The Music

Half of the wonderful scores in Emily’s Song were written by Amanda Holmes, and the other half were written by Chet Holmes and Tom Shepard, (songwriters who originally secured a songwriting contract with Warner Brothers to accompany the feature film). Tom Shepard is considered a musical genius, able to often write six songs in a single evening, all ad-lib, off the top of his head. Tom’s enormous talent was discovered by Chet Holmes when they were 19 years old, and Chet was a manager of a movie theater. “We were just playing around late one night in the empty theater [after everyone had left], and Tom started singing along to me playing the guitar. Next thing I know this guy is belting out these epic ballads, all off the top of his head.”

Lindsay Haun and Carmine Dibenedetto

“It was 4 a.m. in a big movie theater in Middletown, NY, when I first realized he could write like no other living human being. I was in awe of his talent then and still am today,” states Holmes of Shepard’s talent. “Fortunately, I recorded every note we ever did. I would then work on Tom’s ad-libs and turn them into complete songs. He would sing these brilliant hooks to my guitar playing, and then I would work them into the whole song, piecing together the brilliant pieces of the puzzle. He was the raw ingredients that made a fantastic song, and I was like the chef who put them together to create the final meal. It has been an honor to be his songwriting partner for 30 years. Now the world will get to discover his talents as Emily’s Song shows this man’s songwriting prowess. He is second to none in his ability to find those killer hooks and the heart that make great songs.”

Amanda Holmes became interested in songwriting and was naturally attracted to musicals in Los Angeles, now her hometown. Inspired by a long history of music in her family, Amanda has followed in her father's footsteps by becoming a formidable songwriter and is now considered one of the most up-and-coming young songwriters in the music industry here in L.A., where she performs regularly. Her songs all say something; all mean something. In the words of Grammy award winning producer, Glen Ballard, “there is a refreshing earthiness and honesty in her writing and delivery that transcends trends and lives in a timeless category.”

Back-story on the songs of Emily’s Song (as said by Chet Holmes):

Superstar: “I gave Tom the set up for this scene in the original movie, and he just went to town, singing almost the entire song off the top of his head. I still have that original recording, and it’s just packed with soul. It’s a centerpiece of what Emily is going through. Great in the play and even stronger in the movie where we can show a montage of what she is singing about.”

Don’t Leave Me Yet: “Amanda lost one of her childhood best friends a few years ago, and it was devastating to all of us. She wrote this song about the “memory” of Nicole. When I was working on the play, it was obvious that she had written a perfect song to be sung by Emily (the play’s main character) about the memory of her father. I can’t believe how strong that song is in this play, and now it’s also a tribute to Nicole that will be heard by many (18,000 views on Youtube so far - search: ‘Don’t leave me yet, Amanda Holmes’).”

Birthday: “We never forget our first true love. Tom wrote this song for Maureen, a girl he knew way back when. It was for her birthday, and one night he just whipped this entire song off the top of his head. Over the years, it has stayed a family top favorite. It is now the song that Emily writes about her father’s birthday. This is a song that, if it gets out there, could be something that everyone would send to anyone they care about on their birthday.”

Live or Die: “Amanda wrote this song, inspired by a woman she knew who was in an abusive relationship for years and years and then finally said ‘Enough.’ It fit beautifully into the play when Emily says ‘Enough’ to a man who is simply no good for her.”

Emily’s Song: “This is truly a full circle moment for me. Inspired by this play, my daughter wrote the first draft of this song. I worked with her on the lyrics, and then the two of us got together with Tom, who lives in New York and played this song for him over the telephone. He said it was missing something and, right over the telephone, proving again his awesome talent, Tom wrote the hook of the song, singing it right off the top of his head. I helped make all the lyrics match the play, and then pushed and pushed and pushed, and worked with Amanda until we created the big moment at the end of the song. So here we have come full circle. Tom, Amanda and I all writing a killer song together—and it’s THE title song of the play. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Will You Wait For Me: “A hopeless romantic, Amanda wrote this song for the scene in the play where Emily is wanting that true love to be there someday.”

Someday Darlin: “This was an evening where my brother, Tim, Tom and myself all got together and pounded out this heartfelt song. In the play, Johnny (loser boyfriend of Emily that we know is no good for her) shows Emily that he has written a rough of a song. He does it badly, and then Emily takes the guitar and one-ups him big time, singing the song the way we intended.”

Scared To Fall: “Amanda originally wrote this song about a boyfriend that she had off and on for awhile. Every time they would see or talk to each other, they would “fall” again into the relationship. So it was a perfect song for Emily to write about Edward, in that, in the case of this play, Emily is ‘scared to fall’ for Edward because almost everyone she has loved is taken from her.”

Now You Go Away From Me: “I won’t say it’s the best song Tom and I ever wrote, but it’s right up there. An epic ballad. Unfortunately, we had to cut the play down left and right, so you only get to hear half of the song, but you can tell it’s got the stuff, and it is enough where it is placed to do the job it is supposed to do.”

The Way You Smile: “Tom and I wrote this song about that kind of love that is so magical, you’re done at just the ‘way they smile’.”

Mega Cola and Budweiser Jingles: “Tom and I wrote these as what they were, Jingles for Budweiser, and originally, for Coke.”

Conclusion: A lifetime of songwriting and heart went into the music for Emily’s Song. Come and experience it for yourself live.

 

Emily's Song The Musical

 

Emilys Song Musical Poster