This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for September 21, 2016: My Mother Was a Brilliant Cook

Sep. 21, 2016: birthday: Leonard Cohen

It’s the birthday of Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen (books by this author), born in Montreal (1934). He started out as a poet, publishing a few well-received volumes in the 1950s and ’60s, including Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956) and The Spice-Box of Earth (1961). He also wrote a couple of novels:The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). But he was disappointed that writing didn’t pay better, so he moved to the United States to become a folk singer and songwriter. He wasn’t happy with the arrangements on his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), but it became a cult favorite. His 1984 album, Various Positions, included one of his most popular songs, “Hallelujah.” It’s been covered by nearly 200 other singers in a variety of languages.