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Seth Swirsky (b. August 5 1960, New Haven, Connecticutmarker) is anAmericanmarker pop music songwriter, author, recording artist and noted baseball memorabilia collector.

Songwriter

In 1980, at the age of 20, Seth Swirsky wrote the national jingle for Thomas' English Muffins.

After graduating from Dartmouth Collegemarker in 1982, Swirsky wrote the Grammy-nominated worldwide hit "Tell It To My Heart" with Ernie Gold for Taylor Dayne. The song was on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart for six months in 1988, reaching #7 (gold single pictured left).

The song was also a #1 hit in Germanymarker and Swedenmarker and #3 in Englandmarker. In 2002, Kelly Llorenna’s version of the song went to #9 on the British charts. The song won Swirsky an ASCAP songwriter’s award for being one of the most performed songs of the year. In 2006, the song was recorded by the Royal Gigolos and spent two weeks on the Swiss charts at #2. It was featured as a clue in The New York Times crossword in 1998.

Swirsky also wrote Dayne's follow-up top ten hit, "Prove Your Love," with Arnie Roman. That song was a #7 Billboard pop hit as well as a #1 dance hit. It too was a top ten hit around the world, reaching #1 in Switzerlandmarker, #4 in Germanymarker and #8 in Englandmarker.

Swirsky wrote "Love Is a Beautiful Thing," which was recorded by Al Green for his 1993 album Your Heart's in Good Hands. The song also appears on his 2002 Love, The Essential Al Green Greatest Hits Collection. It was Green's last charted single (#56 in the UKmarker). The song was originally written for and recorded by Charles and Eddie on their 1991 debut album, Duophonic. Al Green's version was featured in the movies The Pallbearer (1996), Sorority Boys (2002), Two Weeks Notice (2002) and The Cookout (2004). Krystal Harris sang it for the movie Legally Blonde in 2001. Al Green's version was also used as Revlon's theme song in their international ad campaign in 2004. Through his own ad libs during the song, Al Green acknowledges that "Love Is a Beautiful Thing" summed him up the most: nine seconds into the song Green says “This is what I believe”. Then, near the end (at 4 minutes and 43 seconds), over the music he sings the titles of 6 of his own biggest hit songs: “Let’s Stay Together” (which he sings twice), “Still In Love With You”, “Call Me”, “For the Good Times”, “Tired of Being Alone” and “Here I Am”. Tina Turner's version of "Love Is a Beautiful Thing" was on the 5-million selling Princess Diana Tribute Album in 1997. On a trivial note, the song was Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's wedding song.

Swirsky also composed "Instant Pleasure" for Rufus Wainwright, which was featured in Adam Sandler's biggest grossing movie, Big Daddy (1999). The song also charted with Rockell in 2000. He wrote "Did You Give Enough Love" with Arnie Roman for Celine Dion (a top 20 song in Canadamarker), "Tear it Up" with Gardner Cole for Michael McDonald, "After All" for Air Supply, "Not Gonna Be the One" for Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits album, Back to Basics: The Essential Collection 1971–1992 (which reached #2 in Australia and #12 in the UK) and "Christmas Lullaby" for Faith Evans. He also wrote (with Jack Ponti) the hit "Hard On Me" for the late 1980s German heavy metal band, Bonfire. Others he has written songs for include Jane Weidlin of The Go-Go's, Peter Allen, Lara Fabian, The Four Tops, The Spinners, Deniece Williams, Brenda K. Starr, Trey Lorenz, Melissa Manchester, Rita Coolidge, Exposé, Wild Orchid and many others.

While he writes most of his songs on his own, during his career he has collaborated with Eric Carmen of The Raspberries, David Pack of Ambrosia, Marshall Crenshaw, Cy Curnin of The Fixx, Eric Schenkman of Spin Doctors,Michael Bolton, Natalie Merchant, Jim Ellison of Material Issue, Gerry Goffin, and Steve Kipner among others.

