's bandmate Pete Townshend and consolidated his life in Los Angeles.

Winding down

Nilsson's musical work after leaving RCA Victor was sporadic. He wrote a musical, Zapata, with Perry Botkin, Jr., libretto by Allan Katz, which was produced and directed by longtime friend Bert Convy. The show was mounted at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut, but never had another production. He wrote all the songs for Robert Altman's movie-musical Popeye (1980), the score of which met with unfavorable reviews. Nilsson's Popeye compositions included several songs that were representative of Nilsson's accalimed "Point" era, such as "Everything is Food" and "Sweethaven". He recorded one more album, Flash Harry co-produced by Bruce Robb (producer) and Steve Cropper, which was released in the UK but not in the USA. However, Nilsson increasingly began referring to himself as a "retired musician".

Nilsson was profoundly affected by the murder of his close friend John Lennon on December 8, 1980. He joined the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and overcame his preference for privacy to make appearances for gun control fundraising.

After a long hiatus from the studio, Nilsson started recording sporadically once again in the mid to late 1980s. Most of these recordings were commissioned songs for movies or television shows. One notable exception was his work on a Yoko Ono Lennon tribute album, "Every Man Has A Woman" (1984) (Polydor); another was a cover of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" recorded for Hal Willner's 1988 tribute album Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films. Nilsson donated his performance royalties from the song to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

In 1991, the Disney CD For Our Children, a compilation of children's music performed by celebrities to benefit the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, included Nilsson's original composition Blanket for a Sail, recorded at the Shandaliza Recording Studio in Los Angeles.

In 1985 Nilsson set up a production company, Hawkeye, to oversee the various film, TV and multimedia projects he was involved in. He appointed his friend, satirist and screenwriter Terry Southern as one of the principals, and they collaborated on a number of screenplays including Obits (a Citizen Kane style story about a journalist investigating an obituary notice) and The Telephone, a one-hander about an unhinged unemployed actor.

The Telephone was virtually the only Hawkeye project that made it to the screen. It had been written with Robin Williams in mind but he turned it down; comedian-actress Whoopi Goldberg then signed on, with Southern's friend Rip Torn directing, but the project was troubled. Torn battled with Goldberg, who interfered in the production and constantly digressed from the script during shooting, and Torn was forced to plead with her to perform takes that stuck to the screenplay. Torn, Southern and Nilsson put together their own version of the film, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival in early 1988, but it was overtaken by the "official" version from the studio, and this version premiered to poor reviews in late January 1988. The project reportedly had some later success when adapted as a theatre piece in Germany.

In 1990 Hawkeye collapsed and Nilsson found himself in a dire financial situation after it was discovered that his financial adviser Cindy Sims had betrayed his trust and embezzled all the funds he had earned as a recording artist. The Nilssons were left with $300 in the bank and a mountain of debt, while Sims served less than two years in prison for her crimes and was released from prison in 1994 without making restitution.

After the murder of John Lennon, he began to appear at Beatlefest conventions to raise money for gun control and he would get on stage with the Beatlefest house band "Liverpool" to either sing some of his own songs or "Give Peace a Chance." Nilsson made his last concert appearance September 1, 1992 when he joined Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band on stage at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada to sing "Without You" with Todd Rundgren handling the high notes. Afterwards, an emotional Ringo Starr embraced Nilsson on stage.


Nilsson's health had deteriorated, and he suffered a massive heart attack in 1993. After surviving that, he began pressing his old label, RCA, to release a boxed-set retrospective of his career, and resumed recording, attempting to complete one final album. He finished the vocal tracks for the album on 15 January 1994 with producer Mark Hudson who still holds the tapes of that session, and then died that night of heart failure. The following year, the 2-CD anthology he worked on with RCA, Personal Best, was released.


