Day 6: You’re So Vain (But Who Are You?)

Song: “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
Reached #1: January 6, 1973 (her first, 3 weeks)

Live on Martha’s Vineyard

Yesterday, I talked about the promotional power of the “featured” tag on a song… today’s #1 proves that there are many ways to promote a song.  Mystery, it seems, is a powerful promoter.

39 years.  For 39 years, Carly Simon has been teasing us with the identity of the “vain” man she was writing about here.  She’s teased, kidded, hinted… even sold the secret for charity (but she swore the winner, former NBC Sports boss Dick Ebersol, to secrecy as part of the deal)… but she has never told, and probably will never tell, the identity of the mystery man.

As with many people, I have a theory.  No, it’s not Warren Beatty or James Taylor, David Geffen or Deep Throat (one of the many jokes she’s made over the years).  I prefer to believe the 1990 interview where she said that the song is a pastiche of several men she’d known at the time.  Thus, at least in my mind, there is no answer.  At least, no answer that will satisfy 39 years of questions… and I wonder if Carly Simon realized how big of a deal this would become. 

She might have.  A little mystery can clearly go a long, long way.

She’s got a page on her official website about the song.  You should go read it.

Tomorrow, we go back 56 years for the only song to reach #1 on January 7.

Other songs that reached #1 on January 6:
1958 –
Danny & The Juniors, “At The Hop” (their first, 7 weeks)
1979 – Bee Gees, “Too Much Heaven” (their seventh, 2 weeks)


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