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Great Memphis Session Info Here

Posted (edited)

A long term project by the Soul Detective (Red Kelly) on-line here ......... http://souldetective.com/

1966 Memphis studio session info on this page ........ http://souldetective.com/reggie1966.html

Some of the sessions listed resulted in these (non - Hi releases ) ........

STUDIO            LABEL & 45 No.  SESSION DATES    ARTIST       TITLE
AMERICAN YOUNGSTOWN 609     JUNE 10 / 11    ROOSEVELT GRIER High Society Woman / Deputy Dog
SUN         CADET 72620  AUG 31 & SEPT 5   BARBARA & THE BROWNS I Don't Want To Have To Wait / Plenty Of Room
ROYAL    FURY then Capitol                       WILLIE HIGHTOWER If I Had A Hammer / So Tired (Of Running Away)
ROYAL   MUSICOR 1221     OCT 21         PORGY & THE MONARCHS My Heart Cries For You / Think Twice
ROYAL   FURY 5004            NOVEMBER 24    WILLIE HIGHTOWER I Love You (Yes I Do) / Let's Walk Together
ROYAL  GOLDWAX 317     NOVEMBER 27     JAMES CARR The Dark End Of The Street /Lovable Girl
Nashville CAMEO 453     DECEMBER 7        BOBBY MARCHAN Meet Me In Church / Hooked
ROYAL   ROULETTE 4719    DECEMBER 8      CAROL FRAN So Close / Out Of Sight Out Of Mind

 

WillieHightowerMont.jpg

Edited by Roburt
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MORE INFO off the list ............

OCTOBER 16   ROYAL STUDIO     CHARLIE RICH    One Session  >>  most probably resulted in > HI   2116    CHARLIE RICH    Love Is After Me   /  Pass On By

........ and entries such as this ........

NOVEMBER 16     ROYAL STUDIO     SESSION LEADER:  W. MITCHELL    artist: GUY THAT TRAVELS WITH THE PLATTERS    One Session   . . . .     .       .       .      .       .      wonder who the heck that was ??

 

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John

If someone asked me where Porgy and the Monarchs -My Heart Cries for You was recorded , Memphis would have the last place I'd have thought of. Any idea if they used the regular session musicians or out of town guys.

Could you help with a couple of questions about sessions in the sixties. Would a session usually last three hours and if it overran the time would the musicians be on double pay? Also would a newly signed artist be expected to record four songs in a session so they had an initial single and a possible follow up. From the info in your post it looks like some artists only did one or two songs in a session or were the others not listed or finished. Perhaps once you'd had a hit the label would allow more time to get a song right and sod the expense.

Rick

 

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Complicated question Rick.

On many independently financed sessions (where the producer/ artist hired the studio at a hourly rate), the songs would be fully developed & the act rehearsed on them before the session began. This, of course, speeded up the cutting process & would allow say 3/4 tracks to be done in a 4 hr booking slot.

As most know, studios didn't keep regular hours, many sessions would run over & so incur extra costs but the usual practise (with studio based musicians) was for them to be paid 'union rate' (a set fee per hour for their work). So if a session ran to 6hrs instead of the planned 4, then the costs would increase by 50% (studio & engineers  time also being charged at an hourly rate). Lots of times, if strings were needed, members of a local orchestra (Detroit) or music students from a local college would be fetched in to add their parts (the advantage of using students was that many times they'd work for a free meal or whatever).

You could hire the studio alone & bring along your own musicians (then you paid them whatever you could get away with & didn't have to pay 'union rates') or you could use the studio's resident players (if they had such a team). Most times though, a studio based musician playing most days of the week only made enough to pay his bills and didn't get anywhere near rich even if he was a master of his instrument.

If you were a studio's star act, then you could do pretty much anything you wanted (but of course, the fees involved were still charged back to your account with the label). So Carla Thomas @ Stax, Al Green @ Hi / Royal, James Carr @ American or the Tops/ Tempts @ Motown would pretty much have free run of the studio.  

Many stupid situations (with regard to billing) came about. For instance, Lou Ragland would always play on his own sessions. So he was paid as a musician on the day with the costs being charged back to his account as the artist (if the resulting record release didn't cover it's cutting / production costs, then he ended up still owing the studio).

I also recently interviewed Darryl Stewart about his studio sessions & wrote an article about his career. He's a snippet of that .........

