I can hear the moaning all the way over here. “Oh God, not Helen Reddy!” Well, she did manage four songs in the Top Ten during my high school years, including two Number Ones, one of which was “I Am Woman”, which became an anthem for the Women’s Liberation movememt, even though it wasn’t actually written with that in mind, as Ms. Reddy said whenever she was asked about it, claiming that it was more about empowerment and that Women’s Lib was just part of the reason she wrote it. The Blogger’s Best Friend tells us that, in 2002, she said of the song, “To this day I get mail from women who say, I went to law school because of your song. But I would hate to think out of the wide spectrum of things I have done in my career, that’s all I would be remembered for.”
So let’s remember her for her other big songs in the early Seventies. First up, “Delta Dawn,” which reached the Top Ten in August 1973 and stayed there for eight weeks, peaking at #1.
Stepping outside the parameters I’ve drawn (it’s my blog, after all), “Angie Baby,” her next big hit was released in October 1974, reached the Top Ten on November 30, and hit #1 on December 28. The lyrics, by Alan O’Day, are a little dark, but I think this might have been her best song from the period.
Helen’s popularity fell rapidly after 1976, with only one song, a remake of Cilla Black’s “You’re My World,” reaching the Top 40 (#18). She retired from performing in 2002, but returned to the stage for her sister’s birthday in 2012. Sadly, she was treated for symptoms of dementia in 2015 and has retired for good.
Helen Reddy, your Two for Tuesday, June 20, 2017.