Married to the enjoy of his existence for virtually 61 many years, Neil Sedaka does not have a great deal of expertise to say that “Breaking Up is Challenging to Do.”
Not too long ago celebrating his 84th birthday, the handsome “down doobie do down down” singer who melted hearts with his vocals, is bursting with like for his grandchildren and gushes that he was “born married to his spouse.”
Flickr / Bradford Timeline
How could anyone not like Neil Sedaka? He’s specified us so considerably – the remarkable singer has delighted us with his voice and presence for many years.
A all-natural talent, Neil Sedaka – who’s prepared and recorded some of the catchiest tunes in pop record – mentioned that when he was a kid, he was embarrassed to sing in entrance of an audience.
“I understood I experienced a exceptional voice, but I was embarrassed since it was so significant,” Sedaka shared. “But when I sang at my bar mitzvah the rabbi was in tears.”
When he was only 13, the classically qualified pianist, who attended a Saturday scholarship program at Julliard’s Preparatory for Youngsters, fashioned a partnership with 16-year-aged Howard Greenfield, and jointly they composed tunes for Sedaka’s school band the Linc-Tones, a band that would later develop into the Tokens.
Flickr / Brett Jordan
Doing the job from New York’s historic Brill Building, the duo went on to write chart-topping hits like Sedaka’s “Breaking up is Really hard to Do,” Captain & Tenille’s “Love will hold us Together” and Connie Francis’ “Stupid Cupid.”
“We had a cubicle with a piano and a bench but no window. You only received a place with a window right after you’d experienced a hit song,” Sedaka explained, adding the pair were being earning $50 a week. “Every working day from 9 am to 5 pm we’d compose and then we’d perform what we’d composed to men and women from file labels. It was difficult but it was wonderful coaching.”
He was the initial at the building who recorded his very own tracks, and also the 1st to access the Prime 10 with his strike track “Oh! Carol” (1959), which was inspired by his higher university girlfriend Carole King.
Greenfield and Sedaka collaborated until the mid-70s, and Greenfield, who was overtly gay, died from troubles from AIDS in 1986.
As for Sedaka, at 19 he remaining The Tokens ahead of the band strike its pinnacle of fame in 1961 with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Tonight I Fell in Really like.”
NEW YORK – CIRCA 1956: The Linc-Tones aka The Tokens (L-R Hank Medress, Cynthia Zolotin, Neil Sedaka, and Eddie Rabkin at leading) pose for a portrait circa 1956 in New York Metropolis, New York. (Picture by James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photographs)
Doing solo, his to start with three releases failed to make the charts, but one tune did get paid him a location on American Bandstand with Dick Clark, and quickly right after he landed a recording deal.
His to start with hit solitary was “The Diary”–a music impressed by Connie Francis’ diary due to the fact Sedaka actually needed “to glance into that very little book”–that peaked at 14 in the Billboard Leading 100 in 1958. In 1960, Sedaka unveiled “Calendar Girl,” his sixth hit in two a long time, and his reputation was reaching substantial heights.
In 1962, he married Leba Strassberg, whom he achieved although performing at the now-deserted Esther Manor vacation resort in the Catskills Mountains, NY.
The resort was co-owned by Leba’s mom, Esther, a businesswoman who was not fond of her daughter being courted by a lowly musician.
Wikipedia Commons / AVRO
Despite Esther’s disapproval, the couple stayed collectively, all the though dealing with an additional meddling mom, Eleanor Sedaka.
Earlier confessing that she rode rollercoasters when she was expecting with him, hoping to miscarry, Eleanor was also pushing her son into pursuing a career as a classical pianist, and not as a pop star.
“She soon altered her mind when I acquired a royalty cheque for $62,000 for “Stupid Cupid.” My father was a taxi driver and never designed a lot more than $10,000 a yr,” Sedaka mentioned, including that he designed the oversight of giving the cash to his mother, who alongside with her lover later on controlled most of his legal rights as an artist, together with his royalties and finances.
