SOTU 543: That Building is Brill!

hendulele

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Hi Seasonistas! This week we'll celebrate the songwriters and the hits that came from the Brill Building in New York City, primarily in the 1950s and 1960s.

Professor Wikipedia's entry is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brill_Building

But if you're not familiar with the Brill Building, you almost certainly know its former inhabitants/inmates(?)

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A fuller list of writers is on the Wiki page. It's quite a group!

This week, please bring me your interpretation of a song or songs that came from the Brill Building writer's room. I'd appreciate sticking to songs written when the writers were at Brill during the '50s and '60s. Carole King, Neil Diamond, and Paul Simon, of course, went on to much greater fame after they went on their own, but I hope you'll feature the music they composed (and occasionally performed) there. The Wiki page should provide links to the music of that era. (Monkees and Elvis fans will be ecstatic.)

For now, I'll put a five-song limit per Seasonista, but I may scrap that if I can keep up with commenting. Normal other rules apply.

The Season starts at 12:01 a.m. Hawaii time Sunday the 10th and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday the 17th.

• Please indicate somewhere on the video or in your video title this was created for Season 543. No reruns please (though the Rob Rule applies!).
• Ukes should be front and center, but other instruments/effects are OK.
• Collaborations welcome!
• If you'd like to do an original, consider a song about songwriting, boiler-room-style working conditions, operating under deadlines, nastygrams to Don Kirshner (or PHIL SPECTOR!), whatever seems connected to the spirit of the Brill Building operation.
• Please listen to and comment on others' videos.
HAVE FUN!

PRIZES: I'll probably pick an overall favorite or two, and those lucky people will get a pack of uke strings. I'll also do a drawing so I can share from my growing collection of stickers, cards, etc.

PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLM_c-w3Eo2iRYNmArlCxZ1TJGuFbitQeg

Remember, school's not out yet, so be sure to contribute to Del's Learning Lab!

Thanks, all —
 
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Great idea, Rick ... I love some of the music that came out of the Brill Building! I could be a bit late to the party this week as one of our sons and his children are visiting for a few days, but, since he is a musician, we might be able to cobble together a sort of Family ensemble.
 
Great theme Rick…. Like the Kid, I’ve got one eye on Neil Sedaka…. But there’s just so much scope here. Looking forward to bringing something this coming week.
 
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i must admit i've never heard of the brill building, but while i was googling around looking for inspiration for a song to cover i came across this in a bio of Lesley Gore ... "Gore could not have begun her music career with a better team behind her. Her first single, 1963's "It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)", was arranged by famed Brill Building songwriter Ellie Greenwich and produced by Quincy Jones. The song resonated with millions of teenage girls across America, becoming an overnight success.", so i reckon it'll fit this week's theme ...

 
This theme is epic! Carol King? I am
going to bring you so much Neil Sedaka that you block me lol.
Such an awesome part of music history, thanks for doing this week.
If you do “Bad Blood,” I’ll lose it …
 
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Great idea, Rick ... I love some of the music that came out of the Brill Building! I could be a bit late to the party this week as one of our sons and his children are visiting for a few days, but, since he is a musician, we might be able to cobble together a sort of Family ensemble.
I’d love to see that come together, Val!
 
We're off to a strong start, with excellent entries from Ila, Charley B, Brian, and Rob. I can't wait to see what more pop goodness you bring to the table!
 
Great theme pick Rick! I always liked this one. It was one of those songs that sunk in as a little kid before serious interest in music listening had started. Written by Jerry Lieber and Phil Spector. Hit for Ben E King.
 
This is just a classic, written in 1962 by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. I think, like fellow Brill building Alumni Goffin and King’s It Might As Well Rain Until September, which I’ve covered elsewhere, this is pure perfection in a pop song, it doesn’t need anything adding or taking away. The Partridge Family did a great cover of this of course, among others.
 
We are off to a rip-roaring start, folks. The uke is such a fine instrument to showcase great songs, well done.

I can’t wait to hear what you all have next!
 
Hi Rick, thanks for hosting! And there's so many to choose from this week! Here's one written by Brill Building inhabitant Bobby Darin in 1959. I tweaked it slightly, because the original changes key by a semitone for the last verse. One day I hope I'll manage to play something in F#, but today is not that day, so I'm going up by a whole tone... Anyway. Here it is.



There's no need for any overdubs on classics like this (also, I have other stuff to do now :)).
 
Two days in, and we have some high-quality submissions!

A couple Bacharachs from Ila, plus entries from Charley, two of the Johns, Brian, Rob, pa, Alan, and Edwin. All top-notch.

Please check them out and jump in the pool, too! The water is … Brill.
 
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