Even A Fool Would Let Go

This song was my first successful effort at writing a commercial, “cover-able” song. I wrote it with Kerry Chater around 1976/77. Kerry had been a staff writer at Irving Almo, the publishing arm of A&M records and had recently formed his own company with David Nelson (not of Ozzie and Harriet fame).  Having just been dropped from Capitol Records and coming to grips with the fact that my performing career was going nowhere I was thrilled to be writing with such an accomplished and established songwriter like Kerry. Even better, he and David offered me a publishing deal at $50.00 per week.  After seven years of knocking on locked doors I was at last making money at my craft! Any songwriter will tell you that that is a milestone, no matter how small the amount. As it turns out, “Even A Fool…” has since been recorded by more artists than any other song in my catalogue.  To name a few: Bonnie Raitt, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, Gloria Gaynor, and Levon Helm. I’m particularly proud of the Levon cut given his career’s pedigree. He also happens to be one of my top five favorite singers of all time. Sadly, Levon moved on this past week.  All I can say is we lost a good one when he let go. RIP, Levon.

Click here to listen

19 Responses to “Even A Fool Would Let Go”
  1. This is such a beautiful song and such good lyrics! And the intimate voice of Levon Helm really touches You!
    I really L-O-V-E these kind of songs that just starts with a voice and just a very few instruments, to build it up with the full arrangement after for example a verse or in the refrain, as in this song! Thank You very much, Tom! And Mr Levon Helm also of course! Such a great lost! (R.I.P.)

  2. Bob DeSimone says:



    Yes, we really lost a great one recently….


    • mrneige says:

      Thanks, Bobby. Yeah, Levon’s gone but damn if his voice don’t linger on. BTW- I’ve been communicating with Jason re Country re-release. We’re almost there! It’s being mastered as we speak. J is also adding as “bonus cuts” the piano/guitar demos M & I did of “Aragon Ballroom”, “Just A Thought”, and “Please Michael”. Cheers,


  3. Norman Steinberg says:

    I wrote a comment which got wiped because I didn’t list my email address. So here goes again.

    Never heard this before and it struck me as powerfully as “After All,” which you know knocked me out. And to hear Levon’s rendition. I’ve played it over and over. I’m not sure you know, but my partner Serine and I have a home in the Hudson Valley about a half hour away from Woodstock where Levon made music up until the very end. RIP Levon indeed.

    And that home is where Serine and I will be married next month on June 23rd. We were trying for a same sex union, but Serine insists on being a woman.

    This song has given me chills and as a tribute to you and Levon, we’ll be playing this and “After All” at our wedding.

    Love to you and MB.


  4. Wendy Dytman says:


    I’ve never heard this tune before….how did I miss Bonnie’s version. It is beautiful…..


  5. Nozomu Nakada says:

    Mr,TOM,very beautiful song!!

    Nozomu from Japan.

  6. Simioni says:

    Tommy me boy. You just amaze me Even that far back you had the talent.,they just took a little longer realizing it! loved the lyrics. Keep up the good work. Thanks for keeping me in mind. Lou

  7. Tim McMullen says:

    A really lovely song with a classic hook. This particular arrangement is outstanding with that very simple keyboard opening and Levon’s unembellished, intimate, almost conversational vocal slowly building to the full lead guitar and background “choir.” A quick search through Amazon and iTunes offers glimpses of the wide variety of approaches taken with this song: from Levon’s clean, simple country; Marshall Tucker’s country pop; John Anderson’s “black hat classic country”; Dolly’s inimitable full-production country; to the R & B side with Gloria Gaynor’s lush, plaintive pop anthem; Dionne Warwick’s slowed-down, full orchestral arrangement; and full circle to the British folk acoustic stylings of a beautiful duet by Christine Colliston and Clive Gregson. In every case, the beauty of the song shines through—All of which proves that a great song can have myriad approaches and still work. A quick YouTube search lead to other great renditions by Joe Cocker, BJ Thomas, and Charlie Rich.

    I even found a YouTube version of Kerry Chater’s recording, which may well turn out to be my favorite of the lot, simply because he has that songwriter’s ownership of the emotional center of the song. That brings me to my question. When you guys shopped the demo, who sang it? Did it have his country-tinged vocal or your city sophisticate style? I can’t help but feel that the note that the song hits on “tell me now is it WISE…,” even in Kerry Chater’s version, has all the earmarks of a Tom Snow melodic turn. If you have a solo recording of you doing this one, that would certainly be a classic! Feel free to share if you do…. I am sure that I speak for many others when I say that you have my gratitude and deep appreciation for continuing to share your incredible catalog.

    Thank you, Tom.

    • mrneige says:

      Tim, you know more about my catalog than I do! I’ll have to catch up. Didn’t know about Colliston/Gregson duet. My bad. I’m pretty sure it was Kerry who sang the demo. I’m a big fan his singing and he would have been the right choice for it. Thanks for the tip about his you Tube vid. Gotta see that! I can’t recall off hand if I did a version. I’ll search for it and let you know. Many thanks as always for your kind and insightful comments. Cheers, Tom

    • Blake Bennetts says:

      Tim, I appreciate your wonderfully thorough and thought-out post! I’ve known Dolly’s version forever, but before landing here, hers and Gloria Gaynor’s were the only versions I was familiar with. I will have to check out the others!

  8. Hoyt says:

    Love the story you posted about the track Tom ! and the song is a classic .. what a great feeling it must to be to have so many wonderful artists to have covered it too.

Leave A Comment

Sign up for my mailing list!