Cyndi Lauper and the Philadelphia Connection

I only recently learned who wrote “Girl’s Just Want to Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper’s gazillion-selling, Grammy Award-winning debut single. You’ll never guess … it’s Robert Hazard.

This means Philly guys are responsible for both of Lauper’s first two hits—Rob Hyman of the Hooters co-wrote “Time After Time” (he and Eric Bazillian also both played on She’s So Unusual, the album from which the singles came). Without them, I think it’s fair to say, there wouldn’t be a Cyndi Lauper. At least not the Cyndi Lauper we know and love today.

The Philly connection comes via Rick Chertoff, who produced She’s So Unusual. Chertoff met Hyman and Bazillian during their UPenn days in the late ‘60s, and the three of them later formed the group Baby Grand together (in 2010 the Penn Gazette published a fantastic article detailing Chertoff’s early musical history with the pair). In the ‘70s and ‘80s, he also produced the Hooters and other Philly acts including the A’s and Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers.

Anyway, check out Hazard’s 1979 demo of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

As it happens, the 30th anniversary re-release of She’s So Unusual includes an early demo of the song—by Lauper—that’s a whole lot closer to this, in terms of arrangement, than to the version that made the album. Good stuff.

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