Nilsson was survived by his third wife, Una (née O'Keeffe), and their six children, and one son from an earlier marriage. His wife discussed both John Lennon and Nilsson in the film The U.S. vs. John Lennon, which opened September 15, 2006. Nilsson himself is the subject of a 2006 documentary, Who is Harry Nilsson? (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him) produced by David Leaf and John Schienfeld. The film was screened in 2006 at the Seattle International Film Festival and the Santa Barbara Film Festival. In August 2006, the film received its Los Angeles premiere when it was screened at the 7th Annual Mods & Rockers Film Festival followed by a panel discussion about Nilsson featuring the filmmakers and his good friends producer Richard Perry and attorney/executive producer Lee Blackman.

In May 2005 WPS1 art radio played tribute to Nilsson with curator Sherrie Fell and brother and sister hosts Bernadette and Harry O'Reilly.

Nilsson's final album, tentatively titled Papa's Got a Brown New Robe (produced by Mark Hudson) has not been released, though several demos from the album are available on promotional CDs and online.



As Bo Pete:

* 1964: Baa Baa Blacksheep
* 1964: Do You Wanna (Have Some Fun)

As Johnny Niles:

* 1964: Donna I Understand

As Nilsson:

* 1964: Sixteen Tons (Tower 103)
* 1965: You Can't Take Your Love Away From Me (Tower 136)
* 1965: The Path That Leads To Trouble (Tower 165)
* 1966: She's Yours (Tower 244)
* 1967: Without Her
* 1967: You Can't Do That (US #122, Canada #10)
* 1967: River Deep - Mountain High (Canadian release only)
* 1967: Good Old Desk (European release only)
* 1968: One
* 1968: Everybody's Talkin' (initial release -- US #113, Canada #35)
* 1969: I Will Take You There
* 1969: Everybody's Talkin' (re-release -- US #6, US A/C #2, Canada #1, Canada A/C #1, UK #23)
* 1969: Good Times
* 1969: Maybe
* 1969: I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City (US #34, US A/C #7, Canada #25, Canada A/C #3)
* 1970: Waiting (US A/C #40, Canada A/C #31)
* 1970: Caroline
* 1970: Down To The Valley (Canada #80)
* 1971: Me And My Arrow (US #34, US A/C #3, Canada #23, Canada A/C #17)
* 1971: Without You (US #1, US A/C #1, Canada #1, Canada A/C #24, UK #1)
* 1972: Jump Into The Fire (US #27, Canada #16)
* 1972: Coconut (US #8, Canada #5, UK #42)
* 1972: Spaceman (US #23, Canada #12)
* 1972: Remember (Christmas) (US #53, US A/C #21, Canada #57, Canada A/C #14)
* 1973: As Time Goes By (US #86, US A/C #35, Canada A/C #87)
* 1974: Daybreak (US #39, US A/C #37, Canada #15, Canada A/C #17)
* 1974: Many Rivers To Cross (US #109, Canada #82, Canada A/C #43)
* 1974: Subterranean Homesick Blues
* 1974: Save The Last Dance For Me (UK release only)
* 1974: Don't Forget Me
* 1974: A Toot and a Snore in '74 (John Lennon & Paul McCartney also featuring Stevie Wonder and Harry Nilsson) - a 30 minute studio bootleg
* 1975: A Love Like Yours (Nilsson & Cher)
* 1975: Kojak Columbo
* 1976: Something True (UK release only)
* 1976: Sail Away
* 1976: Just One Look/Baby I'm Yours (medley), duet with former Supreme Lynda Laurence (UK release only)
* 1977: Who Done It?
* 1977: All I Think About Is You (UK #43)
* 1977: Lean On Me (UK release only)
* 1978: Ain't It Kinda Wonderful
* 1980: I Don't Need You (UK release only)
* 1980: Rain (UK release only)
* 1982: With A Bullet (only available to attendees of Beatlefest '82)
* 1984: Loneliness

as Buck Earle:

