Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Petula Clark's Downtown song

The Wall Street Journal has a nice piece, "Going Back Downtown | Tony Hatch | Cultural Conversation," about songwriter Tony Hatch, who wrote "Downtown" and many other city-oriented songs sung by Petula Clark, as well as a variety of other hit songs.  From the piece:

Walking down Broadway earlier this week, Tony Hatch stopped on the northwest corner of 48th Street and looked at Times Square several blocks south. "This is the spot where the melody first came to me—just as the neon signs went on," said the 73-year-old British songwriter-arranger, who will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on Thursday along with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and four other composers.

As tourists pressed past him unaware and giant LED screens flickered, Mr. Hatch reminisced about his first trip to New York in October 1964 and the hit he wrote inspired by the upbeat crowds. "When I played my song for Petula Clark in Paris a few days later, she said that if I could write great lyrics, we'd have something fantastic," he said. "So I added words and we had 'Downtown.'"

Also see "Petula Clark | Bringing 'Downtown' to Midtown" from the WSJ.

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