It’s a long way from Thunder Bay to stardom on US late night TV (as David Letterman’s sidekick and musical director for a record-setting 33-years), and the fascinating career of keyboardist/songwriter Paul Shaffer has just earned another milestone. Tomorrow (Feb. 25), in a virtual induction ceremony on Global TV, Shaffer will be added to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) for co-writing the disco classic and gay anthem, It’s Raining Men. The segment on Global’s The Morning Show will include a performance by Shaffer, in honour of the late Paul Jabara, co-writer of the hit song.
Co-penned by the two Pauls in 1979 and originally intended for Donna Summer, It's Raining Men became a massive hit for The Weather Girls in 1982, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart. It repeated that feat when Martha Wash of The Weather Girls re-recorded It’s Raining Men: The Sequel with drag queen RuPaul in 1997. Fast forward to 2001, when Spice Girl Geri Halliwell covered the song for release as the first single to her second solo album. The song made No. 1 in the UK, France, Italy, and Ireland and peaked at No. 11 on Billboard’s Hot Canadian Digital Song Sales that same year.
In a CSHF press release, Shaffer notes that “Of all the honours one can receive, recognition from one’s home country is the most meaningful. I know my late co-author, Paul Jabara, is proud of me as I thank the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame for auspiciously acknowledging our song, It’s Raining Men."
A Grammy winner, Shaffer is a member of the Order of Canada, and has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Read more about the colourful history of the song here.
Watch an item on Shaffer on CBC's The National here