Who Is the Wind Beneath Your Wings?

One of the residents at the nursing home where I do music always request “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The song was one of my favorites by Bette Midler in her movie Beaches.

The song was written by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley in 1982. The title came from a poem Henley had written. Silbar was learning to fly planes at the time and really like the title. The songwriting team wrote the song from start to finish in one day. Originally they planned on the love song being sung by a man to his woman {or vice versa}. While writing the lyrics, they became more universal, which led to the success of the piece. The song originally had a more upbeat tempo, but the duo was advised to slow it down.

The duo had a difficult time finding someone to record the song. A year later Roger Whittaker became the first artist to record and release the future hit.

The song has become very popular for both weddings and funerals. A number of artists have recorded the song. The most popular version is Bette Midler’s recording for the 1988 movie Beaches. Midler performed the song on Johnny Carson’s last episode of The Tonight Show.

The following quote is taken from a 2009 interview Better Midler had with The London Times: “It’s {the song} really grown on me. When I first heard it, I said, ‘I’m not singing that song,’ but the friend who gave it to me said, ‘If you don’t sing it I’ll never speak to you again’, so of course I had to sing the damned song. Whatever reservations I might have had I certainly don’t have any more.”

In 1990, Wind Beneath My Wings won a Grammy Award for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. In October 1991, Midler’s version was certified as Platinum.

 

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