Monthly Archives: October 2007

Office Naps Fall 2007 Psychedelic Pop mix


This is the rose-colored soundtrack I strive to cocoon my life in,
a CD-length metaphor for the first time you watched Solaris. Part of the ongoing Office Naps psychedelic pop mix series.

Office Naps Fall 2007 Psychedelic Pop Mix

The Punjabs, Raga-Riff (7″, Prince)
The Deep Six, Rising Sun (7″, Liberty)
The Buff Organization, Upside Down World (7″, Original Sound)
Chip Taylor, You Should Be From Monterey (7″, Rainy Day)
The Gordian Knot, Year of the Sun (7″, Verve)
Celebrated Renaissance Band, Heavy Is the Sundown (7″, Lion)
Hard Times, Blew Mind (Blew Mind, World Pacific)
Phil Cordell, Red Lady (7″, Janus)
The Glass Family, Agorn (Elements of Complex Variables) (7″, Warner Brothers)
Junior Parker, Tomorrow Never Knows (7″, Capitol)
Mercy, Our Winter Love (The Mercy and Love (Can Make You Happy), Sundi)
The Group Therapy, Thoughts (7″, Mercury)
English Setters, Wake Up (7″, Jubilee)
Dave Miller Set, Mr. Guy Fawkes (7″, Spin)
Art Guy, Where You Gonna Go (7″, Valiant)
Smokey and His Sister, Creators of Rain (7″, Columbia)
The Raik’s Progress, Why Did You Rob Us, Tank? (7″, Liberty)
The Federal Duck, Peace In My Mind (The Federal Duck, Musicor)
Sonny Bono, Motel II (Chastity, soundtrack, Atco)
Peter Pan & the Good Fairies, Kaleidoscope (7″, Challenge)
The Collection, Both Sides Now (7″, The Hot Biscuit Company)
Pipes of Pan, Monday Morning Rain (7″, Page One)
Emil Richards and the Factory, No Place I’d Rather Be (7″, Uni)
The Sandals, Coming Down Slow (The Last of the Ski Bums, soundtrack, World Pacific)
Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band, Common Attitude (7″, Tamm)
The Yardbirds, Glimpses (Little Games, Epic)
Eden’s Children, Echoes (Sure Looks Real, ABC)
The Soundz, Freak Out, pt. 1 (7″, Crown-Psychedel*lite)

Posted in Garage Bands, Instrumentals/Surf, Jazz Obscura, Mixes, Psychedelic/Pop | 14 Comments

The Del-Vetts & the Pride and Joy

1960s garage bands were largely a white, male, middle and upper class phenomenon. And Chicago, its mushrooming rings of post-War suburbs home to, well, lots of white teenaged males, would distinguish itself in the ‘60s as a hotbed of band activity.

Their five year history netting them a grand sum of five 45s, the Del-Vetts’ was a typical ‘60s garage band trajectory of line-up changes, commercial aspirations and glimpses, ultimately transitory, of success. The Del-Vetts themselves, though – wild, competent and original – were anything but your typical three-chord garage band. They didn’t attain the same national visibility of mid-‘60s Windy City brethren like the Cryan’ Shames (“Sugar & Spice”) or the Shadows of the Knight (“Gloria”). The Del-Vetts, however, were one of Chicago’s top-tier bands in their day, especially locally, where, matching suits and all, they were briefly able to surround themselves with cars, girls and rock ‘n’ roll, the Holy Trinity of teenage fantasy.

Formed in Chicago in 1963, the quartet consisted early on of Jim Lauer (lead vocals and lead guitar), Bob Good (bass), Lester Goldboss (guitar) and Paul Wade (drums), an incarnation which lasted long enough to record one straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll 45 for the Seeburg label, “Little Latin Lupe Lu” and its instrumental flipside “Ram Charger.”

With a year or two of playing at popular local teen hangouts like the Rolling Stone and the Cellar, and just as many band member shuffles, the band’s line-up – Jim Lauer, Bob Good (now on rhythm guitar), Jack Burchall (bass) and Roger Deatherage (drums) – solidified. This would be the incarnation that issued three singles on producer Bill Traut’s Dunwich Records, where many other outstanding Chicago combos, including stars the Shadows of Knight (of “Gloria” fame), would find a hip industry ally.

