Helen Reddy is touring again! This bit of news will inevitably elicit one of two reactions: “this is awesome—when will she be coming to my town?” or “who is Helen Reddy?” These are both valid questions.
Indubitably, many people will be thrilled to hear that Helen is returning. As to why she stepped away in the first place around ten years ago, I found this tidbit in a recent interview with HuffPo, “I have very wide-ranging interests, so, singing ‘Leave Me Alone’ 43 times per song lost its charm a long time ago.” Easy for her to say, but I would be thrilled if someone would pay me to sing Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) even once! Additional research on Helen’s website, itself now revamped and thoroughly comeback-worthy, yielded a bounty of treasures and turned out to be a great read. The highlights were definitely three pages of very entertaining photos—a veritable Who’s Who of show business in the 1970s—and a page that lists movies and books that Helen likes called Reddy Recommends, the better to see the world through Helen’s eyes.
In answer to your questions, Helen actually has four stateside dates this summer: July 21st in Englewood, New Jersey; July 22nd in Cape May, New Jersey; July 24th in Farmingdale, New York; and a final homo-blowout October 13th at the Crown & Anchor in Provincetown where, as you can see by my lead image, I happen to be at this very moment. Though October is, perhaps, a bit late in the season for Helen’s gay fans, it’s always the right time to hear the songbird sing her big hits like I Am Woman, Delta Dawn, Keep on Singing, You and Me Against the World and, of course, Angie Baby, perhaps the creepiest number one hit of the 1970s.
One of my favorite Helen Reddy songs is actually an old album cut that was recommended to me by my friend and Stargayzing reader Woody Firm. Buried in Helen’s 1978 We’ll Sing in the Sunshine album is Poor Little Fool, the best song that E.L.O.’s Jeff Lynne ever gave to another artist. Though it may seem discordant, the Jeff Lynne/Helen Reddy mash-up works splendidly in much the same way Lynne’s Xanadu collaborations with Olivia Newton-John created Top-40 magic. Truth is, Poor Little Fool is so catchy that it should have been a big hit but wasn’t even released as a single in the U.S. Perhaps Helen will rescue the track from obscurity on her four-date tour this summer, but in the meantime, Stargayzing is pleased to help spread the word.
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