Seth Swirsky

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Seth Swirsky
Seth Swirsky Profile Picture.gif
Background information
Birth name Seth Swirsky
Born (1960-08-05) August 5, 1960 (age 56)
Origin New Haven, Connecticut
Genres Pop music
Occupation(s) Songwriter, author, recording artist, baseball memorabilia collector, filmmaker
Instruments Songwriter, guitar, piano, singer
Years active 1980–present
Associated acts Air Supply, Taylor Dayne, Celine Dion, Al Green, Michael McDonald, Olivia Newton-John, Tina Turner, Rufus Wainwright

Seth Swirsky (born August 5, 1960, New Haven, Connecticut) is a self-described "manic expressive,"[1] an American pop music songwriter (including the Grammy-nominated "Tell It To My Heart"), an author, a recording artist, a filmmaker, a political writer and a noted baseball memorabilia collector.[2]


Gold single US.jpg

In 1980, at the age of 20, Seth Swirsky wrote the national jingle for Thomas' English Muffins.[3]

After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1982,[4] Swirsky wrote the Grammy-nominated hit "Tell It To My Heart" with Ernie Gold for Taylor Dayne.[5] The song was on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart for six months in 1988, reaching No. 7 (gold single pictured left).[6]

The song was also a No. 1 hit in Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden and No. 3 in England.[5] In 2002, Kelly Llorenna’s version of the song went to No. 9 on the British charts.[7] The song won Swirsky an ASCAP songwriter’s award for being one of the most performed songs of the year.[8] In 2006, the song was recorded by the Royal Gigolos and spent two weeks on the Swiss charts at No. 2.[9] It was featured as a clue in The New York Times crossword[10] in 1998. The song was used in the national ad campaign for Cheetos in 2016.[11]

Swirsky wrote Dayne's follow-up top ten hit, "Prove Your Love," with Arnie Roman.[12] That song was a No. 7 Billboard pop hit as well as a No. 1 Billboard dance hit.[6] It reached No. 1 in Switzerland, No. 4 in Germany and No. 8 in England.[13]

Swirsky wrote "Love is a Beautiful Thing," which was recorded by Al Green for his 1995 album Your Heart's in Good Hands.[14] The song also appears on his 2002 Love, The Essential Al Green Greatest Hits Collection.[15] It was Green's last charted single (No. 56 in the UK).[16] The song was originally written for and recorded by Charles and Eddie on their 1991 debut album, Duophonic.[17] Green's version was featured in the movies The Pallbearer (1996),[18] Sorority Boys (2002),[19] Two Weeks Notice (2002)[20] and The Cookout (2004).[21] Krystal Harris sang it for the movie Legally Blonde in 2001.[22] Al Green's version was also used as Revlon's theme song in their international ad campaign in 2004.[23] Tina Turner's version of "Love Is a Beautiful Thing" was on the Princess Diana Tribute Album in 1997.[24]

Swirsky composed "Instant Pleasure" for Rufus Wainwright, which was featured in Adam Sandler's Big Daddy (1999).[25] The song also charted with Rockell in 2000. Swirsky's song "You Got The Power," written with Albert Hammond, was featured in the Bronson Pinchot movie Second Sight (1989).[26] He wrote "Did You Give Enough Love" with Arnie Roman for Celine Dion (a top 20 song in Canada),[3] "Tear it Up" with Gardner Cole for Michael McDonald[27] (a Billboard top 20 Adult Contemporary hit[27] and top 40 British charting single[28]), "After All"[3][27] for Air Supply, "Not Gonna Be the One" for Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits album, Back to Basics: The Essential Collection 1971–1992[29][30] (which reached No. 2 in Australia[31] and No. 12 in the UK[32]) and "Christmas Lullaby" for Faith Evans.[27] He also wrote (with Jack Ponti) "Hard On Me" for the 1980s German heavy metal band Bonfire.[33] Others he has written songs for include Jane Weidlin[34] of The Go-Go's, Peter Allen,[35] Lara Fabian, The Four Tops, The Spinners, The Delfonics, Deniece Williams, Brenda K. Starr,[35] Trey Lorenz, Melissa Manchester, Rita Coolidge, Exposé[36] and Wild Orchid.