1966’s “Last Time Around,” the Del-Vetts’ second 45 and the first of three releases for Dunwich, would be their biggest hit, charting in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest. The single that followed later that year, “I Call My Baby STP,” also on Dunwich, also excellent, underperformed. Rechristening themselves the Pride and Joy in 1967, the group soldiered on for two more 45s, the first, “Girl” (and its flipside “If You’re Ready”) was perhaps their finest moment. The second, “We Got a Long Way to Go” on Acta Records, reflected their end game pop proclivities.

By the 1968 the Del-Vetts were through, the victims of creative differences, a musical landscape leaning towards hippie aesthetics and the obligatory, disillusioning bout with the entertainment industry, Los Angeles-style. A well-worn theme to be explored again and again in Office Naps. This week, the Del-Vetts’ saga.

(Many thanks go to bassist Jack Burchall’s old website for much of this week’s information. Some great pictures there, too.)

1. The Del-Vetts, Last Time Around (Dunwich)
The Yardbirds were British heroes to stateside garage bands, their mid-period guitarist Jeff Beck’s swooping, proto-psychedelic lines in particular fascinating many American guitarists.

The Del-Vetts, intellectual property be damned, plunder Beck’s solo wholesale from the Yardbirds’ “You’re a Better Man Than I” (hear solo here), managing, like so many other American garage bands, to sculpt the English’s innovations into something crazier and more unstable. A bold new direction after their first 45 – a surf record – here the fuzztone ran amok and the lyrics didn’t so much have a message as set the mood, a bleak, chemically wracked mood.

Mid-‘60s garage band 45s all start sounding very much the same at some point, but never “Last Time Around.” Penned, as with all of this week’s selections, by the band’s friend Dennis Dahlquist, it was noncommercial, certainly, and antisocial, absolutely, but the Del-Vetts managed to land “Last Time Around” in the top request spot of Chicago’s AM giant WLS in the summer of 1966. They reportedly drove matching white Corvettes with their earnings. “Last Time Around,” in retrospect, would be their biggest success.

2. The Del-Vetts, I Call My Baby STP (Dunwich)
A somewhat odd throwback after the deadly “Last Time Around.” 1966’s “I Call My Baby STP,” was probably a year or two too late to be hip; it did not fare well on the music charts or among fans expecting the gripping drama of their previous hit. Still, this is really about as good as a hot-rod number gets. The Southern California-style harmonies are there, though there’s a certain surge in the guitars that belies the Del-Vetts’ garage band pedigree, too.

This single was apparently a promotional tie-in with STP, the fuel additive and hot rod culture icon, and included a decal useful for making a cool cultural statement or, alternatively, for holding those unwanted Jan & Dean records together.

3. The Pride and Joy, If You’re Ready (Dunwich)
The Pride and Joy are the Del-Vetts operating under a new name, apparently at the behest of their fan club. Which says something about the group’s commercial aspirations, and something about the wisdom of listening to one’s fan club.

“If You’re Ready,” though not their last record, would be the group’s crowning moment. A return to chart-tested territory, “If You
’re Ready” seems like an attempt to revive the earlier success of “Last Time Around.” It has the same bite, the same Yardbirds-inspired soaring guitar solos. It’s just denser and heavier, doing everything but invent what thunderstruck Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath fans would several years later know as riffage.

Though not as successful as “Last Time Around,” this selection (or rather its A-side, “Girl,” a polished pop number reminiscent of the Hollies) did perform well on the regional charts. Its 1967 release also coincided with the group’s extended visit to Los Angeles, where they’d record their final 45, the Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann composition “We Got a Long Way to Go.” There they’d film for the movie Somebody Help Me as well, a low-budget Dick Clark Production that featured them playing live.

It would mostly be for naught. “We Got a Long Way to Go” was released on the Los Angeles-based Acta label, sounding fairly unremarkable and doing the same on the pop charts. The movie itself was never released. This would be the end of the Del-Vetts/Pride and Joy story.

As far as I can tell, only the group’s bassist Jack Burchall would continue in the music business, enjoying some later, albeit dubious, success with his Jump N’ the Saddle Band’s 1983 novelty hit “The Curley Shuffle.” Sadly, Burchall recently passed on in 1999. Drummer Roger Deatherage currently designs furniture in Houston, Texas.

Posted in Garage Bands | 27 Comments

Bossa America, part two

(Ed. Note: This is essentially a continuation of an earlier Office Naps installment on American versions of the Bossa Nova. That first post can be found here.)

