Each day, Rich Terfry and Radio 2 Drive wraps up your day with music and stories about the interesting things going on in the world.
NEW ON TUESDAY: Elbow is back with The Take Off And The Landing of Everything... out today!
JUNK IN THE TRUNK:
The adventures of a Brit in Canada:
This parrot is not a fan of the violin:
Cat on a cold tin roof:
RICH'S PICK: "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" by Dolly Parton (with surprise ending!)
MARK'S PICK: Genesis "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
Every week, Rich Terfry looks back in our Rear-view Mirror at a great song from the good ol’ days. This week, James Taylor with "Fire and Rain".
In 1968, James Taylor wrote a song that would become the blueprint for the singer-songwriter as we know it today. He was only 20 years old at the time.
Before James Taylor came along with his big hit "Fire and Rain," musicians worked in a different way. Songs were either written by professional writers and performed by other professional singers or they were written and performed by a larger group. The sight of a lone performer on stage with a guitar or behind a piano singing songs they wrote themselves was still a rare sight. When Taylor broke that mold, he paved the way for artists like Elton John, Carly Simon and Billy Joel.
He was only 20 years old when he wrote the song, but Taylor had more to say than most people his age at the time. He was battling depression and drug addiction and was trying to make sense of his recent success, having been signed by Paul McCartney to Apple Records, for example.
The song was written in three parts at three different times. The first verse of the song was written about a childhood friend named Suzanne who committed suicide just as Taylor's career was taking off. The second verse was written about his drug addiction. The third verse was the subject of much rumor and speculation. The line, "sweet dreams and Flying Machines in pieces on the ground" led many listeners to believe it was about a plane crash that took the life of someone close to Taylor. It was in fact a reference to the demise of his first band, which was called The Flying Machine.
It's also been said that the title of the song refers to time Taylor spent in mental institutions when he was in high school -- "fire" referring to electro-shock treatments he received and "rain" referring to the cold showers that followed those therapy sessions.
Listen to the audio version of Rear-View Mirror by hitting the Play button to the left
The song was released in February of 1970 and reached number three on the charts. Here's the song defined what it means to be a singer-songwriter. This is "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor.
Here are some other great editions of Rear-view Mirror:
Neil Diamond/Sweet Caroline
The Who/Pinball Wizard
Buffalo Springfield/For What It's Worth
Five Man Electrical Band/Signs
Band Aid/Do They Know It's Christmas
The Ugly Ducklings/Nothin
Bob Dylan/Tangled Up In Blue
The Beatles/Norwegian Wood
The Pursuit of Happiness/I'm An Adult Now
Bruce Springsteen/Born To Run
Arcade Fire/Wake Up
Big Joe Turner/Shake Rattle and Roll
Martha and the Muffins/Echo Beach
Wilson Pickett/In The Midnight Hour
The Band/The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Fleetwood Mac/Go Your Own Way
The Animals/House of the Rising Sun
Ian and Sylvia/Four Strong Winds
James Brown/Please Please Please
John Cougar Mellencamp, 'Pink Houses'
The Ramones/I Wanna Be Sedated
The Guess Who/American Woman
U2/I Still Have't Found What I'm Looking For
Janis Joplin/Me and Bobby McGee
Gordon Lightfoot "If You Could Read My Mind"
The Byrds "Eight Miles High"
Simon and Garfunkel "The Sound of Silence"
Bill Haley and his Comets "Rock Around The Clock"
The Velvet Underground "I'm Waiting For The Man"
Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison Blues"
Bobby Fuller "I Fought The Law"
Big Star "September Gurls"
The Hollies "Bus Stop"
Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
Booker T and the MGs "Green Onions"
Jimi Hendrix "Hey Joe"
Neil Young "Rockin' in the Free World"
Dolly Parton "Jolene"
The Left Banke "Walk Away Renee"
Lou Reed "Walk On The Wild Side"
James Taylor "Fire And Rain"
The Clash "Should I Stay or Should I Go"
Marvin Gaye "Sexual Healing"
Radiohead "Paranoid Android"
M.I.A. "Paper Planes"
The Animals "We Gotta Get Out of this Place"
Dusty Springfield "Son of a Preacher Man"
Screamin' Jay Hawkins "I Put A Spell On You"
Cheap Trick "Surrender"
Mott The Hoople "All the Young Dudes"
Beach Boys "Sloop John B"
Amy Winehouse "Rehab"
New York Dolls "Personality Crisis"
Modern Lovers "Roadrunner"
George Jones "He Stopped Loving Her Today"
Bruce Springsteen "Born in the USA"
The Beatles "With A Little Help From My Friends"
Rolling Stones 'Miss You'
The Coasters 'Run Red Run'
Elvis Costello, 'Alison'
James Brown, 'Hot (I Need to be loved loved loved)'
Inner Circle, 'Tenement Yard'
Ray Charles, 'I Don't Need No Doctor'
Curtis Mayfield, 'Freddy's Dead'
Gang Starr, 'Beyond Comprehension'
Bo Diddley, 'Bo Diddley'
Aretha Franklin, 'Rocksteady'
CCR, 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain'
Howlin' Wolf, 'Smokestack Lightning'
Bobby Womack, 'Across 110th Street'
Roy Orbison, 'In Dreams'
Foggy Hogtown Boys, 'Man of Constant Sorrow'
Pink Floyd, 'Wish You Were Here'
Neil Young, 'Cortez The Killer'
Bob Dylan, 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'
Little Eva, 'Loco-Motion'
Elvis Costello, 'Watching the Detectives'
Jimmy Cliff, 'The Harder They Come'
The Verve, 'Bittersweet Symphony'
Roberta Flack, 'Killing Me Softly with his Song'
R.E.M., 'Radio Free Europe'
Radiohead, 'No Surprises'
Led Zeppelin, 'Ramble On'
Rolling Stones, 'Beast of Burden'
Glen Campbell, 'Wichita Lineman'