Thursday, April 19, 2012

I got the notion

(It's So) Nice To Be With You - Gallery

Comedies rarely win the Academy Award for Best Picture, which is a shame.  Evidently, some people feel only "serious" works of art are worth rewarding.  In pop music, sometimes songs that are simply fun and cheerful get short shrift, but how often have you chased the blues away by listening to a happy song?  If you're anything like me, many times.  There is great value in that.  No guiltiness in that pleasure.

"(It's so) Nice to be With You" by Gallery hit #4 on the charts in 1972.  The band had two other Top 40 hits in the next year or so... and that was it.  What I like about this single is its purity - the title really says it all.  The lyrics don't get any deeper than that, the melody is lively and very singable.  Pure pop.  Perfect for singing along to with the windows on the car rolled down on a spring day.

The 70s were the last heyday for happy pop songs.  Soon enough, punk and new wave and hip hop and grunge and more would come along - all great genres, to be sure, but something's lost but something's gained...




I reached out to Jim Gold, the singer and writer of "(It's so) Nice to be With You" and his answers to my seven questions appear below the jump:

1 - Was the song inspired by any particular person with whom it was nice to be?

Jim Gold: My wife, Pam.

2 - When is the last time you sang the song?

JG: Last night, in my music room, upstairs, in my house.

3 - Have you ever heard a great cover version?

JG: I've heard a few cover versions, but none that matched the original version. Although I was excited to see Barbara Mandrell and her sisters open a segment of their variety TV show with the song in the 70s.

4 - Do you ever talk with Gallery bandmates?

JG: I don't really have any contact with either of them as I'm not really in the music business anymore. I'm not even sure where they live, these days. We weren't really ever close friends, as the group was put together after the song was a hit.

5 - Did you think the song was going to be a hit when you recorded it?

JG: We did a 4 song demo for the record company. Of the 4 songs, I knew that "Nice" had the most potential to do something. There was something special about it.

6 - What thing about the song are you most proud of?

JG: The fact that the song is still popular after 40 years. I get so many nice comments on my Website about it. Also it's coming up on 4 million performances, according to BMI (AMAZING).

7 - Are there any artists today who you think would do a great version of the song?

JG: I always hoped that someone in the Country field would redo it. No one in particular though.

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