J. D. Souther
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J. D. Souther
|Birth name||John David Souther|
|Born||November 2, 1945|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, musician|
John David Souther (born November 2, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He has written and co-written songs recorded by Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles. Souther is probably best known for his songwriting abilities, especially in the field of country rock. He co-wrote some of the biggest hits for the Eagles, including "Best of My Love", "Victim of Love", "Heartache Tonight", and "New Kid in Town". "How Long", which appears on the Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden, was written by Souther and originally recorded on his first solo album in 1972.
As a musician and songwriter, he was greatly influenced in his formative years by fellow Texan Roy Orbison. His first recordings were with local group 'The Cinders' who traveled to nearby Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico. Their first 45 was released on the tiny RIC label in 1965, then Norman Petty successfully shopped their recordings to Warner Brothers for a second single release as 'John David and The Cinders' in 1966. After moving to Los Angeles County, California in the late 1960s, Souther met musician and songwriter Glenn Frey. The two musicians became roommates and musical collaborators. Souther and Frey formed a folk duo called Longbranch Pennywhistle. Their lone album was released in 1970 on Jimmy Bowen's Amos Records.
After recording an eponymous solo studio album in 1972, Souther next teamed up with Chris Hillman and Richie Furay to form the Souther–Hillman–Furay Band. The group released two albums, but creative tensions and lack of record sales led to the band's demise.
Souther has contributed as a singer to works written by other artists, including backing vocals with Don Henley; on "The Light Is On" for Christopher Cross on his eponymous debut album; on the songs "False Faces" and "Loose Ends" on Dan Fogelberg's 1976 LP Nether Lands; and, with Fogelberg, as the Hot Damn Brothers on Fogelberg's 1975 LP Captured Angel.
He scored his biggest solo hit with the 1979 song "You're Only Lonely" from the album of the same name, which reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and held the number 1 spot on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart for five consecutive weeks.
Souther briefly dated Linda Ronstadt, co-produced her Don't Cry Now album, and wrote songs for several of her multi-platinum albums, including "Faithless Love" from Heart Like a Wheel and "White Rhythm and Blues" on Living in the USA. Souther also recorded several additional duets with Ronstadt including "Prisoner in Disguise," "Sometimes You Can't Win", and "Hearts Against the Wind", which was featured in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy.
A collaboration with his old friend James Taylor called "Her Town Too" (from Taylor's platinum-certified Dad Loves His Work album) reached number 11 on the Hot 100 and went Top Five on AC radio in 1981.
In 1987, he contributed, performed, and did the vocal arrangements for the Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night concert and video, sang the Platters' "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" in Steven Spielberg's 1989 film Always, and wrote the theme song to the 1989-1992 sitcom Anything But Love. In 1987, he collaborated as guest vocals on Clannad's album Sirius.
The Don Henley hit song "The Heart of the Matter", released in 1989, was also co-written by Souther.
On October 14, 2008, Souther released If the World Was You, his first new release in nearly 25 years. In the fall of 2009, he released a follow up live album titled Rain - Live at the Belcourt Theatre, featuring a blend of old and new material.
On May 31, 2011, Souther released Natural History, featuring new versions of his songs recorded by other artists.
On October 9, 2012, he released Midnight in Tokyo, an EP that was recorded live.
He wrote the song "Wishing on Another Lucky Star", featured on the soundtrack of the movie Permanent Record.
Souther played the character of John Dunaway in the (1989–1990) third season of the television drama Thirtysomething and Ted in the film Postcards from the Edge (1990). He appeared in the audiobook of Jimmy Buffett's A Salty Piece of Land. Souther played Jesse James in the television movie Purgatory in 1999 and Jeffrey Pommeroy in My Girl 2. Souther also appeared in the 2012 mystery thriller Deadline. He had a recurring role in the first season of country music drama series Nashville, which premiered in October 2012 and he reprised his role in a 2017 episode of the fifth season.
Souther married Alexandra Sliwin in March 1969; they divorced in 1972. He dated Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks in the 1970s. Judee Sill's song "Jesus Was a Crossmaker" was written for Souther, who she said broke her heart after a short affair. In December 2002, Souther moved from the Hollywood Hills, California, to Nashville, Tennessee. In 2004, he married Sarah Nicholson from Bansha, Ireland; they divorced in 2010.
|1972||John David Souther||206||—||—||Asylum|
|1979||You're Only Lonely||41||65||68||Columbia|
|1984||Home by Dawn||203||—||—||Warner Bros.|
|2008||If the World Was You||—||—||—||Slow Curve|
|2011||Natural History||—||—||—||Entertainment One Music|
|2012||Midnight in Tokyo||—||—||—||Entertainment One Music|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|US Country||AUS||CAN AC||CAN||CAN Country|
|1979||"You're Only Lonely"||1||7||60||17||2||18||12||You're Only Lonely|
|1980||"White Rhythm and Blues"||46||105||—||—||—||—||—|
|1980||"If You Don't Want My Love"||—||110*||—||—||—||—||—|
|1981||"Her Town Too"
(with James Taylor)
|5||11||—||54||5||19||—||Dad Loves His Work (James Taylor album)|
|1984||"Go Ahead and Rain"||—||104||—||—||—||—||—||Home by Dawn|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart. * US Record World Singles Chart|
- "JD Souther". Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- Eliot, Marc (1998). To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles. Da Capo Press. p. 40. ISBN 9780306813986.
- "Celebrating Seniors – JD Souther Turns 70". Senior City. November 2, 2015.
- "LISTEN: Judee Sill Radio 4 Documentary". The Quietus. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "The lost child | OMM | The Observer". The Guardian. December 12, 2004. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 285. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 837. ISBN 978-0-89820-188-8.
- Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book Billboard/Cash Box/Record World 1954-1982. Sheridan Books. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7.