If you are of a certain age, you might remember a pop band called Rilo Kiley, although I didn’t discover them until much later via Spotify (possibly because I am old). The lead singer was named Jenny Lewis, and I have listened to a lot of her solo music as well since I discovered the band. How did she get into music? Therein lies a tale, as they say. According to a New York Times piece from 2014, Lewis was a child actor whose work in commercials, TV shows (Mr. Belvedere, Golden Girls, etc.), and movies helped pay the rent for her family. Her mother had split from her father after years performing with him in a traveling Sonny and Cher-style music act called (ironically) Love’s Way.
Apparently there was a club called Alphy’s Soda Pop Club that catered exclusively to child actors and other performers, and at a party there when Lewis was 10 years old, she met Corey Haim — the Canadian actor who starred in the movie Lost Boys and other more forgettable tripe, and died after years of struggling with drug abuse. Haim gave her a mixed cassette tape he had made with Run DMC on one side and The Beastie Boys on the other. “There have been a couple of cassette tapes that have changed my life,” Lewis told Rolling Stone, “and that was the first one.” Lewis not only cofounded Rilo Kiley (with Blake Sennett, a fellow child actor known for Boy Meets World), but also went on to create Postal Service with Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie.