Once Upon a Time, He Lit Up Life; Now, He’s Ended His Own

Nostalgia is a heck of a thing for a Monday. I don’t know about all of you but on Monday I want to feel at the top of my game. I want to start the week right and make it productive. That’s a tall order by itself. Being sentimental and nostalgic doesn’t help.

This morning, I read that songwriter Joseph Brooks had died. At first, nothing clicked. But I was interested enough to continue reading. And then I understood. And then I remembered. And then the nostalgia hit me.

Mr. Brooks had written the song, “You Light Up My Life.” I instantly remembered the tune and it took me back. It was sung by Debby Boone and was quite popular.

“You Light Up My Life,” came out in 1977. The same year, the song “Nobody Does It Better,” sung by Carly Simon, was also on the charts. That song was the theme for the James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. The 007 thriller starred Roger Moore as James Bond and the beautiful Barbara Bach as a Russian spy. It’s one of my favorite Moore Bond films.

By the way, Ms. Bach, a native of Queens, New York, went on to marry former Beatle Ringo Starr.

“You Light Up My Life” won Best Original Song Score at the 1977 Academy Awards. “Nobody Does it Better” was a contender for the same Oscar.

Hearing the news, fragments of the song You Light Up My Life played in my head, then the jukebox in my mind flipped the disc and Nobody Does It Better began playing. Funny how that works. To keep up with the times, maybe I should say the Ipod Shuffle of my brain did it.

Anyway, I went all nostalgic listening to those songs within the confines of my own skull. I am sure I butchered the words.

Back to the present. It seems Joseph Brooks, who won an Academy Award for the song Ms. Boone sang so well, had been waiting to be tried on sexual assault charges. Mr. Brooks had pled not guilty. The now late 73 year old is reported to have taken his own life.

I vaguely recall seeing something online, a while ago, about allegations and charges being brought against Mr. Brooks. I hadn’t followed the story. We will never know what the outcome of Joseph Brooks’ trial would have been. If the allegations against him had proven true, it would have been the victims who deserved our attention and caring.

I do not know what the truth of the matter is in this case. However, I do believe in the presumption of innocence. I also believe victims of crimes should receive our support. In any event, this is sad all the way around. It’s strange, though, how a particular story can grab us because of a pop culture component. Like a song.

Image: George Stojkovic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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