Music Spotlight: Gilbert O’Sullivan ‘alone again’ after shutdown stalls US tour

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Gilbert O’Sullivan

With the “shelter in place” order necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are finding themselves alone because of the restrictions.

Being “alone” can offer a welcome respite from an ultra-busy schedule. Being “alone” as a full-time option is a different story – especially when it’s mandated by the government. “Alone” can go from a good thing to a very unsettling thing very quickly.

Not surprisingly, being “alone” has been the topic of a slew of popular songs over the last century.

There are songs with the title “Alone” by Heart, Falling in Reverse, Toto, Halsey, Pretenders, and Marshmello, and “Alone Again” by Betty Who, Dokken and The Weeknd. and “Alone Together” by the Strokes, Fall Out Boy and Daley.

Other notable alone songs include “Alone in the Dark” by Sheryl Crow, “Be Alone” by Paramore, “Born Alone,” by Wilco, “Tired Of Being Alone” by Al Green, “Drinking Alone” by Carrie Underwood, “Live Alone” by Franz Ferdinand, “Home Alone Tonight” by Luke Bryan, “I Drink Alone” by George Thorogood and “I Stand Alone” by Godsmack.

Two songs from a half-century ago were classic “alone” songs — “Alone Again Or” by the L.A. band Love and “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan.

“Alone Again (Naturally)” is of course the iconic, monumental, masterful heartstrings-puller that reached #3 in the UK, and a stunning #1 in America spending six non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, selling nearly two million copies. It also garnered three Grammy nominations, no small feat in highly competitive 1972. This was Irish-born singer Gilbert O’Sullivan’s only American #1. It was the second best-selling single of the year in America behind Don McLean’s “American Pie.”

O’Sullivan won’t let this song be used in commercials, but he often authorizes it for movies and TV shows, which typically use it for comic effect. Movies to use it include “Gloria Bell,” “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Skylab,” “Megamind,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” “Stuart Little 2,” “Osmosis Jones” and “The Virgin Suicides.” It has also been used twice in TV shows — The Simpsons (“The Wettest Stories Ever Told”) and Ally McBeal (“Alone Again”).

At least 100 artists have covered this song, including Anita Bryant, Sarah Vaughan, Johnny Mathis, Shirley Bassey and Neil Diamond. Pet Shop Boys did a version with Elton John, and Diana Krall and Michael Bublé recorded it together for Krall’s 2015 album “Wallflower.”

O’Sullivan has a new self-titled album and was set to tour North America this spring – including a show this week at Philadelphia’s City Winery.

In a trans-Atlantic phone interview on March 12 from his home on the island of Jersey in the U.K., O’Sullivan admitted that the tour was in jeopardy because COVD-19 was starting to raise hell in America.

“It’s day-to-day,” said O’Sullivan. “We’ll see. There is a decision that will have to be made at some point. The shows are lined up. We have two warmup shows here in England and then we’ll come to the states.”

Obviously, the tour has been scrapped.

It would have been his first North American tour in 44 years. But, just like his last U.S. tour, it has been scuttled by bad circumstances.

“I had several million-selling singles and I was ready for my first tour of America in 1973,” said O’Sullivan. “There was a debate about whether I should go and do my own shows and play big venues in Europe or come to America and support the Moody Blues.

“The decision was made by Gordon Mills, my manager at the time, and I had nothing to do with it. They decided that I should go out on my own – and that was a mistake. The tour began and then was called off.”

In the late 70s O’Sullivan instigated a huge lawsuit against his manager Gordon Mills whom he accused of ripping him off.  O’Sullivan sued his former manager on suspicion of the latter having “cooked the books”, failing to pay O’Sullivan all of his duly earned royalties.

A lawsuit followed, with prolonged argument over how much money his songs had earned and how much of that money he had actually received. Eventually, in May 1982, the court found in O’Sullivan’s favor, describing him as a “patently honest and decent man”, who had not received a just proportion of the vast income his songs had generated.

Eventually he won a £7 million settlement – but he had taken his eye off his career and the hits had dried up.  He was in court again in 1991, when a rapper sampled Alone Again (Naturally) without permission.  O’Sullivan won 100% of the royalties and set an important legal precedent.

Now, many years later, O’Sullivan is still waiting for a North American tour to happen — and is still writing songs.

“I’m currently writing lyrics now,” said O’Sullivan, who is the winner of three coveted Ivor Novello awards in the UK, one for “Songwriter Of The Year” in 1972.

“I have a 48-track recording studio on my property. Everything is analog. The next record could be made in my studio or in my producer’s studio.