Mariah Carey plagiarism lawsuit

In 2000, Swirsky and co-writer Warryn Campbell filed a copyright infringement lawsuit claiming that a Mariah Carey song, "Thank God I Found You," plagiarized "One of Those Love Songs", a song which Swirsky and Campbell wrote for Xscape's 1998 Traces of My Lipstick album.

In the precedent setting "Swirsky v. Carey" decision, which clarified the standard for proving copyright infringement, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the initial 2002 dismissal of the case. The case was settled out of court in April, 2006.

Recording artist

In 2005, Seth Swirsky's own album, Instant Pleasure, won Best Pop Album at the Los Angeles Music awards. Guest appearances on the 11-song album, produced by Jewel drummer Dorian Crozier, include Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish, The Rembrandts, Michael Chavez of John Mayer's band and Justin Meldal-Johnsen of Beck. Several tracks from the album were featured on XM Radio's The Loft's "In Spite of All the Danger" program.

Swirsky's new album of pop songs, She's About to Cross My Mind recorded with Mike Ruekberg under the group name THE RED BUTTON, was released in February 2007. The first song from the CD, "Cruel Girl," charted #1 in Billboard Magazine as "Coolest Song In The World This Week" (July 22, 2007) THE RED BUTTON website. on Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show. The song was chosen to be on The Coolest Songs in the World, Volume 4 CD on Wicked Cool Records in 2008. The Red Button has also been featured on The Loft's "In Spite Of All The Danger" program and on Sirius Radio's Idiot's Delight with Vin Scelsa. Norman Smith, The Beatles' engineer in the early 1960s, was quoted on the band's website as saying, "if THE RED BUTTON had been around in the 60s when I was producing, I would have signed them to EMI."

In the "Buzz Bands" feature in the 7 August 2007 Los Angeles Times, Kevin Bronson wrote, "THE RED BUTTON presses all the right buttons for fans of pure pop." That night they gave their first performance at Spaceland in Los Angeles to a packed house.

In a year-end poll of the top pop records of the year, She's About to Cross My Mind was ranked #1 (out of 125) by the influential pop site, Absolute Powerpop.In ranking it #1, the editor said: "While some may cynically refer to the entire power pop genre as an effort to remake The Beatles or Big Star or Badfinger, this is one disc that deserves to be called an equal to its forebears." Prominent pop music journalist and author of "Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide", John Borack ranked "She's About to Cross My Mind" #1 in his Top 20 Best Albums of 2007 saying that The Red Button's songs were created “the way God and Paul McCartney must have intended.”. Pop Journalist and International Pop Overthrow founder David Bash ranked the album #8 (out of 125) in his influential year-end list saying: "Swirsky and Ruekberg can now wear their rightful crown as the Peter Holsapple/ Chris Stamey of The New Millennium”, referring to the best of the highly regarded Beatles-influenced tunesmiths of the 80s and 90s.

The CD was also ranked the "Top of the Pops - Overall Best of 2007" by VillageRecords.com, which said: "This past year contained over half a million minutes (if my calculations are correct or even close). This single disc was responsible for the best thirty three I heard. Now it's your turn." In addition, the CD was named the #2 Best CD of 2007 by a Powerpopaholic Reader's Poll and the #10 Best CD of 2007 by Fudgeland.

PopGarden Radio, in their 2007 year-end poll ranked I Could Get Used to You, a song from the album, as the #1 Song of the Year. Another song from the album, Cruel Girl, was named the 2nd Best Song of 2007 by Popbang Radio.. Audities, the influential Yahoo group of pop journalists and listeners, ranked The Red Button album 2nd best pop album of the year in their 2007 year-end poll.