During his career he has collaborated with Eric Carmen[27] of Raspberries, David Pack[37] of Ambrosia, Marshall Crenshaw, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, Cy Curnin[38] of The Fixx, Eric Schenkman of Spin Doctors, Michael Bolton, Natalie Merchant, Jim Ellison[39] of Material Issue, Gerry Goffin, Chynna Phillips and Steve Kipner,[35] among others.[40]

Swirsky was featured as the "Writer of the Week" in the 2011 Nov./Dec.issue of American Songwriter Magazine.[41]

Mariah Carey plagiarism lawsuit[edit]

In 2000, Swirsky and co-writer Warryn Campbell filed a copyright infringement lawsuit claiming that the Mariah Carey song "Thank God I Found You" plagiarized "One of Those Love Songs", a song which Swirsky and Campbell wrote for Xscape's 1998 Traces of My Lipstick album.[42]

In the precedent-setting[43] Swirsky v. Carey decision,[44] which clarified the standard for proving copyright infringement, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the initial 2002 dismissal of the case.[45][46] The case was settled out of court in April 2006.[47]


Swirsky was named in Music Connection Magazine's December 2010 issue as one of the Hot 100 unsigned artists of the year.[48]

Instant Pleasure[edit]

In 2005, Seth Swirsky's first solo album, Instant Pleasure, won Best Pop Album at that year's Los Angeles Music awards.[49][50] Guest appearances on the 11-song album, produced by Jewel drummer Dorian Crozier, include Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish, The Rembrandts, Michael Chavez of John Mayer's band and Justin Meldal-Johnsen of Beck. Several tracks from the album were featured on XM Radio's The Loft's "In Spite of All the Danger" program.

Watercolor Day[edit]

Swirsky’s second solo album, Watercolor Day, was released on May 18, 2010.[51] The title song, Watercolor Day, won Best Pop Song of the year at The Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA’s) on November 18, 2010.[52][53][54] The headline for Goldmine Magazine for their May 10, 2010 issue was "Seth Swirsky’s Watercolor Day is the first great power pop record of 2010."[55] It was named the No. 4 Best Pop record in their 2010 year-end poll.[56] Mike Marrone, the Program Director of the satellite radio station XM/Sirius The Loft, declared, on air, that Watercolor Day was the station's "Album of the Summer."[57] The Audities (which consists of writers, musicians, industry observers and pop music fans) named Watercolor Day the No. 2 album of 2010 in their year-end poll (out of 310 pop records released that year).[58] Rich Rossi, writing for, listed the "Watercolor Day" as his No. 1 powerpop album of the year.[59] Powerpopaholic[60] and Pop Fair [61] named Watercolor Day as the 4th Best Power Pop album of 2010. In Tim Cain's 2010 Top 20 year-end "Best Of" list in the Illinois Herald Review, he included Watercolor Day at No. 14.[62] DJ Bob Brainen of the New York City radio station WFMU listed Watercolor Day as one of his Top 9 records of 2010.[63] Internet Radio DJ Sparky Shockpop named Watercolor Day as the No. 1 record on his Top 30 of 2010 year-end list.[64]

Circles and Squares[edit]

Swirsky’s 3rd solo record, the 16-song, Circles and Squares, was released by Grimble Records on August 19, 2016.[65] The Wall Street Journal’s Marc Myers wrote "On his new album, Circles and Squares, Seth has captured the spirit and textured sound of the Fab Four in their late period.[66] Goldmine Magazine called Circles and Squares a “tour-de-force that’s not to be missed," comparing it to Paul McCartney’s 1970’s solo debut, McCartney.[67] The songs Shine and Circles and Squares were "DJ PICKS" on the taste-making Los Angeles radio station KCRW.[68][69] Swirsky played all of the instruments on the album, except for two small parts.[70] The fourth song from the album, Far Away, was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2016 Hollywood Music and Movie Awards.[71][72]

Circles and Squares was named the #2 Album of the Year on the influential International Pop Overthrow's year-end list of Best Pop Records of 2016.[73] It was also named the #2 Album of the Year at Pop Fair[61] and Power Pop News.[74] It was named #5 in both Absolute Powerpop's Top 100 Year End poll[75] and Powerpop Station's Top 50.[76]

