Jerry Silverstein

Story

Tom was my first co-writer. Though we both lived on Long Island, we met in the lobby of the Lowe's Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville at an NSAI Spring Symposium. We were a perfect fit and spent the next four years writing once a week. Tom had been the lead singer in a popular country band and really understood the commercial country sound. He's truly talented and passionate about music. What was wonderful about our partnership was that Tom and I formed a lasting friendship that runs incredibly deep because of all that we shared through the creative process. It spanned a time in our lives when we both were going through major changes, and we mined all of those emotions for our songs. 

At one point we created a songwriter's radio show, conducting interviews in NY and Nashville with wonderful writers including Hugh Prestwood, Gary Burr, Bob DiPiero, Jimmy Webb and Victoria Shaw. Eventually we expanded the partnership to include stretches of three way collaborations with Rich Bach, Nancy Baxter and finally Sandy Fredrickson Murphy.

To find out about Tom and his band, The Legendary Murphys, check him out on the web.

Writers: Tom Murphy/Jerry Silverstein

Story

Tom and I wrote this song, and I brought it to an NSAI Song Camp in Nashville and had it critiqued by James Dean Hicks. His suggestions were great and we did the re-write and had it demoed. When we played it again for James Dean the next year he was really impressed, even though he had totally forgotten that he had critiqued the song in an earlier incarnation. The problem is that there are a lot of songs with the hook "Been There, Done That!", and though we've gotten lots of interest, it never was recorded.  I am convinced, though, that we've written one of the best of the bunch. It's a great demo and would be perfect for a synch placement in film or television.

Performer: Jerry Silverstein
Writers: Tom Murphy/Jerry Silverstein

Story

This is truly a beautiful waltz. Tom noted that, though there is a classic song called "Heart Of My Heart," that song is actually about singing a song with that title. Our song uses that hook, and I think it's one of the most beautiful songs that we've written. It's also an example of a song that got rewritten because it had one weak line in the chorus (it used to read 'You keep me from falling apart') and that was really just filler.Tom and I brainstormed and finally replaced that line with one that fit in with the idea of guiding the singer to find his heart. The second we changed the line, the song became stronger and now I would love for it to find a wider audience.

"You can always get down to what matters

You've been my True North from the start

With touches and looks and wise words you guide me

Straight to the heart of my heart."

Performer: Tom Murphy
Writers: Tom Murphy/Jerry Silverstein

Story

One of our earliest songs, the hook actually came from Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd where the barber says "I once held the moon in the palm of my hand and let it slip away." Tom and I wrote about a couple for whom the moonlight that shines into their room on a night that they're fighting reminds them of the moonlight that was there when they first fell in love.

"Baby, Baby, I can’t take another silent night

The moon through our window is casting down its lover's light

We're bathed in this moonlight yet we barely touch

But I know we'd still be in love if we could just

    Hold that moon

    Once upon a time we held the moon in our hands

    Hold that moon

    We did it before we could do it again

    Hold that moon"

Performer: Tom Murphy
Writers: Tom Murphy/ Jerry Silverstein

Story

Early on in the partnership, Tom and I were looking for outlets where we could get songs on the radio. At the time there was a local country radio station on Long Island broadcasting on the 740 AM frequency, so we decided to write them a theme song and get the tracks produced in Nashville. The song was fun, the tracks were great, Tom's vocal was super but by the time we had the song ready to pitch the radio station changed formats. We were left to look around the country for country radio stations that happened to broadcast on the 740 frequency. I do believe that no writing is wasted writing and it was definitely a learning experience. Who knows, we still have the tracks so it might yet morph into another song.