* 1972: Joy


* Hollywood Dreamer (Recorded In 1962)
* Spotlight on Nilsson (1966) (Tower Records)
* Pandemonium Shadow Show (1967) (RCA Records)
* Aerial Ballet (1968) (RCA Records)
* Skidoo (soundtrack) (1968) (RCA Records)
* Harry (1969) (RCA Records), US #120
* Rock n Roll Nilsson (1969) (Pickwick Records)- reissue of Spotlight on Nilsson
* Nilsson Sings Newman (1970)
* The Point! (1971) (RCA Records), US #25
* Aerial Pandemonium Ballet (1971), US #149
* Nilsson Schmilsson (1971), US #3
* Son of Schmilsson (1972) (RCA Records), US #12
* A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (1973) (RCA Records), US #46
* Son of Dracula (1974) (RCA Records), US #106
* Pussy Cats (1974) (RCA Records), US #60
* Duit on Mon Dei (1975) (RCA Records), US #141
* Sandman (1976) (RCA Records), US #111
* …That's the Way It Is (1976) (RCA Records), US #158
* Knnillssonn (1977) (RCA Records), US #108
* Flash Harry (1980) (not released in USA) (Mercury Records)
* Early Tymes (1982) (CBS Records)
* A touch more Schmilsson in the night (1988) (BMG Records)
* Harry Nilsson - All Time Greatest Hits(1989), US #140
* Personal Best: The Harry Nilsson Anthology (1995) (RCA Records)
* Everybody's Talkin': The Very Best of Harry Nilsson (2006) (Legacy Recordings)

Compilation albums

* Performed "Silver Horse", "Dream Love" & "Loneliness" on 'Every Man Has a Woman' (Songs of Yoko Ono), 1984 (one of [Various Artists]).
* Performed Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah on Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films, 1988 (one of Various Artists).

Films and television (original work)

Note: this section is for songs Nilsson recorded specifically for film and television projects, as well as his few acting roles. Later use of Nilsson recordings are listed in the next section.

* Skidoo (1968) songs written and performed, soundtrack music composer, actor (bit role)
* The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (1969 TV Series) acted and sang - He appeared in the episode "The Music Maker", and his character name was Tim Seagirt. He sang "Without Her" and "If Only I Could Touch Your Hand."
* The Courtship of Eddie's Father (TV series, 1969–1972) theme song written and performed, incidental music
* Midnight Cowboy (1969) new version of "Everybody's Talkin'" performed
* Jenny (1970) song "Waiting" written and performed
* The Point! (1971) story, all songs written and performed
* Son of Dracula (1974) actor (lead role), all songs performed
* The World's Greatest Lover (1978) song "Ain't It Kinda Wonderful" performed
* In God We Tru$t (1980) new version of "Good For God" performed
* Popeye (1980) all songs written, except "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man"
* Handgun (1983) song "Lay Down Your Arms" written and performed
* First Impressions, (TV series, 1988) theme song co-written, performed
* Camp Candy (TV series, animated, 1989–1991) theme song written, and performed with John Candy
* The Fisher King (1991) song "How About You" performed
* Me, Myself, and I (1992) song "Me, Myself and I" written and performed

