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Month: July 2021

146: A Chat With John Hall

Episode 146 cover, a portrait of John Hall

John Hall has been around the block a few times, and he’s not finished traveling.

In fact, when he and I chatted via Skype a short time ago, he was in the middle of a move from New York to Tennessee, and making that move in between gigs for both his solo shows and with the band that cemented his position in the Rock and Roll firmament, Orleans.

In this episode we talk about the early days of his career, including how a couple of Orleans’ first few hits came to be. We also get into his time away from the band, working on solo projects and how that turned into dedicating himself to environmental causes. And how that, in turn, provided the impetus for him to embark on a political career for several years. He managed to sponsor some legislation that not only received vocal bipartisan support, it actually passed with a bipartisan vote. It was a pretty significant piece of law, and he’ll tell you about it during the show.

After a health scare, John returned to playing music, both with Orleans and with his solo projects. He chronicled his journey in a book called Still the One: A Rock and Roll Journey to Congress and Back a couple of years ago, and this past year he released a solo album called Reclaiming My Time. (These are Amazon links but I don’t get affiliate money for them.) And during the interview he also talks about a special project that Orleans is working on, which will be coming out in the fall.

During the interview, I made mention of Orleans performing “Dancing in the Moonlight” and mistakenly said I thought the clip was from the late 70s, when they first covered it as the title track for an album. In fact, that performance was from 2006 and I present it here:

Sorry, no transcript for this episode.

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145: I Honestly Love You

Original cover photo by  awatif abdulaziz  on  Scopio

Olivia Newton-John was already a pretty big star by the time 1974 rolled around, but she still hadn’t scored a Number One hit.

Then along came Peter Allen, who was coincidentally also from Australia. Allen was putting together an album of his own, and he enlisted Jeff Barry to help him with the songwriting. Together they put together “I Honestly Love You” and cut a demo. The intent of the demo was to have something to work from when they recorded it for the album.

Instead the demo wound up in the hands of Olivia Newton-John’s producer, who played it for the singer. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Except, not quite. There were a couple of other things that needed to happen. But if I told you here, why would you bother listening to the episode? I ask you!

Because this episode is running a few days late, you’re getting a treat: Episode 146, which will be an interview with John Hall, founder of the band Orleans, will drop either Monday or Tuesday, depending on how quickly I finish my post-production. Hall was a terrific interview and I hope to do a follow-up with him in the near future.

Click here for a transcript of this episode.

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