BMI and Delmarva Broadcasting joined forces recently (3/8/14) to present the first annual WSTW-FM Songwriters Workshop in Wilmington, DE, that focused on the craft of songwriting and culminated in a singer-songwriter showcase at the World Cafe Live at the Queen. The daylong session and evening showcase were headlined by two decorated BMI writers - Jeff Cohen and Doug James. Cohen has penned huge hits for Evan and Jaron, Big & Rich and the Band Perry, while James wrote one of pop music’s biggest songs, “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” with Michael Bolton.
Quote from pg. 137:
"Doug and I certainly were fully engaged in our first series of songwriting sessions and in all that followed. We'd spend hours and hours in our little room playing off each other, testing riffs and lyrics. There were times when the maintenance crews threw us out so they could finish their work, but we wised up and began slipping cash to the security guards so we could work through the night to complete songs and polish the demos.
At some point, though, nearly every song becomes work. The wind isn't always in the sails. You aren't always coasting along. Even when you feel inspired, you have to stay focused and keep the song rooted in reality. The story must be believable and relatable and accessible. Doug and I seemed to have the right recipe with our very first song."
Quote from pg. 160:
"As a songwriter I was jumping between sessions with the most creative minds of the era, including Diane Warren, Desmond Child, Doug James and the husband-and-wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil ("On Broadway", "Somewhere Out There", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"). To have access to that level of talent, let alone to enjoy solid working relationships and mutual respect with these people, was something I never took for granted."
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" is a song written by Michael Bolton and Doug James. It was originally recorded by Laura Branigan in 1983. The song was recorded later the same decade by Michael Bolton. The second single from Branigan's second solo album Branigan 2 spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and peaked at number twelve on the Hot 100. Branigan's single also hit the number-one spot on the Adult Contemporary chart in Canada. This success came without benefit of a music video. Branigan performed the song on the syndicated music countdown show Solid Gold in late 1983 and on the popular holiday special Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Branigan's record was Bolton's first major hit as a songwriter. Bolton, whose own recording career would not take off until 1987, went on to co-write the rock ballad "I Found Someone" for Branigan's Hold Me album in 1985, and she also recorded another Bolton / James song "Hard Enough Getting Over You" in 1993 for Over My Heart. Though Branigan 2 went out of print in 2004, Branigan's original version appears on the albums The Best of Branigan (1995), The Essentials: Laura Branigan (2002) and Laura Branigan: The Platinum Collection (2006). Since Branigan introduced "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You", the ballad has been recorded by dozens of artists around the world, in English and Spanish, becoming something of a modern pop standard. Instrumental versions of the song have been recorded featuring variously the piano, guitar, saxophone, pan flute, steel drum, and music box. In 1989, Bolton recorded his own version of the song and it became his biggest hit, reaching number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts in 1990. This marked the second time the song had topped the U.S. AC chart. The song appears on his album Soul Provider and on Michael Bolton: Greatest Hits (1985-1995). Other male singers to record ballad versions of the song include Charlie Roots, Wayne Denton, and Korean star Se7en. British singer Newton has recorded a dance version of the track. In 2004, J Costa did a dance version of "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" with Mr Mig and DJ Holland doing successful club remixes. Other dance versions include a 2008 version by In Bliss. A Spanish language translation of the song, "Como He de Vivir Sin Tu Cariño", has been recorded by numerous artists. Latin Pop singerDanny Rivera recorded the translation for his 1990 album Canto a La Humanidad. Other Spanish artists to record the song includePaloma San Basilio, who featured the song on her Sony International album Escorpio in 2001 and Rosa López, who featured the song on her Gold 2008 Universal Music album Promesas. Italian singer Filippa Giordano recorded the Spanish version for her album Prima Donna in 2005. The ballad was one of several hits covered in the Finnish language, as "Kerro Kuinka Rakkaudesta Toipuu", by Virve Rosti on her Edel Records album Vicky Rock Vol. 1. Filipina superstar Sharon Cuneta featured the song on her Platinum album When I Love in 1999. Asian singer Julie Su recorded the song on a 1989 album covers released byWarner Music Taiwan. Other female artists to perform the song include American singer Vicki Carr, and German singers Stephanie de Kowa, who recorded the song with the Filmorchester Babelsberg for her album Two Faces, and Joana Zimmer, on her 2008 Universal Music album Showtime. The song appears on actress/singer Ingrid Saxon's 2004 CD of pop and Broadway standards, A Lot of Livin' to Do. That year, Dutch jazz-pop singer Laura Fygi included the song on her album Song Book: 20 Jazz Greatest Hits. Lisa Hartman performed the song in character as a rising pop singer on the nighttime soap opera Knots Landing in an early 1980s episode. Characters played by Elizabeth Berkleyand Mario Lopez duetted to the song on an early 1990s episode of the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell.
"... It’s that piece of music, or that piece of material that whenever you dust it off or you take it out of the closet and you wear it or you perform it or you do it it’s as if it could have been written yesterday. It will always be contemporary it will always be timely it will be relevant. People will always be interested in it because it’s that good.