Thursday, March 19, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Carly Simon

Artist:Carly Simon f/Jimmy Webb
Song:Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year
Album:Film Noir

Lately it's become very common for fading 70s pop singers to keep their careers going by covering pop standards of the 40s. Carly Simon was probably the first to do this in the 80s. The 1997 album Film Noir was a salute to 40s genre films. It was produced by legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb and he appears on Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year. When Carly's career as a singer songwriter faded in the late 70s, she recorded an album of standards Torch in 1981. It didn't do well probably because her label at the time Warner Bros. didn't like it and refused to promote it. She left Warners in 1983 and after one album for Epic, she signed with Arista. After scoring a couple of hits like Coming Around Again and Let The River Run, she recorded another album of standards My Romance in 1990. Then she recorded an album of new songs Have You Seen Me Lately. By the 90s, Carly is a nostalgia act so I'm sure Arista owner Clive Davis encouraged her to record standards as he would do ten years later for Rod Stewart. So everyone should know what Film Noir is. They are mystery films from the 40s that have a certain look usually photographed in black and white. And this album is a tribute to that kind of film. Webb produced the album with legendary producer Arif Mardin. The sessions were filmed for the AMC special Songs in Shadow: The Making of Carly Simon's Film Noir and Martin Scorsese wrote the album liner notes. Webb appears on Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year and John Travolta also appears on one song. I'm sure some don't even know that Webb sings. He's mainly known as a songwriter. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year is an obscure Frank Loesser song that was performed by Deanna Durbin in the 1944 film Christmas Holiday. It was directed by film noir specialist Robert Siodmak and the screenplay was written by Herman J. Mankiewicz based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel. I haven't seen it but it's supposed to be good. The album did OK and Carly's 2005 album of standards Moonlight Serenade did even better. So I guess if you want to blame someone for this trend of 70s singers recording standards, you can blame Carly Simon. Here's Carly Simon featuring Jimmy Webb performing Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year on The Rosie O'Donnell Show 1997. Peter Calo plays the guitar solo.


  1. I like your blog article about Carly Simon and her Tribute album. I have a question for you Frank, I thought Film Noir was a type of film that was a dark film with many times a bad ending for the hero/heroine of the film. Thanks Defshepard.

  2. I dunno about that. In the 40s, the Hays Office was still approving all scripts and certain kinds of characters weren't allowed to have happy endings.

    1. This is very true Frank. I believe criminals were the main ones you are talking about.