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139: The Swingle Singers, ‘On the 4th of July’ (James Taylor)

This week we talk about the United States’ bar mitzvah, how we discovered Bach, the history of The Swingle Singers, the marvels of Scandinavian a cappella festivals, and older people falling in love.

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132: James Taylor, ‘Enough To Be On Your Way’

Twelve years ago this week my sister Madelaine passed away, long before there was a Sibling’s Day. James Taylor wrote the moving song ‘Enough To Be On Your Way’ as a lamentation for his late brother, Alex. My love for my sister is bigger than any pop song. But in the real world, what comes through the car radio is the soundtrack of our lives.

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291: James Taylor, ‘Valentine’s Day’

Happy Valentine’s Day?
Or maybe a domestic massacre?

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136: James Taylor, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel – ‘Wonderful World’

What happens when three of the finest singers of our times get together to record a pop paean to pimply passion?

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112: James Taylor, ‘Yesterday’

There’s a song you’ve heard several million times called ‘Yesterday’ by Paul McCartney. Why is it that everyone who hears James Taylor’s bootleg version from 1970 says that it’s as if they’re hearing the song for the first time?

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056: James Taylor, ‘Secret O’ Life’

James Taylor is a terribly misperceived and underappreciated artist.
That may sound a bit off the mark, seeing as we’re talking about an American Icon, a five-time Grammy Award winner who’s been filling halls regularly for 40 years, one of the best-selling artists of all time.
But thinking that James Taylor is ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ and ‘Fire and Rain’ is like thinking that The Beatles are ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ or Dylan is ‘Blowing in the Wind’.
There’s so, so much more.

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205: James Taylor, ‘Something’s Wrong’

James Taylor: “When you’re 20, you’ve just been issued the equipment you’re going to be using for a whole lifetime—the body, the mind, the skills, the talents, the appetites…” It’s also when you face the awful truth about this life: Something’s Wrong.

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046: James Taylor, “Never Die Young”

“Never Die Young”, for me, is the multifocal prism through which I squint at the golden days of my youth. It contains all the love and pain and hopes and disappointments and optimism and disillusionment that my hoodlum friends and I have traversed, like all golden boys grown old. But we were fortunate enough to be children of a very special time.

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