D-Sides, Orphans, and Oddities

This setlist might be my best ever! Hollywood stars and groovy ads!

August 22, 2021

Brenda Lee - Takin’ What I Can Get (1976)

Carla Bley - Rawalpindi Blues (1971) From the great artist herself.

The first piece we wanted to record was RAWALPINDI BLUES, which featured Jack Bruce and trumpet player Don Cherry, but it seemed impossible to get them both in New York at the same time. By the time Jack could get away (he was working almost every night in London with Tony Williams’ band) Don had to leave for commitments in Europe. So we split the music into two parts and recorded Don’s parts first. This actually enhanced the piece since it was intended to be a dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures. The first session, featuring Don Cherry and the “eastern band”, took place on Nov. 30th, 1970...The band’s improvised sections were of the highest quality, rare and effortless. Don left the country the next day and on Dec. 7th Jack arrived and went right into the studio and recorded for 2 days and nights almost straight through. Luckily John McLaughlin was also in town so we were able to use him on electric guitar. With Jack on bass guitar, Paul Motian on drums and myself on organ, we had the “western band”  Again, I was amazed at how great the playing was. We finished up RAWALPINDI BLUES and also recorded BUSINESSMEN, DETECTIVE WRITER DAUGHTER, parts of … AND IT’S AGAIN, and a few other bits and pieces. Jack and John went back to London and I settled down to putting RAWALPINDI BLUES together.
After listening to the material we had so far I decided to bring in another singer to do parts of RAWALPINDI BLUES that hadn’t been suitable for Jack or Don. I needed someone who could slide his voice around. Steve Ferguson, formerly of NRBQ, was a country singer from Kentucky, but I heard a connection between the way Steve moved his voice and the way it’s done in Eastern music. He came in on Dec. 18th and it worked out well. 

Using the best of the things we had so far, we put a tape together. RAWALPINDI BLUES was really difficult to mix. We had indiscriminately filled up all 16 tracks right at the beginning and then crammed in other elements wherever there was the slightest space. So when we finally got down to mixing it, it was all hands on the board and took two full days. One of the most un-nerving and time-consuming parts was a process I used a few times called cross-fading, which involved mixing two 16-track tapes down to a 2-track tape all at once. They used to flinch at RCA when we called in and told them how many machines we would need that day. From then on we tried to keep things simpler. We didn’t want Ray Hall to grow old before his time.

We ended up calling it (the album) a chronotransduction, which was a word coined by Sherry Speeth, a scientist friend of Paul’s (Paul Haines, the lyricist), although we still call it opera for short.

I find this whole album amazing, frustrating, thrilling, devastating. I LOVE Jack Bruce on this. Linda Ronstadt sings on this album as well. I highly recommend it. "Hotel Overture" might be the most amazing horn-playing (French horn player Bob Carlisle) I've heard on record. 

Chuck Berry - Little Marie (1964) Sort a sequel to "Memphis". No, it's a sequel to "Memphis". 

Dave Clark and Friends - I’m Sorry Baby (1972)

Davey Johnstone & China - One Way Ticket (1977) Ass-kicking music from Elton John's band. I love it. Released on his label. 

Frank Sinatra - Everybody’s Twistin’ (1962)

Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner - Mendy Never Sleeps (1970) Even before my time, Dolly Parton was a young talent brought into the fold of Nashville society by Porter Wagoner, more or less, by starting out as a singer on his TV show. She was too talented, too gifted a songwriter and singer, too unconventionally beautiful, and too ambitious to stay there for long, even though she stayed two years past her initial agreement. Dutifully, she stayed longer than she should have, and in fact, the hit "I Will Always Love You" was written for him. 

Petula Clark - L’Agent Secret (1969)

Bill Haley and the Comets - A Little Piece At A Time (1971)

Billy Thorpe - Drive My Car (1975) His next album would be his breakthrough and zenith in the US, "Children of the Sun". 

Kevin Coughlin - I Gotta Be Me (1969)

Soupy Sales - Muck-Arty Park (1969) From the album, "A Bag of Soup". Soupy Sales was a television comedian whose antics delighted children and enraged adults. He flirted with mainstream success with comic pop songs on television and radio, but in the end remained a cult personality, albeit one who pushed the envelope of what was possible in TV comedy. He played a big role in the growth of "pie-in-the-face" comedy. 

The Residents - Elvis and His Boss (1978)

Tom Jones - Never Had a Lady (1979)

Me singing over an instrumental song I programmed. 

Noel Harrison - A Young Girl (1969)

Coca-Cola - Keep Things Jumping (?)

Burgess Meredith - The Capture (1966) Played The Penguin in the TV series with Adam West. There was a whole series of Batman records released to promote the 1966 TV series where they got the actors from the show to do these "in character" songs. 

The Cowsills - The Milk Song (1969) This is the band that served as the prototype for The Partridge Family. But the mother was not seen as attractive enough. So Shirley Jones would have to be the one to sing "Whale Song" and make me feel funny. Down there. I didn't understand these feelings. 

Datsun - All You Really Need (1972?)

The Dave Pell Singers - Oh, Calcutta (1972) Oh, Calcutta was an off-Broadway musical that got pretty bad reviews but thrived in the era of flower-power as a corporate weapon. Loosen up, brother!! Anyhow, it enjoyed a long run, eventually reaching Broadway, with revivals running for years and years. One skit's first draft was written by John Lennon of The Beatles

Stereo Speaker Test (?)

Dick Clark - The Wasting of Wesley Joe Grimm (1969)

John & Ernest - Super Fly Meets Shaft (1973) Produced by Dickie Goodman, the then-king of the cut-in record. 

The Garden Club - Little Girl Lost and Found (1967) One member was Tom Shipley, later of Brewer and Shipley, who had a Top 10 hit with "One Toke Over The Line". Which Lawrence Welk covered on his TV show. 

The Gentle Touch - Among The First To Know (1967)

Hank Levine - Let Us Begin Beguine (1964)

George Burns - The Sun Shines On My Street (1969) ANOTHER take-off/tribute based on The Beatles' Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band cover. There were many. Who was George Burns

POACA might recall that before television was the king of everything, radio was the thing. And no one was bigger in that medium than the plain-spoken, often exasperated but always kind and honest George Burns. He and his wife/comic foil Gracie Allen reigned supreme for decades. It would not be exaggerating to say that she was the most famous radio star for years. Gracie Allen ((in real life, an amazing intellectual who held her own on the very difficult quiz show "Information, Please" (which you should research but you will not because no one reads this)) had a singular ability to make audiences love her. From the '30s to the '50s, Burns and Allen were one of the most beloved shows in all of America. And George Burns won an Academy Award in 1974 for his appearance in The Sunshine Boys (when he replaced another giant of radio, Jack Benny, who died before the movie was made.) He also appeared in the movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with Peter Frampton. No one won an Oscar for that. He also reached the Top 20 in the country chart with "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again". 

Jayne Mansfield - That Makes It (1966) Basically, The Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" from a woman's point of view. Jayne Mansfield was an attractive, versatile Marilyn Monroe-esque It-Girl who gave birth to Mariska Hargitay of "Law and Order SVU". 

Julie London - Marlboro Song (1963)

The Lettermen - Touch Me (1970)

Mike Curb and Bob Summers - Teenage Rebellion (1969)

Orson Welles - I Know What It Is To Be Young (But You Don't Know What It Is To Be Old) (1984) Ah, the French

The Partridge Family - Summer Days (1971)

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