Monday, September 29, 2014

ISR 80's Pop Radio - HALL OF FAME Presents:

Will Jennings   



Born June 27, 1944 and renown for being called to collaborate with Eric Clapton after Clapton's son Conor died suddenly from a fall in NYC. Jennings was hired by Clapton to compose lyrics for Tears in Heaven.

Jennings recalls; "Eric and I were engaged to write a song for a movie called Rush. We wrote a song called 'Help Me Up' for the end of the movie... then Eric turned and he said to me, 'I want to write a song about my boy who died.'' "Eric had the first verse of the song written, which, to me, is all the song, but he wanted me to write the rest of the verse lines and the release/bridge ('Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees...'), even though I told him that it was so personal he should write everything himself. He told me that he had admired the work I did with Steve Winwood and in the end there was nothing else but to do as he requested of me. This so song is so personal and so sad that it is a unique experience in my career of writing songs." - from Wikipedia

His parents were residing in Kilgore, Texas, when he was born. He was raised in the Tyler, Texas area.

Jennings earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from  Austin State University and had a three-year stint teaching at the University of Wisconsin.

He wrote music for a wide and eclectic variety of artists including; Mariah Carey, The Jazz Crusaders, Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow, Jimmy Buffet, Roy Orbison, Steve Winwood, Barry Manilow, Joe Cocker, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and many, many others.

In 1986 at the Grammy Awards, Steve Winwood won the Record Of The Year and Outstanding Male Vocal Performance for the song; "Higher Love."
 Jennings and Winwood composed "Higher Love" together and they were both honored with the win.

With Jazz pianist Joe Sample, Mr. Jennings wrote "Street Life" a world-wide hit for the Jazz Crusaders featuring jazz-soul-vocalist; Randy Crawford.

Jennings and Sample also wrote the better part of three albums for blues legend B.B. King, including; "Midnight Believer", "Take It Home", and "There is Always One More Time."

With Richard Kerr and Jennings wrote "Looks Like We Made It" for Barry Manilow and "I'll Never Love This Way Again" for Dionne Warwick.

Mr. Jennings and film composer James Horner won the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for writing the Best Song from a Motion Picture for "My Heart Will Go On" (Love theme from Titanic), a massive world-wide hit record for French-Canadian vocalist; Celine Dion.

We salute Will Jennings as our; ISR Pop Music Hall of Famer!