The Red Button[edit]

Swirsky's album of pop songs, She's About to Cross My Mind[77] recorded with Mike Ruekberg under the group name The Red Button, was released in February 2007.[78] The first song from the CD, "Cruel Girl," charted No. 1 in Billboard Magazine as "Coolest Song In The World This Week" (July 22, 2007)[79] on Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show. The song was chosen to be on The Coolest Songs in the World, Volume 4 CD on Wicked Cool Records in 2008.[80] The Red Button has also been featured on The Loft's "In Spite Of All The Danger" program and on Sirius Radio's Idiot's Delight with Vin Scelsa.

On August 7, 2007, they gave their first performance at Spaceland in Los Angeles to a packed house, as part of David Bash's International Pop Overthrow pop music festival.[81]

The CD was also ranked the "Top of the Pops - Overall Best of 2007" by[82]

In a year-end poll of the top pop records of the year, She's About to Cross My Mind was ranked No. 1 (out of 125) by Absolute Powerpop.[83] Pop music journalist and author of "Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide," John Borack, ranked "She's About to Cross My Mind" No. 1 in his Top 20 Best Albums of 2007.[84] Pop journalist and International Pop Overthrow founder David Bash ranked the album No. 8 (out of 125) in his year-end 2007.[85]

Another song from the album, Cruel Girl, was named the 2nd Best Song of 2007 by Popbang Radio.[86]

A second album by The Red Button, entitled "As Far As Yesterday Goes," was released on June 21, 2011.[87] It was voted No. 7 (out of 748 entries) in the 2011 year-end poll taken by readers of the online music group Audities.[88]

The first single on "As Far As Yesterday Goes" -- Caught in the Middle—was named "The Coolest Song in the World" (for the week of July 11, 2011) on "Little Steven" Van Zandt's syndicated radio show The Underground Garage.[89]

The song Picture from The Red Button's second album was nominated for Best Pop Song at the 2011 Hollywood Music and Media Awards in Los Angeles on November 17, 2011.[90]

The Red Button was named to Music Connection Magazine’s 2011 Hot 100 Unsigned Artist list.[91]

Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock[edit]

In 2013, Swirsky recorded Henry Gross's 1976 hit Shannon for the double CD compilation album.[92]

Baseball collection[edit]


Swirsky's baseball collection[93] includes the ball that went between Bill Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series (it was originally owned by Charlie Sheen; Swirsky got it in April, 2000);[94] the only known bottle of 1986 sparkling wine from the Red Sox celebration that would never be;[95] Reggie Jackson's third home run ball from the 1977 World Series; a ball signed by The Beatles the night they played their famous Shea Stadium concert in 1965; Tom Seaver's 1969 World Series jersey; the only known surviving ball from the second game of Johnny Vander Meer's two consecutive no-hitters, and the letter written by baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banning Shoeless Joe Jackson from playing Major League Baseball,[96] among other historic items. The Buckner ball went up for auction on October 15, 2011 for $1 million.[97] It failed to sell.[98] Many pieces in the collection were featured in baseball retrospectives at the Queens Museum of Art and The Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2004.[99]

The "Buckner Ball" that brought Ray Knight home with the winning run in Game 6 of the '86 World Series – voted by Mets fans as the most memorable moment in Shea Stadium history[100] – was on display at the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum at Citi Field during the 2010 baseball season.[101] The February 2011 edition of Tuff Stuff Magazine did a feature on Swirsky's memorabilia collection[102] as did the July edition of Collecting and Antiques Magazine.

Swirsky sold his 250 piece, historic collection on May 3, 2012 through Heritage Auctions for close to $1.5 million. The ball that went through Buckner's legs sold for $418,250.[103][104][105]

Books and Publications[edit]

Baseball Letters, the first of Swirsky's four books, was published in 1996.[106] This bestseller[107] consists of his handwritten correspondence with Major League baseball players including Ted Williams, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Whitey Ford.[106]

Every Pitcher Tells A Story, Swirsky's second book, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. The book consists of his correspondence with Major League baseball pitchers including Pedro Martínez, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine and 70 others.