Use of Nilsson recordings in films and television

* Head (1968) - "Daddy's Song" (cover version by The Monkees)
* Midnight Cowboy (1969) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971) - "Don't Leave Me"
* La Mortadella (1971) - "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City"
* The Muppet Show (1979, episode 410) - "Coconut"
* All That Jazz (1979) - "Perfect Day"
* Real Life (1979) - "Jump Into the Fire"
* Porridge (film version, 1979) - "Without You"
* Only Fools And Horses The Jolly Boys' Outing (1989) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* Private School for Girls (1983) - "You're Breakin' My Heart"
* Goodfellas (1990) - "Jump Into the Fire"
* Reservoir Dogs (1992) - "Coconut"
* Caroline (animated short, 1993) - "Caroline"
* Forrest Gump (1994) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* Casino (1995) - "Without You"
* Seinfeld (1995 episode) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* Beverly Hills, 90210 (1995 episode) - "Remember"
* The Craft (1996) - "Jump Into The Fire"(covered by Tripping Daisy)
* Angel on My Shoulder (1997)
* Ellen Foster (1997) - "Remember"
* The Ice Storm (1997) - "Coconut"
* Practical Magic (1998) - "Coconut"
* You've Got Mail (1998) - "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City", "Remember", "The Puppy Song", "Over The Rainbow"
* Dick (1999) - "Coconut"
* Futurama - Brannigan Begin Again (1999) - "Everybody's Talkin"
* Magnolia (1999) - "One" (Aimee Mann's cover version opens with a sample from Cuddly Toy)
* High Fidelity (2000) - "The Moonbeam Song"
* Bridget Jones' Diary (2001) - "Without You"
* Riding in Cars with Boys (2001) - "Everything's Got 'Em", "Me And My Arrow"
* Black Books - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* Punch-Drunk Love (2002) - "He Needs Me" (Shelley Duvall's version from Popeye)
* The Rules of Attraction (2002) - "Without You"
* Shanghai Knights (2003) - "One"
* Daddy Day Care (2003) - Jeff Garlin entertains the kids with "Coconut"
* That '70s Show (2004) - "Best Friend"
* Around the Bend (2004) - "Daddy's Song"
* The Girl Next Door (2004) - "Jump Into the Fire"
* House (2004) - "One"
* Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere (UK) (2004, Series 1, episode 2) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* Coke with Lime Ad (2005) - altered version of "Coconut"
* Breakfast on Pluto (2005) - "Me And My Arrow", "You're Breakin' My Heart", "The Moonbeam Song"
* Beyond Our Control (1967–1986) - "Remember" Closing theme for the series
* Crank (2006) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* Rob & Big (2006) - "Best Friend"
* American Dad (2006 episode 2.08) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* A Good Year (2007) - "How Can I Be Sure Of You" "Jump Into The Fire", "Gotta Get Up"
* Unison TV Advert (2007) - "One"
* DigitalUK TV Advert (2007) - "Everybody's Talkin'"
* My Name is Earl (2008 episode) - "Me And My Arrow"
* Life on Mars (2008 episode) - "Spaceman"


* Nilsson by Tipton (1970, Warner Bros. Records), Although it may not be considered a tribute, it featured George Tipton conducting instrumental versions of 11 Nilsson songs.
* For The Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson (1995, MusicMasters/BMG), featured Nilsson's songs performed by Ringo Starr, Stevie Nicks, Richard Barone, Brian Wilson, Aimee Mann, Fred Schneider, and others, with proceeds benefitting the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

1. Randy Newman - Remember
2. Marc Cohn - Turn On Your Radio
3. Aimee Mann - One
4. Fred Schneider - Coconut
5. Joe Ely - Joy
6. Ringo Starr - Lay Down Your Arms
7. Carl Wilson - Without Her
8. LaVern Baker - Jump Into The Fire
9. Steve Forbert - The Moonbeam Song
10. Peter Wolf And the Houseparty 5 - You're Breakin' My Heart
11. Jennifer Trynin - Mournin' Glory Story
12. Al Kooper - Salmon Falls
13. Victoria Williams - The Puppy Song
14. Marshall Crenshaw - Don't Forget Me
15. Brian Wilson - This Could Be The Night
16. Jellyfish - Think About Your Troubles
17. Bill Lloyd - The Lottery Song
18. Ron Sexsmith - Good Old Desk
19. Adrian Belew - Me And My Arrow
20. Richard Barone - I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City
21. The Roches - Spaceman
22. John Cowan - Don't Leave Me
23. Jimmy Webb - Lifeline

* I'll Never Leave You: A Tribute to Harry Nilsson (2005 Wood Records). A percentage of profits from sales of the CD went to benefit Amnesty International.

