Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters

Ep. 198 - JOHN HALL ("Still the One"

Episode Summary

Our guest on this episode is John Hall, founder of the band Orleans and co-writer of the group's enduring hits "Dance with Me" and "Still the One." He chats with us about how Janis Joplin launched his songwriting career, co-writing Steve Wariner's #1 country hit "You Can Dream of Me," and how he ended up serving two terms as a US Congressman before returning to music.

Episode Notes

SUMMARY:
Our guest on this episode is John Hall, founder of the band Orleans and co-writer of the group's enduring hits "Dance with Me" and "Still the One." He chats with us about how Janis Joplin launched his songwriting career, co-writing Steve Wariner's #1 country hit "You Can Dream of Me," and how he ended up serving two terms as a US Congressman before returning to music.

PART ONE:
Paul and Scott chat about Orleans' legendary "naked" album cover, and band/artist names you're afraid to say out loud. If you've ever stressed about how to say Husker Du, Bon Iver, Chvrches, or Bjork, we've got you!  

PART TWO:
Our in-depth interview with John Hall

ABOUT JOHN HALL:
John Hall is a musician, songwriter, community activist, founder of the band Orleans, and former US Congressman. After forming the group Kangaroo, which shared house band duties with Bruce Springsteen’s group The Castilles at Greenwich Village’s legendary Café Wha, Hall worked extensively as a sideman. He toured and/or recorded as a guitarist with Seals & Crofts, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, Carly Simon, Jackson Brown, and others, but established himself as a songwriter when he and then-wife Johanna penned “Half Moon” on Janis Joplin’s Pearl album. After John formed the group Orleans, he and Johanna continued to find success as songwriters with the band’s hit singles “Dance with Me” and “Still the One.” The following decade, John became a chart-topping country writer when he co-wrote Steve Wariner’s #1 single “You Can Dream of Me.” He's known for co-founding the organization Musicians United for Safe Energy with Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt, and Graham Nash. John helped organize the legendary 1979 No Nukes concerts at Madison Square Garden, and his song “Power” became the anthem for the event. In 2006, John was elected to the US House of Representatives, representing New York’s 19th District. After serving two terms, he returned to making music. John's songs have been covered by Millie Jackson, Chaka Kahn, Ricky Skaggs, Taj Mahal, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Levon Helm, Bobby McFerrin, Bonnie Raitt, Chet Atkins, New Grass Revival, Jose Feliciano, Bill Anderson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Patty Loveless, and more. His most recent solo album is called Reclaiming My Time. We spoke with him in June of 2021 when the album was brand new and when he was working on some Orleans projects that have since become available and can be found at johnhallmusic.com.