Like the first time you heard it, some songs still touch you…From pop to country to folk music, here are the unforgettable songs that gave voice to your hopes and dreams.
If you had to make a list of all the unforgettable songs that have entertained and inspired us through the years, it's a good bet you'll find them included here. In this day and age we often turn to music for comfort and solace, and this albums are brimming with all the songs, both secular and devotional, which we have turned to time and again throughout our lives.
I am proud and delighted to bring you this collection of popular inspiration. I hope you enjoy it and find some familiar old favourites... and some new standards to help lift your spirits and warm your heart.
The Songs That Inspire Us
DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC? - The Lovin' Spoonful
The first single from the Lovin' Spoonful's like-titled debut album, "Do You Believe In Magic?" went to №.9 in 1965 and established the jug-band influenced New York quartet as one of the great pop-rock bands of the 1960s. The salute to the magic of music was penned by the group's lead singer/guitarist John Sebastian (who later enjoyed à big solo hit in "Welcome Back") and is now in the Grammy and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame as well as the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs list.
COAT OF MANY COLORS - Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton's biggest song is probably "I Will Always Love You," since it was a huge pop No.1 hit for Whitney Houston in addition to topping the country charts for Parton in 1974. But her favourite song is "Coat of Many Colors," her touching №.4 country hit from 1971. An autobiographical tune about the coat that her mother had made for her out of multicoloured rags (now exhibited at Parton's Dollywood theme park), it helped propel the rural Tennessee native to country music superstardom.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH - John Denver
John Deutschendorf,Jr. was born in Roswell, New Mexico, but as John Denver, he put Colorado first with "Rocky Mountain High." The №.9 pop hit from 1973 was later declared Colorado's second state song (after the floral "Where The Columbines Grow"). But Denver's love of Colorado and the Rockies was not limited to his name change: The beloved singer-songwriter also made a home in the popular Rockies ski town of Aspen, Colorado.
YOUR SMILING FACE - James Taylor
As the follow-up to his Grammy winning 1977 hit "Handy Man," "Your Smiling Face" took James Taylor to the №.20 spot that year (it also made it to No. 6 on the Adult Contemporary singles chart). The understandably upbeat tune, which has since appeared in numerous Taylor album compilation, led off his classic "JT" album which also included "Handy Man" and further yielded the pop hit "Honey Don't Leave L.A." and the country hit "Bartender's Blues."
I WRITE THE SONGS - Barry Manilow
Pop superstar Barry Manilow had a hand in writing some of his big hits including "Could It Be Magic", "Even Now" and "Copacabana(At The Copa)", but ironically he did not write his biggest hit, "I Write The Songs". The 1976 chart topper and Grammy Song of the Year was written by the Beach Boys' Bruce Johnston, as a tribute to the group's songwriter genius Brian Wilson. But the 'I' in the song's title actually represents music itself — from which the inspiration for the writing of songs truly originates.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN - Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson's Grammy-winning country song "On the Road Again" topped the country chart in 1980, and reached №.20 on the pop chart. Written for the movie Honeysuckle Rose starring Nelson, Dyan Cannon and Amy Irving, it was also nominated for an Academy Award and later included in Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Tune list. Expressing his love for "playing music with my friends", the song has since become a Nelson concert staple if not an outright signature song.
ONE MORE DAY - Diamond Rio
Country vocal group Diamond Rio topped the country singles charts in 2000 with "One More Day," which was the title track of its 2001 album. Also in 2001, the ultra-romantic love song made it to №.29 on the pop charts, one spot behind its biggest pop crossover hit "Beautiful Mess" from 2002. Ironically, the four-time Country Music Association Vocal Croup of the Year also scored pop hits with the incredulous "Unbelievable" as well as the affirming "I Believe."
MY WAY - Elvis Presley
Frank Sinatra's signature song "My Way" was actually a bigger hit for Elvis Presley, who took it to No.22 in 1977. Sinatra reached №.27 with it in 1969 (Brook Benton had a lesser hit with it the following year). Presley's version came from his Elvis In Concert TV special; the song, of course, originated with former teen idol Paul Anka, whose translation of French singer-songwriter Claude Francois's lyric was also covered memorably by the notorious punk rocker Sid Vicious.
YOU"LL NEVER WALK ALONE - Frank Sinatra
The inspirational "You'll Never Walk Alone" originated in the hit 1945 Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway musical Carousel, and was a №.9 pop hit that year for Frank Sinatra. It was a hit in the 1960s for Patti LaBelle & Her Blue Belles, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Elvis Presley, and the Brooklyn Bridge, and is sung every year by Jerry Lewis at the close of his annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon.
(WE'RE GONNA) ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK - Bill Haley & His Comets
Erstwhile country music bandleader Bill Haley had broached the budding rock 'n' roll genre with his and His Comets' 1953 hit "Crazy Man, Crazy" and a cleaned-up cover of blues shouter Bug Joe Turner's racier R&B chart topper "Shake, Rattle And Roll" in 1954. But he went all the way in 1955 with the history-making "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock". The chart-topper is in the Grammy and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame and in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs listing.