with Leslie Stanwyck

Leslie, along with now-husband Johnny Sinclair, played in the legendary band The Pursuit of Happiness, and later formed Universal Honey. They’ll release an album soon with their new project, Tucker Lane. /Gregory Beatty

“My Maria”
BW Stevenson | My Maria (1973)

The original of this song came out when I was a little girl. Back then all we had was the radio to listen to new music. When you heard a song you loved, you had to wait until it came on the radio to hear it again. “My Maria” was that song for me.

“All or Nothing at All”
Frank Sinatra | Strangers in the Night (1966)

My dad is a great jazz trumpet player who played with some incredible artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Paul Anka. He taught me a lot about music and how to build tension and release in a song. The middle section in this song is a beautiful example. Make sure you listen to the Nelson Riddle version.

“Walk A Thin Line”
Fleetwood Mac | Tusk (1979)

When Pursuit of Happiness did our first tour across Canada, Johnny would drive and play all kinds of music I hadn’t heard before. I was sleeping in the backseat on one long drive and woke up to this song. I thought I was still dreaming.

“Tougher Than the Rest”
Bruce Springsteen | Tunnel of Love (1987)

When Johnny and I met, Tunnel of Love was huge. This was the soundtrack to the beginning of our relationship. And what a beautiful soundtrack: simple, heartfelt and haunting.

“No Use in Crying”
Rolling Stones | Tattoo You (1981)

I had to throw a Rolling Stones song in because they’re my favourite band — although I had kind of given up on them after Some Girls. When our son first started listening to The Stones he put on this album, and I’m hearing all these great songs I didn’t realize came from Tattoo You.

“Andy Warhol”
David Bowie | Hunky Dory (1971)

David Bowie was one of the biggest influences on me as a writer. When I first heard this song, I put on my headphones and listened to it over and over. It totally rocks even though it uses a minimal number of instruments; a wildly strumming acoustic guitar, some hand claps, cool lyrics, and bam.