Rod McKuen Unlikely Star, Shunned Limelight Living His Introspective Poetry and Songs


We somehow missed out on Rod McKuen during the day (late 1960s) even having grown up in his hometown of Oakland. But, we’re appreciating Rod’s beautiful music, lyrics and orchestrations (along with Anita Kerr’s). Interesting connection between other Bay Area folk, namely Glen Yarborough and Johnny Mathis and , of course, jack kerouoac. Never too late to discover or rediscover gens like Glen Yarborough sings Rod McKuen or Frank Sinatra’s commissioned album of McKuen songs. http://OldiesCountry.com
 

‘The Gypsy Camp’ by Rod McKuen and Anita Kerr from their 1967 landmark album, by The Sea . Play this album as you drive down Ca Coastal Highway 1. No doubt Rod composed at least some of it with said scenery in mind

Rod McKuen Unlikely Star, Shunned Limelight Living His Introspective Poetry and Songs

 

You won’t find any Rod McKuens today. His type of poet/writer/singer/entertainer no longer exists in a more aggressive world of today. Well, they may exist, but well hidden in the shadows, never to see a Billboard Top 40 , which barely exists itself anymore. But the songs and poetry are still out there for us who want to harken back – or discover for the first time. Thanks Rod McKuen for what you gave us , even if it’s under- appreciated today . 

Some of us still hang on and enjoy your thoughtful prose and relaxed, inspiring melodies that WERE quite popular in the 1960s. We are enjoying them again 50  years later, here today, and even pulling out the old record albums again. Yes! (That 1967 landmark album , ‘By the Sea,’ you did with Anita Kerr is a true gem I will take with me on future drives down the California Coast.)

For more Rod McKuen, visit https://www.facebook.com/OldiesCountry

BRIDGES MCKUEN GARRETT

FILE – In this May 23, 2003 file photo, actress Betty Garrett holds a replica of her new star as she poses with Jeff Bridges, left, Beau Bridges, center, and Rod McKuen, right, after her star was unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. McKuen, the husky-voiced “King of Kitsch” whose music and verse recordings won him an Oscar nomination and made him one of the best-selling poets in history, has died on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. He was 81. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

 

Rod McKuen Was Unlikely Star, Shunned Limelight

Rod McKuen, a prolific songwriter and poet whose compositions include the Academy Award-nominated song “Jean” for the 1969 film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” has died. He was 81.

 

McKuen had recently been hospitalized and died Thursday at a Beverly Hills rehabilitation center of respiratory arrest after suffering from pneumonia, according to his friend and producer Jim Pierson.
Among McKuen’s commercial successes in the 1960s and ’70s were his reworking of Jacques Brel’s song “Le Moribond” for the English-language version of “Seasons in the Sun,” later covered by the Kingston Trio and Terry Jacks. Frank Sinatra recorded an album of McKuen songs in 1969 called “A Man Alone,” which included “Love’s Been Good to Me.”

 

Besides his score for “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” McKuen’s music for the animated feature “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” was also nominated for an Oscar.

McKuen was born in Oakland in 1933 and wrote later of an unhappy childhood and the abuse he endured at the hands of his stepfather. In the ’60s, McKuen moved to Paris and began writing poetry. In all, he published more than three dozen collections of poems and essays.

A complete obituary will appear at latimes.com/obits.

 

Rod McKuen, songwriter associated with Jacques Brel and Frank Sinatra, dies at 81
Rod McKuen, a prolific songwriter and poet whose compositions include the Academy Award-nominated song “Jean” for the 1969 film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” has died. He was 81.

 

cComments
I met Rod years ago in the parking lot of Pavilions West Hollywood. We spoke for about 1/2 hr. mostly about his work for (and love of) Frank Sinatra. He was a genuine, sweet an personable man. May he rest in peace.
PAUL M MOCK

Rod McKuen Was Unlikely Star, Shunned Limelight

 

1