Dec 122017

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs.

Happy Birthday to Ol’ Blue Eyes, The Chairman of the Board, The Voice! Francis Albert Sinatra was born on this day in 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey. America’s greatest entertainer, the most prolific of all time, made countless songs his own with his signature phrasing and style. But before his passing in 1998, how many songs did the quintessential cover artist actually write himself – not just perform? And of interest to Cover Me readers, which artists have successfully covered his songs?

Sinatra made his bones as an interpreter of other peoples’ songs. He was an artist, yes, but not the kind who labored over lyrics or composed the musical notes. A look through his vast catalog shows that he recorded nearly 1,000 different song titles with an additional 400-600 multiple recordings of the same title. A further look shows that only seven of those titles carry his name; always as a co-writer/contributor, none were penned by him alone. In a career that spanned over seven decades, those seven songs were written and originally recorded between 1941-1958 while Sinatra was between the ages of 26 and 43. In chronological order, here are the seven songs he helped write:

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May 102012

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Paul David Hewson was born in Dublin on this day in 1960. It was in his teens, however, that he was given the moniker that would become an immediately recognizable name the world over, the name by which he would be known as for both his musical fame and his international influence – Bono. (The shades would come later.) Bono is many things, but it is important not to forget that, along with being a philanthropist and entrepreneur, he is (as U2 frontman) a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and 22-time Grammy winner. Continue reading »

Jun 272011

Near the end of Bob Marley‘s life when cancer had begun to take it’s course he wrote “Redemption Song.”  In a song that gives a glimpse into his dealing with mortality, he delivered one of the more widely covered acoustic spiritual ballads today. Some of the versions that ring true to the soul of the song include a haunting rendition by Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer and a live tribute by Lauryn Hill with Ziggy Marley. Continue reading »

Aug 162010

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

Every night at 12:35am Jimmy Fallon introduces the Roots as the “best band in late night.” The man is prone to hyperbole, but on that point he’s right on. Whether they’re slow jamming the news or backing guests from Public Enemy to Michael McDonald, the band’s versatility makes them a perfect fit for whatever the host throws at them.

Back before they were TV (and Twitter) celebrities, the band honored Bono at the NAACP’s annual gala. The U2 singer was being presented with the 2007 NAACP Chairman’s award and for the occasion the band debuted a medley of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love).” MC Black Thought throws out some lines from their own “False Media” during “Sunday” and later tosses in Edwin Starr’s “War” for good measure. As often happens in the live setting though, guitarist “Captain” Kirk Douglas emerges the star. Ridiculous shredding plus a gorgeous voice make him the sextet’s not-so-secret weapon. Continue reading »