Skip Navigation
NPR News
"I like the emotional criers," Neil Sedaka says of ballads. (Courtesy of the artist)

Neil Sedaka On 'Song Travels'

Apr 12, 2013

Hear this

This text will be replaced
Launch in player

Share this

Explore this

Reported by

Related Topics at

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."

This program originally ran May 04, 2012.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Set List

Neil Sedaka (voice), Michael Feinstein (piano), "What a Difference a Day Makes" (S. Adams, M. Grever) Sedaka (voice, piano), "Hungry Years" (N. Sedaka, H. Greenfield) Sedaka (voice, piano), "I Let You Walk Away" (N. Sedaka, P. Cody) Sedaka (voice), Feinstein (piano), "I'll Be Seeing You" (S. Fain, I. Kahal) Sedaka (voice), Feinstein (piano), "You Go to My Head" (F. Coots, H. Gillespie) Sedaka (voice, piano), "Laughter in the Rain" (N. Sedaka, P. Cody) Sedaka (voice), Feinstein (piano), "Moonlight in Vermont" (K. Suessdorf, J. Blackburn) Sedaka (voice, piano), "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" (N. Sedaka, H. Greenfield)

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.