“I have no idea what it’s going to be about. I’m writing all the time. I sit down at the piano and spend a day. I check in t 9 a.m. and check out at 5 p.m. Even if you get nothing, you’re still practicing.

“The melody might determine what the lyric will be. It might be serios. Maybe it will be fun – which is what I like. I enjoy putting some humor in my songs.”

But for right now, O’Sullivan is “Alone Again (Unnaturally).

Video link for Gilbert O’Sullivan —

The restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have completely erased the schedule for live shows at venues.

Troubadour 77

Fortunately, a fix is possible via the internet which features a large array of concerts streamed live online.

One of the artists who is reaching out online is Chester County native Anna Wilson and her duo Troubadour 77.

Troubadour 77 is inviting music fans to join the duo for their weekly “T77 SQUARED CONCERTS” featuring songs from their new album, “Revolution & Redemption,” which was just released on April 10.

The next edition of “T77 SQUARED CONCERTS” is scheduled for April 16 at 8 p.m. at

Americana duo, Troubadour 77, is the brainchild of Grammy award-winning singer-songwriters, Anna Wilson(Piano/Lead Vocals) and Monty Powell (Guitar/Vocals). Wilson and Powell have been married for 18 years and making music together as artists, songwriters and producers in Nashville for over three decades. Collectively they have written a dozen #1 songs and countless album cuts that appear on over 70 million records, have co-produced unique special projects that pay tribute to the Eagles, Billy Joel and the Countrypolitan era of music, and penned the international theme song for Habitat for Humanity.

Additionally, Powell was a key creative force in establishing the mega success story of Keith Urban. He was his early producer and one of Urban’s top collaborators for many years, earning Golden Globe nominations and countless industry awards for the songs they composed together. Ultimately, Wilson and Powell spent 25 years in Music City together, but it wasn’t until after breaking away and retreating to their second home in the Utah mountains that they found a new muse that came calling so strong, they had to answer.

In 2016 Wilson and Powell formed “T77” as they often are referred to, in an effort to carry the torch of the 70s Laurel Canyon, Southern California sound that is reminiscent of the classic singer-songwriters that influenced and helped define their generation, and that metaphorical flame was fully ignited on the band’s debut release, “Selma Avenue.” It all began when Wilson started revisiting the records of Jackson Browne, the Eagles, Firefall, Linda Ronstadt and many others, and realized how much she missed that sound and someone just singing her a great song.

Even though Wilson is a “Nashville singer-songwriter” who has listened to country music since she was a girl, she is also a Yankee girl who grew up just down the road from Historic Yellow Springs.

It is said that every dark cloud has a silver lining. When Wilson tore up her knee while playing field hockey at the Junior Olympics in San Antonio, Texas in the 1990s, it was definitely a “dark cloud” kind of day for the young Chester Springs resident.

Wilson, who had been a top-flight field hockey player at Villa Maria Academy, had dreams of playing for the United States Olympic Team but they evaporated when the ACL (anterior crucial ligament) injury ended her athletic career.

The “silver lining” that accompanied her injury was her decision to start playing guitar. From humble beginnings as a singer-songwriter and self-taught guitarist, Wilson has emerged as a national-caliber recording artist. Wilson’s debut album “The Long Way” was released in 2003 on Curb Records.

Video link for Anna Wilson —

Video link for Anna Wilson and Troubadour 77 —

Stageit is presenting a series of live shows on its site (

The upcoming schedule includes: SUSTO — Quarantine Encore Show (Greatest Hits Happy Hour), Apr 16, 5 p.m.; Blue October — At Home With Blue October – Foiled – 2nd Show, Apr 17, 6:30 p.m.; Reverend Horton Heat — “The Jimbos” Episode Two, Apr 17, 11 p.m.; Alicia Witt — Going the (*social*) Distance, Part V, Apr 18, 7:30 p.m.; Michael McDermott — House Arrest – The Recidivist Show, Apr 18, 3 p.m.; and Keith Harkin, Live from an Irish Pub in Donegal, Ireland, Apr 19, 3:30 p.m.

The Metropolitan Opera ( is offering “Live Opera Streams” nightly with a schedule that this week includes such classics as “Macbeth,” “Don Carlo” and “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” (“The Barber of Seville”).

