Patti Smith Covers Debby Boone

The Talkhouse does not just feature the usual album reviews (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  Instead, it is a forum for musicians to write about the works of their peers, who sometimes respond.  While the reviews do tend to lean towards mutual admiration, they often serve up unique insights.  For instance, shortly before he died, Lou Reed wrote a rave for Kanye West’s Yeezus.

The site also occasionally offers think piece like this one about the recent spike in covers albums, written by Jonathan Meiburg, whose band Shearwater just released one.  But I want to pick up on this passing comment of his that stopped me in my tracks:

And remember that link you sent me of Patti Smith doing a really earnest version of ‘You Light Up My Life’ on that kids’ show from the ’70s?  I loved that.  Even (maybe especially) when she forgets the words at the end.”

Wait, what?

Turns out Patti Smith appeared on the June 24, 1979, episode of Kids Are People, Too, a Sunday morning children’s TV show.  She answered questions from the audience and then, instead of singing a song from her just released album, Wave, she sang “You Light Up My Life,” accompanied by Joe Brooks, who won a Grammy, Golden Globe, ASCAP and Academy Award for writing it, the biggest hit of the 1970s:

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