1. Peter Dizozza: "Without Her"
2. Hilary Levitt: "Down"
3. Shank: "Jump Into the Fire"
4. OrimaR2 featuring NitWiT: "I'd Rather Be Dead"
5. The Neshama Alma Band: "Ambush"
6. Buzzsaw and the Shavings: "Best Friend"
7. Matt Kinnison: "Coconut"
8. LAM: "Driving Along"
9. Johnny J with Vorgus: "Spaceman"
10. Mary Jane: "Me And My Arrow"
11. MWF: "I'll Never Leave You"
12. Lolwolf: "Black Sails In The Moonlight"
13. Charles Fyant: "The Moonbeam Song"
14. Pinkie: "One"
15. Linda Draper and Brian Wurschum: "The Lottery Song"
16. David Spero Peligro: "It's a Jungle Out There"
17. an additional track by The Spaceheaters.

* "Doris, Buzz and Friends" by John Krane (2008 Cloverbelly Records). Although no Nilsson tracks were featured, the digital version of this album paid tribute to the famous Nilsson Schmilsson album cover, and the robe worn by Krane in the cover photograph actually belonged to Harry Nilsson.

Radio tributes

May 2005 WPS1 Art Radio (A Tribute To)

1. Curator: Sherrie Fell
2. Hosts: Bernadette O'Reilly, Harry O'Reilly


"Love You To" Lyrics

by George Harrison

Original Manuscript (1966)

(1) each day just goes so fast
I turn around it's past you don't get the time, to hang a sign on me -
Love me while you can, before I'm a dead old man.

(2) A life time is so short - a new one can't be bought
but what you've got means such a lot to me
make love all day long - make love singing songs -

(3) There's people standing 'round - who'll screw you in the ground,
(They'll) fill you in with all there [sic] sins you'll seeee [sic]

I'll make love to you -
If you want me to. -

As Released by the Beatles (1966)

Each day just goes so fast
I turn around, it's past
You don't get time to hang a sign on me.

Love me while you can
Before I'm a dead old man.

A lifetime is so short
A new one can't be bought
But what you've got means such a lot to me.

Make love all day long
Make love singing songs.

Make love all day long
Make love singing songs.

There's people standing round
Who'll screw you in the ground
They'll fill you in with all their sins, you'll see

I'll make love to you
If you want me to.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Do You Want To Know a Secret?" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1963)

You'll never know how much I really love you
You'll never know how much I really care.

Listen, do you want to know a secret?
Do you promise not to tell?
Whoa closer
Let me whisper in your ear
Say the words you long to hear
I'm in love with you - ooo.

Listen (dodahdo) do you want to know a secret? (dodahdo)
Do you promise not to tell? (dodahdo)
Whoa closer, (dodahdo)
Let me whisper in your ear, (dodahdo)
Say the words you long to hear
I'm in love with you - ooo.

I've known a secret for the week or two
Nobody knows just we two.

Listen (dodahdo) do you want to know a secret? (dodahdo)
Do you promise not to tell? (dodahdo)
Whoa closer, (dodahdo)
Let me whisper in your ear, (dodahdo)
Say the words you long to hear
I'm in love with you - ooo
Ooo, ooo.

Beatle People: Pete Ham

Peter William Ham (27 April 1947 – 24 April 1975) was a Welsh singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as the leader of the group Badfinger.

Early life

Ham was born in Swansea, South Wales. He formed a local rock group called The Panthers around 1961. This group would undergo several name and lineup changes before it became The Iveys in 1965. The band was relocated to London by The Mojos manager, Bill Collins, in 1966, and they continued to perform for three years throughout the United Kingdom. As it was, Pete Ham especially took to songwriting, as a Revox was made available by Collins to encourage him. Ray Davies of The Kinks took initial interest in producing the group. In 1968, The Iveys came to the attention of Mal Evans (The Beatles personal assistant) and were eventually signed to the Beatles' Apple label after approval from all four Beatles who were most impressed by dozens of home demos highlighting the band's songwriting abilities.

