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Arts Playlist: Doug James


As a songwriter, Doug James has written songs for dozens of artists ranging from Cher to Dionne Warwick. The Delaware native’s biggest hit is "How am I Supposed to Live Without You," which he wrote with Michael Bolton.

“That was the first song I wrote when I went to CBS songs. They introduced Michael and I and said ‘get in there and write us a hit’ is what they said," said James. "It was in a fluorescent office with an old Yamaha piano in there. I think it took us about three sessions, we had most of us written in the first day but it took us about three sessions to get it.”


The track was first recorded by pop musician Laura Branigan and later became Bolton’s most famous song.


The ballad has been recorded by artists around the world, in several languages, becoming something of a modern pop standard.

It was one of over two dozen James wrote with Bolton.

“Michael and I would work deep into the night. We wrote about 25 songs together," said James. "Most of the time we had to bribe the watchmen to let us stay after hours and we’d be up there until four or five in the morning every morning,  just working very hard on that one and all the songs we worked on.”

Now, Doug James is writing music for himself. His debut CD “All Roads” will be released early next year.


James is excited to have a chance to expand his musical horizons.


" I didn't want to spend my entire life writing for other people," said James. "I want to try to become an artist in the true sense of the word."


Delaware Public Media's Cathy Carter interviews Rehoboth Beach singer/songwriter Doug James (Part II - includes the song "Life is Mostly Beautiful With You")

And Saturday, November 14, James will perform at the Music School of Delaware in Wilmington. The concert is dedicated to the memory of Larry Walker, a Music School Milford branch faculty member and James' former high school music teacher, who died earlier this year.

The concert is also part of the school’s program “The Studio: Rock, Jazz and Folk,” the Music School of Delaware’s new offering of events and programs in contemporary songwriting and performance including  Open Mic Nights beginning in December.

This piece is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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