In preparation for a studio session of his own, Darryl accompanied Billy & Ray when they went along to Debbie Taylor's recording sessions at RCA's studio. George Kerr was the producer (and also helped on background vocals) with Debbie handling her duties with ease. Darryl thought the studio itself was spectacular and was amazed at the talent she displayed. His talented production team weren't going to let the Paramount setback ruin their plans and so they organised an independent recording session for Darryl themselves. This took place at New York's Record Plant studio where “Name It and Claim It” (written by Ray & Billy) plus “Cross My Heart” (written by Ray) were recorded. Tony Camillo was the arranger on the session, with Tony Bongiovi handling the engineering side of things. The background singers on “Name It & Claim It” were Ray, Billy and a really good 3 strong girl group. Darryl recalls the Record Plant having two nice sized rooms with glass separating them from the engineering rooms. Various instruments were set out in each room; a grand piano, drums, xylophone plus a few others. He got to meet Maxine Brown at the studio, which impressed him (also Richard Tee who was one of the musicians utilised on his tracks).

His session featured around 20 participants, these included violinists, percussion players, a horn section and more (just about all being contracted studio musicians). The rhythm tracks were laid down first; drums, guitars, bass, came next; then his vocals followed by the background vocals. He remembers it taking just two sessions to complete both tracks (the first one lasting about 4 hours). His lead vocals were swiftly completed, he nailed “Cross My Heart” in two takes, with “Name It ..” requiring four in all. He only needed to turn up near the end of the second recording session as his efforts had been completed during the first session. At the 2nd session, the 'sweeteners' (as they were called) were added to finish off the tracks. He then participated in the process of arriving at the final mixes for both tracks. Darryl couldn't quite believe the final sound that had been achieved that day. The resulting two tracks were then shopped around some New York labels, with Florence Greenberg at Scepter / Wand picking them up for release on 45.

Hope the above helps. An ad for studio hire in LA in 1973 ... $30 an hour (without musician's costs) seems quite cheap ...

StudioHire73.jpg

StudioHire72.jpg

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John

Thanks for the reply, fascinating stuff that could do with more writing about.

The story behind Name It And Claim It is interesting. They seemed to spend a lot of time and money on the track. One more question on this. The recording costs would have been paid by the production company, so did they get an advance from Scepter/Wand when they did the deal for it? Would Daryl Stewart have paid any his own money upfront or did he just have the cost set against any future sales?

Rick

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Rick, studio time is like airplane seats or cruise ship cabins. If the studio / seat / cabin remains empty, that resource is lost forever (i.e it can't be sold).

So airplane seats / ship cabins are discounted at the last minute to ensure they're occupied. Same with recording studios. Either a known client would be offered a discount to use unbooked studio slots OR more usually they would be allowed use of the studio without any upfront payment. A bill would be produced by the studio and sent to the client (many times, the master tapes produced at the session remaining with the studio till the bill was paid).

So the producers of Darryl's session (Ray Dahrouge & Billy Terrell) must have agreed a deal with the studio, produced the tracks and then shopped them around a few New York labels. Scepter / Wand picked them up for release and would have paid an 'advance' to secure the tracks. This money would then have been used by Ray / Billy to pay the studio. If sales of the 45 didn't cover the cost of the cash advance paid out, then that would be the last cash the producers / artist would get (& so far, the artist wouldn't have received a cent ... though ... having a 45 out would have meant more & better live show bookings).

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Hello guys - I was googling something, and this topic came up. Thank you for the shout out about the Reggie Young Discography Project... I am currently working on part two of the 'liner notes' for 1966, which includes little records like 'The Dark End Of The Street' and 'Eight Men, Four Women' - I welcome any and all input on possible records that might be referenced in the session books... like you said. 'guy that travels with the Platters' huh? Another intriguing entry for 11/24/66  'Tall Boy with all the hair..' who Bobby Robinson brought down with Willie Hightower - we think it may have been J.D. Bryant, but as of now have not come up with any tracks that might have been cut then... anyway, please stay involved, it takes all of us!

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Red, I would have thought that Ady Crosadell and the guys at Ace Kent Records (London) would have some info that could be useful to you (they have the tapes of the James Carr sessions & info on them I believe). Ady is on here and may see your post. 

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Thanks, Rob - I actually just had lunch with John Broven, and Ace has been in the loop from day one. Look for a new compilation CD of Reggie's work due from Ace soon!

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5 hours ago, red kelly said:

Hello guys - I was googling something, and this topic came up. Thank you for the shout out about the Reggie Young Discography Project... I am currently working on part two of the 'liner notes' for 1966, which includes little records like 'The Dark End Of The Street' and 'Eight Men, Four Women' - I welcome any and all input on possible records that might be referenced in the session books... like you said. 'guy that travels with the Platters' huh? Another intriguing entry for 11/24/66  'Tall Boy with all the hair..' who Bobby Robinson brought down with Willie Hightower - we think it may have been J.D. Bryant, but as of now have not come up with any tracks that might have been cut then... anyway, please stay involved, it takes all of us!

What a fantastic piece of work Red .... invaluable

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