Stephen Bishop – “On and On”

Introduction to Stephen Bishop

Stephen Bishop (born in San Diego, California, 1951) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor, whose songs are mostly geared for the soft rock fans and the adult contemporary market. He had been with a group called The Weeds when he was in high school. After several years of finding for a record label, Simon and Garfunkel’s Art Garfunkel discovered Bishop in the mid-1970s. Bishop released his debut album Careless the following year; the album yielded the single “On and On” which became his first major hit. He has achieved greater prominence as a songwriter, having penned his most successful song “Separate Lives,” sung by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin in 1985. Bishop has also appeared in several movies like National Lampoon (cameo role) and The Blues Brothers; he sometimes contributed songs and soundtrack music for films such as “Animal House” for National Lampoon.

Early career and first album “Careless”

Singer-songwriter-musician Stephen Bishop was born in San Diego, California on November 14, 1951. One of his earliest musical pursuits was playing for a band called the Weeds, which broke up following high school.

For the next seven years Bishop would spend looking for record label when he was spotted by Art Garfunkel in the mid-1970s. He released his debut album Carelesson ABC label in 1976. The album’s single “Save It for a Rainy Day” was a top 40 hit at #22. It was an even bigger hit at #6 on the adult contemporary singles chart.

“On and On” — Stephen Bishop’s biggest hit yet ever

But Bishop earned more renown through Careless’ second single “On and On” which evokes of the seas, yachts and heartbreak. Written by Bishop himself, the single became a hit, reaching #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the adult contemporary singles chart. It has become a soft-rock classic.

Because of the success of “On and On,” it garnered its album Careless with a Grammy nomination. Careless also featured guest performances which included Garfunkel and Phil Collins, among others.

Recognition as a quality songwriter

Bishop would achieve other hits such as “Everybody Needs Love” (#25 pop, #1 adult contemporary) from the 1978 album Bish and “It Might Be You” which was the soundtrack fo the hit 1983 romantic-comedy filmTootsie (#25 pop, #4 adult contemporary).

However, since late 1970s Bishop had increasingly gained recognition as a quality songwriter. He wrote songs for Collins, Barbra Streisand, Chaka Khan, Gary Brooker, and many others. His most successful achievement as a composer was 1985’s “Separate Lives,” a chart-topping hit which featured a duet between Collins and singer Marilyn Martin. Collins also recorded some Bishop material on Collins’ album Face Value.

He also appeared as an actor, doing mostly cameo work on National Lampoon’s Animal House, Kentucky Fried Movie and The Blues Brothers. He was also gaining recognition by providing music in a number of films such as National Lampoon’s Animal House where he wrote two songs: “Animal House” and “Dream Girl.” He contributed the soundtrack for another movie The China Syndrome which starred Michael Douglas.

Bishop continues to record and perform; his last album was Romance in Rio in 2008.