Something to Write Home About, the third book in the trilogy, consists of letters to Swirsky from both ballplayers and fans of the game, including Sir Paul McCartney, President George W. Bush, President George H. W. Bush, Senator Ted Kennedy, former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, journalist Tim Russert, sportscaster Bob Costas and Peter Tork of the Monkees.[108]

Swirsky’s fourth book, 21 Ways to a Happier Depression: A Creative Guide to Getting Unstuck from Anxiety, Setbacks, and Stress,[109] is set for release on April 1, 2017.

Swirsky has been featured in many books including How to Raise an American Patriot: Making it Okay for Our Kids to Be Proud to Be American,[110] Beatles engineer Norman Smith's autobiography, John Lennon Called Me Normal,[111] Chuck Negron's (of Three Dog Night) autobiography,[112] Eric Carmen's autobiography[113] and Clive Davis' autobiography.[114]


Swirsky (l.) with Ringo Starr in February 2011

Beatles Stories[edit]

Swirsky's full-length documentary, Beatles Stories,[115] was chosen as an Official Selection at the 2011 European Independent Film Festival[116]—considered the Sundance of Europe[117][118]—and had its world premiere in Paris, France on April 3, 2011.[119][120] It made its East Coast premiere at The Gold Coast International Film Festival on June 2, 2011.[121] It was also an Official Selection at The 2011 Newport Beach International Film Festival, where it made its North American premiere on April 29, 2011.[122][123] The documentary made its UK television debut on March 22 on Sky Arts Channel One.[124] It was also an official selection at The 2011 Las Vegas Film Festival,[125] Santa Fe Independent Film Festival,[126][127] Bend Film Festival, Kansas International Film Festival[128] and the 2012 Fargo Film Festival.[129]

Beatles Stories was nominated for Best Score for an Indie Film or Documentary at the 2013 Hollywood Music and Media Awards.[130]

The documentary consists of filmed interviews that Swirsky conducted with people who had a personal story or recollection about themselves and one or all of The "Fab Four".[131] Some of the more than 110 individuals that Swirsky interviewed for the film are Sir Ben Kingsley; Graham Nash; Art Garfunkel; Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues; actor Jon Voight; Susanna Hoffs; former first daughter Luci Baines Johnson; former New York Yankee Bernie Williams; Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick; Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys; actor Henry Winkler; Indianapolis Colts football owner Jim Irsay; Smokey Robinson; Donovan; Beatles longtime producer Sir George Martin; John Lennon's "Lost Weekend" girlfriend May Pang; Beatles engineers Norman Smith, Ken Scott and John Kurlander; and American cultural icons Frank Gifford and Bob Eubanks, among others.[132][133]

Beatles Stories made worldwide news when it was revealed (in a Drudge headline and in the international media) by John Lennon's former personal assistant, Fred Seaman, that, by the time of his death, Lennon would have voted for Ronald Reagan in the 1980 elections and, that by the end of his life, he was embarrassed by the naivete of his song "Imagine".[134][135][136][137]

Swirsky has been selected as the Featured Artist for the Authors and Artists Symposium at the Beatles at the Ridge Music Festival in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, on September 18 and 19, 2015.[138]

The Last Giant[edit]

Swirsky's short film The Last Giant[139] (which consisted of on-camera reminiscences of 1930s major league baseball All-Star Harry "The Horse" Danning, who was the last living member of the depression-era New York Giants baseball team until his death in 2004) was a 2007 Official Selection in both the (Washington) D.C. International Film Festival (DCIFF) and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's 2nd Annual Film Festival.

