Back to Members in the News

Harlan Howard Achieves No. 1 Song in Six Decades

May 29 2014

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, Harlan Howard, has another hit with One Eskimo's number one, AAA smash “Kandi.” This achievement gives Harlan number one records in six decades since he caught fire in the 50s.

“Kandi” has a fascinating history. Originally penned by Howard, “He Called Me Baby” became a country hit for Patsy Cline in the early 60s. It was also one of the last songs she recorded. In 1971, Candi Staton's achingly beautiful R&B version climbed the charts, and Charlie Rich hit with it again in 1974. The song has been covered by quality artists spanning several genres.

Last Tuesday, BMI held a no.1 party for One Eskimo, an indy pop band from London who've taken the world by storm with their first worldwide hit “Kandi.” “These guys have created the quintessential postmodern hit,” says BMI's Jody Williams. “The song is a combination of freewheeling cover, inspired original, haunting duet, and DJ-sampling savvy. As lead singer Kristian launches into the familiar refrain of 'He Calls Me Baby' he is joined by Candy Staton's original recording. Harlan Howard created part of the American music backbone, to which prog-rockers and neoclassicists alike will return again and again.”

The members of One Eskimo, Candi Stanton, and Harlan’s wife, Melanie Howard of Harlan Howard Songs, were all in attendance to celebrate the legacy of this amazing song and Howard’s legendary career. All together, Harlan has earned 45 BMI Country Awards, 4 BMI Pop Awards and 2 BMI R&B Awards. 15 of his songs have earned more than 1 million performances each—many of them have passed the 3 or 4 million performance mark.

Williams added, “We are gathered here to celebrate the time-tested power of a finely crafted, powerfully delivered song. Harlan Howard always brought different people from different places together. And today, even when he’s no longer with us, he is responsible for bringing us together again.

Harlan, you’re missed, but so far from being forgotten.”

Pictured are EMI Music Publishing’s Tom Luteran, One eskimo’s Adam Falkner and Pete Rinaldi, Harlan Howard Songs’ Melanie Howard, Candi Staton, One eskimo’s Jamie Sefton and Kristian Leontiou, and BMI’s Jody Williams.