The part Kenny show on news talk with Marter private network during current restrictions. Don't ignore your health concerns. Our expert team is ready to help. Jonathan Healy, in fact, this morning, in the middle of a difficult break up from a relationship, singer songwriter Laurie Lieberman, in no mood to leave the comfort of her own home, was convinced by her girlfriends to go to the legendary Troubadour Club to see a relatively new singer songwriter by the name of Don McLean.
His performance of the song Empty Chairs had such a profound effect. It inspired her to write a song that became the number one song, Killing Me Softly, which is the subject of today is the lyrics to Paul Harrington.
Good morning, sir. Good morning, Jonathan.
You know, I'd always heard about the inspiration for this song anecdotally that somebody somewhere went to a John McCain over the years. But it is actually true.
But I always thought it was Roberta Flack who was at the show. This Roberta is the lady who had a huge hit back in the 70s. But of course, that was over the years. Two and two equals nine, I suppose. But Lori Lieberman, a singer songwriter, songwriter, she is still very much active.
She's got about 18 or 19 albums out to this day and very much a working songwriter over the years. But in the early part of the 70s, she had this publishing deal with Capitol Records and the deal kind of teamed up with two composers, well, a composer, Charles Fox and lyricist Norman Gimbel, who with whom she became involved with later.
But these are the two credited songwriters for killing me softly. But when you when you peel back the story, you know, take it back a bit. It's quite an interesting one.
I mean, lots of people of a younger generation would think this was the Fuji's, which, of course, goes back a lot longer than that.
But it would seem that she was never really credited for this song or even her contribution to the song. And in fact, she the name songwriters even went on to deny that she'd made any contribution to us as all absolutely right.
It's all the same. I mean, I dug as deep as I could and, you know, at the time that I have allocative. But, you know, they said that, you know, involvement. And this was in a print interview. And apparently they also appealed to John McClane to remove her credit. He had creditors on his website with with with the song because of the story. And in fact, there's a concert online, I think it was 2011 where he had invited Laurie to a concert.
And he he very publicly talked about the inspiration. But anyway, you know, they also did previously in print say, of course, that it was a poem that she had written that have inspired the song so that they did previously admit it. But for me, more importantly, you know, she credits herself, which is the painting, because she was the one who had the experience that inspired the words. I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd.
I felt he'd found my letters and read each one out loud. And her story is that she wrote them down in real time on a napkin or whatever was available. And because of that, I think she kind of captured the vulnerability in a time capsule. Now she tells, you know, the story in one of her shows that she literally felt people were looking at her. That's, you know, in the crowd as John McCain was singing the song.
Obviously, that wasn't the case when it was how vulnerable she was feeling.
And, you know, when when you when you picture maybe the small, intimate venue in her state of mind, lyrics like strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words, killing me softly with his song, you know, I mean, it almost puts you right in the venue and you know it. If not, it puts you in a different time and place.
But to conclude, she naturally, of course, you would have written this down and she would have brought them to to Fox and Gimble because they were her assigned writing partners. Presumably they all worked on it together. But it's strange that they would try to write it out of the picture. But as I say, my money is on Lieberman because she was there on the night.
Yeah, well, a tragedy in northern Iraq. She'd probably tweeter's all I would never actually write a song about, whereas at least she wrote it down in a napkin and is something she recorded just on her debut album, which is called A Thousand Dreams. But then she found herself, I suppose, in many ways, competing with Roberta Flack, who was who was a bigger star, and it was her version that was released around the same time. Is she at least credited on that as a writer?
Well, you see, this is the thing I don't think she is because, you know, again, I looked as far as I could, but looking at photographs of 45 and the album still, as far as I can see, she is incredible. But she was absolutely overtaken by Roberta, of course, at this stage was a much bigger machine, having had a huge success, including two Grammys with the song First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
But, you know, she heard Laurie's version. Talk about serendipity on an in-flight entertainment system. This is very early days. And she jotted down the lyrics. She was so taken by it and the details and the brief story is on landing. She called Quincy Jones, as you do. She was obviously working with him. He produced it. So, yeah, she was up against it. And of course, the rest, as they say, is history.
But, you know, for that to happen to a songwriter would be really hitting the jackpot under normal circumstances. But, you know, in interviews, I'm not sure how it all worked out in an interview. She seems very, very gracious, you know, regarding the kind of bittersweet relationship she has with the song and apparently recently as well. And again, relatively recently, she met up with Roberta Flack for the first time. So so there you go.
She had a nice chat about it, but she seems like a very nice lady. She's a lovely piano player, a lovely guitar. Lovely singer and still still the shows, you know, we wish him the best. Well, look, I'd be like a demon if it happened to me. Let's put it that way. Having said that, she's obviously a better person than I am. And fair play for your CSI sleuthing there to get to the bottom of it.
Great story. It's a really wonderful lyric when you dive into it. A number one for Roberta Flack back in the 1970s and the Fuji's in the 90s.
But Paul, here's your version. Take it away. Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words.
Killing me softly with his song, Killing Me Softly with his song.
Telling my whole life. With his words, Kim. Me softly. With his. I heard he sang a good song. I heard he had a. So I came to see him to this for one. And there he was, this young boy. Stranger to my eyes, strumming my pain is fing. Singing My Life with this world. Killing me softly with his song, killing me softly with his song, telling my whole life. With his words killing me softly.
With his son. I felt all flushed with. But. He found my letters and read each word. I paid. He just kept right on strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words. Killing me softly with his song, Killing Me Softly. With his song telling my whole life, with his words, killing me softly. With his son. He says if the. Mean. And all my dark despair. And then he looked right through me as if I was.
He just kept. Dancing. Singing Clear and strong, strong in my pain with his fingers. Singing my life with his words, killing me softly with his song, killing me softly with his song, telling my whole life. With his words killing me. With his song. Paul Harrington killing me softly, which we will appropriately credit Laurie Lieberman and not anyone else after a little bit of sleuthing by Paul Harrington.
Thank you for that. Paul, much appreciated.