It’d started in the mid-‘50s with sophisticated young Rio musicians hooked on American jazz and pop, a new music that translated Brazil’s samba rhythms to guitars and trap drum sets with native African and Portuguese elements swirled all into the mix. In due time, American jazz musicians would be drawn to it, musical collaborations and overseas tours would ensue, and, next thing you know, strains of “Girl From Ipanema” wafted from your downstairs neighbor’s cocktail parties.

Like the mambo craze a decade earlier, the Bossa Nova was an “exotic” musical import to this country that was endlessly copied and endlessly bastardized. Blame can be fixed on America’s mostly appalling, occasionally endearing, habit of unapologetic indifference to the finer points and sensitivities of other cultures.

But, by some point in the ‘60s, everybody, and I do mean everybody, was having a go at the Bossa Nova. It could be a token version of “Corcovado” enlivening a lounge singer’s musty live repertoire. It could be whole albums of interpretations and original material by a Frank Sinatra or a Lionel Hampton. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. But for every sour hornful of “Girl From Ipanema” that the aging Louis Armstrong blew forth, there was the thumping “Bossa Nova Blues” by Doris Troy or Nancy Ames’s sparkling, vibraphone-laden version of “Mas Que Nada.” Like this week’s selections, the Bossa Nova proved more a matter of attitude than authenticity.

1. Eddie Russ Trio, Natasha (Cascades Sound)
A jazz pianist and keyboard player who preferred to work from the ‘60s onward in his adopted state of Michigan – and one of innumerable talents struggling to stay relevant in the years of mainstream jazz’s declining popularity – it was perhaps always Russ’s lot to remain underappreciated.

Still, Russ would manage some notable, if obscure, recording dates, especially in the ‘70s. From straight ahead collaborations with aging bebopper Sonny Stitt to funkier releases with Detroit jazz combo the Mixed Bag, Eddie Russ proved himself adroit, certainly, a musician capable of keeping up with the times, even if later ‘70s releases like See the Light meant synthesizers, 4/4 beats and various disco accoutrement.

Likely recorded around 1974 or ‘75, “Natasha” was clearly an excerpt from a much longer jam session, the kind that ends when three not-too-stoned jazz musicians are reminded that the tape ran out forty minutes earlier. “Natasha” also observes one of those precepts of jazz, immutable no matter the decade: compositions named for females sound more convincing with a Bossa Nova rhythm.

It is Russ himself on the wonderfully atmospheric Fender Rhodes electric piano here. The other personnel on “Natasha” remain a mystery, but conceivably included Dan Spencer (drums) and Rob Brooks (bass), then members of Russ’s working group the Mixed Bag. Cascades Sound was a short-lived label that belonged to another familiar name in Michigan jazz circles, tenor saxophonist Benny Poole.

Eddie Russ continued playing and teaching music until his death in 1996.

2. Chris Connor, I Concentrate on You (FM)
Born Mary Loutsenhizer, the fabulous Chris Connor grew up in Missouri and sang in her late teens with various college ensembles in the Columbus and Kansas City area. In 1948, she left for New York, finding vocal work shortly thereafter with the Claude Thornhill orchestra, then – with Gil Evans’s and Gerry Mulligan’s modern boppish arrangements – in its modernist incarnation. After an early ‘50s residency with Stan Kenton’s progressive jazz orchestra in Los Angeles, Connors embarked on a solo career which, in the half-century since, has generated one of jazz’s sterling vocal discographies.

Stylistically, there’s little difference among early masterpieces like 1954’s Chris Connor sings Lullabys of Birdland or 1958’s Chris Craft, mid-‘80s rarities like New Again or even Connors’s recent Everything I Love. This is all part of the hip charm of Chris Connor. If Connor’s recording career never regained its momentum of the ‘50s, when she was one of jazz’s top-selling vocalists, it doesn’t seem to have bothered her. Despite popular music’s seismic shifts in the last five decades, the small jazz combo remains her favored setting while her demeanor remains implacably cool, coaxing every last syllable of meaning from endlessly fertile sources like the Gerswhin and Porter songbooks. Diamonds and sapphires have nothing on Chris Connor. Clear winter moonlight has nothing on her, either; she stays fixed like a cool blue star in the jazz cosmos, a paradox of simultaneous swing and restraint.

