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Yoko Ono Approves Use of John Lennon Song in 'The New Normal'

'Beautiful Boy' to score act with no dialogue in season finale

Yoko Ono
Brad Barket/Getty Images
March 7, 2013 9:45 AM ET

Yoko Ono has signed off on the use of John Lennon's song "Beautiful Boy" in the season finale of the NBC comedy The New Normal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Series co-creator Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) unveiled the news during a recent panel talk with the show's cast and crew at Paley Fest in Los Angeles, saying he and his fellow creator Ali Adler both shared an affinity for the track: "We reached out to Yoko Ono to get permission to use that song for an entire act with no dialogue and she said yes."

100 Greatest Singers: John Lennon

The New Normal tells the story of Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha), a gay couple living in L.A., who enlist single mother Goldie Clemmons (Georgia King) to be a surrogate for their baby. The show also stars Ellen Barkin as Jane, Goldie's less-than-accepting grandmother. The finale comes as Goldie is about to give birth, and Bryan and David move closer to their wedding date.

Murphy went on to talk about how the show, along with others like Modern Family and Glee, has helped change people's mind about gay rights: "If you know someone and you know what their struggle is, you're less likely to have prejudice against them," he said. "[Gay rights] is biggest civil rights movement of our time and the reason we've had the quick leap forward is because of television."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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