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Marc Cohn Recaptures Childhood Musical Passion on 'Listening Booth: 1970'

Marc Cohn's "Listening Booth: 1970" CD
Marc Cohn's "Listening Booth: 1970" CD

Grammy-winning singer Marc Cohn is best known for "Walking In Memphis," a bluesy pop tune that honors some of that city's legendary musicians. Now Cohn celebrates another milestone in pop history, the year 1970.

Marc Cohn remembers 1970 like it was yesterday. Only 11 years old at the time, he spent hours listening to stacks of records at a local shop near his home in Cleveland, Ohio. There were new singles by Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Guess Who and Creedence Clearwater Revival, as well as the latest albums by Simon and Garfunkle, James Taylor and Van Morrison. The store's soundproof listening booth, complete with a turntable, headphones and a chair, became Marc's "home away from home."

Marc says 1970 was the peak of the sing-songwriter era.

"There was so much soul and poetry in the music being released that anyone predisposed to music like I was stood a pretty good chance of finding a piece of vinyl that just might change his life or seal his fate," he recalls.

His new album, Listening Booth: 1970, finds him in the role of interpreter rather than songwriter as he recreates a dozen personal favorites from pop's golden age.

From the listening booth to the recording studio, Marc Cohn updates Eric Clapton's hit version of "After Midnight."

Ultimately, Marc's goal was to make an album of classics that made people feel like they were hearing them for the first time.

"In the end, this record is my humble attempt to repay a debt of gratitude to the artists that changed my life and bring something fresh to their work, which, 40 years later, sounds as vital and soulful as ever," he says.

Marc is also grateful for the outpouring of support he still receives following an attempted auto theft in 2005 that almost took his life. He wrote about that experience, as well as other life-changing topics on his 2007 album, Join The Parade.

Traveling down memory lane on Listening Booth: 1970, Marc enlists the help of four special guest vocalists, including Aimee Mann, India.Aire, Jim Lauderdale, and newcomer Kristina Train on "The Tears Of A Clown."