Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Larry Weiss

Ep. 114 - Larry Weiss / plus a spotlight on Jenny Tolman


Scott and Paul discuss the recently-aired Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and chat about some of the artists who've not been inducted yet, but should be!

PART TWO -  14:22 mark

Nashville-based newcomer Jenny Tolman stops by to discuss her approach to writing her new album There Goes the Neighborhood and to perform the title track live.

PART THREE - 28:49 mark
The guys track down the original Rhinestone Cowboy, Larry Weiss, to discuss his wide-ranging career.

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After a visit from up-and-comer Jenny Tolman, Scott and Paul catch Larry Weiss on his cell phone in the grocery store to chat about his first charting single (a co-write with Neil Diamond and eight other guys!); how he beat out King & Goffin, Sedaka & Greenfield and Mann & Weill for a Nat "King" Cole cut; why a well-timed delivery of matzo ball soup led to the recording of one of his classics; the upsetting incident that prompted him to move out of New York City; why he wasn't happy with his vocal performance on the original version of "Rhinestone Cowboy," and the reason he never thought of his biggest hit as a country song in the first place.

Glen Campbell’s recording of Larry Weiss’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” became an international hit and reached the #1 spot on both the country and pop charts in the US. It earned two Grammy nominations and was named Song of the Year by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. While Weiss is most often associated with that classic hit, he’s written over a dozen singles that have hit the Top 40, including “Bend Me, Shape Me,” which was a Top 5 pop hit for The American Breed.  Other artists who’ve scored hits from the Weiss songbook include Pat Boone, Baby Washington, The Animals, Al Martino, Jerry Butler, and The Carpenters.

Larry has released two albums as an artist, Black & Blue Suite in 1974 and Cuts and Scratches in 2010. He also sang “Brand New Life,” the theme song for the TV sitcom Who’s the Boss?  The list of additional artists who’ve covered his songs includes Nat “King” Cole, Marvin Gaye, Barry Manilow, Charley Pride, Loretta Lynn, Three Dog Night, Dionne Warwick, The Shirelles, Clyde McPhatter, Paul Anka, Gene Pitney, Rod Stewart, David Gilmour, Tom Jones, Robert Plant, Chrissie Hynde, Ben E. King, T-Rex, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Neil Diamond, Wilson Pickett, Dolly Parton, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Belle and Sebastian, and Michael Jackson, who recorded “To Make My Father Proud,” which appeared on the 1984 album Farewell My Summer Love.

Songcraft's Jenny Tolman and Larry Weiss Playlist: Spotify users can select the song you'd like to hear below, or simply start the player and enjoy a sampling of songs by both guests on this double barreled episode of Songcraft. If you don't have a Spotify account, follow the prompts to sign up for free. Click this link to take you directly to the playlist in the Spotify web player.