Bruce Johnston: “i Write The Song”
Bruce Johnston was already a music industry veteran when he joined the Beach Boys. “I've been recording since 1957,” Bruce said in a 1990 interview. “I was in a band with Phil Spector back I then; he got sounds that haven't been invented. I backed up Ritchie Valens for three months in 1958, as well.” He and Terry Melcher (later a friend of Dennis's) were members of the Rip Chords, a surf band that had a minor hit called “Hey Little Cobra.” “We used the same voices under a variety of different names—Bruce and Terry, the Rip Chords, the Rogues. We had chart records under all these names.” Bruce and Terry later started their own record label, Equinox.
Aside from his contribution to the Beach Boys, Bruce is best known for penning “I Write the Songs,” which was a smash hit for singer Barry Manilow in 1975. But Bruce first offered the song to teen heartthrob David Cassidy. “I warned him: it might be a hit, and end your career. He said, what do you mean? I said, well, imagine the Rolling Stones selling eight million copies of ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon'! But for Barry Manilow, it was perfect.”