Neil Sedaka is synonymous with popular music. For more than 50 years, he's written, performed and produced the soundtrack for America's collective psyche. Sedaka had a string of early-1960s pop hits, and his songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Elvis Presley and The Monkees, among others. Sedaka is truly a balladeer at heart.
"I think there are three kinds of songs, it's only my theory: psychological, emotional and spiritual," Sedaka says. "When you write psychologically or intellectually, you have a tune in your mind and you re-write it. It's an intellectual approach. The emotional is my favorite because it comes from my kishkas; it comes from my soul. It's a catharsis, you get it out, you cry it out, you let it go. The spiritual writing of the song is where you're chosen as a vehicle and it comes from something up above. You don't move; it writes itself. It's very spooky, but that's happened to me just a few times."
On this episode of Song Travels, host Michael Feinstein and his guest talk and play iconic pop and great standards, including one of his many hits: "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do."