Seth Swirsky

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Seth Swirsky
Seth Swirsky in 2017
Background information
Birth nameSeth Swirsky
Born (1960-08-05) August 5, 1960 (age 59)
OriginNew Haven, Connecticut
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, New Haven, Connecticut) 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

In 1980, at the age of 20, Seth Swirsky wrote the national jingle for Thomas' English Muffins.[1]

After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1982,[2] Swirsky wrote the Grammy-nominated hit "Tell It to mMy Heart" with Ernie Gold for Taylor Dayne.[3][4] The song was on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart for six months in 1988, reaching No. 7 (gold single pictured left).[5]

The song was also a No. 1 hit in Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden and No. 3 in the UK.[4] In 2002, Kelly Llorenna’s version of the song went to No. 9 on the British charts.[6] The song won Swirsky an ASCAP songwriter's award for being one of the most performed songs of the year.[7] In 2006, the song was recorded by the Royal Gigolos and spent two weeks on the Swiss charts at No. 2.[8] The song was used in the national ad campaign for Cheetos in 2016.[9]

Swirsky wrote Dayne's follow-up top ten hit, "Prove your love," with Arnie Roman.[10] That song was a No. 7 Billboard pop hit as well as a No. 1 Billboard dance hit.[5] It reached No. 1 in Switzerland, No. 4 in Germany and No. 8 in the UK.[11]

Swirsky wrote "Love is a Beautiful Thing," which was recorded by Al Green for his 1995 album Your Heart's in Good Hands.[12] It was Green's last charted single (No. 56 in the UK).[13] Al Green's version was also used as Revlon's theme song in their international ad campaign in 2004.[14]

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),[1] "Tear it Up" with Gardner Cole for Michael McDonald[15] (a Billboard top 20 Adult Contemporary hit[15] and top 40 British charting single[16]), "After All"[1][15] for Air Supply, "Not Gonna Be the One" for Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits album, Back to Basics: The Essential Collection 1971–1992[17](which reached No. 2 in Australia[18] and No. 12 in the UK[19]) and "Christmas Lullaby" for Faith Evans.[15] Others he has written songs for include Jane Weidlin[20] of The Go-Go's, Peter Allen,[21] Lara Fabian, The Four Tops, The Spinners, The Delfonics, Deniece Williams, Brenda K. Starr,[21] Trey Lorenz, Melissa Manchester, Rita Coolidge, Exposé[22] and Wild Orchid.

During his career he has collaborated with Eric Carmen[15] of Raspberries, David Pack[23] of Ambrosia, Marshall Crenshaw, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, Cy Curnin[24] of The Fixx, Eric Schenkman of Spin Doctors, Michael Bolton, Natalie Merchant, Jim Ellison[25] of Material Issue, Gerry Goffin, Chynna Phillips and Steve Kipner,[21] among others.[26]

Swirsky was featured as the "Writer of the Week" in the 2011 Nov./Dec.issue of American Songwriter magazine.[27] That same year, he sang the National Anthem before a Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field.[28]

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.[29]

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.[30][31][32] The case was settled out of court in April 2006.[33]


Swirsky was named in Music Connection magazine's December 2010 issue as one of the Hot 100 unsigned artists of the year.[34]

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.[35] 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.[36] 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.[37][38][39] 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."[40] It was named the No. 4 Best Pop record in their 2010 year-end poll.[41] 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."[42] 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).[43] Rich Rossi, writing for, listed the "Watercolor Day" as his No. 1 powerpop album of the year.[44] Powerpopaholic[45] and Pop Fair[46] 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.[47] DJ Bob Brainen of the New York City radio station WFMU listed Watercolor Day as one of his Top 9 records of 2010.[48] Internet Radio DJ Sparky Shockpop named Watercolor Day as the No. 1 record on his Top 30 of 2010 year-end list.[49]

Circles and Squares[edit]

Swirsky's 3rd solo record, the 16-song, Circles and Squares, was released by Grimble Records on August 19, 2016.[50] 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.[51] 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.[52] The songs Shine and Circles and Squares were "DJ PICKS" on the taste-making Los Angeles radio station KCRW.[53][54] Swirsky played all of the instruments on the album, except for two small parts.[55] The fourth song from the album, Far Away, was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2016 Hollywood Music and Movie Awards.[56][57]

Circles and Squares was named the No. 2 Album of the Year on the influential International Pop Overthrow's year-end list of Best Pop Records of 2016.[58] It was also named the No. 2 Album of the Year at Pop Fair[59] and Power Pop News.[60] It was named No. 5 in both Absolute Powerpop's Top 100 Year End poll[61] and Powerpop Station's Top 50[62] as well as No. 7 by Goldmine Magazine.[63]

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.[64]

The CD was also ranked the "Top of the Pops – Overall Best of 2007" by[65]

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.[66] 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.[67] Pop journalist and International Pop Overthrow founder David Bash ranked the album No. 8 (out of 125) in his year-end 2007.[68]

Another song from the album, Cruel Girl, was named the 2nd Best Song of 2007 by Popbang Radio.[69]

A second album by The Red Button, entitled "As Far As Yesterday Goes," was released on June 21, 2011.[70] It was voted No. 7 (out of 748 entries) in the 2011 year-end poll taken by readers of the online music group Audities.[71]

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.[72]

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.[73]

The Red Button was named to Music Connection Magazine's 2011 Hot 100 Unsigned Artist list.[74]

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.[75] The liner notes for the two CD retrospective were written by The Beatles Sirius channel and "Breakfast with the Beatles" DJ Chris Carter.[75]

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. premiered the video of the song.[76]

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);[77] the only known bottle of 1986 sparkling wine from the Red Sox celebration that would never be;[78] 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,[79] among other historic items. The Buckner ball went up for auction on October 15, 2011 for $1 million.[80] It failed to sell.[81][82]

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.[83] 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.[84]

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.[85][86]

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.[87][88]

  • 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,[89] The National Review,[90] Real Clear Politics,[91] American Thinker,[92] and Political Mavens.[93]


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.[94][95] In the documentary, John Lennon's former personal assistant, Fred Seaman said 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".[96][97]

It was chosen as an Official Selection at the 2011 European Independent Film Festival[98]—considered the Sundance of Europe[99][100]—and had its world premiere in Paris, France on April 3, 2011.[101][102] It made its East Coast premiere at The Gold Coast International Film Festival on June 2, 2011.[103] 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.[104][105]

On November 29, 2012, Swirsky was interviewed onstage at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles after a sold out special screening of Beatles Stories.[106]

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.[107]


Swirsky has three children: Julian, Luke, and Daisy.[108]


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External links[edit]