“Who By Fire” By Leonard Cohen & Sonny Rollins, “Tower Of Song,” & More – The Complete Feb 13, 1989 Night Music Show


Leonard Cohen Collaborates With Sonny Rollins But Strolls Away With Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen

It was almost nine years ago that I first posted the video of the now-classic Leonard Cohen & Sonny Rollins collaboration-collision (Hal Willner’s felicitous phrase to describe this matchup of musical giants he arranged as the producer of Night Music), backed by Perla Batalla, Julie Christensen, and Was (Not Was), performing “Who By Fire.” As I wrote the first time I posted this delight: Just Outstanding

Three years ago, it got even better when the entire Feb 13, 1989 Night Music episode went online. It is a treat, featuring

  • Hello Operator (Was Not Was)
  • Kim (Sonny Rollins)
  • Tower Of Song (Leonard Cohen)
  • Winter Sketch aka Don’t You Wish (Ken Nordine)
  • Who By Fire (L. Cohen/S. Rollins)
  • I Can’t Turn You Loose (Was Not Was)

4-scaled1000And, while Who By Fire is the highlight, the Tower Of Song performance by Leonard Cohen, Perla Batalla, and Julie Christensen is itself a gem, ending with Cohen leaving his own microphone, sidling around Julie Christensen to embed himself between the backup singers, and then turning to walk out of the studio and upstairs linked arm in arm in arm.


Video: Feb 13, 1989 Episode Of Night Music