Download Instrumental Jackie Gleason (surely you remember him) used the phrase “how sweet it is” on his show in reaction to almost anything. Gleason was one of television’s most popular stars in the 60’s, and one of its biggest fans was none other than Marvin Gaye. Go figure. Marvin picked up “how sweet it is” and used it constantly in his everyday conversations – so much so, in fact, that it caught the attention of a couple Motown songwriters. They wrote the song in two days and soon had a hot hit on their hands, even though it was unusual for Gaye to do such a straightforward love song. Thank you, Jackie Gleason.
We always opened our first set with this tune – using the James Taylor arrangement recorded in 1975. You always want to start with a song that won’t offend anybody and won’t send half of your audience scampering for the door. People decide whether they like your music or not by the first six notes you play, so you have to be careful not to alienate anyone – at least not right away – there’s time for that later on. This one should definitely be in your repertoire. It’s easy to sing, fun to play, and… safe.