While I was at Steve and Deb’s wedding the other night, the band played a version of Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why,” which was her breakout hit a few years back. Everyone on earth knew the song, but for some reason it had slipped through my cultural floorboards, and I heard the whole thing for the first time.
I was immediately struck by how beautiful it was, and how much it reminded me of this other band I loved called Once Blue, a little poppy-jazz ensemble who put out a CD that three people in American owned: me, Charlotte Walton and Carla Utrie. God knows I have a very soft spot for old-fashioned song structure and twee melodies, but Once Blue’s CD is so gorgeous in so many ways that I couldn’t believe it wasn’t a national bestseller.
Rebecca Martin was the lead singer of Once Blue, and nothing I can write on this blog comes close to the sexy, breathy, confusingly otherworldy way she has with a song. Jesse Harris was her collaborator, and they created these little vignettes that can turn an ordinary road trip into a seascape of different happinesses.
So I was doing a little research on Norah’s hit “Don’t Know Why,” and turns out it was written by Jesse Harris. Which is absolutely great for Jesse, to labor that long (14 years in the business) and finally get a Grammy and the royalties so he can retire, and his grandkids probably never need to work if he invests wisely.
But what of Rebecca Martin? It is proof that the music business is totally arbitrary