Seth Swirsky

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Seth Swirsky
Seth Swirsky in 2017
Seth Swirsky in 2017
Background information
Birth nameSeth Swirsky
Born (1960-08-05) August 5, 1960 (age 60)
GenresPop music
Occupation(s)Songwriter, author, recording artist (Jem Records), baseball memorabilia collector, filmmaker
InstrumentsGuitar, piano, drums, singer
Years active1980–present
Associated actsAir Supply, Taylor Dayne, Celine Dion, Al Green, Michael McDonald, Olivia Newton-John, Tina Turner, Rufus Wainwright

Seth Swirsky (born August 5, 1960) is 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.


Gold single US.jpg

After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1982,[1] Swirsky wrote the Grammy-nominated hit "Tell It to My Heart" with Ernie Gold for Taylor Dayne.[2][3] The song was on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart for six months in 1988, reaching No. 7.[4]

The song was also a No. 1 hit in Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden and No. 3 in the UK.[3] In 2002, Kelly Llorenna’s version of the song went to No. 9 on the British charts.[5] The song won Swirsky an ASCAP songwriter's award for being one of the most performed songs of the year.[citation needed] In 2006, the song was recorded by the Royal Gigolos and spent two weeks on the Swiss charts at No. 2.[6] The song was used in the national[clarification needed] ad campaign for Cheetos in 2016.[7]

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

Swirsky wrote "Love is a Beautiful Thing," which was recorded by Al Green for his 1995 album Your Heart's in Good Hands.[9] Green's version was also used as Revlon's theme song in their international ad campaign in 2004.[10][dead link]

Swirsky composed "Instant Pleasure" for Rufus Wainwright, which was featured in Adam Sandler's Big Daddy (1999).[citation needed] He wrote "Did You Give Enough Love" with Arnie Roman for Celine Dion (a top 20 song in Canada),[citation needed] "Tear it Up" with Gardner Cole for Michael McDonald[citation needed] (a Billboard top 20 Adult Contemporary hit[citation needed] and top 40 British charting single[11]), "After All"[citation needed] for Air Supply, "Not Gonna Be the One" for Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits album, Back to Basics: The Essential Collection 1971–1992[12] and "Christmas Lullaby" for Faith Evans.[citation needed] Others he has written songs for include Jane Weidlin[13] of The Go-Go's, Peter Allen, Brenda K. Starr, Trey Lorenz,[14] Melissa Manchester, Rita Coolidge, Exposé[15] and Wild Orchid.

During his career he has collaborated with Eric Carmen[citation needed] of Raspberries, David Pack[16] of Ambrosia, Marshall Crenshaw, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, Cy Curnin[17] of The Fixx, Jim Ellison[18] of Material Issue, Gerry Goffin, Chynna Phillips and Steve Kipner.[19]

Swirsky was featured as the "Writer of the Week" in the 2011 Nov./Dec.issue of American Songwriter magazine.[20] That same year, he sang the National Anthem before a Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field.[21]

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.[22]

In the precedent-setting Swirsky v. Carey decision, 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.[23][24][25] The case was settled out of court in April 2006.[26]


Swirsky was named in Music Connection magazine's December 2010 issue as one of the Hot 100 unsigned artists of the year.[27]

Instant Pleasure[edit]

In 2005, Swirsky's first solo album, Instant Pleasure, was released.[28] 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.

Watercolor Day[edit]

Swirsky's second solo album, Watercolor Day, was released on May 18, 2010.[29] The title song, "Watercolor Day', won Best Pop Song of the year at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA) on November 18, 2010.[30] Goldmine Magazine said "Seth Swirsky's Watercolor Day is the first great power pop record of 2010"[31] and named it the No. 4 Best Pop record in their 2010 year-end poll.[32] The Loft said it that was the station's "Album of the Summer".[33] In Tim Cain's 2010 Top 20-year-end "Best Of" list in the Illinois Herald Review, he included Watercolor Day at No. 14.[34]

Circles and Squares[edit]

Swirsky's 3rd solo record, the 16-song Circles and Squares, was released by Grimble Records on August 19, 2016.[35] 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."[36] 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.[37] The songs "Shine" and "Circles and Squares" were "DJ PICKS" on the Los Angeles radio station KCRW.[38][39] Swirsky played all of the instruments on the album, except for two small parts.[40] The fourth song from the album, "Far Away", was among the nominees for Song of the Year in the September listing of the 2016 HMMA.[41]

It was listed as No. 7 by Goldmine Magazine in its albums of the year.[42]

