Neil Sedaka - The Music Of My Life



Another chance to hear Neil Sedaka, recorded in conversation with Johnnie Walker at the BBC Radio Theatre.

In a documentary, that was originally broadcast in two-parts earlier this year, the American singer-songwriter charts his life story with anecdotes and music.

Playing many of his hits at the piano, Neil remembers studying at the world famous Juilliard School in New York; signing to Atlantic Records; working at The Brill Building with songwriting greats like Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman; and enjoying ten US top ten hits in a row.

With the British Invasion of the American music charts, Neil's homespun style of songwriting proved less popular, so he decided to reverse the invasion and try his luck in England, where he signed to Elton John's Rocket Record label and produced the aptly-titled album Sedaka's Back.

The story is brought up-to-date with details of Neil's latest projects, including his first symphonic piece, Joie de Vivre, and his plans for the future.

Another chance to hear Neil Sedaka in conversation with Johnnie Walker.

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In the first of this two-part documentary - From Brooklyn To Brill - Johnnie Walker talks to Neil Sedaka, who illustrates his life and music through the magic of the piano.

Recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre, the American singer-songwriter charts an incredible journey which began in Brooklyn, where he now has a street named after him - Neil Sedaka Way.

Neil studied at the world famous Juilliard School in New York and signed to Atlantic Records when he was just 16, convincing Connie Francis to record Stupid Cupid after just eight bars.

Neil's rise was stellar and he and lyricist Howard Greenfield moved to The Brill Building, where they were taught to write songs with hooks".

It was an amazing centre for musical talent of the day, and the pair worked alongside such legends as Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman.

Neil listened to the hitmakers of the time and borrowed many of their styles, including that of Jerry Lee Lewis for I Go Ape, a hit which Mick Jagger admitted was the first record he ever bought.

But after ten Top Ten hits in a row, The British Invasion began, and Neil's home-spun style was on the wane.

From Brooklyn To Brill: the first of a major two-part documentary."

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Neil Sedaka: The Music Of My Life - From Stockport to Sydney".

In the second of this two part documentary Johnnie Walker continues his musical meander through the life and works of the legendary American singer-songwriter.

British rock bands had invaded the American charts in the 60s, leaving Neil's home-spun style of songwriting unwanted, so he decided to reverse the invasion and try his luck in England.

It was whilst touring renowned clubs such as The Wooky Hollow in Liverpool and The Golden Garter in Manchester that he met the manager of 10cc and began recording again in their Stockport Studio.

In England he was gaining huge success with hits like "Solitaire" and "That's When The Music Takes Me" but he couldn't make it big back in America.

The late Maurice Gibb introduced him to Elton John who, as fate would have it, proved to be a fan of Sedaka's work.

Elton immediately signed him to his Rocket Record Label and they produced "Sedaka's Back" recording the album on both sides of the Atlantic.

It earned him a Gold Disc for half a million sales, finally gaining him the recognition he so badly wanted.

To make his success complete the beautiful ballad "Laughter In The Rain" reached Number One on the Billboard Charts and he was home.

Playing many of his hits at the piano from the BBC Radio Theatre in London, we continue his musical memories and learn of his Symphonic Works which premiered two years ago in Sydney, plus the remaking of some of his classic tunes for his grandchildren , and we find out how he hopes to continue doing what he does best - writing songs that remain in the memory forever.

Neil Sedaka: The Music Of My Life - the second of this two part documentary."