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Fred Neil

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Cleveland, United States

Fred Neil (March 16, 1936 – July 7, 2001) was an important American and singer and songwriter in the 1960s and early 1970s. He is best remembered for writing the top 40 hits “Candy Man”, performed by Roy Orbison and “Everybody’s Talkin’”, performed by Harry Nilsson.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Neil was one of the songwriters who for a time worked out of New York City’s famous Brill Building. He has often been called a pioneer of the & musical genres; his most frequently cited disciples are Tim Buckley, Harry Nilsson, and the Jefferson Airplane, but his most prominent descendants have been Stephen Stills, James Taylor, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell. In concert appearances, as well as the liner notes for his 2003 album, Meet Me In Margaritaville: The Ultimate Collection, Jimmy Buffett called Neil “one of my heroes.” Some of Neil’s early compositions were recorded by Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison; he played as a session guitarist on hits by Bobby Darin and Paul Anka. In 1968, Nilsson recorded a cover version of Neil’s song “Everybody’s Talkin’,” which became a huge hit a year later when it was featured in the film Midnight Cowboy.

Neil was an accomplished professional musician atypically inclined to a very modest frugality.

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  • Amrabart

    less than 500,000 scrobbles... unbelievable

    7 May 2:49pm Reply
  • ThingsThatRhyme

    When I heard The Dolphins in the Sopranos, Instantly in love

    17 Apr 9:42am Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    surprising how few listeners he has here on last.fm

    14 Feb 6:51pm Reply
  • Kizna

    fred would agree with sea shepherd and would try to help to save the dolphins in japan. http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/ check this out, please!

    6 Oct 2013 Reply
  • marineperez

    "Midnight Cowboy" brought me to this wonderful man's music. Moody, bluesy, dark... beautiful.

    1 Mar 2013 Reply
  • duduzerah

    Just discovered this guy, what great musician! And too few listeners!

    21 Jan 2013 Reply
  • BJBooth

    Some trivia to demonstrate how influencial Fred Neil was in the very early 60's: on one track, he had yet-to-be-known artists Frank Zappa and Al Wilson (Canned Heat) play backup for Fred. Unfortunately, too many people confuse his songs with others who have copied him. Everybody's talkin' is Not a Harry Nillson song neither is The Dolphins anyone elses than Fred's Extremely prolific guitarist, much like Paul Simon, another underrated musician in my mind

    9 Jan 2013 Reply
  • dinkydauisshit

    so underrated

    1 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Vlad__canard

    What a great artist. Maybe my favourite singersongwriter with Jansch and Drake (in an other way :) )

    6 Aug 2012 Reply
  • BrianJohnson89

    @lutfish: But he's better (=more soulful) than Tim. True story :-)

    26 Jun 2012 Reply
  • Nakkinak

    dat voice

    9 Jun 2012 Reply
  • narut13

    Fred Neil was the kinda cat that didn't want to be famous, he just wanted to play his music and have others cats listen to it. I can dig it.

    27 May 2012 Reply
  • ZoloftSmoothie

    he's just has the spirit of the 50's. that's why. nobody cares about the 50's, hahah

    15 Apr 2012 Reply
  • Benrachmian

    So much underrated :(

    14 Apr 2012 Reply
  • ZoloftSmoothie

    very under-appreciated artist. He's not even well known for giving Bob Dylan his first show. His music has no chance

    14 Apr 2012 Reply
  • lutfish

    Sounds like a baritone version of Tim Buckley. Good stuff!

    8 Oct 2011 Reply
  • jim2873

    Check out the first ever footage of Fred Neil on http://www.fredneil.com

    30 Jul 2011 Reply
  • Saveall

    Would have loved to hear him work and duet with Merle Haggard. That would have been something

    13 Mar 2011 Reply
  • henkdo

    There's another side to this life

    18 Jan 2011 Reply
  • TheUniversalMan

    Fred Neil was a man like any other.

    12 Oct 2010 Reply
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