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Inspiration Peak Forums • Rod McKuen Dies at 81
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Rod McKuen Dies at 81

Posted: January 30, 2015, 6:50 am
by mwzephyr

Not by the sun’s arithmetic or my own can I make the days go fast enough. Yet there are those who beg God daily for an extra hour. I wish for them no solitude, no time apart from what they love, and let them have their extra hour.
Variety~~Kevin Noonan~

Poet, songwriter, composer and singer Rod McKuen died Thursday in Beverly Hills after suffering from pneumonia, friend and producer Jim Pierson told the L.A. Times. McKuen was 81.

McKuen was twice-nominated for Oscars, first for the song “Jean” from the film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” in 1970, which won him a Golden Globe, and then again in 1971 for his work on the animated film “A Boy Named Charlie Brown”; he also received a Grammy nomination for his work with the team that included Vince Guaraldi.

Born in Oakland, McKuen moved to Paris in the 1960s, where he wrote poetry before returning to the U.S. where he worked as a poet, singer and film composer in the late 60s and throughout the 70s. His hit songs “If You Go Away” and “Seasons in the Sun” (performed by Terry Jacks) was based on a Jacques Brel song and he also translated other French songwriters into English.

His composing work also included “Joanna,” “Scandalous John,” “Emily” and the TV movies “Lisa, Bright and Dark” and “The Borrowers.” His work continued to be used through the years in major productions, appearing in film and television series including “Cheers,” “Better Off Dead…” and “Zodiac.”

McKuen was also a prolific songwriter, working with artists including Johnny Cash, Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra; Sinatra recorded an album of McKuen’s songs and poems in 1969, “A Man Alone: The Words and Music of Rod McKuen,” which included one McKuen’s most popular hits, “Love’s Been Good to Me.”

He published 30 books of poetry including “Listen to the Warm,” which sold millions of copies and won a spoken word Grammy for “Lonesome Cities.”
He wrote some terrific poetry.
His poems were meaningful and memorable. He influenced a generation with his way of looking at life.
Check his work out if you have time.

His introduction to his work~
Caught in the QuietCheval Books • A division of Stanyan Music Group

Introduction In love or out of love we are suspended as in a limbo created by the presence of or the lack of someone else. -RM, March 1970
As always, when we love, we forget how many limbo’s there are yet to come. -RM, February 1973
Someone else is here, and limbo might as well be mambo or mumbo jumbo. -RM, November 1998
This downloadable edition of Caught In The Quiet is just a way of saying thanks to fans and friends throughout the years who have stuck by me and cared about my work. It is offered with affection from all of us at Stanyan and especially from the people who help to make A Safe Place To Land just that.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR ROD McKUEN was born in Oakland California in 1933. At eleven, he left home to work at jobs that took him throughout the western United States as rodman on a surveying unit, cowhand, lumberjack, ditchdigger, railroad worker, and finally rodeo cowboy. His first attention as a poet came in the early fifties, when he read with Kerouac and Ginsburg at San Francisco’s Jazz Cellar. After serving two years as an infantryman in Korea, he returned as a singer of folksongs and eventually his own material at San Francisco’s Purple Onion. Before becoming a best-selling author in the 1960’s, McKuen had been a contract player at Universal studios and a vocalist with Lionel Hampton’s band and had amassed a considerable following as a recording artist and nightclub performer
His books, numbering more than sixty titles, have been translated into some thirty languages and made him the best-selling, most widely read poet of his time. His film music has twice been nominated for Academy Awards (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie & A Boy Named Charlie Brown). His classical works – symphonies, concertos, suites, chamber music and song cycles – are performed by leading orchestras and artists throughout the world. The City, a suite of Narrator & Orchestra, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Music.
His influence was felt if not recognized... R.I.P.

Posted: February 23, 2015, 10:03 am
by Ron Atchison
I've heard Rod McKuen's name many times, but can't say I really 'knew' him... I never realized he wrote 'Seasons In The Sun' which was one of my favorite songs when I was 12 years old. I think it may have been the first '45' record I ever owned. 40 years later I can still remember every word of it!

Posted: February 24, 2015, 5:44 am
by Davidf
At one time I owned one of Rod McKuen's poetry books. A fabulous poet and man!