The Red Button[edit]

Swirsky's album of pop songs, She's About to Cross My Mind, recorded with Mike Ruekberg under the group name The Red Button, was released in February 2007.[43]

A second album by The Red Button, entitled As Far As Yesterday Goes, was released on June 21, 2011.[44] The song "Picture" from this album was nominated for Best Pop Song at the 2011 HMMA.[45]

The Red Button was named to Music Connection Magazine's 2011 Hot 100 Unsigned Artist list.[46]

The Red Button was signed by Jem Records in March 2017, and released its third album called Now It's All This!, on October 20, 2017.[47]

The Red Button featuring Peter Noone[edit]

In 2018, Peter Noone recorded one of Swirsky's songs, "Ooh Girl", that originally was recorded by The Red Button. The single release was billed as The Red Button featuring Peter Noone.[48]

Baseball collection[edit]


Swirsky's baseball collection included 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);[49] the only known bottle of 1986 sparkling wine from the Red Sox celebration that would never be;[50] 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,[51] among other historic items. The Buckner ball went up for auction on October 15, 2011 for $1 million.[52] It failed to sell.[53][54]

The "Buckner Ball" that brought Ray Knight home with the winning run in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series was on display at the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum at Citi Field during the 2010 baseball season.[55] 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.[56]

Swirsky sold his 250 piece 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 to a buyer who initially was anonymous but was later revealed to be Steve Cohen, who purchased the New York Mets in 2020.[57][58][59]

Books and publications[edit]


He wrote three best-selling books collecting letters between himself and Major League Baseball players and other fans and a book about self-managing anxiety.[60]

  • Swirsky, Seth, ed. (1996). Baseball letters : a fan's correspondence with his heroes. New York: Kodansha International. ISBN 978-1568361529.
  • Swirsky, Seth, ed. (1999). Every pitcher tells a story : letters gathered by a devoted baseball fan (1st ed.). New York: Times Books. ISBN 978-0812930559.
  • Swirsky, Seth, ed. (2003). Something to write home about : great baseball memories in letters to a fan (1st ed.). New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-0609608944.
  • Swirsky, Seth (2017). 21 Ways to a Happier Depression: A Creative Guide to Getting Unstuck from Anxiety, Setbacks, and Stress. Sourcebooks. ISBN 9781492648130.
  • Chris, Epting; Foreword by Swirsky, Seth (2010). Hello, it's me : dispatches from a pop culture junkie. Santa Monica: Santa Monica Press. ISBN 978-1595800534.


Swirsky is a political and cultural writer, having written for The Huffington Post,[61] The National Review,[62] Real Clear Politics,[63] American Thinker,[64] and Political Mavens.[65]


Swirsky (l.) with Ringo Starr in February 2011

Beatles Stories[edit]

Swirsky's full-length documentary, Beatles Stories, consists of filmed interviews that Swirsky conducted with people who had a personal story or recollection about themselves and one or all of The Beatles.[66][67]

It was chosen as an Official Selection at the 2011 ÉCU The European Independent Film Festival[68] and had its world premiere in Paris, France, on April 3, 2011.[69][70]

The Last Giant[edit]

Swirsky's short film The Last Giant (which consisted of on-camera reminiscences of 1930s major league baseball All-Star Harry "The Horse" Danning) 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.[71]


