Patti Smith sings "You Light Up My Life"
This originally aired in 1979 on the ABC-TV kids' show "Kids Are People Too." Yes, I was watching it that day--yes, when it first aired. When she forgot the words near the end, she just knelt next to the piano, where Joe Brooks, the composer (who looked thrilled to be there) was, and grinned sheepishly. Joe Brooks also wrote the movie "You Light Up My Life" (yes, it was a movie too), which starred Didi Conn--Frenchie from "Grease"--and the hot guy who played Roger Thorpe on "Guiding Light."
This segment seemed strange at the time...the song didn't seem the best choice for Patti (or for anyone, really, except Debby Boone, exuding as it did an aura of impossibly chaste, non-sexual, platonic passion). But she has a real genuine, honest presence here with the kids, even though she looks on the verge of a panic attack some of the time. And the kids really seem to love her, although I must confess, I did scan the crowd for telltale signs of some gaffer holding an "Applause" sign.
I grew to love her as I got older. Her music is terrific and has such passion and conviction. Even the ones she didn't write carry her indelible stamp. Her cover of "Gloria" set the standard, in my opinion (not the Laura Branigan "Gloria"--the Van Morrison one).
So, from 1979, I (re-)present Patti Smith on ABC's "Kids Are People Too."