This is the eleventh in a series of examinations of music legends and whether they are true or false.
Click here to view an archive of the previous music urban legends.
MUSIC LEGEND: Carly Simon auctioned off the identity of who “You’re So Vain” was about for $50,000!
One of the great mysteries of pop music is who is the “mystery man” behind Carly Simon’s 1972 smash hit, “You’re So Vain.”
The song rips apart a vain man and has the striking chorus, “You’re so vain, I bet you think this song is about you.”
Various suggested targets have been Simon’s ex-husband James Taylor, actor Warren Beatty and musician Mick Jagger (who sang back-up on the song).
Beatty is the only one of those three who Simon has not said “no” to over the years (although, who knows if she was being genuine when she turned down the others)
In any event, in 2003, Simon offered up for a charity auction the secret behind the song.
The winning bidder was Dick Ebersol, longtime TV executive (and friend of Simon’s)…
Ebersol paid $50,000 for the information!
He had to sign a confidentiality agreement beforehand and finally, at midnight (after dining on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and vodka), Simon told him the information.
I hope it was worth it, Dick!
MUSIC LEGEND: Bob Holness played saxophone on Gerry Rafferty’s hit, “Baker Street.”
It’s rare that we can actually pinpoint where a legend began, but in the case of the story behind who played the sax on “Baker Street,” we can!
Gerry Rafferty was the lead singer of the band Stealer’s Wheel, known almost entirely nowadays for their hit single, “Stuck in the Middle With You” (which found a new life when it was used in Reservoir Dogs)…
After leaving the band, Rafferty was stuck in legal limbo for a few years before finally being able to release his 1978 album, City to City.
The album went platinum, backed mostly on the incredibly successful single off of the album, “Baker Street.”
The song is mostly known today for its striking saxophone solo, a solo that has certainly appeared to increase the amount of usage of saxophones in television and movie soundtracks in the 1980s by a factor of ten.
Rafferty did not credit anyone for writing/performing the sax solo, so that allowed some people to run wild with jokes/rumors about who performed the solo.
Longtime British music personality Stuart Maconie came up with a story, in the early 80s, that the sax solo was performed by none other than game show host Bob Holness!
The “fact,” presented in a segment called “Would You Believe It?” was clearly intended as a joke, but over the years, it was repeated enough times that people soon began to believe it, and it creeped into actual biographies of Holness (Holness appreciated the joke and kept it going on his end, as well).
The actual saxophone player was Raphael Ravenscroft.
Ravenscroft claimed last year that he was actually never paid for the performance (he was given a check for 27 pounds, but it bounced).
MUSIC LEGEND: Maya Rudolph is referenced in the song “Loving You.”
Maya Rudolph was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1999 until 2007.
Currently, she’s co-starring in the Sam Mendes film Away We Go with actor John Krasinski.
Rudolph is the daughter of songwriter and producer Richard Rudolph and singer Minnie Riperton.
Riperton tragically died of breast cancer at the far too young age of 31 when Rudolph was just shy of her seventh birthday.
Riperton’s biggest hit was the lovely tune, “Loving You,” whose lyrics appear on her gravestone (“Loving you is easy because you’re beautiful.”
The song originated as a lullaby that Riperton would sing to her infant daughter, Rudolph. Her husband developed the song, which is most famous for the high notes that Riperton hits.
At the end of the song, Riperton specifically references her daughter, almost chanting “Maya, Maya, Maya, Maya” as the song fades out.
It’s a beautiful legacy left to a daughter who lost her mother way at way too young of an age.
Okay, that’s it for this week!
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