Wednesday, May 08, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tracy Chapman

Artist:Tracy Chapman
Song:Give Me One Reason

Folksinger Tracy Chapman was an unlikely success story. When she emerged in the 80s with Fast Cars, folksingers were not in vogue. I would have thought Fast Cars was her biggest hit but her 1996 comeback single Give Me One Reason's chart placing was slightly higher. Both were top ten hits. She was born Mar. 30, 1964 in Cleveland and learned to play guitar as a child. While attending Tufts University, she started playing local coffeehouses in Boston. She was spotted by fellow Tufts student Brian Koppleman. Well, that was her lucky day. Koppleman's father is veteran music exec Charles Koppleman who at the time owned SBK Publishing. He got her a record deal with Elektra Records. Tracy Chapman was her debut album in 1988. Fast Cars became a hit after Tracy performed it on the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute at Wembley Stadium in London June 11, 1988. Fox broadcast it in the US. Fast Cars reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Tracy Chapman topped the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 6XPlatinum. Tracy's second album Crossroads was certified Platinum but it didn't perform as well. And she continued to fade with the 1992 album Matters Of The Heart. Tracy was criticized for being too politically active. That's what happens when an artist's first single is a smash. It's hard to follow that. And Tracy Chapman was not a commercial artist anyway. Any hit single was a bonus. So she got lucky again when Give Me One Reason reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996. It wasn't even a new song. She had performed it on a 1989 episode of Saturday Night Live. But she didn't record it until 1995. She got lucky a second time. This comp is a good intro to her music. Tracy Chapman last recorded in 2008 on Atlantic after Elektra was closed. I don't know if she is still on Atlantic. Tracy Chapman still tours and is a social activist. Here's the video for Give Me One Reason by Tracy Chapman. Music fans will recognize jazz singer Dianne Reeves in the video.

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