A long-lost Billy Joel classic from his debut album was featured last night (October 10th) during the hit NBC drama, This Is Us. The song, "Why Judy Why," (see video below) a sleeper from 1971's Cold Spring Harbor, was written about his older sister Judy. Judy, who is two years older than Billy, is actually his first cousin, but was adopted by Billy's parents when Judy's mother -- Billy's maternal aunt -- Murial Nymandied. Billy spoke candidly about his deep bond with Judy in his 2015 official biography by Fred Schruers, titled Billy Joel, saying, "Judy and I have always remained in close touch. She was raised like my sister, and I have always thought of her in that way. Together, back then, she and I were allies in the difficult life we all shared."
Wings drummer Denny Seiwell produced the early sessions for Billy's 1971 solo debut Cold Spring Harbor. He recalls being amazed at his talent years before the rest of the world discovered "Billy Joel": "I started producin' Billy out in Long Island. All I remember was Billy was just awesome. He was phenomenal. In fact one night we were having a problem, we couldn't get him to -- he really had unbelievable piano chops and we couldn't get him to slow this (sings piano riff). He wouldn't slow down, so we said, 'How 'bout we get you a bottle of booze, man?' So we got him a bottle of gin (laughs), and he sat it on the piano bench and he just started sluggin' away at this thing. We said, 'Just let him chill out for a little while. We'll slow him down.' And the more he drank, the faster he got!"
- Billy Joel's Cold Spring Harbor was released on November 1st, 1971. Although considered a complete chart failure -- it "peaked" at Number 2 on the Billboard Bubbling Under the Top LP's chart, which at the time served as a 16-album extension to the Billboard 200. So, technically the album hit Number 202 on the Billboard 200.
- Due to a mastering error, the original pressings of Cold Spring Harbor played too fast and was disowned by Billy Joel -- although over the decades, two of the album's songs -- "She's Got A Way" and "Everybody Loves You Now" -- have become evergreens.
- Cold Spring Harbor was remixed and reissued by Columbia in December 1983 and hit Number 158.
CHECK IT OUT: Billy Joel & sister Judy in 1980: