Gerry Rosenthal is a musician/singer/songwriter of astronomical talent. His new track, “See You On The Moon,” is rocketing up the countdown in a contest to commemorate the 1969 Moon Landing—celebrating its 50th Anniversary this July 21st.
hMAG: Tell us more about the contest?
Gerry Rosenthal: A company called Listen Local Huntsville out of Huntsville, Alabama is sponsoring this songwriting contest, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. LLH showcases and promotes local singer songwriters out of the Huntsville area, but they opened up this contest internationally. It’s been really cool to watch submissions from Germany, Norway, and Argentina, as well as plenty of others from around the U.S. Lots of great talent submitting some great songs! Huntsville is actually the birthplace of NASA, so it’s pretty fitting that the company from Huntsville would sponsor the contest.
h: How did you develop the concept?
GR: I tried to take the point of view of a few people throughout history who were probably told on more than one occasion that they very likely couldn’t do something as monumental as going to to the Moon—Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Sally Ride, and of course even JFK had his detractors when he decided to thrust America into a space race with the Russians. But each felt like they had a calling to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of going to the Moon, that it was part of their greater destiny. JFK actually gave a very famous speech in Texas at Rice University where he likened the men and women working toward space exploration to the pioneers of the American West a hundred plus years earlier, exploring and claiming a new frontier. It was a sentiment that resonated widely back then and still resonates to this day.
h: What is it about the moon landing that compelled you to write this song?
GR: I saw the ad for the contest completely at random—it came up in my Instagram feed. As a songwriter I am always looking for new and different things to write about—I especially love interesting songwriting prompts, and when I saw the topic of the contest I thought it would be a fun thing to try and do. I have never tried to write a song about the moon, and without the specific prompt from this contest, I probably never would have! I have participated in many songwriting workshops in the past, and I really love being given a topic to write about, and a deadline in which to write it.
Since the first round is judged based on the amount of Youtube likes that the video submission receives, I knew I had to come up with something fast and get it online—the whole song only took a day or two to write. The good thing about songwriting prompts (at least for me) is that they usually give me a bunch of ideas quickly to work from.
h: There’s a pretty good selection of songs about the moon already—”Fly Me To The Moon,” “Bark At The Moon,” “Walking On The Moon”… What’s your favorite moon tune?
GR: My favorite “moon” based song would have to be Elvis’ version of “Blue Moon.” Chris Isaak did a great version of it too.
Gerry Rosenthal Trio is playing Porta Jersey City on the roof on Thursday, 5/9 from 5:30-8:30.
CLICK HERE and LIKE “See You On The Moon”—the first round of judging ends May 31st.