for Saturday
November 2, 2019

They Write The Songs - Series 4 - Episode 7

Tonight's episode of They Write The Songs, hosted by Barry Manilow at 9pm BST on BBC Radio 2, features a man born in the Bronx, New York, who became one of the most successful singer songwriters of all time - Billy Joel. The episode will also be available on demand shortly after it airs.

Inspired by The Beatles, who he saw on the Ed Sullivan television show in America, Billy Joel dropped out of high school to follow his dream of a career in music. 'I never knew that regular people could be pop stars' he says, 'When I saw the Beatles, they were like my friends. Just regular guys, not manufactured. And John had this look in his eye that said 'This is so ridiculous, come on!' ... and I thought well, it can be done.' Millions of record sales later Billy Joel holds a unique place as a songwriter who could write intelligent lyrics, beautiful ballads and catchy pop songs with seemingly equal ease. But of his writing he says, 'I don't just go to the mountain top and wait for the muse. I have to work at it. Mostly it's just banging away at the piano to hopefully get something!'

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