Interview with Woman Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee 2023 Jan Daley

– Congratulations on the release of the jazz version of “The Way Of A Woman”. Can you tell us what inspired you to create this rendition of the song?

Well, I did envision another arrangement, something more relaxed and smoother. I knew that Mike Sutton could accomplish that and boy did he!

– How does the jazz rendition of “The Way Of A Woman” differ from the original version and what were your intentions behind reimagining the song in this genre?

Sometimes you write a song, and it flows out naturally with no genre in mine. At that time in my life when I wrote this song, I had walked away from my recording & touring career to be a mother. I began writing for Artists that didn’t write, which were primarily Country artists, so I shopped it in the Country market. It had a story to it but the way I played it, was more like an Adelle’s songs (before Adelle even hit the charts) and it didn’t seem to fit into the Country format, at that time. Years later when I began to sing in small clubs, I would play it slower, more like a ballad, so when Mike came up with his idea of the Jazz Remix it made sense and gave me more space to really feel the lyrics like I had always imagined it.

– Your upcoming album, “Best of” is a compilation of your top-selling hits from various genres. How did you select which songs to include and what can listeners expect from this album?

There were 73 songs off my 6 albums to choose from, so it was probably the hardest job to put together 20 songs, I ever had to do. I love all the genres of music and tend to sing them live, so I wanted to surprise the listener with a lot of variety. I choose six songs from my Grammy Nominated Where There’s Hope, my Tribute album to Bob Hope and the Love songs he introduced to the world. I was fortunate enough to travel around the World with Bob entertaining the troops but never knew that Cole Porter, the Gershwin’s, Jerome Kern & Vernon Duke wrote songs for Bob and his movies and Broadway, like It’s Delovely and Smoke Get into Your Eyes to name a few. I was backed by Les Brown Jr.’s “Swinging’ Big Band, and the lush Ballads were backed by the Springfield Symphony. I’d forgotten how beautiful this album was. I also chose Selections from my Broadway Memories album that Broadway World Magazine wrote “Be prepared to be enthralled.” I even included a duet off my “Live” inspirational album, “The Prayer” along with my chart topping “Way of a Woman” and a few more of my original songs. Included is my hit single from my Billboard No#4 Home for Christmas, album. “The Christmas Song.” This was a favorite of the DJ’s and listeners because “it gets your toe tapping without losing the sentiment. Jan Daley makes you feel good and that is what we need, at this special time and all through the year.” Gregg Hunter Show CRN

– You’ve been praised for your exceptional songwriting skills. Could you share your process of crafting soulful melodies and lyrics? What inspires you as a songwriter?

People always asks what comes first the melody or the Lyric? I must tell you with me it depends on the song. I think every songwriter works differently. Sometimes I will sit down at the piano and just start playing and let the spirit move me. Although I think I always write a better song when I have the hook or the chorus of the song and that leads me to sailing along and finishing it faster.

– Your collaboration with legendary Motown producer and writer, Michael B. Sutton, resulted in your breakthrough EP, “When Sunny Gets Blue”. How did this collaboration come about and what impact did it have on your career?

A publicist found me through the Grammy Organization who introduced me to Michael. The first thing he said to me was “Where have you been? And I replied, “raising my daughter.” I told him about having a successful career in my 20’s, finishing an album I’d worked on for 9 months and realizing I couldn’t go on the road to promote it, since God had given me this miracle baby, after having Cancer at 23 and doctors telling me I would never have children, so I walked away for 20 years. I continued to act in TV & movies that shot close to home. Mike replied, “Well girl, with that voice we have to get you out there again! The Jazz audience is going love to you!” It was a perfect match for my voice, and the jazz audience welcomed me into their world with rewarding us a No#1 Billboard Traditional Jazz album. When The Way of a Woman caught fire these last months, on the AC charts, Mike told me he had an idea for another version never dreaming he could turn my song into a wonderful smooth jazzy feel, and I loved it instantly!

– “The Way Of A Woman” and “Home for Christmas” both achieved high rankings on the Billboard charts. How did it feel to receive such positive reception and critical acclaim for your music?

I had been away from the recording & touring side of the business for so long, I wasn’t too sure how the Jazz World would accept it. As I climbed the chart every day, I kept thinking how this could be happening, this is a miracle! When I landed on Billboards No#1 position. I couldn’t hold back the tears and fell to the floor (I’m not kidding). It gave me the confidence that maybe I was on the right track with Jazz! I’m still amazed! And my new motto this year is “NEVER TOO LATE, NEVER TOO OLD OR YOUNG TO REACH YOUR DREAMS!”

– Lastly, how do you envision your music reaching and resonating with a broader audience through the smooth jazz genre, and what are your plans for the future?

These last 3 months the Adult Contemporary audience have given me the confidence that the content of the song is something they relate to, rewarding us with Billboard’s Top 30. I’m excited to see how the smooth Jazz audience will respond. Of course I hope they love the vibe of the music and the lyric will pull them in even more. I already have projects started and we are in the midst of recording another song of mine Mike want’s to record. During Covid I began to write my life story that intertwined with my father who I never got to meet. He was a pilot in WWII, who was shot down after the war, while picking up P.O.W’s. Having only 1 parent you wonder why you are the way you are, when you don’t see yourself in that parent? After my mother’s passing I discovered 2 boxes she kept. The first picture I took out was my father standing in a very theatrical pose and I said out loud, “oh my God, he’s a ham just like me!” I also found another photo of him standing next to Bob Hope while in Alaska entertaining the troops, where I would entertain years later, which blew me away!! I found a letter he wrote to my grandmother, just days after I was born, and he was still stationed in England that said, “My daughter is going to be a SUPER STAR!

Take Care & Be well,
Jan Daley