I have posted before about attending concerts at our Seminole Theatre. We get some headliners and occasional one-tier up performers, but for musicians, it is primarily “tribute band/singers” those performers who play the music of a particular band or individual musician. All the ones we’ve attended have been quite good and last night was Sweet Baby James, a singer who does James Taylor songs. He was excellent and like many who do this, they devote a lot of study to the band/individual and often share those stories.
Last night was no exception as he saved, “Fire and Rain” and “You’ve Got A Friend”, to close out the show. What he shared was something I suppose was known back when the songs came out. James Taylor struggled with depression much of his life and when he was away in England making an important album, his dear friend “Suzanne” took her own life. Other friends agreed they should not tell him until his return because they were afraid he wouldn’t be able to cope with the news and focus on this important work. Thus the line in “Fire and Rain” of not knowing Suzanne was gone. It is an incredibly sad song with the other line of, “there’s been times when I could not find a friend”. He and Carole King were very close and apparently often shared band members as they were doing their albums. After hearing “Fire and Rain”, she wrote, “You’ve Got a Friend”, specifically for him to let him know he could always depend on her. He asked to be allowed to record it, and they both did so on their respective albums. Ironically, it was the only Number 1 hit he ever had although many of his songs did rank high on the charts.
There was a nice crowd for a Wednesday and everyone was impressed.