Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………………on June 10 of 1989 “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler sits on top of Billboards Pop Singles Chart. It was in 1982 when Nashville songwriters Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley wrote and recorded the demo for this. They had a hard time finding anyone to record the song, and it was a full year before Roger Whittaker became the first artist to take it on. Following Whittaker’s version, several artists recorded the song, including Sheena Easton, Lee Greenwood, B.J. Thomas, Lou Rawls (who was the first to chart with the songs, hitting #65 US), Gladys Knight & The Pips and Gary Morris. Morris’ version became a #4 country hit, which led to Silbar & Henley winning the Country Music Association (CMA) Award for Song of the Year. Gladys Knight & The Pips had a R&B hit with their version, which they retitled, “Hero.” Larry Henley came up with the title and Jeff Silbar loved it, especially since he was learning to fly planes at the time. The title came out of a poem Henley had written. Instead of writing the chorus first (like Silbar and Henley usually did), they wrote it from start to finish. They were done writing it by the end of the day. The most famous version of this song was Bette Midler’s, who recorded it in 1988 for the movie Beaches, in which she starred. It appears in a dramatic scene at the end of the film after the character played by Barbara Hershey dies. After Midler’s version became a hit, many other artists recorded the song, including Willie Nelson, John Tesh, Patti LaBelle, Perry Como and Judy Collins. It is one of the most performed songs of all time. This won the Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1990. Milder’s version of “Wind Beneath My Wings”  peaked at #5 in the UK.