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1[[quoteright:295:]] ² [[caption-width-right:295:Oliver in 1974]]²->''"Good morning starshine\²The earth says hello\²You twinkle above us\²We twinkle below\²Good morning starshine\²You lead us along\²My love and me as we sing\²Our early morning singing song."''²-->"Good Morning Starshine"²²Oliver, born William Oliver Swofford (22 February 1945 – 12 February 2000), was an American pop singer. He could be described as something of a [[TwoHitWonder two-hit wonder]]. Nowadays, he is mostly remembered as either the guy who brought the ''Theatre/{{Hair}}'' song "Good Morning Starshine" onto the pop charts, or the singer of "Jean", the theme to the film adaptation of ''Literature/ThePrimeOfMissJeanBrodie''.²²Prior to his solo success, Oliver was a member of two popular music groups — The Virginians and, later, The Good Earth — and was then known as Bill Swofford. He became an overnight sensation in [[TheSixties the summer of 1969]], when his recording of "Good Morning Starshine" reached No. 3 on the ''Billboard'' Hot 100 in July of that year, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. a month later.²²That fall, "Jean", a softer, ballad single bested his previous effort by one, reaching No. 2 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the ''Billboard'' Easy Listening[[note]]now Adult Contemporary[[/note]] chart. Written by poet Rod [=McKuen=], "Jean" also sold over one million copies, garnering Oliver his second gold disc in as many months. Performing both hits on a number of TV variety shows and specials in the late 1960s, including ''Series/TheEdSullivanShow'', helped both songs.²²Oliver had more modest commercial success, however, with the cover of "Sunday Mornin'", which peaked at No. 35 in December 1969, and "Angelica", which stalled at No. 97 four months later. In addition, his cover of "I Can Remember", the 1968 James & Bobby Purify hit, missed the Hot 100 but climbed into the top 25 of the ''Billboard'' Easy Listening chart in the mid-summer of 1970. Late that fall, Oliver also had one inspirational recording entitled "Light the Way", composed by Music/EricCarmen. Oliver's last single to enter the pop music charts was his 1971 cover of "Early Morning Rain" by his personal friend, Canadian singer-songwriter Music/GordonLightfoot. The song "Bubbled Under" at No. 124 on May 1, 1971 and also reached No. 38 on the Easy Listening chart a few weeks later.²²As producer Bob Crewe preferred elaborately orchestrated musical arrangements and Oliver preferred a simpler folk sound, these "creative differences" led them to part ways in 1971. Resuming the name Bill "Oliver" Swofford after the release of his Prism album, the singer toured hundreds of college campuses throughout the United States from the early 70s until the early 1980s. He eventually retired from the music industry in the 1980s after issues with the release of his last album. He was decidedly a people person and took on a job at Merck Pharmaceuticals and enjoyed a tremendously successful career there; however, after just 8 years on the job, he found out he had cancer. His younger brother John[[note]]Notable in his own right, especially among US college sports fans, as he's set to retire as commissioner of the [[UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootballConferences Atlantic Coast Conference]] in June 2021 after 24 years. John took that job after a long run as athletic director at both brothers' alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[[/note]] stepped up and donated bone marrow and although it appeared to be well accepted, Oliver's health took a turn for the worst in late 1999 and he died of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in February 2000, in Shreveport, LA. He was laid to rest at Laurel Land Cemetary in Dallas.²²In February 2016, Oliver was given a fan page through Website/{{Facebook}} under the name "William.Oliver.Swofford.Fans", with an accompanying Website/YouTube Channel "The William Oliver Swofford Music Channel". The FB page contains a plethora of, links to videos including rare footage of TV and concert performances, and information on his life and career. The Website/YouTube Channel is where ALL of his music is being put to video segments using his personal digital masters and photos. You can check out his fan page at URL/²²----²²!! Discography:²²* ''Good Morning Starshine'' (1969)²* ''Again'' (1970)²* ''Prisms'' (1971)²²----²!!Non-album singles:²²* 1969 - "Good Morning Starshine" / "Can't You See"²* 1969 - "Jean" / "The Arrangement"²* 1969 - "Sunday Mornin'" / "Letmekissyouwithadream"²* 1970 - "Angelica" / "Anna"²* 1970 - "I Can Remember" / "Where There's A Heartache (There Must Be A Heart)"²* 1970 - "Light the Way" / "Sweet Kindness"²* 1971 - "Early Morning Rain" / "Catch Me If You Can"²* 1972 - "Why You Been Gone So Long?" / "Please"²* 1973 - "Everybody I Love You" / "I Am Reaching"²----²!! Provides examples of:²* SeventiesHair: Oliver sported long shaggy hair and sideburns as were popular during the time of his music career.²* BreakupBreakout: He achieved far greater success as a solo artist than he ever did in the groups he was previously in.²* BreakupSong: "If You Go Away" from ''Again','After All' from Lonely Days, and 'You're Not Gonna Break This Heart Again' from his last album, to name a few". Also, "Now That You're Leaving", a song that he wrote and performed as part of The Good Earth on their 1968 album ''How Deep Is the Ocean''.