The inspiration for her signature song, “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)”, apparently arose from the Woodstock audience lighting candles during her set. The recording became a hit in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States in the spring and summer of 1970. The B-side of the single featured Melanie’s spoken-word track “Candles in the Rain”. “Lay Down” became Melanie’s first Top Ten hit in America, peaking at #6 on the Billboard singles chart, and achieving worldwide success.
Margo Guryan is a rare discovery — a songwriter and arranger with amazing vocal talent who had a brief – but nonetheless significant – impact on pop music. During the highpoint of her career, her songs were recorded by some of pop music’s most important stars: Mama Cass, Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell, Astrud Gilberto, Julie London, Jackie DeShannon, Carmen McCrae, The Lennon Sisters, and Claudine Longet. In fact, there were two hit versions of the Margo Guryan-penned “Sunday Morning” released a year apart in the late 1960s — the first by Spanky And Our Gang, and the second by Oliver (who had previous success with “Good Morning Starshine” and “Jean”). Although she preferred writing songs that others could record and perform, in 1968 Margo recorded and released an album entitled “Take a Picture”. Although the success of this record back then was limited, it has since become a much sought-after collector’s item, so much that original pressings of the “Take a Picture” LP have been spotted being sold on e-Bay for as much as $400 each! Margo’s exquisite songwriting has garnered attention from some “celebrity” fans as well. To name just a few, Japanese pop star Cornelius released Take a Picture in Japan on his own label; Beck has been known to listen to Margo on the road. And according to her band’s website, Garbage’s Shirley Manson says she wants to cover Margo’s “Love Songs”. To address the continued interest in Margo’s work amongst taste-makers and music collectors, and to bring Margo Guryan’s irresistible sound to a wider audience, Franklin Castle re-released “Take a Picture” in 2000, and immediately offered a further glimpse into the world of Margo Guryan in 2001 with “25 Demos”.
Fred Neil heard Dobson’s song and re-arranged it to suit his own style. Tim Rose heard Neil’s version and then recorded his own in 1966, adding himself as co-writer. Through a loophole in US copyright law, Rose was able to claim royalties. Dobson has consistently questioned Rose’s right to a co-writing credit.