The schedule for the upcoming week includes: April 16, Rossini’s “Le Comte Ory” starring Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, and Juan Diego Flórez, conducted by Maurizio Benini; April 17, Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” starring Patricia Racette, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft, conducted by Patrick Summers; April 18, Cilea’s “Adriana Lecouvreur” starring Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, Piotr Beczała, and Ambrogio Maestri, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda; April 19, Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier” starring Renée Fleming, Elīna Garanča, Erin Morley, and Günther Groissböck, conducted by Sebastian Weigle; April 20, Strauss’s “Elektra” starring Nina Stemme, Adrianne Pieczonka, Waltraud Meier, and Eric Owens, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen; April 21, Puccini’s “Tosca” Starring Sonya Yoncheva, Vittorio Grigolo, and Željko Lučić, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume; and April 22,  Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” starring Anna Netrebko, Kathleen Kim, Ekaterina Gubanova, Joseph Calleja, and Alan Held, conducted by James Levine.

Other sites worth checking out for live music are Philadelphia Orchestra (, The Violin Channel Presents (, Lincoln Center ( presents “Lincoln Center from Home #ConcertsForKids” and Live from Our Living Rooms Jazz Festival (

The live internet music schedule for the upcoming week also includes:

April 16

Raul Midon will perform at 8 p.m. on WTMD’s Cabin Fever concert series.

Luke Bryan will perform on Verizon’s weekly “Pay It Forward Live” series at 8 p.m. The show will be available to stream on Verizon’s Twitter @Verizon, Yahoo, Verizon’s Facebook and YouTube pages, Fios Channel 501, AXS TV, FOX NOW or listen on iHeart and SiriusXM.

Yungblud is returning with the second episode of The Yungblud Show at 10 a.m. with Travis Barker, Machine Gun Kelly, Ashnikko, Kelly Osbourne, 24kGoldn and other special guests.

Sound Mind Live presents the “Closer In Crisis virtual benefit concert” with performances from Chad Urmston of Dispatch, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Foy Vance, Langhorne Slim, Jade Bird and Ballroom Thieves.

SPACE will be livestreaming a set from Helen Gilette via its Facebook page at  8 p.m. , Columbia’s Livestreams on Instagram will feature Quinn XCII (6 p.m. ET), Diplo (10 p.m. ET) and Chloe X Halle (11 p.m. ET), and there will be a Facebook Live Concert featuring Jamie McLean Band at 8 p.m.

“Pickathon Presents A Concert A Day” will have Heartless Bastards at 4 p.m. on the Recording Academy’s Facebook page, Amazon Music’s Twitch page, and Pickathon’s YouTube page.

April 17

Dr. Terry Klinefelter

West Chester’s Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center continues to bring quality programming and outreach efforts right to your home. Even virtually, the theater has become a special gathering place in the community, reflecting the demographic and cultural diversity of our region.

The theater invites music fans to visit (virtually) on April 17 at 7 p.m. for The Jazz Cocktail Hour — a Facebook LIVE presentation at

The Jazz Cocktail Hour performance will feature West Chester University’s Dr. Terry Klinefelter on piano, her husband Paul Klinefelter on upright Bass and her son Christian Klinefelter on clavicle. It’s a “Family Affair Concert” from their living room to yours.

Video link for Terry and Paul Klinefelter —

Candlebox’s Lead Guitarist Brian Quinn is presenting “Friday for Happy Hour” on April 17.

It’s a three-hour live stream concert featuring Danny Beissel from Featherborn that they are filming from Quinn’s basement from 4:30-7:30. The mission is to simply keep the music going in this time of isolation and social distancing. The show is available on Facebook @BrianquinnGTR and on Instagram at @BrianQuinnGuitar.

The highly acclaimed veteran musicians are currently in their fourth week of the series and have had fans from across the country and world, including Italy, Peru and more. Candlebox front man Kevin Martin has even chimed in on a few shows to request songs and offer comments.

The duo will also be performing this Sunday for the Bridgeport Ribhouse Music Benefit, organized by Rotation Gives (the charity division of Norristown’s Rotation Records), which supports local musicians who are regular performers at the venue. Other special guests include Paul Hammond from Get The Led Out.

THE SOUNDS offer a “Safe and Sound” Livestream presentation at 3 p.m. live from The KB, the premier club in the band’s hometown of Malmo, Sweden. The link for the concert is n

Columbia’s Livestreams continue on Instagram with Quinn XCII (6 p.m.) and Diplo (11 p.m.). The Aces’ “Digital Wellness Tour” will go online at 2 p.m. The Aces’ “Digital Wellness Tour” will go online at 2 p.m.

“Pickathon Presents A Concert A Day” is hosting Jeff Tweedy at 1 p.m. PST on the Recording Academy’s Facebook page, Amazon Music’s Twitch page, and Pickathon’s YouTube page.

“The Quarantine Concert Series” will broadcast live at 8 p.m. here on April 17 and 18 to raise money for MusiCares. Performers include Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon, James Otto, Tourbadur 77, Ofi, Suit-up Soldier, Tom Yankton formally of Rascal Flatts, Charlie Jenkins, Nathan Osmond, Rally, Truman Brothers, and others.

