Adam Schlesinger (1967-2020)

With the brilliant Adam Schlesinger’s tragically premature passing, the music world has lost an uncommonly gifted songwriter who, outside of his pivotal roles in Fountains of Wayne, Ivy and Tinted Windows, could turn his hand to seemingly any kind of project – TV, film, theatre – with unfailingly well-crafted, melodic and catchy results (and had sundry awards and nominations to prove it). The diversity of his resumé and consistent quality of his work (most recently showcased on the Emmy-winning US TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) speaks volumes for his talent.

Sodajerker On Songwriting, Episode 58 with Adam Schlesinger

Without knowing it, our introduction to Adam’s genius came via his irresistibly giddy and Beatlesque title song for Tom Hanks’ 1996 directorial debut, That Thing You Do! (which also happened to be where we first heard our future guest Mike Viola’s singing voice); it perfectly exemplifies Adam’s innate knack for capturing a particular musical style and vividly evoking an era, without it sounding remotely contrived or phony. His integrity and authenticity were, we feel, the keys to his enduring success; setting aside his musicality, intelligence and wit, there was real heart in every project with Adam’s name attached, and it came through in the finished product time and again.

Adam Schlesinger

A truly joyous byproduct of making this show is when a songwriter we respect and admire ends up becoming a fan of what we do. We were honoured not only to count Adam among our guests, but also our listeners; in our last correspondence with him just a couple of months ago he was so sweet and encouraging about the show, telling us to “keep up the great podcasting work!” It’s the least we can do.

Adam Schlesinger

Thanks for everything, Adam, and rest in peace x

1 comment

  • Jim Pellinger April 3, 2020

    Such a tragedy losing AS. I’ve been listening to Fountains of Wayne all evening, and I am so amazed at how rich and well constructed his songs are, both lyrically and musically. Built like cathedrals. And that’s just the FOW catalog. There’s so much great music beyond that–ivy, Tinted Windows, all of it. A huge talent. RIP.


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