It’s #SongLyricsSunday! Today’s prompt is to find songs that have a “girl’s name that with S” in their title or lyrics. I have picked two songs: “Oh Sherrie” by Steve Perry and “Sara” by Starship. The reason why I picked two hits from the 80s because I couldn’t go with only one song. I love “Oh Sherrie”, but at the same time, I wanted to highlight “Sara” as my best friend’s name is “Sarah”. So for today, enjoy two songs!
Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie”
This was one of Steve Perry’s earliest hits in solo career. The 1984 tune was written about Steve’s then-girlfriend Sherrie Swafford, who also appears in the music video. According to Wikipedia, many have made this song as a honorary Journey song as it features the trademark Journey song, it has been featured on many of the band’s compilation albums, and been featured on some the band’s tours.
The song was written by four people! Four people! A lot of people! They were Steve Perry, Randy Goodrum, Craig Krampf, and Bill Cuomo. Many know Bill Cuomo and Craig Kramp as they performed on Kim Carnes’ 1981 song “Bette Davis Eyes”. Randy Goodrum has written for countless artists since his start in the 70s. I noticed he even written some songs for Japanese artists like Seiko Matsuda, OFF COURSE, and Noriyuki Makihara.
Randy Goodrum told Songfacts about how he crafted the song, especially the lyrics:
“I’d gotten to know him and Sherrie, not really well, but I had a general idea of what they were like as people. I sensed a certain amount of drama in their relationship, to put it mildly. I like to find a premise and go with that, rather than a hook. And as long as I know what the point of the song, or the mission of the song is, then the lyrics usually just fall into place. So I focused on that, it was me saying, ‘Here is a relationship the way I perceive it between two people.’
And when Steve gave me a scratch tape that had him singing what I call a ‘la-la’ track, which is when the singer just sort of sings nonsense, and non-words, I listened to his vocals and listened to some of the vowels that sounded good on high notes, and some of the ones that sounded good in the middle. That’s another little trade secret that I do when I get a scratch vocal. And I fashioned the lyrics around their relationship. And then, of course, I took it back to Steve and showed him what I’d done. We made changes and tweaks here and there, and it ended up being the basic lyrics for ‘Oh Sherrie.’”
I love “Oh Sherrie” so much with that awesome intro (that was sequenced on a multi-tumbrel sequencer), the melody, and Perry’s strong vocals. This is a song that I often sing in my apartment because I love singing like those powerful vocals!
Like I said above, I choose “Sara” because my best friend has the same name (well, her name is “Sarah” with a h). I often sing this song to her; oven the phone, over Facebook messenger, or in-person. This 1986 song had lyrics written by Ina Wolf. Not much is know about her, except she was married to Peter Wolf (the guy who isn’t the former singer of the J. Geils Band, but composed “Sara”) for some time.
Many don’t like Starship’s Knee Deep in the Hoopla (especially with “We Built This City” as it appears on so many worst song lists), but the album had produced some memorable hits in the 80s, like “Sara”.