The Young and the Restless' Janice Lynde Discusses How Music "Changed the Face of Daytime"

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Janice Lynde

As The Young and the Restless heads back to the beginning this week with some of its earliest episodes, original star Janice Lynde (Leslie) sat down with Soap Hub to look back. She reflected on what made Y&R stand out from the get-go and what made the original writing team so remarkable.

Lynde reflected on co-creator Bill Bell:

Bill’s writing was so smart and character-driven. He wrote the most beautiful sensory monologue for me after Leslie’s first big concert. I talk about the 'cacophony of applause washing over me,' such eloquent words for a young artist to say. Bill and Kay [Alden, co-head writer] were the wind beneath our wings.

Leslie always had a flair for music, which "elevated" the show. Lynde remembered:

Bill had written that Leslie was a concert pianist. They wanted someone who could be plain and nerdy in the beginning and grow into a glamorous concert pianist. I hadn’t played [piano] in years until the day I played on YR. One of the things that made YR such a hit was that the music was elevated. It was so beautiful and classy. Each character had his or her own theme. It changed the face of daytime.

For a long time, I played a concert a week. It was such an exciting time. Looking back, I’m sorry I left the show as early as I did. Jeanne [Cooper, Katherine] begged me to stay. At the time, it seemed like I was there a long time.