Robyn will be hosting a live DJ set from her virtual venue Club Domo at 8 p.m. BST. See announcement here. 

Diplo and Major Lazer will be going live three times a week until they’re able to hit the road again. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night you can check out their themed #COVIDseries sets. All Friday and Saturday lives are on Diplo’s page here. All Sunday sets are on the Major Lazer page here.

April 18

Jorma Kaukonen’s third free live stream concert is coming to you through the excellent acoustics at the Fur Peace Station Concert Hall. It will start at 8 p.m. There will be a Q&A and some Fur Peace Ranch memorabilia giveaways. The link is:

Philadelphia-Based Indie Label Know Hope Records is launching its first-ever “LockdownPalooza” at 3 p.m. on Instagram.

Featuring live acoustic sets and Q&A’s with twentythreenineteen, String Machine, Frames, Triangle Shirt Factory, Post Season, Suntitle, Lakes and The Still, Small Voice, the show can be found at

Eddie Vedder will be performing in a global broadcast & digital special to support frontline healthcare workers and the WHO. Scheduled for 8 p.m., “One World: Together At Home,” is a call for collective action to stop the COVID-19 crisis. Sign up to be part of the event at

“Pickathon Presents A Concert A Day” is hosting Divine Fits at 1 p.m. PST on the Recording Academy’s Facebook page, Amazon Music’s Twitch page, and Pickathon’s YouTube page.

At 3 p.m., The Killers will conduct a Q&A and perform on Instagram Live. Jesse Malin’s Saturday livestream series “The Fine Art of Self Distancing” will continue at 4 p.m. (YouTube). Alyssa Bonagura has a live set at 5 p.m. on Facebook and Instagram.

David Guetta will be offering a 90-minute livestream at 6 p.m. on his FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter and Twitch channels, in support of the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Guetta will perform from a unique location in Downtown Miami to raise funds for the World Health Organization, Feeding South Florida, Feeding America, and the French Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris.

April 19

The Kennedys

The Kennedys All-Request Livestreaming Concert is slated to get underway at 2 p.m. straight from their New York apartment to your home. The Livestream link is

At 3 p.m., Lissie is playing another online concert with 20% of the proceeds are going to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, Meals on Wheels and the Secoya Coronavirus Isolation Fund (a friend is organizing to directly help tribal elders quarantine in Amazonian Ecuador & Peru).

Erykah Badu’s third concert in her Quarantine Concert Series is scheduled for 8 p.m. at  her platform here.

Candace Cameron Bure (you know her if you’ve ever seen a movie on the Hallmark Channel – especially at Christmas time)  will host the upcoming “Hope Rising COVID-19 Benefit Concert” presented by Facebook Live, featuring the world’s biggest names in contemporary Christian music, with 100 percent of all charity benefits going to the non-profit humanitarian work of Samaritan’s Purse. The event begins at 8 p.m.

“Pickathon Presents A Concert A Day” is hosting Vieux Farka Toure at 4 p.m. on the Recording Academy’s Facebook page, Amazon Music’s Twitch page, and Pickathon’s YouTube page.

April 20

The Aces’ “Digital Wellness Tour” will go online at 2 p.m. and there will be a live concert by Keller Williams at 9 p.m.

The Grammy Museum is releasing its digital public program with Richard Marx here.  SPACE will be livestreaming a set from Miles Nielsen on its Facebook page at  8 p.m.

Weedmaps will be celebrating 420 with “Higher Together: Sessions from Home,” featuring Wiz Khalifa, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ari Lennox, Joey CoCo Diaz, Berner and more. The show kicks off at 3 p.m. here.

April 22

The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund will be hosting JERSEY 4 JERSEY 7 p.m. ET on Apple Music and AppleTV apps worldwide, on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio (currently free on the SiriusXM app) and carried on WABC Channel 7, WPVI 6ABC, WPIX, News12, NJTV and local radio outlets including 1010 WINS, WCBS 880, CBS-FM, WFAN, New York’s Country 94.7, Alt 92.3, Q104.3 and others. Halsey, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, SZA, Charlie Puth, Saquon Barkley, Tony Bennett, Danny DeVito, Whoopi Goldberg, Chelsea Handler, Kelly Ripa, Jon Stewart and more will make appearances.

The Grammy Museum is releasing its digital public program with Courtney Barnett here. SPACE will be livestreaming a set from the Mynabirds’ Laura Burhenn via their Facebook page at  8 p.m.

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.