Cry Till My Tears Run Dry – A Cover Song #Valentine’s Day 2023

Never Say Never, Like, I will Never record a cover song, because, why yes I have!

It was sometime between 2007 and 2011, the years between creeping out with a homespun album, and when I finally got the courage to get out there and share my songs live. I was attending a local songwriters group, called music makers of Central PA. I attended for possibly a year or two before sharing any lyrics or songs with the group, but one night, I got the courage to not only share a song, but I play it for myself. I think that I played ‘Before Winter.’ When you are too much of a scaredy cat to share your songs, then you finally do, of course, the curious homeys you’ve been hanging with all that time will give you an atta-girl, so I wasn’t thinking of it, other than the fact that I survived. However, afterward, something happened that may have changed the trajectory of my singer-songwriter ways…

Scott was a sage of some kind, I knew that much. Among our group, he had some kind of street cred, and I loved his local MAAC Island performing band, and his NY & Caribbean Creole, which carried tones of West African Krio that my ears always long to hear. I did not know much about his background, because I joined an already established group who already knew one another.

On my hasty way out the door, shortly after my sharing, Scott made it a point to come out to the foyer area to speak to me. He did a thing he has since done on a few occasions, he took both my hands in both his, looked me square in the eyes, and said something like, “Young Lady! {Are you listening to me?} You have GOT the gift of the muse!”

I felt that a type of sacred blessing had occurred, and truly I was blessed with the benevolence of wisdom and guidance on many occasions. The details of the venerable greatness I discovered in increments, and will lay those out here, in a more orderly fashion than I had stumbled into.

Scott Fagan wrote and performed the 1968 Atlantic/Columbia release “South Atlantic Blues” it was a fusion of Island Soul Folk Blues. Scott was discovered while an integral part of the 1960’s NYC City hit songwriters somewhere up in the famed Brill Building, where King and Goffin, and so many others cranked out the hits which shaped the 60’s and 70’s.

“Cry Till my Tears Run Dry” wwas written by Scoot Fagan, Mort Schuman, and Doc Pomus. The song was first released on April 1, 1965 perfectly performed by Irma Thomas, skillfully and powerfully moving from grief to holy anger. Then a few years later in 1969 it was released again by another powerhouse vocalist Lorraine Ellison, who performed it energetically gospel choir style.

Then, about 30 years later, Linda Ronstadt released it again on the studio album “We Ran.” I love the sultry opening verses and saxophone solos and cyclical crescedoes and decrecendoes of this version. (Listening back right now, I wish I would have studied her sustained vowels, but in an effort to make it my own, I stopped listening to any of the 3 versions for months before heading into the studio myself. )

A Little additional Note here: I take inspiration that Linda was one of the producers of her album, along with Peter Asher, and two others. I love it that there was a list of 5 other Ronstadts as the BGVs, shades and foresadows of today’s self-expressive indie-pendantly produced and released music. On that note, I would like to say another few things about Scott, the only surviving writer of “Cry Till My Tears Run Dry.”

Later, he experienced being cancelled before that word was in our cultural vernacular, after debuting a Rock Opera on Broadway Called “Soon” co-written with Joe Kookoolis. (Name dropping: Scott Played Lead, with Richard Gere as his understudy, Vicki Sue Robinson [“Turn the Beat Around” 1976] and Nell Carter.)The Rock Opera was about how fame and fortune bestowed and curated by the music industry could come at a terrible cost. It was tagged as a scathing expose, and Scott and any blueprints for his sophomore album were kicked to the cur.

I have not asked to hear the whole journey, but in time, Scott went to UCLA and got a degree in Drug and Alcohol Counseling and Rehabilitation, and then went on to lay out the foundations, and began to implement an addiction recovery program, known today as Music Cares, associated with NARIS’s aka The Grammys.

I look at that, and think of how awful it would have been if Scott would have responded to his ostracism from the music industry, by retiring into bitterness, instead, he is a benevolent person, who cares and also gives of what he has, like wisdom. “Soon” the rock opera has had rumors of re-surgence at intervals, and even now. I hope Mr. Scott Fagan gets to see it come back to life… Soon!

But as for me, I was ushered into a professional music studio to do backgrounds for Scott on a remake of “Sure Has Been Good” and when I was shaking with nerves, he held my hand. I love his recent release “A Hand To Hold” and so many of the songs he has sung, Like “Gringito” which reminds me of me, and “Surrender To The Sun” which calls to me when my heart longs for the Ocean.

He has the ability to put things into words that others might be thinking. Cry till My Tears Run Dry was a perfect mixture of grief and angry resolve, It became one of my “go-to songs when I need to re-connect with my own emotions. You have no idea the way it feels to have the writer in the studio, prompting to tap into my emotions and kick that fictitious “him” to the curb. Oh my heart, what a fond memory to have.

So, Never say never. I said that I will never cover anyone else’s song, for fear of ruining it. (Because you know, if I make a mistake on my original songs, my musicians “write it in” and nobody knows…

Well, Mr. Scott Fagan, I hope that I didn’t tarnish your song, on this version for my own studio album release. We still have the version that explodes right in with the chorus, at your request, and if you want, you can have “your people” play with the stems and tracks at your discretion, sir. I would even be glad to take another stab at it.Thank you for allowing me to place this emotive song onto my next “locals “album, out later this year. I ❤ you to the moon and back, sir! And I am so Blessed!

Happy St Valentine’s Day, to the loved, the loveable -but not yet discovered, and the spurned… Apparently, nobody remembered poor incarcerated Valentine- he was clubbed to death in prison…. The fact that this is a dysmorphic holiday should come as no surprise to them that do their research…

I give you my cover of Cry Till MY Tears Run Dry, Recorded and Frank’s Radioactive /Melody Place Studios in Linglestown

{Insert link to audio podcast }


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