In Badfinger

The Iveys changed their name to Badfinger with the single release of "Come And Get It," a composition written by Paul McCartney, and it became a worldwide Top Ten hit. Ham had initially protested using a non-original to promote the band, as he had gained confidence in the group's compositions, but he was quickly convinced of the springboard effect of having a likely hit single. His own creative perseverance paid off eventually, as his "No Matter What" composition became another Top Ten worldwide smash after its release in late 1970 . He followed up writing two more worldwide hits in "Day After Day" and "Baby Blue." But the peak of his craft came with his co-written composition "Without You" - a worldwide #1 as covered by Harry Nilsson. The song has since become one of the all-time ballad standards covered by hundreds of singers from many genres. An Ivor Novello award for Song Of The Year was granted in 1973 along with Grammy nominations. In 1972, Ham's group Badfinger was picked up by Warner Bros. Records, as the Apple label was crumbling and it seemed the band was primed for major recognition.

During the band's tenure at Apple, Ham also performed guitar and vocal session work for ex-Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr, notably on "All Things Must Pass" and the single "It Don't Come Easy." Ham was uncredited on other sessions as well. Ham's personality was universally described as soft-spoken, a kind disposition, a bit of a clown at a party, extremely giving and humble. He was cited for his hard-working nature.


During the Warner Bros. Records era from 1973-75, Badfinger became embroiled in many internal, financial and managerial problems and their music languished. By 1975, with no income coming in and his business manager non-communicative, Ham's spirit became broken and he hanged himself in the garage of his Surrey home. He was discovered by his girlfriend in his garage the very next morning. His blood alcohol was .27%. He was 27 years old. He left behind a pregnant girlfriend Anne (his daughter Petera Ham was born one month after his death); Anne had a son, Blair, from a previous relationship. Ham's suicide note was accusatory toward Badfinger's business manager, Stan Polley. It read: "Anne, I love you. Blair, I love you. I will not be allowed to love and trust everybody. This is better. Pete. P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me." Many of Polley's artist-clients also accused him of corruption over the years. More than a decade after Ham's death, Polley pleaded Nolo contendere to unrelated embezzlement and money laundering charges, but no collection of restitution was ever made. Ham's death was brushed under the rug, as no Beatles made public comment, nor did Apple Corps Ltd nor Warner Bros. Records come out with any official notice of his death.


Ham is often credited as being one of the earliest purveyors of the power pop genre, but his most widespread effect in popular music is the ballad "Without You," written with Badfinger bandmate Tom Evans (who also later committed suicide). Two collections of Ham's home demo recordings have been posthumously released: 1997's 7 Park Avenue and 1999's Golders Green.


(with Badfinger, except where noted)

* Maybe Tomorrow (1969 with "The Iveys")
* Magic Christian Music (1970)
* No Dice (1970)
* Straight Up (1971)
* Ass (1973)
* Badfinger (1974)
* Wish You Were Here (1974)
* 7 Park Avenue (1997 as "Pete Ham")
* Golders Green (1999 as "Pete Ham")
* Head First (2000)

Ham also appeared as a guest artist on

* The Concert For Bangla Desh (the concert, the album, and the film)
* All Things Must Pass by George Harrison (album)
* "It Don't Come Easy" by Ringo Starr (single)

Compositions of note

* "No Matter What" (Billboard charting #8, by Badfinger)
* "Without You" (Billboard charting #1 by Harry Nilsson, #3 by Mariah Carey, #28 by Clay Aiken).
* "Day After Day " (Billboard charting #4, Cashbox charting #1, both by Badfinger)
* "Baby Blue" (Billboard charting #14 by Badfinger)