What Philip Glass And Tommy Tutone Have In Common | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

What Philip Glass And Tommy Tutone Have In Common

Play associated audio

As a member of the band Tommy Tutone, Jim Keller co-wrote one of the biggest hits of the 1980s: the anthemic "867-5309/Jenny." But his resume also includes another end of the musical spectrum: Keller also manages composer Philip Glass. Somewhere in between, there's his current individual career. The musician has just released his third solo album, Heaven Can Wait.

"The songwriting — as with almost everything — there has to be some spot, lyrically and emotionally, in the song that I can connect with," he says. "Otherwise it's impossible, really, to sing it and mean it. So there's pieces of my wife drifting in and out of all of these songs."

Keller says this album came out of a series of weekly jam sessions held in the back of a quilting factory. The first song on the album, "Cali Girl," was even recorded with that kind of spontaneity.

"You don't hear me, because we've edited it, but I actually shout out what chords we're going to go to when we go to the chorus and so forth," Keller says. "That was basically one take, with no one knowing the song and me cutting it live. So it has this really special quality for me because of that."

In an interview with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon, Keller discusses Heaven Can Wait, working with the famous minimalist composer and — yes — the legacy of "Jenny."

"Fortunately, I like the song," he says. "I've always said that it was a blessing, because what if I couldn't stand it? It would be haunting."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Speed Dating For Seniors Who Aren't Interested In Slowing Down

A new film follows daters ages 70 to 90 looking for love in five-minute intervals. "Speed dating for seniors" may sound funny, but The Age of Love is really about our lifelong need for intimacy.
NPR

Eat Your Veggies! Even The Ones From Fukushima

Foods from Fukushima, Japan, are back to pre-accident levels of radiation but people still aren't eating them. One way to ease concerns: a chemical that blocks radioactive cesium from entering plants.
NPR

'Zionist Union' Party Creates A Stir In Israeli Elections

The opposition to Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party in the Israeli elections calls itself the "Zionist Union" as it looks to claim the country's middle-ground voters.
NPR

'Respect The Robot': Giant Robots Oversee Traffic In Kinshasa

Two giant robots have directed traffic in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2013. This week three others joined them.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.