Song of the Day #4,992: ‘The Beehive State’ – Harry Nilsson

This is the second appearance of ‘The Beehive State’ on the blog. The first was by the song’s writer, Randy Newman, and was posted without comment during a week when my family was on vacation in Utah.

Today’s version is from Harry Nilsson’s 1970 album Nilsson Sings Newman, which found the successful singer-songwriter covering songs by a then relatively unknown Randy Newman.

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Song of the Day #3,635: ‘I’ll Be Home’ – Harry Nilsson

Before I get to my random SOTD, let me wish a Happy Father’s Day to my dear father and to all fathers across the land.

Harry Nilsson was a moderately successful singer-songwriter with five studio albums under his belt in 1970, when he decided to record an album of songs written by Randy Newman.

At the time, Newman was a prolific writer of songs for other people but had released only one album — a major flop — under his own name. He was nothing close to a household name, which made Nilsson Sings Newman a bizarre detour for the ascendant Nilsson.

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Song of the Day #2,839: ‘Dayton Ohio 1903’ – Harry Nilsson

nilsson_sings_newmanMy final album of 1970 (which on the whole was an excellent year for music, I’ve discovered) is Harry Nilsson’s Nilsson Sings Newman. This record is a collaboration between Nilsson and one of my favorite songwriters and performers of all time, Randy Newman.

Newman didn’t just write the ten tracks on this album but played piano on them as well. And while I can’t imagine anybody topping Newman’s readings of his own songs, Nilsson’s sweet vocals are a nice match for the masterfully simple tunes on this album. I think I need to buy this thing pronto.

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