This Bossa Nova-tinged version of Cole Porter’s “I Concentrate on You” was recorded at New York City’s Village Gate jazz club in 1963. It originally appeared on Chris Connor at the Village Gate, an album released on the brief-lived FM Records label run by Connor’s manager Monte Kay. In addition to Connor, the personnel on this selection include Mundell Lowe (guitar), Ronnie Ball (piano), Richard Davis (bass) and Ed Shaughnessy (drums).

Chris Connor still sings and tours today.

3. “Charlie,” “Charlie’s Tune” (A Charlie Record)
This record was made as a promotional tie-in for Revlon’s 1974 introduction of its Charlie fragrance. Charlie was marketed as the perfume of the modern working woman – the perfume of plaid pants suits, company fast tracks and steady samba beats.

1974. The year that Richard Nixon resigned as president. It was also, promised the record’s label, the “Year of Charlie.
Kinda young! Kinda now! Kinda free! Kinda WOW! So sang early television campaigns cheerfully of the scent. What better than the Bossa Nova, the elegant and breezy Bossa Nova, to reinforce all of this? And what better than a little dab of perfume to make the Bossa Nova, easily over a decade old by that point, feel “floral and fresh,” feel, well, pretty again? The Charlie fragrance itself? It was an instant, smashing success. 1974 was a great year all around.

“Charlie’s Tune” was produced by “Charlie’s Way,” released as “A Charlie Record,” and distributed, lest we forget, by “The Charlie People.” Which is another way of saying that a group of studio musicians were wholly responsible for this classy little Bossa Nova-lite. This anonymous crew was also responsible for the record’s A-side (hear excerpt here), a spirited vocal sketch of “Charlie,” that girl whom summertime, turned heads and a newfound sense of confidence seem to follow around, Ipanema-style.

The Charlie fragrance was relaunched fairly recently, if anyone’s curious about what 1974 smelled like.

Posted in Jazz Obscura, Latin | 4 Comments

Get rhythm

The drum machine was one of a wave of early mass-produced electronic instruments and studio devices in the ‘60s that expanded, by quantum leaps, the technological and creative bounds of music and recording.

Historically speaking, however, early drum machines like Ace Tone Rhythm Ace and the Maestro’s Rhythm King, with their somewhat awkward analog drum sounds and preset rhythms, would long remain marginal to keyboard synthesizer counterparts like the Moog. A Moog could wow early ’70s audiences with bleeps, gurgles and swooping sequences of tonal pulses. Early Japanese-made drum machines, intended from the start as an organ accompaniment or rehearsal aid, mostly just sat there, dutifully pattering away in metronomic samba time and eventually finding their niche as a built-in component in Lowrey and Hammond church organs.

The Maestro Rhythm King (Picture credit, Backbeat Books, from their book Strange Sounds: Offbeat Instruments and Sonic Experiments in Pop.)


It wouldn’t really be until after Roland’s introduction of its crunching TR-808 drum machines in the early ‘80s that the drum machine would finally find its true calling – electronic dance music – and become less of a bastard stepchild.

Nonetheless, from Bee Gee Robin Gibb (1970′s Robin’s Reign) and Sly Stone protégés Little Sister (1970’s “Stanga”) to Dick Hyman and soul-pop guitar innovator Shuggie Otis (1974’s “XL-30”), the drum machine did catch the attention of the occasional pop musician or two. For some, its gadgetry was enough to add a futuristic sheen. For others, like Sly Stone, who used it on the Family Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On, the drum machine was a probably a nice option after you’d fired another drummer. Most of these musicians seemed to recognize that the drum machine was too incidental to ever supplant an actual drummer, but, luckily for us, there were still a few eccentrics left over that heard the ring of the cash register somewhere in those mechanized rhythms.

1.
Timmy Thomas, Funky Me (Glades)
Best known for his 1972 hit “Why Can’t We Live Together,” singer and keyboardist Timmy Thomas grew up in Indiana playing piano in his minister father’s Methodist Church. Graduating from Tennessee’s Lane College with a BA in music, Thomas did some session keyboard work for the Memphis soul independent Goldwax Records, and, a few obscure soul numbers under his name for Goldwax later, he settled in Florida in the late ‘60s. There he worked as a college administrator and opened his own Miami Beach club, “Timmy’s Lounge.” There, too, Thomas recorded his impassioned peace-and-harmony anthem “Why Can’t We Live Together” for the tiny local Konduko label in 1972.

