In the mid-70s my dear friend, Josie Rika, invited me to her wedding. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a concert tour and could not attend. Instead, I sent the best gift I could — a song.

The song was SANDY, YOUR MOTHER’S IN LOVE. (Josie had a daughter called Sandy.)

Mike Harvey and I recorded the song as a simple piano and voice arrangement, which we cut straight to vinyl. This very limited edition record was supposed to be a one-off.

However, Mike, who was my producer/arranger, and the people at my record company were adamant that I should include the song on my 1976 album USE YOUR EYES.

Furthermore, Mike insisted that I enter it into an American Song Contest, which had some high profile judges — most notably Lionel Ritchie who we admired.

I entered the song without any great optimism and was neither surprised nor disappointed when nothing came of it.

Around two years later I received a phone call from a rather agitated Mike Harvey who asked me if I’d heard the song Once Twice Three Times a Lady by Lionel Ritchie. At that stage I hadn’t but I soon did.

As Mike said, the similarities are uncanny.

I’ve often wondered whether Lionel heard the song in passing amongst all the song entries he dealt with and (perhaps subconsciously) the melody had stayed with him and re-emerged when he wrote his great hit in 1978.

Here’s my song:

 

And here’s a link to Lionel’s song.

Listen to the piano in particular. Uncanny, don’t you think?

However history shows that one was a worldwide hit and the other a song you probably didn’t know existed.

C’est la vie.