Stellar Storyteller Songwriters of the Seventies by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג -
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Stellar Storyteller Songwriters of the Seventies

After fruitful careers as a scientist and inventor I've gone back to what I love most - writing children's books Read More
  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Published Books 1551

As singers and bands gained more control of their music in the sixties, we find a plethora of singer songwriters of the late 60s and 70s who made it big. Here is a small sample. There are more!

Carole King started her stellar career writing some of the most popular songs of the sixties, but her fame as a solo recording artist resulted from Tapestry, in 1971.



And now this amazing guitar guy.

James Taylor gained fame with his Fire and Rain in 1970, and for his rendition of Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend (and much more). He also persuaded Carole to sing solo!


and together….





Janis Ian    At Seventeen (1975)


At Seventeen

I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear-skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired

The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth

And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone

Who called to say “Come dance with me”
And murmured vague obscenities
It isn’t all it seems
At seventeen


And how about the Canadian, Gordon Lightfoot?


Elton John has been singing songs we love since the late 1960s. Although he doesn’t pen the lyrics (Bernie Taupin writes most of them), he writes the music and carries the song in a way that noone else can. Your Song is an early classic (1970). Daniel is another of his classics from 1973.


He has his own ebooks!



You asked for Your Song. Here it is!


You also asked for Rocket Man!


What makes Rocket man so great?


And the movie (opposite page)



Billy Joel   started (1973) soon after Elton John. They have a lot in common –  both are piano men, have last names that are first names, they performed together, and the tour (Face to Face) was ‘billed’ “Rocket Man meets Piano Man”. Billy even gets a mention in Tiny Dancer:

“Piano man he makes his stand/ In the auditorium”

It took Billy Joel almost thirty years to finish high school. He studied piano reluctantly at the behest of his mother.

Rather than attend summer school to earn his diploma, Joel decided to begin a career in music: “I told them, ‘To hell with it. If I’m not going to Columbia University, I’m going to Columbia Records, and you don’t need a high school diploma over there’.”[18] Joel did eventually sign with Columbia.

In 1992, he submitted essays to the school board and was awarded his diploma at Hicksville High’s annual-graduation ceremony, 25 years after leaving.

He played and sang cover songs during the sixties often imitating other singers.

His song Piano Man is about real people. Wonder what ever happened to them?

Joel likes Yiddish. “I like the Lower East Side humor, the food. I think the Yiddish language is terrifically expressive. Does that make me a complete Jew or a partial Jew? I’m not really sure”.[111]

Joel is right-handed, though he believes left-handed people have an advantage when playing the piano.

Joel’s road to success was tortuous. He didn’t give up.

His song “We didn’t start the fire” is a great way to study history.

and check out:

The Story of How Billy Joel Became the ‘Piano Man’


We didn’t start the fire – a great way to learn history here 


Billy Joel – now let’s hear Just the Way You Are from 1977.


Billy Joel book in Hebrew is here!


Leonard Cohen

Chelsea Hotel #2

Song starts at 2:33


Don McLean 

Vincent (written in 1971)


is similar to…

listen from 0:44, first five notes


Freddie Mercury

from Wikipedia: “A research team undertook a study in 2016 to understand the appeal behind Mercury’s voice.[40] Led by Professor Christian Herbst, the team identified his notably faster vibrato and use of subharmonics as unique characteristics of Mercury’s voice, particularly in comparison to opera singers, and confirmed a vocal range from F#2 to G5 (just over 3 octaves) but were unable to confirm claims of a 4-octave range.[41] The research team studied vocal samples from 23 commercially available Queen recordings, his solo work, and a series of interviews of the late artist. They also used an endoscopic video camera to study a rock singer brought in to imitate Mercury’s singing voice.



Sixto Rodriguez – Sugar Man



Astrud Gilberto sings Stan Getz plays Girl from Ipanema


עטור מצחך

עטור מצחך זהב שחור
(אינני זוכר אם כתבו כך בשיר’
מצחך מתחרז עם עיניים ואור,
(אינני זוכר אם חרזו כך בשיר’
אך למי שתהיי
חייו מלאי שיר.

חלוקך הורוד צמרירי ורך.
את בו מתעטפת תמיד לעת ליל.
לא הייתי רוצה להיות לך אח,
לא נזיר מתפלל לדמותו של מלאך
ורואה חלומות עגומים של קדושה
ולמולו את אישה…

את אוהבת להיות
עצובה ושותקת
להקשיב לסיפור על קרוב על רחוק
ואני, שלא פעם אביט בך בשקט
אין קול ודברים
שוכח הכל על אודות אחרים.
שוכנת נפשי בין כתלי ביתך
ושבויה בין כתלייך
ממני נפרדת
עת אני בגופי נפרד ממך.

פרוש חלומי כמרבד לרגליך
צעדי אהובה על פרחיו פסיעותיך
לבשי חלוקך הורוד לעת ליל
עוד מעט ואבוא אליך.

עטור מצחך זהב שחור
יקרב אל שפתי כחרוז אל שיר
אז אלחש באזניך עד בוקר עד אור
עטור מצחך זהב שחור.



And finally: Samba em Preludio


In Hebrew:

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