“My father knew about him and acknowledged him so following the preliminary shock so did I. I even recognized it, in a way. My mothers and fathers lived in two rooms with nine other relatives and my dad was extremely thrifty whilst the other male bought her jewels and furs and took her to nice areas.” He continued, “Only they ended up living the superior everyday living on my revenue. They went via hundreds of 1000’s of pounds. I couldn’t spend my taxes, nearly anything. My spouse and I had to begin from scratch.”
Firing his mother’s boyfriend, Sedaka described that Eleanor nearly overdosed on sleeping products “because she could not stand to see her son and her lover at odds. She claimed she didn’t recognize it was the funds they ended up shelling out. I did not communicate to her for a calendar year.”
Wikipedia Commons / Carl Lender
It was at that time that his faithful spouse grew to become his new manager.
Just as he was poised to make some cash, The Beatles arrived about and disrupted Sedaka’s acceptance.
While he continued creating tunes for others, his waning chart charm in the U.S. motivated him to move Leba and their young children, Dara and Marc, to London, the sizzling spot of hitmakers.
Referring to his slide in fame, Sedaka explained: “Well, I utilised to stroll down the street and men and women asked, ‘Didn’t you utilised to be Neil Sedaka?’ I explained, ‘Well, I’m nonetheless Neil Sedaka, you have not heard the very last of me.’ I experienced to change my style. It was the early ‘70s, and I satisfied a man by the identify of Elton John. Did you at any time listen to of him?”
Sedaka, who met the singer of “I’m Still Standing” at a London get together, said he was asked to sign with John’s former label, the Rocket Record Enterprise.
And, as the label indicates, Sedaka’s fame skyrocketed with 1974’s album “Sedaka’s Back”–the to start with of a few albums with Elton John–and the singer was once again charting hits in the U.S.
In 1983, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he later on obtained a star on the Hollywood Wander of Fame.
In 2003, he appeared as a guest judge on American Idol, where year two runner-up Clay Aiken afterwards recorded and produced Sedaka’s 1972 tune “Solitaire,” which grew to become the leading-promoting single of 2004.
In the course of COVID, Sedaka started out releasing mini concerts by way of his social media to hold followers entertained, and final September for his 60th anniversary with Leba, he shared a specific concert with 3 music he composed for her. The heart-warming tribute reads: “I’d like to dedicate today’s mini-live performance to my gorgeous spouse, Leba. In September, we will be celebrating our 60th Anniversary. In this article are three tunes that had been specially written for Leba!”
In early May well, Sedaka posted a video on his Facebook, announcing that he joined the Cameo household. He shared that he looks forward to using requests for birthdays, anniversaries, or any distinctive occasion the place he can supply a special concept. He finished the quick clip with a number of bars of “Breaking Up is Really hard to Do,” and fans praised him. One stated, “Been listening to your tunes considering the fact that I was a teen, I’m now 75 and adore your audio! Make sure you do not halt!!”
Another lover wrote a considerate message that several can relate to: “Dear Neil, your tunes brighten up the day. I often locate myself humming melodies you created…as if they have come to be a component of me. Thank you for the pleasure you provide to the entire world!”
Whilst he continues to provide joy to all people who hears his music, Sedaka is mainly concentrated on his spouse and family.
Neil Sedaka is viewed at Craig’s cafe on March 11, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. (Image by JOCE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Visuals)
“I was born married… if you are blessed to have that companion that does it for you, that is a great present,” said Sedaka, a devoted grandfather of three, including one established of twins.
As for their young ones, Dara (born 1963) is an actress and singer acknowledged for videos like The place the Boys Are, and Marc (born 1967) is a writer and editor for Tv and film.
Referencing his successful career, Sedaka stated, “I could have been bigger but I was not controversial adequate. I did not do medications or wreck rooms. There were being no dramas in my non-public life…I experienced expertise and I was hungry for fame, and you just can’t say I did not get it.”
Neil Sedaka in 2023 / Getty Visuals
It’s so inspiring that Neil Sedaka and Leba have been married for so lots of decades, not letting fame the possibility to divide their attractive partnership.
He actually is a proficient artist, whose audio will most unquestionably influence generations to occur. Thank you for sharing your existence and tunes with all of us. What is your favourite music that he either done or composed?