Baseball Collection

Swirsky's baseball collection includes the ball that went between Bill Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series (it was originally owned by Charlie Sheen, when it was auctioned in 1992. Keith Olbermann was the underbidder to both Sheen and Swirsky); the only known bottle of sparkling wine from the Red Sox celebration that would never be; Reggie Jackson's 3rd home run ball from the 1977 World Series; a ball signed by The Beatles the night they played Shea Stadiummarker in 1965; Tom Seaver's 1969 World Series jersey; the only known surviving ball from the second game of Johnny Vander Meer's two consecutive no-hitters and the letter written by Baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banning Shoeless Joe Jackson from playing Major League Baseball. Many pieces in the collection were featured in baseball retrospectives at the Queens Museum of Artmarker and the Bronx Museum of Art in 2004.

Author

Baseball Letters, the first of Swirsky's three books, was published in 1996. This bestseller consists of his handwritten correspondence with Major League baseball players including Ted Williams, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Whitey Ford.

Every Pitcher Tells A Story, Swirsky's second book, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. The book consists of his correspondence with Major League baseball pitchers including Pedro Martínez, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine and 70 others.

Something to Write Home About, the third book in the trilogy, consists of letters from both ballplayers and fans of the game like Sir Paul McCartney, President George W. Bush, President George H. W. Bush, Senator Ted Kennedy, journalist Tim Russert, sportscaster Bob Costas, Peter Tork of the Monkees amongst others.

Books by Seth Swirsky

  • 1996: Baseball Letters: A Fan's Correspondence With His Heroes. New Yorkmarker: Kodansha America. ISBN 1-56836-152-1.
  • 1999: Every Pitcher Tells A Story: Letters Gathered by a Devoted Fan. New York: Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 0-81293-055-X.
  • 2003: Something to Write Home About: Great Baseball Memories in Letters to a Fan. New York: Random House ISBN 0-60960-894-0.


Political writings

Swirsky contributes political commentary to online sites such as Real Clear Politics, The National Review (NRO), The Huffington Post and PoliticalMavens.com. One of his pieces, "Why I Left the Left," caught the attention of Karl Rove, who invited him to lunch at the White Housemarker in July, 2006.

Film

Swirsky is currently working on A Year In The Life, a documentary of filmed interviews he has conducted with people who have stories about themselves and The Beatles.

Among the more than 110 people that Swirsky interviewed for the film are Art Garfunkel; Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues; actor, Jon Voight, Susanna Hoffs, former first daughter Luci Baines Johnson; former New York Yankee, Bernie Williams; Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick; Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys; Davy Jones, of The Monkees, actor Henry Winkler; Indianapolis Colts football owner Jim Irsay, Sir Ben Kingsley, Graham Nash, Smokey Robinson, Donovan, Sir George Martin, May Pang, Beatles engineers Norman Smith; Frank Gifford, Ken Scott and many others.

The Last Giant, Seth Swirsky's 17 minute film of on-camera reminiscences of 1930s major league baseball All-Star Harry "The Horse" Danning, was a 2007 Finalist in the Washington, D.C.marker International Film Festival and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's 2nd Annual Film Festival.

Media

Seth Swirsky's works have been written about in The New York Times Week In Review, Newsweek, and People Magazine among others. USAToday did a feature story on him in 1997. He has been a guest on many major talk shows, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld on the Fox News Channel. He is an occasional guest on ESPN's Outside The Lines.

In 1999, Swirsky was featured in a PBS documentary about his eclectic life called The Passion of Play.

Personal

The house that Swirsky grew up in Great Neck, New Yorkmarker was once lived in by Rube Goldberg, famed for his complex devices which performed simple tasks in convoluted and indirect ways.

Seth Swirsky is married to Jody Gerson, who is President of Sony Music Publishing and a movie producer (Drumline, ATL). In 2008, she was named the 5th most powerful woman in the music business by Billboard Magazine. Her father, Charles Gerson, was the owner of the legendary Philadelphiamarker nightclubs, the Latin Casinomarker and Emerald City. Swirsky's mother Joan is the author of twelve books on an array of subjects. Seth and Jody have three children.

References

  1. The Cork That Never Popped; http://www.cnbc.com/id/27202395


External links

  • Seth.com - The Website of Seth Swirsky.



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