Five For Friday: Rupert Holmes (Yacht Rock)

David Goldstein, better known as Rupert Holmes, was born in England. His father was a US Army Warrant Officer, his mother was British, and both had musical backgrounds. They moved to a New York City suburb when Rupert was six, and he attended the Manhattan School of Music, majoring in clarinet.

In his 20’s, Holmes was a session musician and songwriter, writing songs for artists such as Wayne Newton, Dolly Parton, Barry Manilow and The Partridge Family. He released his first album, Widescreen, in 1974. Barbra Streisand heard the album and hired him to write songs for her, some of which were used in the movie A Star Is Born.

Chart success came in 1979 with "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)," off his album *Partners In Crime."

Song Year A/C
“Morning Man” 1980 21 68 From his 1980 album Adventure.
“I Don’t Need You” 1981 21 56 Also from Adventure.
“Answering Machine” 1980 12 32 His last Top 20 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart, from Partners In Crime.
“Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” 1979 8 1 This was the last #1 record of the 1970’s. Was also #1 in Canada on both the Singles and Adult Contemporary charts. Topped the WLS survey for four weeks at the beginning of 1980.
“Him” 1980 4 6 The follow-up to “Escape” actually did better on the Adult Contemporary chart than its predecessor. Peaked at #8 in Chicago on WLS. Holmes thought this should have been the lead single from Partners In Crime.

In 1985, Holmes shifted his attention to playwriting, writing the play Drood, based on Charles Dickens’s unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He earned the Tony Award for best book and best score for it. His 2003 play Say Goodnight, Gracie earned a Tony nomination for Play of the Year. He has also written for television, having written all 56 episodes of the 1996 series Remember WENN. In all, he’s written 17 plays, seven TV series and three novels. In short, he’s a very talented man.

Rupert Holmes, your Five For Friday, August 28, 2020.

9 thoughts on “Five For Friday: Rupert Holmes (Yacht Rock)

    1. I was really surprised that he even had another song (he had quite a few, as it turns out), and “Him” knocked me out. That is a tremendous song, and I wish they had released that first.

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