The lyrics for Keep Smiling was written by Ynez Anthony. The song was originally arranged to have three different soloists. I was initially planning to play a Gibson Les Paul lead in the first section with two different soloists to follow. When we were working in the studio on the final arrangement and overdubbing the solos, I asked Edwing to play his part first. He was not quite sure of the arrangement of the song and the chord sequence, and did not want to use a chord chart. He just wanted to play his solo spontaneously. So I told Edwing to play lead on all three solo sections to find a groove. Edwing played such a beautiful screaming Telecaster lead solo on the three sections that I decided to keep his guitar “as is” for all three sections. Jean Sudbury’s violin was incorporated and intertwined with the guitar in the second solo section. Later Edwing told me to play guitar on the first section, but I loved his input on the Telecaster so much that we left his three guitar parts in the song.
I had originally written the chord changes to have more of an R n’ B flavor. But with the Fender Telecaster and the violin, the mood of the song changed.
Lyrics and vocals: Ynez Anthony
Music and arrangement: Mikio