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This was written by Rupert Holmes, who is known for his hit "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)," but has also written many other songs and had tremendous success writing plays, including The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, which won 5 Tony awards. He has also written a novel called Where The Truth Lies.
Holmes: "I was busy on Broadway with The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, that just won all the Tony awards. My manager knew a fellow who had this act, this family group from the isle of Tonga. I said, 'Is there really an isle of Tonga? I thought that was a made up thing from King Kong movies.' He said 'There really is a place called Tonga, and they're from there. They do this sweet act, they sing and do Hawaiian fire dances, things like that, and they're really nice kids.' I said, 'Kids? How Old?' He said, 'Oh, 14, 15, 16.' He said, 'You've been Mr. Theater for the last year, would you do me a favor and write them a song? They've got some good dance stuff, but they need a ballad, a love song.' I said, 'Who's going to sing it?' and he said, 'The one with the nicest voice is the girl singer, she's 14.' I thought writing a love song for a 14-year-old girl would be tough because some of my lyrics used to be about some pretty strange characters. I thought it would be a challenge to see if I can write a love song that sounds appropriate sung by a 14-year-old girl. This was before we had all the Britneys, Mandy Moores, and all these teen stars. I purposely tried to write a very clear, simple, unaffected lyric that would have a little lilt to it, that would be a positive song for a young girl getting over her first heartbreak. Letting her know that this boy she just lost, or who didn't treat her appreciatively, was not going to be the only boy she'd ever have as a boyfriend. I also wrote it thinking of my daughter who was at that time 10 years old. I thought maybe it would be a song she would enjoy and be fun to hear with her friends and say 'My father wrote that.'"
The Jets first single was "Crush On You," which hit #3 in the US. This was released as their second single.
Britney Spears recorded this in 1998. It was released as part of her CD single "Baby One More Time
." This gives Rupert Holmes the distinction of writing songs that have been recorded by Barbra Streisand and Britney Spears. As Rupert points out, that's a lot of B.S.
This went to #3 on the Pop chart, #2 on the R&B chart and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Holmes: "The sad part of the story is that I don't remember anything about it being a hit because before the record came out, my 10 year old daughter died. It was very painful for me because when it was a hit record, I realized she would have loved to have gone to see the group sing the song and gone backstage, and that never happened. I don't really recall anything that happened around the time it was a hit because it took me about 2 years to come out of shock and be able do things like work. I did things that I had to do, like supervise the London production of The Mystery Of Edwin Drood and things that I knew how to do almost on autopilot. They asked me to write more songs for them, and I wrote a couple later on, but it was just really hard. It was wonderful to have a hit, but it was at a terrible time in my life. It was heartbreak for me because it's the song that my daughter never got to hear as a hit record. I think she would have really liked it because she could have heard herself in the song. Maybe there were other 10 year old girls that heard it and liked it." (Thanks to Rupert Holmes for speaking with us about this song. To learn more about Rupert, check out rupertholmes.com.)
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