Song of the Day, March 31: Streets of Your Town by Bryndle

bryndleToday’s song features on the realization of a long-deferred dream. In 1969, four like-minded musicians got together as Bryndle. Karla Bonoff, Kenny Edwards, Andrew Gold, and Wendy Waldman all had an interest in country-tinged folk-pop and great craftsmanship. They signed with A&M and recorded an album. Only a single was released however, and the lack of a strong response to their carefully crafted recording broke up the band and shelved the album.

Over the next two decades, all four found success as writers, singers, producers, and session musicians, including shared projects with Linda Ronstadt. Finally, in 1995, they gathered again and recorded an eponymous debut — a quarter century after their first try. The result was magical, with the intervening years honing their talents. Regular collaborators, they meshed even better than they had in 1970. Bryndle is a fine album without a dull moment.

The standout was written by Gold with folk singer Jenny Yates. Streets of Your Town is a fun road song and tale of frustrated romance. It’s energetic and compelling, making the most of the fine group harmonies and solid musical talents of the quartet.

Enjoy this fun song today.

Song of the Day, February 13: Please Be the One by Karla Bonoff

bonoffpleasebeToday’s song is a standout from the catalog of a master pop songwriter. Karla Bonoff rose to prominence collaborating with Linda Ronstadt. She penned three songs on Ronstadt’s Hasten Down the Wind and provided vocal support. She began her own recording career a year later and released sporadic solo albums while writing hit songs for others.

Her third album, 1982’s Wild Heart of the Young, features her finest moment. Please Be the One is a darkly quiet song of need. Honing the smart, aching pop that found success for Ronstadt, Lynn Anderson, Wynonna, and others, Bonoff crafted a wonderful musical package. Filled with hope, tinged with doubt, and sung with just the right mix of reserve and desire, it shows off her skills as singer and writer.

Enjoy this beautiful song today.

Song of the Day, January 22: Someone to Lay Down Beside Me by Linda Ronstadt

Linda_Ronstadt-Hasten_Down_The_WindToday’s song is Someone to Lay Down Beside Me by Linda Ronstadt. A magnificent singer and interpreter, Ronstadt has an uncanny knack for finding the perfect songs to record. As her career took off in the mid-70s, she also provided early American radio exposure to a number of songwriters including Elvis Costello and Warren Zevon. The latter provided the title track for her 1976 album Hasten Down the Wind. That album also included three numbers by a fine singer and songwriter, Karla Bonoff.

The finest of that trio is Someone to Lay Down Beside Me, one of Ronstadt’s best performances on disc. An aching song of need, it allows the singer to stretch into a near torch mode, passionately soaring from a whisper to a scream and back. It’s a perfect wrap-up to a strong album, leaving the listener wanting more as the last note fades.

But your love is a common occurrence
Not like love that I feel in my heart
Still you know that may be what I need

Is someone to lay down beside me
And even though it’s not real
Just someone to lay down beside me
You’re the story of my life

Enjoy this powerful song today.

BONUS: A year after Ronstadt recorded it, Bonoff included her own version of the song on her eponymous debut album.

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart

Song

Act

Weeks

Hot 100 I Love Rock ‘N Roll Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

7

R & B If It Ain’t One Thing…It’s Another Richard “Dimples” Fields

2

Country Mountain Music Alabama

1

Adult Contemporary Chariots of Fire – Titles Vangelis

5

Rock Heat of the Moment Asia

2

Album Chariots of Fire [Soundtrack]

3

This week sees a prolific songwriter and great pop singer debut on the Hot 100 with her only Top 40 hit. Karla Bonoff has written dozens of songs recorded by other artists, including hits by Wynonna Judd, Lynn Anderson, and Linda Ronstadt. She’s also worked with Wendy Waldman, Kenny Edwards, and Andrew Gold, including participating in the group Bryndle with them. Despite her perfect sense for pop hooks and pleasant voice, she hasn’t had much chart success on her own. Personally, her third Hot 100 single, entered the chart this week at #79; it went on to spend two weeks at #19 in August 1982. She managed one more lovely hit before vanishing from the charts a year later. Sadly not even a great contribution to the monster-hit Footloose soundtrack (Somebody’s Eyes) got her any closer to that elusive big hit. She was somewhat more successful on the Adult Contemporary charts, logging five top 40s (including three weeks at #3 with Personally.) Bonoff continues to write, sing, and perform today.

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