Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Stephen Bishop

Ep. 128 - Stephen Bishop  

"On and On" - A Troubadour of Reinvention


Scott and Paul catch up after their respective travels to New York and Italy; the new 10-CD Bakersfield Sound box set Scott produced; the winner of our Lamont Dozier contest; and instructions about our listeners' final chance to enter to win a copy of Marty Stuart's new coffee table book. 

PART TWO - 6:49 mark
Scott and Paul sit down for an in-depth conversation with -- and a couple of live performances by -- songwriting superhero Stephen Bishop.

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Stephen Bishop comes by Songcraft World Headquarters to talk about the TV theme song that first made him pay attention to music; why his stepdad forbid him from playing guitar in the house; the days he faked a British accent to try to get ahead in the music business; how his friendship with Mama Cass's sister led to his big career break.; the time he fooled Quincy Jones by imitating a trombone with his mouth; how his best-known song was born from a single chord he couldn't stop playing; why he didn't like Barbra Streisand's version of his song; how he ended up getting his guitar smashed in "Animal House"; the crappy springs on Eric Clapton's guest bed; the line he refused to sing in the theme song from "Tootsie"; and why he says you're never gonna write a great song until you get your heart broken.   

Academy Award winner and two-time Grammy nominee Stephen Bishop is a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who began his career as a staff writer for a Los Angeles-based music publishing company. After finding success with Art Garfunkel’s recordings of his material, Stephen launched his own artist career with the album Careless, featuring the now-classic hits “Save it for a Rainy Day” and “On and On.”

Bishop went on to find success with a number of self-penned hits as an artist, including “Everybody Needs Love,” “Send a Little Love My Way,” “If Love Takes You Away,” “Unfaithfully Yours,” and “Animal House,” the theme song for the National Lampoon's movie of the same name. Bishop also performed the song “It Might Be You” from the film Tootsie, which went to #1 on the Adult Contemporary Charts. Written by the team of Dave Grusin with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, the song won an Academy Award.

Stephen went on to win his own Academy Award as a songwriter when he penned “Separate Lives,” which was featured in the film White Nights and became a chart-topping hit duet for Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin. Other artists who’ve covered Stephen’s songs include Eric Clapton, Kenny Loggins, David Crosby, Steve Perry,  The Four Tops, Johnny Mathis, Luciano Pavarotti, Helen Reddy, Diane Schuur, Phoebe Snow, Barbra Streisand, and Beyonce.

In his autobiography, Eric Clapton wrote that Stephen was “a close friend during the seventies…whom I regard as one of the great singer-songwriters.”

Songcraft's Stephen Bishop
Playlist: Spotify users can select the song you'd like to hear below, or simply start the player and enjoy a selection of 20 of Stephen's songs, as well as his hit version of "It Might Be You" from Tootsie. 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.