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Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Nite Retro

Good evening and welcome to another night of memories and more here at Left in Aboite! I went several different directions tonight before settling on what I thought would be an "easy" FNR feature. . .a guy that only charted two hit songs. Little did I know how many other things he was involved in! I think you'll be very surprised at the enormous works of - Rupert Holmes!

Rupert was born in England, but grew up in New York, and has dual American and British citizenship. He comes from a musical family; His father was a band leader and his mother plays several instruments. His brother, Richard, is an opera singer based in New York City and is the principal lyric baritone of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players.

In his 20s, Holmes was a session musician who wrote jingles and pop tunes for a number of artists including Gene Pitney, the Platters, the Drifters and television's The Partridge Family. As a recording artist, Holmes broke through with 1974's Widescreen on Epic Records, which introduced him as a presenter of highly romantic, lushly orchestrated "story songs" that told a witty narrative punctuated by clever rhymes and a hint of comedy. Barbra Streisand discovered this album and asked to record songs from it, launching Holmes on a successful career. She then used some of his songs in the movie A Star Is Born. His second, self-titled album led Rolling Stone to compare him to Bob Dylan in the sense of being an artist of unprecedented originality that commanded attention.

"Escape", the song you all remember him for, was included on his fifth album, Partners in Crime, and reached the Hot 100 No. 1 Hits of 1979. The song hit #1 late December 1979, becoming the last song to top the pop chart in the 1970s. The song fell to #2 for the first week of January, 1980 and then rebounded to #1 the next week, making Holmes the only artist to ascend to the #1 spot with the same song in different decades.

Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

Another popular song on that album was "Him".


Holmes wrote a song for the band The Buoys called "Timothy," possibly the only top-40 song about cannibalism. Holmes was not in the band, but did play piano on the track. He also wrote "Give Up Your Guns", "The Prince of Thieves", "Blood Knot", and "Tomorrow" for the band. "Timothy" charted at #17 and "Give Up Your Guns" at #84.


In 1986 Holmes's composition "You Got It All" was a hit single for The Jets and later recorded by Britney Spears, featured in her internationally released version of Oops!...I Did It Again (2000).

You Got it All

Holmes later became one of the few playwrights to win Tony Awards for both book and score, for the 1986 Broadway musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, based on the Charles Dickens novel, and also won the same three (score being split into separate music and lyrics awards) Drama Desk Awards and an Edgar Award. Holmes also scored Edwin Drood himself, one of the few Broadway composers to write his own orchestrations. Because the book was left unfinished at Dickens' death, Holmes hit on a novel idea: he provided alternate endings for each character who is suspected of the murder, and the audience votes on who the murderer is each night.

Holmes also wrote the Tony Award-nominated ("Best Play 2003") Say Goodnight, Gracie, that Broadway season's longest running play, based on the life of George Burns, and a second Edgar Award-winning play, the comedy-thriller Accomplice (1990). Holmes has written a number of other shows, including Solitary Confinement (2002), which set a new Kennedy Center box office record before its Broadway run, Thumbs, the most successful play in the history of the Helen Hayes Theatre Company, and the musicals Marty and Curtains (with a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb).

In 1996 Holmes created the television series Remember WENN for American Movie Classics, writing all 64 episodes of that series. In 2003 he published his first novel, Where the Truth Lies (later filmed by Atom Egoyan), followed in 2005 by Swing, a multimedia release combining a novel with a music CD providing clues to the mystery.

Drop by Rupert's website for more information on what he's been up to lately!


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Blogger Parson said...

Now I'm going to laugh even more at those Tim Z. post.


title="comment permalink">May 12, 2007 12:54 AM  
Blogger Parson said...

Just in case anyone has trouble understanding the lyrics...

Lyrics for: Timothy

Trapped in a mine that had caved in
And everyone knows the only ones left
Were Joe and me and Tim
When they broke through to pull us free
The only ones left to tell the tale
Were Joe and me

Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go?
Timothy, Timothy, God why don't I know?

Hungry as hell no food to eat
And Joe said that he would sell his soul
For just a piece of meat
Water enough to drink for two
And Joe said to me, "I'll have a swig
And then there's some for you."

Timothy, Timothy, Joe was looking at you
Timothy, Timothy, God what did we do?

I must have blacked out just around then
'Cause the very next thing that I could see
Was the light of the day again
My stomach was full as it could be
And nobody ever got around
To finding Timothy

title="comment permalink">May 12, 2007 1:15 AM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

My God, when I first started reading your post about Rupert Holmes I thought you were being satirical. Honestly, I had to google him to make sure you weren't pulling my leg. What an incredible career.

When I played Timothy, I remember how chilling yet cool that song was in 1971. I remembered every word of it. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I admit to few that I actually liked the Pina Coloda song too, but it always disturbed me that he and the old lady had cheatin' on their minds. Still, the happy ending always got me.

title="comment permalink">May 12, 2007 2:35 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Parson - Thanks for all of the info. At least now we know what happened with Timmy Z - they only ate his brain! ;)

Pursey - Sounds like we think alike. On all counts!

title="comment permalink">May 12, 2007 11:02 PM  
Blogger Hill said...

OK, the Pina Colada song is, bar none, the absolute worst song EVER!
"Him" is great, on the other hand.
Sheesh, Good Man, I'm sitting here ROTFLMAO about your comment on Timothy. Why, yes, cannibalism is all about "eating," yes?
And "You've Got It All"? Loved it! That is, until the crotchless one recorded it. Why, oh why, do tacky people ruin a perfectly good tune?

title="comment permalink">May 13, 2007 9:53 AM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

I will debate you on that Pina Colada song business. I think the worst song EVER is You Light Up My Life by Debby Boone.

title="comment permalink">May 13, 2007 11:33 AM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

I have to disagree with all of you and tell you that in my humble opinion, "Run Joey Run" is worse than any other songs mentioned. There are also a lot of crap raps - but since I don't count those as songs I can't really call them the worst songs.

title="comment permalink">May 15, 2007 10:00 AM  
Blogger John Good said...

*I* think Pursey and Robert are both correct on this one!

title="comment permalink">May 15, 2007 9:43 PM  

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