Harry Connick, Jr., has announced his most personal work to date with Every Man Should Know, a 12-song album that touches “upon love and loss, celebration and sorrow, tragedy and hope,” according to a Wednesday press release from Columbia Records.
Connick admitted that his past work came from “a fantasy-style concept, using ideas that intrigued me but didn’t necessarily come from personal experience.”
“It’s one thing to assume the role of a storyteller — it’s quite another when the story is your own,” he added. “I felt ready to explore some of my personal experiences in some of the songs this time around.”
Among the difficult subject matter, Connick will sing about losing his mother Anita, whom the singer admits he “would never talk about” before, “much less write about her.”
“It took years and years, and this might be my first specific lyric reference to her in a song,” Connick said. “Her life and her death were so significant to me, and over time they’ve gained layers. I actually cried the first time I sang the lyrics in the studio.”
Connick was 14 years old when his mother died of ovarian cancer, several years before his breakout success with 1989’s contributions to the When Harry Met Sally… soundtrack.
In 2004, Harry Connick, Jr., helped establish a scholarship at Tulane Law School honoring Anita and his father Harry, Sr., who both attended and met at the school during the 1960s. Beyond that, the singer has kept his parents, and his mother’s ordeal, private.
Separate from the album but around the same time as the June 11 release date, Connick plans to release “Love Wins,” a song he recorded to honor the memory of Newtown, Connecticut, shooting victim Ana Grace Marquez-Greene.
The six-year-old Ana Grace, daughter of Connick’s former saxophonist Jimmy Greene, was gunned down on December 12, 2012, in the Newtown school shooting massacre by gunman Adam Lanza.
Ana Grace was one of 26 victims in the massacre. Here, she exhibits some of her father’s musical talents:
Connick performed the song at Ana Grace’s funeral and will channel all proceeds from sales to the Ana Grace Fund.
Are you a Harry Connick, Jr., fan? Will you be picking up Every Man Should Know and “Love Wins” when they drop later this year?