Podcast

Interviews with some of the world’s most successful songwriters.

Richard M. Sherman Episode 38 – Richard M. Sherman

As one half of The Sherman Brothers, along with his late brother Robert, Richard M. Sherman is responsible for co-writing the most memorable Disney songs of all time. From the Academy Award winning compositions for Mary Poppins such as ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, ‘Feed the Birds’, ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, ‘Jolly Holiday’, ‘I Love to Laugh’ and ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’, to other landmark works such as The Parent Trap, ‘It’s a Small World (After All)’, ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ (The Jungle Book), The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Winnie the Pooh and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (non-Disney), the Sherman Brothers have enchanted people of all ages for half a century. In this hour of conversation, Richard M. Sherman joins Simon and Brian to talk through the writing of many of these classics in his own inimitable style.

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Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 Episode 37 – Heaven 17: Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory

Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 chat with Simon and Brian about the creative processes behind songs like ‘(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang’, ‘Let’s All Make a Bomb’ (Penthouse and Pavement) as well as hits like ‘Temptation’, ‘Crushed by the Wheels of Industry’ and lesser known gems from The Luxury Gap such as ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘The Best Kept Secret’. Martyn and Glenn also talk in detail about their early lives in Sheffield, their approach to synthesisers and multi-track recording technology, and early songs for The Human League such as ‘Almost Medieval’ and ‘Being Boiled’.

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Paul Williams Episode 36 – Paul Williams

Paul Williams, the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter of hits like ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ and ‘Rainy Days and Mondays’ (The Carpenters); ‘An Old Fashioned Love Song’, ‘The Family of Man’ and ‘Out in the Country’ (Three Dog Night); ‘You and Me Against the World’ (Helen Reddy), and songs for films such as ‘The Rainbow Connection’ (The Muppet Movie), ‘Evergreen’ (A Star is Born) and the scores for Phantom of the Paradise, Ishtar, and Bugsy Malone, sits down with Sodajerker to talk about his approach to the art and craft of songwriting. Paul also talks in detail about the documentary Paul Williams Still Alive, which chronicles his extraordinary life.

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Harry Shearer Episode 35 – Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer, the actor, writer and musician known for his work on Spinal Tap and The Simpsons, talks with Simon and Brian about writing the songs for his latest album Can’t Take A Hint. In addition to describing his process on songs like ‘Celebrity Booze Endorser’, ‘Deaf Boys’ and ‘Autumn in New Orleans’, Harry talks in detail about his work with Michael McKean and Christopher Guest on Spinal Tap classics like ‘Big Bottom’, and songs from A Mighty Wind, such as ‘Old Joe’s Place’ and ‘The Good Book Song’.

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Don Black Episode 34 – Don Black

Oscar-winning lyricist Don Black talks with Sodajerker about his many collaborations on songs for films, musicals and pop artists alike. Don’s credits include ‘Born Free’ (Matt Monro), ‘Thunderball’ (Tom Jones), ‘To Sir, With Love’ (Lulu), ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (Shirley Bassey), ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ (Lulu), ‘Ben’ (Michael Jackson) and ‘The World is Not Enough’ (Garbage). He also talks in detail about his long and hugely successful relationships with composers John Barry and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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Carole Bayer Sager Episode 33 – Carole Bayer Sager

Celebrated songwriter and artist Carole Bayer Sager is the guest for this episode in which Simon and Brian quiz her about the writing processes behind some of her best-known songs, such as ‘Nobody Does it Better’ (Carly Simon), ‘It’s the Falling in Love’ (Michael Jackson), ‘Arthur’s Theme’ (Christopher Cross), ‘On My Own’ (Patti LaBelle/Michael McDonald), ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ (Dionne Warwick/Elton John/Gladys Knight/Stevie Wonder), ‘A Groovy Kind of Love’ (Phil Collins) and her solo hit ‘You’re Moving Out Today’.

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Mike Stock Episode 32 – Mike Stock

Mike Stock of Stock, Aitken and Waterman joins Sodajerker to talk about the writing of songs like ‘Say I’m Your Number One’ (Princess); ‘Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)’, ‘Respectable’ (Mel and Kim); ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ (Rick Astley); ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, ‘Better the Devil You Know’ (Kylie Minogue); ‘This Time I Know It’s For Real’ (Donna Summer), and other ‘Hit Factory’ smashes for artists like Cliff Richard, Jason Donovan and Bananarama.

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Ben Folds Five Episode 31 – Ben Folds Five

Ben Folds, Darren Jessee and Robert Sledge, known collectively as Ben Folds Five, sit down in person with Simon and Brian for a special edition of Sodajerker on Songwriting. In this video podcast, the band talk about the writing of songs like ‘Brick’, ‘Battle of Who Could Care Less’, ‘Philosophy’, ‘Steven’s Last Night in Town’ and songs from their new album The Sound of the Life of the Mind, such as ‘Do it Anyway’, ‘Sky High’ and ‘Michael Praytor, Five Years Later’.

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Graham Gouldman Episode 30 – Graham Gouldman

10cc’s own Graham Gouldman joins Simon and Brian for episode 30 to talk about the writing of songs like ‘For Your Love’ (The Yardbirds), ‘Bus Stop’ (The Hollies), ‘No Milk Today’ (Herman’s Hermits), ‘Johnny Don’t Do It’, ‘Wall Street Shuffle’, ‘I’m Not in Love’, ‘Iceberg’ (10cc) and ‘Bridge To Your Heart’ (Wax). Graham talks in depth about his work with 10cc, the late Andrew Gold, and his latest solo album Love and Work.

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Stephen Bishop Episode 29 – Stephen Bishop

Veteran singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop talks about the writing of songs like ‘On and On’, ‘Save it for a Rainy Day’, ‘Looking for the Right One’ (Art Garfunkel), ‘Losing Myself in You’, ‘Red Cab to Manhattan’ and his Academy Award-nominated song ‘Separate Lives’ (Phil Collins). Stephen also speaks about his work on a number of movie soundtracks, such as National Lampoon’s Animal House, Tootsie and The Money Pit.

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Valerie Simpson Episode 28 – Valerie Simpson

Valerie Simpson, one half of legendary songwriting team Ashford & Simpson, joins Sodajerker to talk about the writing of a range of songs, from Motown classics like ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’ and ‘Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing’ (for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell) to ‘Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand’ (Diana Ross), ‘I’m Every Woman’ (Chaka Khan) and ‘Bourgie Bourgie’ (Gladys Knight & The Pips). Valerie also speaks about Ashford & Simpson’s own hits including the seminal ‘Solid (As A Rock)’ and her new solo album Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again.

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Brendan Benson Episode 27 – Brendan Benson

Singer-songwriter and producer Brendan Benson provides Sodajerker with insights into his songwriting process and creative life by discussing songs like ‘Spit it Out’, ‘What I’m Looking For’, ‘Broken Boy Soldier’, ‘Bad for Me’ and ‘Keep Me’. Brendan also speaks about his many collaborations with artists like Ashley Monroe and Jack White of The White Stripes in their band The Raconteurs.

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