  1. ^ Dartmouth (April 1, 2009). "Class of 1982 – Honor Roll 2008". Retrieved August 25, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Meet Sports Memorabilia Collector, Songwriter and Author Seth Swirsky".
  3. ^ a b Song Facts. "Tell It to My Heart by Taylor Dayne". Retrieved August 25, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b Billboard charts. "Taylor Dayne, Artist Chart History".
  5. ^ Chart States. "Tell It to My Heart by Kelly Llorenna". Retrieved August 25, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Swiss DJ Charts – House/Dance. "Die Angesagtesten Schweizer Club-Sounds".
  7. ^ "Cheetos TV Commercial, 'Nailed It' Song by Taylor Dayne".
  8. ^ "Prove Your Love by Taylor Dayne".
  10. ^ "New Campaigns".
  11. ^ "Michael McDonald Songs".
  12. ^ "Olivia Newton-John – Not Gonna Be The One".
  13. ^ "Homeboy". Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Making Every Moment Count".
  15. ^ "Who's Getting Serious".[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "La Bible de la Westcoast Music".
  17. ^ "Where Are The Children".
  18. ^ "Each Day I Call Her Name – Jim Ellison".
  19. ^ "Making Every Moment Count".
  20. ^ "Seth Swirsky".
  21. ^ "Meet Sports Memorabilia Collector, Songwriter and Author Seth Swirsky".
  22. ^ "Mariah Carey Accused of Plagiarism". Fox News Channel. October 21, 2011. Archived from the original on August 1, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ Michael T. Mervis and Robyn S. Crosson. "9th Circuit's Acceptance of 'Melodic Reduction' May Change Music Infringement Litigation".CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  24. ^ Columbia Law School Arthur W. Diamond Law Library Music Plagiarism Project (2002). "Swirsky v. Carey, 376 F. 3d 841 (9th Cir. 2004)". Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning.
  25. ^ "Swirsky v. Carey".
  26. ^ "Seth Swirsky, et al v. Mariah Carey, et al". Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ "December 2010 Issue Music Connection Magazine". Archived from the original on January 3, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ LA Music Awards. "2005 Nominees". Archived from the original on December 20, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^
  30. ^ "The Hollywood Music in Media Awards Winners".
  31. ^ John M. Borack. "Seth Swirsky's Watercolor Day is the first great power pop record of 2010".
  32. ^ John M. Borack. "John M. Borack's top 20 CDs of 2010".
  33. ^ "Album Preview ∞ Seth Swirsky: Watercolor Day".
  34. ^ Tim Cain. "Despite changing taste, albums still offer something new and different".
  35. ^ Music Industry News Network. "Award-Winning Pop Singer-Songwriter Seth Swirsky Releases His Long-Awaited Third Solo Album, Circles and Squares".
  36. ^ Marc Myers. "Album of note".
  37. ^ John Borack. "Review: Seth Swirsky's "Circles and Squares"".
  38. ^ "Chris Muckley guest hosts". KCRW.
  39. ^ "KCRW DJ Picks".
  40. ^ Rob Ross. "ALBUM REVIEW: SETH SWIRSKY, "Circles And Squares"".
  41. ^ Hollywood Music and Movie Awards. "2016 September Music Genre Nominees".
  42. ^ "Top 20 Albums of 2016".
  43. ^ Kevin Bronson (August 7, 2007). "Ears Wide Open: The Red Button pops off". Los Angeles Times.
  44. ^ The Red Button. "Official The Red Button Website".
  45. ^ Hollywood Music in Media. "2011 Music Genre Nominees". Archived from the original on March 12, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  46. ^ Music Connection. "Music Connection's 2011 Hot 100 Unsigned Artist list – Page 41".
  47. ^ "Now It's All This!".
  48. ^ "Peter Noone Joins Forces with the Red Button for 'Ooh Girl': Video Premiere".
  49. ^ Net Shrine (October 15, 2000). "Interview with Seth Swirsky". – a Celebration of Baseball.
  50. ^ Darren Rovell (October 15, 2008). "The Cork That Never Popped". CNBC. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  51. ^ "Seth Swirsky's Historic Baseball Collection".
  52. ^ Ben Walker. "Buckner ball in play, up for auction this month".
  53. ^ Eben Novy-Williams (October 26, 2011). "Buckner Ball Through Legs Gets Redemptive Auction as 1986 Winners Struggle". Bloomberg.
  54. ^ Tom Van Riper. "Any Takers For Buckner Ball? Not for $1 Million". Forbes. Retrieved November 7, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  55. ^ "Mets Hall of Fame & Museum Opens this Monday, April 5, Opening Day at Citi Field". April 1, 2010. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
  56. ^ "The Show to be Named Later".
  57. ^ "Buckner ball sells for $418,250".[permanent dead link]
  58. ^ "Bill Buckner ball sells for $418,250".
  59. ^ "'Buckner ball' owner revealed (you know him)".
  60. ^ Sheidlower, Noah (September 18, 2017). "A Happier Depression". Great Neck Record.
  61. ^ "Seth Swirsky".
  62. ^ "Seth Swirsky".
  63. ^ "Seth Swirsky".
  64. ^ "Some nasty anti-president quotes to offer perspective".
  65. ^ "Seth Swirsky".
  66. ^ "Seth Swirsky: Talking About Meeting the Beatles". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 2, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  67. ^ Marc Myers. "'Meet the Beatles,' Literally". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 2, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  68. ^ The European Independent Film Festival. "Official Website".
  69. ^ The European Independent Film Festival. "Official Selection 2011".
  70. ^ Film Annex. "Beatles Stories". Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  71. ^ "Swirsky comes home with Beatles film".

External links[edit]