BootLeg Betty

A “Good Guy” For Bette Midler?

Mister D: I just found this tid-bette in an interview with Jude Johnstone who wrote “The Girl Is On To You” and sang harmony with Bette on “My Eye On You.” According to this article, Ms. Midler has recorded another one of her songs, “Good Guy” for a supposed upcoming CD.

I had been told a CD was out of the question at this point due to the Vegas gig, but you just never know. Maybe it’s a demo she’s trying out for something later. Maybe it’s for the new movie, “Then She Found Me.” I don’t know, but I will try to find out.

The song, “Good Guy.” is a track on Ms. Johnstone’s upcoming CD. Blue Light

If you’d like to read the article….

Music: Sad songs make her smile
Cambria singer-songwriter Jude Johnstone finds she has a knack for the melancholy side of life; in her latest release, ‘Blue Light,’ she taps her jazzy roots to produce a rainy-day mood
San Luis Obispo Tribune
By Patrick S. Pemberton
August 16, 2007

Jude Johnstone’s marriage is fine — although you might think otherwise when you hear songs from her latest CD.

“On occasion, I might just hear a line in a movie or see a character that makes me think of a certain thing and just write that song,” Johnstone said. “Sometimes you draw from your friends and other things, so it’s not always autobiographical.”

Still, even her record producers sometimes worry.

“They’ll say, ‘Is everything OK?’ when I turn in a song sometimes. And I’ll say, ‘It’s a song! It’s a song!’ ”

With new titles like “That’s Why I’m Leavin’ You” and “Quittin’ Time,” you could see why people might think things are less than joyous in the Cambria songwriter’s personal life. Yet that’s just the way she writes.

“It’s true that I tend toward the sad songs,” she said. “I’m just drawn to melancholy and always have been.”

She’s not the only one, of course. When blues/rock singer Bonnie Raitt heard Johnstone’s song “Wounded Heart,” — a number she later called “the saddest song I’ve ever heard”—she knew right away she wanted to record it. And when country singer Trisha Yearwood recorded a somber Johnstone song titled “The Woman Before Me,” it shot up to No. 1 on the charts.

“All of my favorite songs by other writers are sad,” Johnstone confessed. “Randy Newman’s greatest songs are sad. He can write the funniest thing you’ve ever heard — or the most political thing you’ve ever heard—but his best songs are his sad songs.”

While there is usually an element of truth in most Johnstone’s songs (some of her breakup songs relate to past experiences, she said), she’s actually doing quite well. And if you’re still not convinced, her husband, Charles Duncan, Jude Johnstone’s marriage is fine—although you might think otherwise when you hear songs from her latest CD.

“On occasion, I might just hear a line in a movie or see a character that makes me think of a certain thing and just write that song,” Johnstone said. “Sometimes you draw from your friends and other things, so it’s not always autobiographical.”

Still, even her record producers sometimes worry.

“They’ll say, ‘Is everything OK?’ when I turn in a song sometimes. And I’ll say, ‘It’s a song! It’s a song!’ ”

With new titles like “That’s Why I’m Leavin’ You” and “Quittin’ Time,” you could see why people might think things are less than joyous in the Cambria songwriter’s personal life. Yet that’s just the way she writes.

“It’s true that I tend toward the sad songs,” she said. “I’m just drawn to melancholy and always have been.”

She’s not the only one, of course. When blues/rock singer Bonnie Raitt heard Johnstone’s song “Wounded Heart,” — a number she later called “the saddest song I’ve ever heard”—she knew right away she wanted to record it. And when country singer Trisha Yearwood recorded a somber Johnstone song titled “The Woman Before Me,” it shot up to No. 1 on the charts.

“All of my favorite songs by other writers are sad,” Johnstone confessed. “Randy New-man’s greatest songs are sad. He can write the funniest thing you’ve ever heard — or the most political thing you’ve ever heard—but his best songs are his sad songs.”

While there is usually an element of truth in most Johnstone’s songs (some of her breakup songs relate to past experiences, she said), she’s actually doing quite well. And if you’re still not convinced, her husband, Charles Duncan,actually mixed the songs on her new album, “Blue Light.”

While writing sad songs is nothing new for Johnstone, the new album does break from her previous two records in musical styling. Those albums featured more coffee house/lite rock music. “Blue Light” is a jazzy album, with a prominent floor bass and a rainy-day mood.

Though fans might not know Johnstone for jazz, it’s not new territory.

“When I first went to L.A. more than 25 years ago, this was the music I was playing — jazz/blues, pretty much,” she said. “And in Los Angeles at the time, disco was the thing that was up, so I didn’t have anywhere to go with this at the time.”

The recent successes of people like Madeleine Peyroux, Norah Jones and even Rod Stewart, who has scored with a string of jazz standard albums, encouraged Johnstone to pursue a jazz album of her own. To help drive the sound, the album features in-demand session players like David Piltch and Danny Frankel, who have both worked with Peyroux and k.d. lang.

The album itself was put out by the BoJak label, owned by Johnstone’s longtime manager, Bob Burton, and “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak.

Johnstone grew up in Maine and made the journey to L.A. as a teen, hoping to break into the music business. On a plane trip, she happened to meet Bruce Springsteen’s sax player, Clarence Clemons, who would later provide crucial connections. Still, after years of trying to make it as a singer-songwriter, Johnstone had yet to land a record deal when

singer Jennifer Warnes suggested she write music for other performers.

Since then Johnstone’s songs have been recorded by artists including Johnny Cash, Stevie Nicks and Bette Midler. Yearwood has recorded multiple Johnstone songs.

Midler is currently recording another Johnstone song — “Good Guy,” a track from Johnstone’s new album — for an upcoming album. Emmy Lou Harris is also recording a Johnstone song.

Yearwood’s “The Woman Before Me” is the most successful song Johnstone has written—the one that paid for the house in Cambria — the oldest house in the pines. Not only was it a No. 1 hit, but it brought new royalties when Yearwood put it on her greatest hits album.

“It’s an incredible coup when that happens,” said Johnstone. “In fact, Trisha was talking about putting an additional greatest hits out. I don’t see that happening right now, but I was begging her to put ‘Hearts in Armor’ on it. Because while it wasn’t a hit, people ask me about it all the time.”

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2 thoughts on “A “Good Guy” For Bette Midler?

  1. Actually, Trisha is releasing a Greatest Hits album. It’s due out on the 11th of September, without Hearts in Armor on it. I’m a Trisha fan, too. 😉 I live within a few miles of her and Garth in Oklahoma.

  2. Hey Kelsey: Yes, it was very clear Trisha was going to put a CD out. However, it was this line in the article that I was interested in:

    Midler is currently recording another Johnstone song — “Good Guy,” a track from Johnstone’s new album — for an upcoming album. Emmy Lou Harris is also recording a Johnstone song.

    I have now found out that it’s not true. Bette received the song “Good Guy” from Ms. Johnstone and liked it very much, but for now she is not recording a CD.

    I love Trish, too. I have most of her CD’s. Fabulous voice.

    Tell her Mister D says “hello”

    Love, Mister D

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