Leased for distribution by Florida music impresario Henry Stone for his Glades label, the spare organ-and-rhythm arrangements of “Why Can’t We Live Together” (hear excerpthere) made for a somewhat unlikely million-seller in 1972. Just as unlikely, however, was its chugging instrumental flipside “Funky Me.” Unerring in its tempo, its juicy organ vamps and mechanical funkiness would have made a good b-side on some early ‘80s New York art-disco 12”.

In 1973 Timmy Thomas released the full-length album Why Can’t We Live Together, which sustained the spare aesthetic of “Funky Me” and “Why Can’t We Live Together.” Thomas currently works as a music teacher and director of One Art, an independent music and arts educational initiative in Florida, and has recorded sporadically in the decades since.

2. Simtec Simmons, Tea Pot (Maurci)
1967’s “Tea Pot,” for all its whimsy, was not some studio engineer’s after-hours lark. This selection was the handiwork of Simtec Simmons, the singer, guitarist and leader of aspiring Chicago R&B group the Tea Boxes. “Tea Pot,” according to
legend, was recorded at the behest of Herb “Kool Gent” Kent, a Chicago radio disc jockey who was taken with the sound of the rhythm machine and who in turn encouraged Simmons and his combo to record using it.

“Tea Pot” features Simtec Simmons on guitar and two members of the Tea Boxes – his brother Ronald Simmons on bass and Bobby Pointer on the drum machine. Released on Maurice Jackson’s tiny Chicago soul label Maurci in 1967, “Tea Pot” was, improbably enough, a good-sized regional hit, its anomaly and quirky appeal sending robots all over the upper Midwest to their local record shops.

Around the time of “Tea Pot”’s release, Simtec and the Tea Boxes were performing as part of a nightclub act with another local Chicago R&B group, Wylie Dixon and the Wheels. The two bandleaders would join together as the hard-edged funky soul duo Simtec and Wylie in 1969, going on in the early ‘70s to score some sizeable hits like “Do It Like Mama” and “Gotta Get Over the Hump”. After a few more years of recording and performing in Chicago, Simmons quit the music business in the late ‘70s.

3. The Computer and the Little Fooler, Computing (Maurci)
Let me paint a picture for you. In 1967, a song like “A Day in the Life” (hear excerpt
here) was transcendent, an orchestral capstone to the Beatles’ Summer of Love tour de force. In 1967, Jimi Hendrix was pushing psychedelia’s outer limits with space guitar epics like “Third Stone From the Sun” (excerpt here). That same year the Velvet Underground’s noisy, experimental aesthetic would culminate in a selection like “I Heard Her Call My Name” (excerpt here), and, on the R&B; charts, James Brown’s “Cold Sweat” (excerpt here) steered popular African-American rhythms into dark new directions.

And, somewhere on the south side of Chicago in 1967, our friends from the previous selection – Simtec Simmons and Maurci Records head honcho Maurice Jackson – rushed this selection out to a market awaiting a follow-up to “Tea Box.”

4. The Computer and the Little Fooler, Sw-w-wis-s-sh (Maurci)
I’m not sure who or what the Little Fooler was, but I’d wager that he was roughly the size and shape of a pocket calculator.

The weirdest post-War American music has always shown up first on the 45 rpm record, one of the most expedient of commercial music media. But the strange-witted minimalism of “Computing” and its backwards flipside “Sw-w-wis-s-sh” beggars all belief. “Computing” was neither funny nor weird enough to be a novelty record, nor did it offer anything that anyone could point to as a being conventionally instrumental.  Sometimes I think this is the greatest record ever made.

Posted in Miscellaneous Flotsam, Soul | 16 Comments

The Aquarian dream

Three selections this week from the obscure, hazy end of ‘60s psychedelic pop

From generational icons like the Mamas & the Papas and the Association to lesser-known groups like Sagittarius and the Sunshine Company, the psychedelic pop phenomenon of the ‘60s would feed itself primarily on the turned-on folkies and harmony groups of Southern California. Psychedelic pop was more than young, longhaired vocal groups with electric guitars, though. Psychedelic pop took those soaring voices and yearning lyrics, harnessing them to visionary recording engineers and the shiniest Los Angeles studio gadgetry. The Aquarian dream would unfold in cascading harmonies, chimes, fuzztone guitars and great caverns of glorious echo.

Psychedelic pop in time grew fat on its own Southern California abundance, coming to resemble something that sounded very much like Bread or Seals & Crofts. That would still be years down the road, though. It would remain fresh and dewy for a few more years in the late ‘60s, with albums like the Mamas and Papas’ If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears defining something genuinely new, something that every landlocked, college-bound teenager could gently groove to. You could hear it somewhere in the flute solo, I think, that dream of spiritual fulfillment and golden Pacific splendor for those who weren’t quite ready to drop out of society and join the revolution.

