Wednesday, July 13, 2005

When a Song Loves A Soap

Wow, did anyone notice that beautiful use of "When A Man Loves A Woman" on today's General Hospital episode? (July 13, 2005) Nothing like a great, classic song to pull together a montage about love. Sometimes an instantly recognizeable song like that can bring you back to a place in your own life when you first heard that song, and the scene has even more meaning for you as you watch and listen.

When there isn't any dialogue in a scene, and the song is "saying it for the characters", a whole different dimension is added to the experience. In the best montages, I feel like the soap is no longer flat on my screen -- and I'm Barbara in Wonderland wandering right through the tv looking glass and totally surrounded by what's going on in the show. I can really identify with what's happening to the characters.

Music by itself is pretty abstract - we don't really know what the notes "mean" in and of themselves, but when a lyric is added to the mix, the music suddenly has a more distinct role. It supports the lyric! Add to that a series of visuals, and the effect is now considerably more potent. That's why those montages with songs are so carefully constructed by the music supervisors and their production team. They want to knock you out!

Which is why sometimes it's NOT a good idea to use a well-known song in a montage. The song may remind you of the last time you danced to it with your soon-to-be-ex! Instead of reacting positively to the scene, you might feel depressed. Many times, I've heard from soap fans it's exciting to hear a song you've NEVER heard before, or one that isn't even yet on a CD -- because you don't have any emotional baggage attached to that song, and you can experience that scene and that song as Madonna nicely put it, "like a virgin". And how fun it can be to discover an unsigned singer or songwriter who's not even on the radio yet. He or she is yours alone - for the time being, anyway. Many other great tv shows like the OC or shows on the WB network like to introduce their audience to fresh songs for that reason.

So keep me posted on what songs you're blown away by on soaps -- and whether you have a preference for hearing songs you've never previously heard...or songs you already know and like. You can email me at Okay, I've gotta go now and write some new songs!

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

A song on Friday, 7/8/05's YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS!

Welcome to's new blog. I'm Barbara Jordan, head of A&R for Songs of The Soaps, and the writer and publisher of many songs you've heard on daytime soaps and wondered "what was that song I just's not in record I should call the show and find out where I can get that song!" Try this URL for starters :

It's been busy in the world of soap opera music lately. So many of my favorite characters are getting into their usual trouble, only this time a touching song will play in their key scenes -- suggesting that there's hope for them!

On Friday 7/8/05, one of our most talented and prolific singer songwriters, Michael Kisur, will be heard on The Young and The Restless in a beautiful scene involving the Daniel-Lily storyline. The song he wrote and sings was inspired by the death of Cassie, the character on Young and Restless who was recently killed in a car crash on the show. Mike wrote the song when Cassie was in a coma, and now it's about to be used in a scene directly relating to Cassie's death. I'm a big fan of Mike Kisur, and I think this is one of his best songs yet. Go to our site and you can listen to a short clip of it :

I've been super-busy these last few weeks, getting music to many new Fall season tv shows out there...but my most interesting work is always with the soaps, because frankly, contrary to what most people think about soaps, they do have cutting edge music as well as gorgeous traditional styles of music! And music that no one has ever heard on the radio!!

I get a lot of email from fans who've heard a song on a show and want to know where they can buy it. Well, not all the songs you hear on tv are commercially available. That's why was created - to make songs available to fans who have requested them. Whether the song was featured in a scene, or just played partially in the background, you can now purchase a song that you had once been told was not commercially available.

I'm very interested in hearing from any fans who either have questions about songs they've heard, or comments about them. Music is my life and my business, and it's great to have a forum to talk about it. I've been involved with music since I was 8 years old, as a writer, performer, music supervisor, publisher for songs in film and television, and now in A&R for the Songs of The Soaps record label. And I'm still excited when I hear a great song! So tell me about your experiences listening to the songs you've heard on tv. I'm all ears.