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‘Mockingbird’ by James Taylor and Carly Simon – Classic Hit or Miss

Carly Simon and James Taylor recorded a remake of “Mockingbird” in the autumn of 1973. The track was released as the lead single from Simon’s album Hotcakes, although it was Taylor’s idea to remake “Mockingbird”, which he knew from a live performance by Inez and Charlie Foxx at the Apollo Theater in 1965, and which song Taylor and his sister Kate Taylor had often sung for fun as teenagers.

Featuring a considerable lyrical adjustment by Taylor and keyboard work from Dr. John, Robbie Robertson’s rhythm guitar and a tenor saxophone solo by Michael Brecker, “Mockingbird” rose to #5 in March 1974.[3] The Simon/Taylor version of “Mockingbird” also charted in Canada (#3), New Zealand (#6), the UK (#34) and Australia (see subsection below). Carly Simon overcame her fear of live performing to come onstage to sing “Mockingbird” with Taylor during his 1975 tour; the duo also performed “Mockingbird” live at the No Nukes Concert at Madison Square Gardens in September 1979, the performance being recorded for the No Nukes: The Muse Concerts for a Non-Nuclear Future album and also the movie No Nukes. In recent years Taylor has performed “Mockingbird” live with his daughter (by Simon) Sally Taylor and Simon has performed the song live with her and Taylor’s son Ben Taylor.

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