²* BriefAccentImitation: Oliver performs "The Arrangement" in an Irish accent. This is most noticeable during the [[SpokenWord spoken word]] section at the end.²* CoverVersion: "Ruby Tuesday" by Music/TheRollingStones, "In My Life" by Music/TheBeatles, "I Can Remember" by James & Bobby Purify, "Leaving on a Jet Plane" by Music/JohnDenver, "Both Sides Now" by Music/JoniMitchell, "Early Morning Rain" by Music/GordonLightfoot, among others. "Good Morning Starshine" could technically be considered a cover, it being a song from the Broadway musical ''{{Theatre/Hair}}''.²* DeadpanSnarker: He had a talent for deadpan comedy which he would put to use during his live concerts.²-->"Well, there it is. If you liked it, remember my name's Oliver. If you didn't, remember my name's Engelbert Humperdinck."²* DownerEnding: "Angelica" is about the regret the singer feels for not expressing his feelings to the object of his affections. It could be inferred that the titular woman has, in fact, died.²-->But then the cold winds came²-->And when I spoke her name²-->And held her near me²-->She couldn't hear me ²* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Ironically, Oliver was embarrassed of his middle name in school, usually whispering it when asked his middle name (Since he was named after his Aunt Olive). He eventually warmed to it when it became what he would be called professionally.²* ExcitedShowTitle²* FaceOnTheCover: Each of Oliver's albums feature his face on the cover. On the first two it is especially prominent.²* FolkMusic²* GreatestHitsAlbum: A posthumous compilation CD, ''Good Morning Starshine: The Best of Oliver'', was released by Taragon Records in 2005. It is the only place you'll find the majority of the songs that are on it outside of the original vinyl records, and certainly the only way to hear them remastered. To date, none of his studio albums have ever been officially released in either CD or digital format.²* LetsDuet: His duet with Lesley Gore, "Come Softly to Me". It was released under the names Billy & Sue (with Billy referring to Oliver's first name William and Sue being Lesley Gore's middle name).²* MotorMouth: The rhythmic [[SpokenWordInMusic spoken word]] section of "Sweet Kindness" which could almost be considered rapping. This is what he is saying:²-->Welcome, brother²-->Have a drink on me²-->Would some coffee do instead?²-->Can't you keep your eyes open²-->Just a little while longer²-->And someone'll take you to bed²-->I'll call you friend²-->And I'll call this home²-->'Cause this is where I've come²-->And this is where I'm bound to stay²-->'Til the wire begins to hum²* NewSoundAlbum: ''Prisms'', his first and only album released on Creator/UnitedArtistsRecords, was done in a simpler, folk style.²* NiceGuy: By all accounts, he was very humble and kind. He would say that he found it amusing when fans were hesitant to approach him as he never succumbed to the "Stay away. I'm a big star" mentality. ²* RenaissanceMan: Oliver was an outstanding musician, songwriter, arranger, and singer - but he was also a highly accomplished intellectual having read literally thousands of books, and mastered virtually every subject in school - so well that he won the prestigious Morehead Scholarship and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the fully paid award.²* OneWomanSong: "Jean", "Angelica", "Anna", "The Picture of Kathleen Dunne"²* OneWordTitle:²** ''Again''²** ''Prisms''²** "Please"²** "Jean"²** "Angelica"²** "Anna"²* OnlyOneName: Professionally, he was known mostly by his middle name, but he spent the last 10 years of it performing as "Bill Swofford"²* PhraseSaladLyrics: "The Arrangement" falls into this. The overall song, in fact, seems [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment out of place]] amongst the others on the album. It can be rather hard to make sense of its meaning:²-->I'll look around and find you a nice bowl²-->If you won't miss a small piece of your soul²-->In a crowd you'll be at ease²-->You'll never sneeze²* ProtestSong: "Days of Rage" was written by Oliver himself (although later was not happy with that song), and he also did a cover of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth". Both of these are on the ''Prisms'' album.²* RecordProducer: Bob Crewe produced Oliver's first two albums and their accompanying singles. He was the one who thought the young singer's voice would be perfect for "Good Morning Starshine" and had him record it. The rest, as they say, is history.²* ScooterRidingMod: While not exactly a Mod himself, Oliver's early career fashions were ''very'' much influenced by them. He often wore jabots and tailored suits. During the 70's he sported a more bluegrass hippy look which was more in alignment with his true style. Later on in life, he was known for a more conservative professional look.²* SillyLoveSongs: His earlier albums featured several of these. He wasn't a fan of them, however because he felt they did not have much depth.²* SingerSongwriter: About half of Oliver's material was music he wrote himself.²* SpeechImpediment: He had a slight lisp.²* SpokenWordInMusic: The outro of "The Arrangement" is Oliver whispering conspiratorially in an Irish brogue.²-->"It's what you might call kind of an arrangement. No one need know except you and me. And besides, you'll never sneeze. Never."²* ThisIsYourSong: He performed a cover version of the TropeNamer, "Your Song" by Music/EltonJohn, on ''Prisms''.²* TranslatedCoverVersion: He performed Spanish versions of his hits "Good Morning Starshine" and "Jean".


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