Friday, March 13, 2009

Neil Sedaka

He may have written a song called "Happy Birthday Sweet 16," but Neil Sedaka turns 70 years old today.

Last summer I interviewed Clark Weber about his new book, the foreword of which is written by Sedaka. I asked how he knew him, and Clark told this story that illuminates the kind of man Neil Sedaka is...

"I knew Neil from back in the 60s, and I decided to call and ask if he would do it, and he said hell yes. He and I were good buddies, and he would call on my office at WLS from time to time when I was the program director at WLS. The record company had their own promo people but if he was in town, he would come in personally. One time he was in my office and I got a phone call about a band cancelling at a church event in Evanston that I was supposed to be hosting. Well I went there that night, and I was ready to go on stage, and the people from the church said, 'You're not going to believe who is backstage to perform.' It was Neil, and he entertained the crowd for a half-hour."