sabato 20 dicembre 2014

The Groop - The Groop (Sundazed) 1969

Biography : The Groop (not to be confused with the marginally less obscure Australian band of the same name) were a manufactured Los Angeles based vocal group that produced one album of lushly-orchestrated, lightly psychedelic, soft folk-pop at the tail end of the 1960s.

In 1968, famed composer/producer Richard Adler, then manager for Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, attended a Washington, DC production of West Side Story, the cast of which included nineteen-year-old Susan Musmanno. Besot with her looks and voice, he met her afterward and suggested her as a potential addition to Mendes’s band, which necessitated coming to Los Angeles for an audition. Musmanno expressed trepidation as she then dreamed of continuing acting in theater. Despite her reservations - and after having surprisingly received the blessing of her conservative family - Musmanno made the journey to the west coast. However, when she arrived, she learned Adler and his Brazillian patrons had ended their relationship. No matter, without much effort, the seasoned industry figure would cook up something else.

Around the same time, whilst on tour in Vancouver with the 5th Dimension, drummer Toxey French met Corlynn Hanney and Brian Griffiths, who at the time were members of Vancouver’s The Numerality Singers, the house band for the CBC’s program, Hits a Poppin’. By the summer of 1968, the two Canadian musicians had moved to Los Angeles and Hanney was now dating Terry Clarke, who’d recently replaced French on drums in the 5th Dimension. Griffiths, meanwhile, co-founded Griffiths Gibson Ramsay, a company that employed French in advertising work. French also worked as a producer for Bones Howe’s Mr. Bones Productions, where he introduced the Canadian musicians to Lou Adler. Adler paired them with his recent discovery, Musmanno. He next sought out one more member to complete his group. The final figure was Richard Caruso; an aspiring actor/server at a local Red Onion restaurant with whom Adler had long been acquainted. When he was brought in, the four became The Groop. Most assuredly, The Groop were a thoroughly manufactured product, (Adler even hired a stylist, Peta Rimmington, to keep The Groop dressed in the latest hippy finery). However, they benefit not only from the fact that the members were talented vocalists (who handled their own arrangements) but Adler also employed a team of talented studio musicians and a team of superb songwriters to ensure their quality.

Soon after their formulation, The Groop quickly began to gel just like a real group on a personal as well as musical level. They all shared a shared poolside bungalow on Adler’s property where they rehearsed and listened together to records by Laura Nyro, 5th Dimension and The Mamas & Papas. Hanney and Griffiths had already known each other back in Canada. The slightly older Caruso was a real, tie-dyed-in-the-wool hippy and he and Musmanno bonded over their shared thespian ambitions. When John Barry (then composing the score for Midnight Cowboy) asked Adler to give him some hip, new music, among other suggestions, Adler pointed him toward The Groop, who not only submitted “A Famous Myth” and “Tears and Joys” for the film’s soundtrack, but also recorded the station ID heard in one scene and a Florida orange juice jingle in another.

The Groop’s first single, “Tears and Joys” was released in April, 1969. They then recorded the tracks that would comprise their sole album, The Groop (1969-Bell), from April to May of 1969. About half of their songs are written by Jeffrey Comanor, whose songs’ sundrenched harmonies contain a slightly forlorn tone positioned somewhere between the songs of John Phillips and Emmitt Rhodes. Comanor had been recording some demos with Toxey around the time of The Groop’s formation and ended up contributing five songs. Joey Stec and Sandy Salisbury from The Millennium contributed “I Just Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye.” Chris Ducey of Penny Arkade offered “The Jet Song” and “Wonder Why;” his writing partner, Ed Millis, submitted “Blustery Day” and “I Try to Think of You When I Can.” Toxey Bell produced. Contributing musicians included Ben Benay, Dennis Budimer, Mike Deasy and Tommy Tedesco on guitar; “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow on pedal steel; Joe Osborne and Jerry Scheff on bass; Larry Knechtel and Mike Melvoin on keyboards; and Jim Gordon on drums. The string and horn arrangements were courtesy of Dave Grusin. Aside from the cloying cover of “The Continental,” the wistful music provides a fittingly elegiac soundtrack to the close of a lysergic era.

In August 1969, The Groop headed to Spain for a two month engagement. After a stay at Majorca’s Sergeant Pepper’s (John Barry was having a home built nearby), the band relocated to Madrid, where they played at JJ (Jota Jota) for the remainder of their stay. When Musmanno was hospitalized for acute appendicitis, The Groop continued as a trio though a local paper asked with a headline, “¿Donde está Susan de Grupo?” Although The Groop had only been together for a brief spell, after fulfilling their obligations in Iberia, the remaining members returned to North America separately, with no intentions of continuing as a unit.