1. Emil Richards and the Factory, No Place I’d Rather Be (Uni)
Though ephemeral, the Factory were, unlike so many ‘60s Los Angeles projects, an independent and fully functioning group of Los Angeles musicians.

Led by Lowell George, later the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for classic rock stalwarts Little Feat, the Factory also included Warren Klein (guitar), Martin Kibbee (bass), Dallas Taylor (drums) and Ritchie Hayward (drums), musicians who’d shortly move on to form hippie-rock outfit the Fraternity of Man.

It’s George we hear singing dreamily on 1967’s “No Place I’d Rather Be,” and that’s likely Klein heard on guitar. The Emil Richards ostensibly fronting the group, on the other hand, would release some psychedelic ethno-jazz efforts of his own, like Journey to Bliss (1968), but ultimately he’s best known as an extraordinarily competent session musician who’s played vibraphone and percussion on innumerable pop, jazz and rock music productions and soundtracks. Richards’s Indonesian percussion effects on this selection are hardly insubstantial, but his role in the Factory was ancillary at best. We’ll likely never know what dark upper-management motives would come to identify Richards as the Factory’s frontman on this 45 and, for that matter, whether other Factory members actually played on “No Place I’d Rather Be.”

But, whatever. The shimmering, resonating aesthetic of “No Place I’d Rather Be” works on all levels, effectively conveying that groovy 1967 pleasure of lying very, very still for very, very long hours at a time.

2. The Robbs, Castles in the Air (Atlantic)
The pride of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, the Robbs were, at their core, the brothers Donaldson – Dee, Joe and Bruce – all of whom shared vocal and instrumental duties as a popular live band in the Great Lakes region. The Robbs’ recorded legacy began in the early ‘60s with a few surf and teen pop 45s on Chicago record labels. With drummer Craig Krampf solidifying their line-up, the Robbs fashioned themselves into a modern harmony pop-rock unit with the advent of the British Invasion, their initial recording forays catching the attention of Dick Clark, who eventually offered them a gig as the house band on his Where the Action Is television variety show.

The Robbs’ first record after relocating to Los Angeles, 1966′s “Race With the Wind,” was a modest hit and exemplified their deft folk-rock arrangements and breezy harmony pop. Despite a subsequent string of jangly, radio-ready 45s along with an LP in 1967, despite major label distribution and national television exposure, the Robbs suffered from poor promotion, a somewhat lightweight reputation and what can only be regarded as an improbable stretch of bad luck.

One gets the sense that the Robbs were willing to try something a little different in 1968. And therewith would “Castles in the Air” be different from anything else they’d release. This wonderful elegy to escapism and self-delusion, with its chimes, African thumb piano and underwater vocal and guitar effects would be effectively different from anything anybody was releasing, moreover. The shift in tack was little avail, however, as “Castles in the Air” became yet another trophy for their mounting pile of commercial misses.

The Robbs soldiered on for a few more 45s. Renamed as Cherokee, they headed in a country-rock direction with their full-length album for ABC Records in 1970. It would as founders of the storied Hollywood recording studio, Cherokee Studios, opened in the mid-‘70s and still in operation today, for which the three Donaldson brothers would finally achieve enduring success.

3. The Voyage, One Day (Decca)
Hampered somewhat by awkward songwriting, longtime New York City pop producer John Linde nonetheless took the late ‘60s vogue for the Eastern exoticism and expertly combined it with the Baroque sensibilities of the Left Banke (of “Walk Away Renee” and “Pretty Ballerina” fame) for the Voyage’s “One Day.” The ensuing trippy drama would be one of many of Decca Records’ tentative gambles at 45 rpm psychedelia undertaken in the waning years of the ‘60s. Alas, it would be one of just as many that did nothing to reverse the label’s foundering fortunes.

A New York City production likely recorded in late 1967, little is otherwise known of the Voyage or Richard Klaskow, the songwriter of “One Day.”

Posted in Psychedelic/Pop | 6 Comments

New at the Lonely Beat:


A bit "Lotus Land," a bit "Key Largo," Dizzy Gillespie's "Rumbola" is rarely-heard side, recorded in 1954, and a lovely example of dark jazz noir in an exotic Latin setting.