Music & Lyric: Tom Snow
Song History: Recorded by Rita Coolidge for the album Love Me Again (1978). It reached #25 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Also recorded by Marcia Hines who had a #1 hit with it in Australia.
Author’s Note: This was the song that started my career as a “behind the lines” songwriter. Originally written for the first of my two solo albums for Capitol Records, “Taking It All In Stride”, “You” somehow found its way to Rita Coolidge and her producer Booker T. Completely unaware that they had cut the song and that it had achieved hit status in various regions across the country, I ultimately found out by being invited to the 1978 BMI awards dinner to receive a “most performed song” commendation. Who knew? It was never a radio hit in L.A. but apparently places like Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta were crazy about the tune. (My first meaningful royalty check!) More important, it gave me standing in the higher echelon of LA’s songwriting community and provided entry to writers like Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. When I wrote the song I had no concept of “hit” songwriting. I was only trying to come up with viable material for my debut solo album at Capitol Records. While I subsequently had a number of hits that were born of a desire to ride the charts, “You” is, for lack of a better term, an innocent and heartfelt creative effort that happened to achieve commercial success. And, by the way, the word “commercial” has been unfairly maligned throughout the years and never more so than during the post Woodstock era. I remember a successful producer/engineer at the time saying to me, “I hope you don’t start writing hits.” Yeah, well… hits reach people and provide a certain amount of pleasure and escape for the average soul. I’ve always had the greatest respect for those writers who put aside personal idiosyncracy in favor of finding a way to connect to the mass listening audience. It’s an honorable pursuit informed by discipline and craft. If you don’t believe me, ask Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Burt Bacharach, Frank Loesser, and on and on and on…Click here to listen