John Curley commissions Sondheim-inspired song for Tom Tangney’s final show
Dec. 1 was Tom Tangney’s final show at KIRO Radio, as well as the official end to the years-long partnership behind the Tom & Curley Show. As part of Tom’s final send-off, co-host John Curley commissioned a farewell song, written and performed by singer and composer Jacob Ryan Smith.
Curley first encountered Smith at an Atlanta auction, where he was set to perform an original song before John kicked off the main event.
“He had this keyboard there but the chair was really low, so he sits down, and I’m like, ‘he’s going to suck all the air out of the room before I get up and do my thing,'” John recounted. “He’s got this little chair, he’s sitting too low, and his hands are up on the thing, and he begins to sing. I was like, ‘holy moly is this guy talented.’ So at the end of the auction, I go over to him and I’m fawning. I’m like, ‘you are so talented, you’re amazing.'”
That led to years of John and Jacob working together on various projects. When Tom made it known that he would be retiring, Curley called up Jacob, and began work on a song based on a collection of personal anecdotes, inside jokes, and everything in between, all to create an homage to Tom’s time at KIRO Radio.
“So, we started talking about it and we want to figure out style, and of course the first thing he went with was, ‘I want something Sondheim related, something that sounds like that world,'” Jacob described. “Which you know now is about as timely as it could have been.”
“Then I talked a lot about Tom, and Jacob said to me, ‘I love this guy,'” Curley added. “I love this song, I hope you like it as well, and the sense of preciousness that he feels for it. So this is my goodbye to you.”
You can listen to Jacob Ryan Smith’s farewell ode to Tom Tangney, aptly titled “That’s Tom,” below:
- Tune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.