Marc Jordan | Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
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Marc Jordan

Year of Induction: 2023
Origin: Toronto, ON

A seasoned veteran of the music industry, Marc Jordan is a sought-after songwriter of numerous hits, and an award-winning producer and recording artist. Over his 50-plus years in the business, he has recorded 15 studio and two studio albums, but he is perhaps best known for writing Rhythm of My Heart, a number one hit for Rod Stewart in 1991.

Jordan’s jazz-inflected pop songs are superbly crafted, sophisticated works that plumb the depths of the human experience. As fellow CSHF inductee David Foster acknowledges, “Marc Jordan has always been about uncompromising quality. He has a way of not doing the obvious, and that’s what makes a great songwriter.”

Marc Wallace Jordan was born in 1948 in Brooklyn, New York, son of Montreal-born radio singer, cantor and voice teacher Charles Jordan. Marc was raised in Toronto, where he heard the music of Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan and The Beatles.

Jordan attended Brock University for film studies, but by the early 1970s, was singing at Toronto folk clubs and playing guitar for American teen idol Bobby Vee. In 1977, Jordan got a record deal in L.A. His first album, “Mannequin”, was produced by Steely Dan Producer Gary Katz, yielding Canadian chart hits Marina Del Rey and Survival. As he told Behind the Vinyl, “I got the idea for [Marina del Rey] on the way to the hotel from the airport the first time I went to Los Angeles…. I love it to this day.” The song has since been named a SOCAN Classic.

By 1980 Jordan had moved to Los Angeles full-time as a session singer and staff writer for Warner-Chappell. There he wrote songs for the critically acclaimed vocal jazz group Manhattan Transfer; his On the Boulevard appeared on their double-Grammy-winning album “Mecca for Moderns.” He soon established himself as a leading songwriter in the jazz-pop fusion and adult contemporary genres, writing Taxi, Taxi for Cher’s Grammy-nominated album “Believe” and songs for artists like Bette Midler, Olivia Newton-John, Chicago, Kansas, Joe Cocker and Bonnie Raitt. And, forming a long-standing successful songwriting collaboration with John Capek, the two penned Diana Ross’s No. 31 hit Pieces of Ice.

Jordan has written songs with such Canadians as CSHF inductees David Foster, Dan Hill, and Eddie Schwartz; and with the Grammy-nominated Stephan Moccio as well as Susan Aglukark, Damhnait Doyle, Alan Frew, Christopher Ward (of Black Velvet fame), Pranam Injeti, and especially Jordan’s wife, Amy Sky. Canadian artists who have recorded his songs include the Jeff Healey Band; The Tenors; Amy Sky; John McDermott; Robert Michaels; and Roch Voisine. Recent international “operatic pop” acts who have recorded Jordan’s work include Celtic Thunder and Josh Groban.

Jordan is well known as a contemporary vocalist, his velvety voice suffused with warmth. He has been named best male vocalist by the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards and nominated for JUNOs.

In 1991 came Rod Stewart’s massive hit recording of Jordan’s Rhythm of My Heart (written with fellow CSHF inductee John Capek). Jordan recalled putting the finishing touches to the writing: “I knew there was something great about that song.”

Stewart’s recording almost didn’t get released because of the Persian Gulf War; both U.K. and U.S. radio refused to play it unless Jordan removed the military references. Miraculously, that war lasted only a few days, and Stewart’s recording with the original lyrics topped out at No. 1 in Canada and Ireland, No. 2 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart and No. 5 on the Top 100, and No. 3 in the U.K. Rhythm has become so synonymous with Stewart’s Scottish homeland that the song opened the 2014 Commonwealth Games there. Rhythm earned ASCAP and SOCAN Classics awards and a Canadian Music Publishers Association award.

Returning to Canada in 1994, Jordan won a best producer JUNO Award for Waiting For a Miracle from his “Reckless Valentine” album. The next year, Amanda Marshall heard Jordan perform his Fall From Grace; “I loved it immediately,” she told Behind the Vinyl. Her cover (No. 2 in Canada) appeared on her debut album (over a million copies sold in Canada), and earned a SOCAN Pop Music award.

Jordan’s songs have been covered often: the elegiac, moody Tears of Hercules has been covered by Rod Stewart, Celtic Thunder, and others; and Instrument of Peace has been recorded by Amy Sky; Olivia Newton-John (No. 30 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart); and The Canadian Tenors on their triple-platinum “Perfect Gift.” Rhythm of My Heart has been covered by over a dozen artists.

Along the way, Jordan has written songs for the 1988 Australian film “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” earning an ARIA nomination; and for the 1989 Canadian film “Shadow Dancing,” nominated for a best original song Genie award. Kenny Loggins sang his Two Different Worlds in the 1994 Disney film “Jungle Book.”

Until 2023, Jordan was music director at Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre’s music lab, and tours with his jazz quintet and the group Lunch at Allen’s. With Amy Sky, he released the 2023 JUNO-nominated joint album “He Sang She Sang.”

Jordan still has the hunger to create music: “I enjoy writing songs more than I ever have. I can’t wait to get up in the morning and work on what I do.”

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