Political writings[edit]

Swirsky (r.) with Under Secretary of Commerce Frank Lavin in 2007.[140]

Swirsky has contributed articles to online sites such as Real Clear Politics,[141] The National Review (NRO),[142] The Huffington Post,[143] [144] and The Jewish Journal.[145] One of his pieces, "Why I Left the Left,"[146][147] caught the attention of Karl Rove, who invited him to lunch at the White House in July, 2006.[140]


Swirsky's works have been written about in The New York Times Week In Review,[148][149] Newsweek,[150] Forbes,[151] People Magazine,[152] and Parade Magazine.[153] USAToday did a feature story on him in 1997. He has been a guest on many major talk shows, including The Today Show,[154] Good Morning America,[155] and Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld[94][156] on the Fox News Channel. He has been a guest on ESPN's Outside The Lines as well as The Dennis Miller Show. [157]

In 1999, Swirsky was featured in a PBS documentary about his eclectic life [3] called The Passion of Play.[158]


The house that Swirsky grew up in in Great Neck, New York was once lived in by Rube Goldberg, famed for his complex inventions which were designed to perform simple tasks in convoluted and indirect ways.

Swirsky was married to Universal Music Chairwoman Jody Gerson from 1990-2011.[159]

Swirsky has three children with Jody.[159] Swirsky's eldest son, Julian, born in 1994, is a songwriter and producer known as Julkeyz.[160] In 2013, he co-wrote and produced the #1 song "Rollercoaster" for Justin Bieber.[161][162][163] He has also written and produced for Mike Stud,[164] Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls, and Bow Wow.[165]

Swirsky's mother, Joan, is the author of 12 books and many articles on an array of subjects, mostly health related, but with a few instances of political commentary.[166][167][168]

At his 50th birthday party at his home, Seth sang a duet with Davy Jones of The Monkees, which was captured in three sequences on film by photographer Henry Diltz.[169][170][171]

Swirsky sang the National Anthem at Wrigley Field before the Cubs-Braves baseball game on August 23, 2011.[172]

On November 17, 2011, Seth Swirsky, along with former Shalamar singer Howard Hewitt, presented Smokey Robinson with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 3rd annual Hollywood Music and Media Awards.[173]

On June 23, 2013, Swirsky received a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University.


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  8. ^ "ASCAP Award". 
  9. ^ Swiss DJ Charts - House/Dance. "Die Angesagtesten Schweizer Club-Sounds". 
  10. ^ Seth Swirsky. "A New York Times Crossword Clue". 
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  22. ^ "Legally Blonde Soundtrack". 
  23. ^ "New Campaigns". 
  24. ^ "Diana Princess of Wales Tribute". 
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  31. ^ "Olivia Newton-John - Back to Basics - The Essential Collection 1971-1992". Archived from the original on 2011-12-29. 
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  109. ^ "21 Ways to a Happier Depression: A Creative Guide to Getting Unstuck from Anxiety, Setbacks, and Stress". 
  110. ^ Marijo Tinlin. "New Book Encourages Pride and Patriotism in Our Kids". 
  111. ^ Seth Swirsky. "A Ticket to Rye: My Afternoon with Beatles Engineer Norman Smith". 
  112. ^ "Stories | One Dog Night". 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  113. ^ "Smashwords – Eric Carmen: Marathon Man - A book by Bernie Hogya - page 4". Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
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  140. ^ a b Seth Swirsky. "Lunch With Karl (Rove)". 
  141. ^ Seth Swirsky. "Al Gore is the Democrats' Best Hope". 
  142. ^ Seth Swirsky. "Dubya Made Obama Possible". 
  143. ^ The Huffington Post authors. "Seth Swirsky". 
  144. ^ Political Mavens Authors. "Seth Swirsky". 
  145. ^ "The Left has failed us". Retrieved November 17, 2015. 
  146. ^ Seth Swirsky (June 9, 2006). "Why I Left the Left". The Huffington Post. Although I haven't always agreed with President Bush, I proudly voted for him in 2004. And I now fully understand Ronald Reagan's statement, when he described why he switched from being a liberal to a conservative: I didn't leave the party — It left me! 
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  164. ^ "Search Results / Sound Remedy Mike Stud - Perfect for Me (prod. Julkeyz)". 
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  170. ^ Seth Swirsky. "Davy Jones Singalong at Seth Swirsky's Birthday Party (part 2)". 
  171. ^ Seth Swirsky. "Davy Jones +Ssingalong at Seth Swirsky's Birthday Party (part 3)". 
  172. ^ "Seth Swirsky sings the National Anthem at Wrigley Field". 
  173. ^ "Smokey Robinson Receives The HMMA Lifetime Achievement Award at 3rd Annual HMMA". 

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