1981 Lee Ritenour – Is It You

1981 Lee Ritenour – Is It You 

There are times when I see the title of an oldie and simply don’t remember it. If I go look up the song and listen to it, suddenly it might sound very familiar. Today’s oldie is a case in point.

Lee Ritenour was only eight when he started playing the guitar. Within a few years, he had decided that he would pursue a career in music. At the ripe old age of 16, he played on a recording session for the Mamas and the Papas. He quickly developed a love for jazz, and within a year he also played on sessions with  Lena Horne and Tony Bennett. He began releasing his own records in 1976.

He kept at it, and in 1979, Pink Floyd hired him to improve the guitar sounds on a cut from The Wall.

Lee drifted closer into pop music, and his 1981 album Rit included the single Is It You? Bill Champlin and Eric Tagg co-wrote the song with Lee, and Eric sang the lead vocals on the record.

Although the title of the song and the singer didn’t stir up any memories, the music sounded to me familiar from the very first notes. It’s not surprising that the single reached #15 on the Hot 100.

Lee never reached the top forty on the Hot 100 again, but did score a number one single and placed seven other records on the Smooth Jazz chart beginning in 2007.

He also earned 16 Grammy nominations and won for Best Arrangement on an Instrumental with the song Early A.M. Attitudein 1985.


I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

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