James Taylor appeared on Live with Kelly & Ryan Tuesday to promote his new album, American Standard, which features Taylor putting his spin on classics from the Great American Songbook, many of which were originally written for Broadway musicals. James says in his opinion, Broadway songs are the greatest example of American songwriting ever.
“I think they’re the pinnacle, the high point of American popular music,” James told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. “And they were written to be songs to be performed by anyone.”
“Nowadays when we listen to music, we listen to the singer. We don’t necessarily listen to the song — we listen to the performance,” he continued. “And that’s great. But these songs were meant to sort of stand on their own with their chord changes, their melody and their lyrics. And they did.”
James also chatted to Kelly and Ryan about how he landed a record deal in the late sixties on Apple Records, the label owned by The Beatles. While did meet the Beatles, he admitted that he can’t really remember many of the details of that meeting.
“Man, you know, everything’s kind of foggy back there, to tell you the truth,” he laughed.
“You know, it was just — I couldn’t believe it was happening, really,” he added. “You know, a year earlier, I had been in my room at at home sort of looking at the Sergeant Pepper‘s cover and just imagining listening to all these songs. And then, it just seemed really surreal.”
James will kick off a Canadian tour with Bonnie Raitt in April, and in May, he’ll launch a U.S. tour with Jackson Browne.
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