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Lydia Hutchinson

Lydia founded Performing Songwriter magazine in 1993 and served as the publisher and editor until folding the print version in 2009. She now oversees Performing Songwriter Enterprises, the website, and produces creative workshops with hit songwriters.

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Lydia Hutchinson's Latest Posts

The Christmas Song

The Christmas Song

| December 5, 2016 | 8 Comments

It was a sweltering hot July afternoon in 1945 when Mel Tormé showed up for a writing session at the Toluca Lake house of his lyric partner Bob Wells. Mel let himself in and called out for Bob. No answer. He walked over to the piano, and there, resting on the music board, was a […]

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

| December 2, 2016 | 10 Comments

The story behind Bob Mays’ beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a story written to comfort his daughter and was turned into a best-selling Christmas song.

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Happy Birthday, Randy Newman

Happy Birthday, Randy Newman

| November 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

An Interview with Randy Newman on his approach to songwriting and the stories behind his songs Political Science, Redneck, Short People, God’s Song, and more.

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Beatles’ White Album Turns 48

Beatles’ White Album Turns 48

| November 22, 2016 | 2 Comments

On Nov. 22, 1968 the Beatles released their 9th official album, the 2-record, 30-song masterpiece known as the White Album.

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Happy Birthday, Neil Young!

Happy Birthday, Neil Young!

| November 12, 2016 | 4 Comments

Neil Young’s interview with Performing Songwriter magazine accompanied by classic photos by Henry Diltz and the stories behind them.

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Farewell, Merle Haggard

Farewell, Merle Haggard

| April 7, 2016 | 0 Comments

On April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday, Merle Haggard left this earth. To honor him, here is an interview from 2007 where he chatted with us about Johnny Cash, jail and wild nights with George Jones. Farewell, Hag. Thank you for a lifetime of music and memories.

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Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee”

Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee”

| April 6, 2016 | 0 Comments

Merle Haggard often gets name-checked in contemporary country songs. It’s a quick way to tip a hat to tradition and add a helping of honky-tonk cred. Haggard’s 41 No. 1 country hits and place in country’s Mount Rushmore aside, his name personifies the hard life that was once synonymous with the genre. Prison sentences, multiple […]

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Happy Birthday, James Taylor!

Happy Birthday, James Taylor!

| March 12, 2016 | 3 Comments

We’re celebrating James Taylor’s birthday today with an interview that took place on his birthday in 2002, where he talks about the enduring role that music has played in his life.

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Graham Nash “Our House”

Graham Nash “Our House”

| February 2, 2016 | 19 Comments

Here is the story—in Graham Nash’s own words—behind the classic “Our House,” one of the sweetest love songs ever written while he was living with Joni Mitchell.

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The Wheel of Control

The Wheel of Control

| February 1, 2016 | 4 Comments

News flash to self: I am not at the wheel of control.
Age has provided me the perspective to say that sentence with conviction and carefree joy.

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