Rod Meets Stevie, Dolly

The stars come out for the third "Songbook"

September 23, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Eric Clapton and Bette Midler are among those joining Rod Stewart on his newest collection of standards, Stardust . . . The Great American Songbook: Volume III, due in stores October 19th.

This time around, Stewart tackles songs popularized by the likes of Louie Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, including "What a Wonderful World" (featuring Wonder on harmonica), "For Sentimental Reasons" and "Night and Day." Parton lends her pipes to the holiday season seduction song "Baby, It's Cold Outside," while Midler and Clapton are aboard for "Manhattan" and "Blue Moon," respectively.

Stewart's previous standards collections, It Had to Be You (2002) and As Time Goes By (2003), earned the raspy-throated rocker quite a successful second career as a distinguished crooner, as they each sold more than two million copies.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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