May 27, 2022 • 2M

Stephen Michael Schwartz, Off the Clef #4: The Late '70s Collab Sessions, "Right Foot, Left Foot" w/David Pomeranz SONG DEMO

Stephen shares the song, plus the story behind how it was co-written with longtime friend, fellow singer/songwriter, David Pomeranz, who landed two hits with Barry Manilow.

 
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Brad Kyle
Go behind the scenes of my years in FM rock radio and the record biz in the '70s & '80s! Plus, in his own words, singer/songwriter/guitarist, Stephen Michael Schwartz (RCA Records recording artist, 1974), leads us through his music and TV career!
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ABOVE: “Right Foot, Left Foot,” sung by Stephen Michael Schwartz (words and music by David Pomeranz, ©Upward Spiral Music/BMI, and Stephen Michael Schwartz, ©Busy Body Music/BMI)


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“It’s 1977. Where to go next? What to do next? Am I a ‘one-trick-pony’? Did I get my one shot at ‘the big time’ [three years before] with RCA Records only to be slapped down to reality…proving I didn’t have the goods?

“It’s so easy to accept the negative thoughts of rejection, and then let that ruin you. Suddenly everything I did I began to question. Am I just too sensitive? Being ‘thick-skinned’ was never my strong suit…ironic that I should choose a profession where ‘No’ was heard more often than ‘Yes.’

“I found a club that honored me as a respected member.”

“In between odd jobs to pay rent, I was writing songs, playing clubs, and meeting people along the way. Today they call it ‘networking.’ I met and collaborated with some wonderful singer/songwriters, some who became lifelong friends and major success stories along the road, with each of them working through their own individual trials and triumphs.

“Collaborating, I found, was also consoling: It brought peace to the process. Unlike that famous Groucho Marx line, ‘I would never join a club that would have me as a member,’ I found a club that honored me as a respected member. This series focuses on some of my friends/collaborators and their accomplishments:

David Pomeranz, The New Songs

David Pomeranz was a recording artist on Clive Davis’s Arista Records in 1975 with the album, It’s in Every One of Us (released a year after my RCA debut).”

“David had two of his songs become Top 15 hits as recorded by Barry Manilow, ‘Tryin’ To Get The Feeling Again’ (#10 in 1976), and ‘The Old Songs’ (#15 in 1981).”

“Along with these, David’s songs have been recorded by a host of recording artists such as Bette Midler, Freddie Mercury, Missy Elliott, John Denver, The Carpenters, and others. David is one of my favorite collaborators, and our sessions were both fruitful and playful at the same time. We laughed as much as we wrote.

“He and I have so much in common. I will elaborate on just how entwined our lives became in another segment. But, here’s one story: We were contacted by a TV producer named Marshall Herskovitz (below) to write a theme song for his new TV pilot called Thirtysomething.”

Marshall herskovitz Stock Photos, Royalty Free Marshall herskovitz Images |  Depositphotos

“They initially edited the opening credits using The Beatles’ Blackbird, but couldn’t afford to secure the rights to use it. They asked David and me to look at the show, specifically the intro, and write something that reflected the show’s sensitive, introspective ‘yuppies coming of age’ feel. We wrote a wonderful forty-five second song called, ‘Right Foot, Left Foot.’

“It fit perfectly for the opening credits, as planned. We went in and demoed the song with David singing. A few days later we got the call from Marshall that the song was exactly what they were looking for. They played our demo against the credits and they loved it! The Beatles were out…we were in!! We were ecstatic!!!

“But, this is show biz; nothing is solid except a cashed check. A few weeks later, we got a call from Marshall saying that composer, Snuffy Walden, who was in negotiations to write all the music for the series, insisted that he write the title theme, which would be an instrumental. We’re out, Snuffy is in!!”

Thirtysomething went on to become a huge success and ran for four seasons on ABC from 1987 to 1991. That fateful rejection call cost David and me potentially millions of dollars in royalties!

“The ‘consolation prize’ happened a year or so later when David and I got one of our songs, ‘Right Time For Love,’ in the movie and soundtrack of the cult classic, Revenge Of The Nerds (a duet sung by Pat Robinson and Jill Michaels):

Readers: Press “Play” (or the blue “Listen Now” button on e-mail) on the song player at the top of the page to listen to “Right Foot, Left Foot,” written by Stephen Michael Schwartz and David Pomeranz, sung by Stephen.

Related:

Front Row & Backstage
Stephen Michael Schwartz, Off the Clef: The Late '70s Collab Sessions #3, "Light Years Away" w/Jeff Barry SONG DEMO
Listen now (4 min) | ABOVE: “Light Years Away,” sung by Stephen Michael Schwartz (words and music by Jeff Barry and Stephen Michael Schwartz, ©Busy Body Music/BMI…
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Readers: Which current artist or group might you assign “Right Foot, Left Foot” in today's market? Which artist might do it justice if an updated recording of the song were to happen?

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Begin the continuing Stephen Michael Schwartz career journey on FRONT ROW & BACKSTAGE, here, with EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW PT. 1:

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Career Chord Change: Stephen Michael Schwartz, From Pop-Rocker to Titan of Tot Tunes-EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW PT. 1
He certainly had the look: Tall, dark, and teen-mag-ready handsome. His soft crown of relentless curls was rife for not only coveting by teenage girls, but once photographed, became the beckoning, furry forest through which to run their mood-rung fingers…
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Plus, enjoy the archives of Stephen’s FR&B entries (including his popular “Schwartz Stories” features) all in one place, on his Flipboard.com page by clicking anywhere on this sentence!