Musmanno returned to Washington, DC to recover from her operation. That December, she recorded several new tracks with Mike Berniker and Phil Ramone that were intended for a new version of The Groop. Although featuring just her and a session musician named Michael, their version of Harry Nilsson’s “Don’t Leave Me” appeared as a bonus track on Sundazed’s 2007 CD re-issue of The Groop.

Meanwhile, Hanney returned to Los Angeles, at first doing session work such as singing in ads for Pontiac, Datsun, the lottery, Kodak, Kraft, milk and Air Canada as well as recordings for Ann Mortifee, The Payolas, Al Martino, The 5th Dimension, Sherri Ulrich and as a background singer on The Tim Conway Show and The Smothers Brothers Show. In 1970, she joined Leonard Cohen’s traveling band and appears on his Songs of Love and Hate and Live Songs. At Hanney’s insistence, Cohen’s manager, Bob Johnston, encouraged Musmanno fly to Nashville where she auditioned for Cohen’s tour and she joined afterward. At the same time Hanney performed with The Jimmy Joyce Singers who made appearances with Nancy Sinatra as well as The Muppets. Today, Hanney records solo albums and teaches voice – one of her pupils was AC/DC’s Brian Johnson.

After joining Cohen’s touring band, Musmanno met and married Cohen’s touring guitarist/banjo player, Elkin “Bubba” Fowler, who’d been in the one-hit-wonders The Avant Garde (responsible for “Naturally Stoned”) and before that, The Bordermen (both bands also featured future game show fixture, Chuck Woolery). Today, (now as Aileen Fowler), she and Bubba perform and run their own label, Shantih. After the break-up of The Groop, Griffiths retired from performing but still maintains Griffiths Gibson Ramsay Productions. Caruso, in keeping with his image as the true hippy in the band, dropped out and his current whereabouts aren’t known.  Thanks to adamus67 for the information

Tracklist:
01.A Famous Myth 3:27
02.I Try To Think Of You When I Can 2:53
03.The Continental 3:27
04.Blustery Day 3:40
05.Goin' Back 4:01
06.Time Fire 3:36
07.The Jet Song (When The Weekend's Over) 3:58
08.Nobody At All 3:14
09.Haunted Places 3:44
10.I Just Don't Know How To Say Goodbye 2:49
11.Wonder Why 3:04
12.Dianny, Help Me Now 4:48
13.Tears And Joys 2:35
14.Don't Leave Me 2:32

The Groop:
Susan Musmanno – vocals
Corlynn Hanney – vocals
Brian Griffith – vocals
Richard Caruso – vocals

5 commenti:

Solidboy ha detto...

flac cue log scans

adamus67 ha detto...

The Groop (not to be confused with the marginally less obscure Australian band of the same name) were a manufactured Los Angeles based vocal group that produced one album of lushly-orchestrated, lightly psychedelic, soft folk-pop at the tail end of the 1960s.

In 1968, famed composer/producer Richard Adler, then manager for Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, attended a Washington, DC production of West Side Story, the cast of which included nineteen-year-old Susan Musmanno. Besot with her looks and voice, he met her afterward and suggested her as a potential addition to Mendes’s band, which necessitated coming to Los Angeles for an audition. Musmanno expressed trepidation as she then dreamed of continuing acting in theater. Despite her reservations - and after having surprisingly received the blessing of her conservative family - Musmanno made the journey to the west coast. However, when she arrived, she learned Adler and his Brazillian patrons had ended their relationship. No matter, without much effort, the seasoned industry figure would cook up something else.

Around the same time, whilst on tour in Vancouver with the 5th Dimension, drummer Toxey French met Corlynn Hanney and Brian Griffiths, who at the time were members of Vancouver’s The Numerality Singers, the house band for the CBC’s program, Hits a Poppin’. By the summer of 1968, the two Canadian musicians had moved to Los Angeles and Hanney was now dating Terry Clarke, who’d recently replaced French on drums in the 5th Dimension. Griffiths, meanwhile, co-founded Griffiths Gibson Ramsay, a company that employed French in advertising work. French also worked as a producer for Bones Howe’s Mr. Bones Productions, where he introduced the Canadian musicians to Lou Adler. Adler paired them with his recent discovery, Musmanno. He next sought out one more member to complete his group. The final figure was Richard Caruso; an aspiring actor/server at a local Red Onion restaurant with whom Adler had long been acquainted. When he was brought in, the four became The Groop. Most assuredly, The Groop were a thoroughly manufactured product, (Adler even hired a stylist, Peta Rimmington, to keep The Groop dressed in the latest hippy finery). However, they benefit not only from the fact that the members were talented vocalists (who handled their own arrangements) but Adler also employed a team of talented studio musicians and a team of superb songwriters to ensure their quality.

