Any Major Jimmy Webb Collection Vol. 2
The second mix of Jimmy Webb songs — you’ll find the first HERE — features several of the great songwriter’s lesser-known tunes. Some, of course, are well known, tracks such as Didn’t We (covered by Sinatra, featured here in Andy Williams’ version), Linda Ronstadt’s Easy For You To Say or If These Walls Could Speak. Many of the others are rarely heard today, but surely deserve an airing.
Some of the artists here have also been mostly forgotten, which is a pity. Peggy Lipton, also known as Peggy Jones, might be better remembered as Quincy Jones’ beautiful wife or as a TV actress (The Mod Squad, Twin Peaks) or as the mother of actress Rashida Jones (The Office, Parks & Recreation) than as a singer. But as a recording artist she bothered the Billboard charts on three occasions, though not with Webb’s gorgeous Red Clay Country Line.
Also known from TV, Connie Stevens previously featured on the Bacharach: The Lesser Known Songbook mix. She is best known for her part in the detective series Hawaiian Eye (1959-62) — and for once dating Elvis. Around the time of the TV series she also had a couple of US Top 5 singles, though neither are regarded as classics, even within the genre of novelty music. Like Peggy Lipton, Stevens has two acting daughters: Joely Fisher (from Ellen) and Tricia Leigh Fisher.
We’ve had a couple of occasions when the sisters Franklin — Aretha, Erma and Carolyn — featured in some combination or other on CD-R mixes. Here we have the sisters Kunkel doing songs by Jimmy Webb: Leah Kunkel in 1980, and her sister, whom we know better as Cass Elliot, in 1972. Born Leah Cohen (Kunkel was from her marriage to drummer Russ Kunkel), the younger sister had little commercial success, despite being championed by Art Garfunkel. She recorded only two albums; Never Gonna Lose My Dream Of Love Again is from the second LP, I Run With Trouble.
Despite their name, the Strawberry Children didn’t seem to have been siblings. In fact, there is little information available about them. Love Years Coming was recorded on the Soul City label, owned by Johnny Rivers, an early Webb patron who first recorded By The Time I Get To Phoenix and features here with a recording of a Webb song from 1974. Love Years Coming was a very minor hit, and the fruity kids disappeared after releasing this one single late in the summer of 1967.
That summer possibly influenced the moniker chosen by The Love Generation, an outfit that recorded from 1967-69. After breaking up, the core of the group morphed into The Going Thing, which recorded music for Ford commercials. They also provided backing vocals for artists like former Paul Revere & The Raiders singer Mark Lindsay, who also features on this mix. The band’s leaders, brothers John and Tom Bähler, were also part of the loose conglomerate of session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. Tom served as associate producer and arranger of many projects led by Peggy Lipton’s ex-husband Quincy Jones, including work on Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall (for which he also wrote She’s Out Of My Life) and Thriller albums, and the mega-charity hit We Are The World.
As for Webb’s brilliant song P.F. Sloan, the meaning has been a bit confused. In this interview (scroll halfway down) Webb tries to explain it. Oh, and only one act features on both mixes…
As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. Home-compose covers are included.
1. Jimmy Webb – P. F. Sloan (1970)
2. The 5th Dimension – Never Gonna Be The Same (1967)
3. Dusty Springfield – Mixed Up Girl (1972)
4. Strawberry Children – Love Years Coming (1967)
5. The Love Generation – Montage (1968)
6. Peggy Lipton – Red Clay Country Line (1969)
7. Cass Elliot – Saturday Suit (1972)
8. Mark Lindsay – First Hymn From Grand Terrace (1970)
9. The Vogues – Turn Around, Look At Me (1968)
10. Connie Stevens – 5:30 Plane (1970)
11. Jackie Trent – Everybody Gets To Go To The Moon (1971)
12. Everly Brothers – She Never Smiles Anymore (1967)
13. Johnny Rivers – See You Then (1974)
14. Nancy Wilson – This Time Last Summer (1975)
15. Leah Kunkel – Never Gonna Lose My Dream Of Love Again (1980)
16. Glen Campbell – If These Walls Could Speak (1988)
17. The Highwaymen – Highwayman (1985)
18. Linda Ronstadt – Easy For You To Say (1982)
19. Arlo Guthrie – Oklahoma Nights (1981)
20. Richard Harris – A Tramp Shining (1972)
21. Ray Charles – I Keep It Hid (1970)
22. Andy Williams – Didn’t We (1969)
23. Günter Kallmann Chorus – Where’s The Playground, Susie (1969)
24. Barbra Streisand – Little Tin Soldier (1969)