Something different this week. Instead of an intro to the oldie we’re going right to the oldie, with complete explanation later.
Stay with me. It’ll be worth it.
Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders had a #1 hit in 1965 with “The Game of Love.” Fontana, the lead singer of the British band, soon left, but the Mindbenders in 1966 recorded this song that reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
And we have another oldie that has a connection to the Mindbenders hit. It’s the theme song from the 1981 movie “Arthur” starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli, sung by Christopher Cross.
The record went to #1 and won the Oscar for “Best Song.”
Now for some clarity.
Have you been able to figure out the connection between the above two songs? No, it wasn’t a common musician.
The answer is in the lyrics.
They were co-written by the lovely Carole Bayer Sager.
She’s written a best-selling book.
Perfect title. Sager has written more than 400 songs. Here’s Sager receiving that Oscar for “Arthur’s Theme.” Also pictured are Burt Bacharach and Bette Midler.
Last week The Songwriters Hall of Fame announced that Sager has been selected for the Johnny Mercer Award. Please follow along.
The Johnny Mercer Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is exclusively reserved for a songwriter or songwriting team who has already been inducted in a prior year, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact, that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer. Carole Bayer Sager was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987.
Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Nile Rodgers said, “If you are going to be the honored recipient of the Johnny Mercer Award you better be one of the greatest lyricists of all time…the incomparable Carole Bayer Sager has been a powerful female voice that has made the world a gentler and more beautiful place.”
Just a few of her songs: “When I Need You,” “That’s What Friends Are For,” “Nobody Does It Better,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” and “The Prayer.” Sager has collaborated with (and written for) Peter Allen, Ray Charles, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Clint Eastwood, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Melissa Manchester, Reba McEntire, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton, Carly Simon, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand.
Sager will be honored at the 50th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner on June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
We close with another of her big successes.
Last summer Neil Diamond received the Johnny Mercer Award. The singer has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and has canceled live concert performances.