Soon after their formulation, The Groop quickly began to gel just like a real group on a personal as well as musical level. They all shared a shared poolside bungalow on Adler’s property where they rehearsed and listened together to records by Laura Nyro, 5th Dimension and The Mamas & Papas. Hanney and Griffiths had already known each other back in Canada. The slightly older Caruso was a real, tie-dyed-in-the-wool hippy and he and Musmanno bonded over their shared thespian ambitions. When John Barry (then composing the score for Midnight Cowboy) asked Adler to give him some hip, new music, among other suggestions, Adler pointed him toward The Groop, who not only submitted “A Famous Myth” and “Tears and Joys” for the film’s soundtrack, but also recorded the station ID heard in one scene and a Florida orange juice jingle in another.

adamus67 ha detto...

The Groop’s first single, “Tears and Joys” was released in April, 1969. They then recorded the tracks that would comprise their sole album, The Groop (1969-Bell), from April to May of 1969. About half of their songs are written by Jeffrey Comanor, whose songs’ sundrenched harmonies contain a slightly forlorn tone positioned somewhere between the songs of John Phillips and Emmitt Rhodes. Comanor had been recording some demos with Toxey around the time of The Groop’s formation and ended up contributing five songs. Joey Stec and Sandy Salisbury from The Millennium contributed “I Just Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye.” Chris Ducey of Penny Arkade offered “The Jet Song” and “Wonder Why;” his writing partner, Ed Millis, submitted “Blustery Day” and “I Try to Think of You When I Can.” Toxey Bell produced. Contributing musicians included Ben Benay, Dennis Budimer, Mike Deasy and Tommy Tedesco on guitar; “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow on pedal steel; Joe Osborne and Jerry Scheff on bass; Larry Knechtel and Mike Melvoin on keyboards; and Jim Gordon on drums. The string and horn arrangements were courtesy of Dave Grusin. Aside from the cloying cover of “The Continental,” the wistful music provides a fittingly elegiac soundtrack to the close of a lysergic era.

In August 1969, The Groop headed to Spain for a two month engagement. After a stay at Majorca’s Sergeant Pepper’s (John Barry was having a home built nearby), the band relocated to Madrid, where they played at JJ (Jota Jota) for the remainder of their stay. When Musmanno was hospitalized for acute appendicitis, The Groop continued as a trio though a local paper asked with a headline, “¿Donde está Susan de Grupo?” Although The Groop had only been together for a brief spell, after fulfilling their obligations in Iberia, the remaining members returned to North America separately, with no intentions of continuing as a unit.

Musmanno returned to Washington, DC to recover from her operation. That December, she recorded several new tracks with Mike Berniker and Phil Ramone that were intended for a new version of The Groop. Although featuring just her and a session musician named Michael, their version of Harry Nilsson’s “Don’t Leave Me” appeared as a bonus track on Sundazed’s 2007 CD re-issue of The Groop.

Meanwhile, Hanney returned to Los Angeles, at first doing session work such as singing in ads for Pontiac, Datsun, the lottery, Kodak, Kraft, milk and Air Canada as well as recordings for Ann Mortifee, The Payolas, Al Martino, The 5th Dimension, Sherri Ulrich and as a background singer on The Tim Conway Show and The Smothers Brothers Show. In 1970, she joined Leonard Cohen’s traveling band and appears on his Songs of Love and Hate and Live Songs. At Hanney’s insistence, Cohen’s manager, Bob Johnston, encouraged Musmanno fly to Nashville where she auditioned for Cohen’s tour and she joined afterward. At the same time Hanney performed with The Jimmy Joyce Singers who made appearances with Nancy Sinatra as well as The Muppets. Today, Hanney records solo albums and teaches voice – one of her pupils was AC/DC’s Brian Johnson.

After joining Cohen’s touring band, Musmanno met and married Cohen’s touring guitarist/banjo player, Elkin “Bubba” Fowler, who’d been in the one-hit-wonders The Avant Garde (responsible for “Naturally Stoned”) and before that, The Bordermen (both bands also featured future game show fixture, Chuck Woolery). Today, (now as Aileen Fowler), she and Bubba perform and run their own label, Shantih. After the break-up of The Groop, Griffiths retired from performing but still maintains Griffiths Gibson Ramsay Productions. Caruso, in keeping with his image as the true hippy in the band, dropped out and his current whereabouts aren’t known.

Thx Marco :)

Solidboy ha detto...

Thanks adam, I used your information for my post! Thank you!

Anonimo ha detto...

Thanks Solidboy. Very nice album!

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