The Love Album

Talking about and listening to Doris Day, the singer.
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Musiclover
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The Love Album

Unread post by Musiclover » 22 Sep 2018, 12:12

I think there was a comment recently in another section of the forum that had to do with Marty Melcher's role in releasing -- or not releasing, as it turned out -- "The Love Album." Doris didn't record this album for Columbia; that contract had just expired. She recorded it for Arwin, the company Melcher formed in 1953. He co-produced the album with Don Genson, who soon would become involved in the production of her TV show. 'Tis a pity that the album didn't have a timely release, as I think it would've been well received critically. Its orchestrations are lovely and Doris's vocal work is some of the most evocative she ever recorded.

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Peter Flapper
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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by Peter Flapper » 23 Sep 2018, 03:24

Hi Judy,

Thank you for reminding us to the "Love Album" there are tree versions available now and on the complete Bear Family Records it's available. It's music for listening while laying before the fireplace (I don't have one) on a cold winter day I think. It's soft, warm, sensual, great interpretations of love songs. A job well done by Doris and her team. Wish she made more of these kind of albums.
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The songs on cd 1 are:
1. For All We Know
2. Snuggled On Your Shoulder
3. Are You Lonesome Tonight
4. Wonderful One
5. Street Of Dreams
6. Oh How I Miss You Tonight
7. Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries
8. All Alone
9. Faded Summer Love
10. sleepy Lagoon
11. If I Had My Life To Live Over/Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Cd 2 and 3 have tree extra songs from the 1971 Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff Special (wrongly spelled then)
12. Both Sides Now
13. It's Magic
14. Sentimental Journey

P

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by jmichael » 23 Sep 2018, 19:24

Judy,

Thanks for clarifying what happened with The Love Album. With Columbia no longer involved, there was no recording contract to force a release date. Marty was so preoccupied with Rosenthal and engineering her move to television that the album got lost in the shuffle. Makes perfect sense.

Michael
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howard
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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by howard » 24 Sep 2018, 11:35

Here's a great quote from Ronnel Bright, pianist on "The Love Album:"

"To me, Doris was on the same level as Sarah, Carmen, Ella and Nancy. When she sang, she had the love coming right through her. I so enjoyed her singing, and it was a joy to play behind her on The Love Album."
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by Jas1 » 24 Sep 2018, 13:46

Fabulous Howard.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by Musiclover » 24 Sep 2018, 15:46

Ronnell Bright is a wonderful jazz pianist. (Listen to his recording of Doxology" on youtube for a good sample of his talent.) He recounted that, shortly after "The Love Album" was finished, he and Doris began initial run-throughs on songs she personally selected to do for another album that would have only his piano backing her up. For reasons unknown to Bright, that project suddenly fell apart. He called it a "major disappointment" of his career that the album was never recorded. I don't know which songs they worked on, but am sure the album would've been just great.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by howard » 24 Sep 2018, 19:51

Here's an extended version of that interview with pianist Ronnell Bright:

RB: Back in 1967, I got a call from Sid Feller, the arranger. We had worked together with Nancy Wilson. Sid asked if I was available to do a date with Doris Day. I said, sure, absolutely. I had always loved Doris Day’s voice. I thought, and still think, her tone and interpretations are so pure and lovely. She is truly exceptional.

JW: Was it a big date?
RB: Oh yes. When I got to the studio, there were a lot of West Coast heavyweights there: Barney Kessel, Irv Cottler and others. We did the recording over several days. When released, the record was called The Love Album. On the final day of recording, Sid came over and said Doris wanted to know if I could stick around afterward.


JW: What did you think?
RB: I thought I had messed up or something. All the guys were packing up to leave, and they kept looking back thinking I had done something wrong.

JW: What was the problem?
RB: Hang on, hang on. After everyone cleared out, Sid came back and said Doris wanted to meet me. I asked if I had done something wrong. Sid said, “No, no, it’s a good thing.” When I walked over with Sid, Marty Melcher, Doris' husband was there, not Doris. Marty said that he and Doris were aware of my talents and that they enjoyed my recordings with Sarah and Nancy.

JW: What did he want?
RB: Marty says, “How would you like to write the theme song to Doris’ next picture?” I said, “You’ve got to be kidding.” Marty said, “No, seriously.” I said absolutely. I had just finished writing a song with Paul Francis Webster, who wrote The Shadow of Your Smile. I asked if they wanted me to call Paul. “No, no, Ronnell, we know Paul,” Marty said. “We want you to write the words and music yourself.”

W: Did you take on the assignment?
RB: Oh yes. They delivered the script the next day. It was about the New York City blackout of 1966. It was called, Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? So I wrote and wrote and wrote the whole week. I figured that if Doris didn’t like one song, I could always show her another.

JW: So you scored the movie?
RB: About two days before I was to meet Doris at her office on Cannon Drive, Don Genson, her record producer, calls. He says, “Ronnell, I’m so sorry. Marty is unpredictable. He’s already made an agreement with someone else who’s going to do the score. We told him we already had someone to do the title song. But he complained that if he’s going to do the score, he also wanted to write the title song. So Marty made an agreement to let him do it.”

JW: What a lousy break. Who wound up writing the title song?
RB: That was the funny thing. When the movie came out in 1968, it didn’t have a title song.

JW: So they tied you up for weeks and that was it?
RB: No. Don Genson said, “Doris is very upset about this and wants to meet you at her office to make it up to you. She wants to do another project.” Man, my spirit was so down at that point. But I went anyway.

JW: What was Doris like?
RB: Doris was sweet, just like she is in the movies. You looked into her face saw that her eyes were soft and she smiled so easily. She was timid but pompous in a protective sort of way. She
sat on a tall stool, and I sat at the piano playing. She said, “You know, Ronnell, how would you like to do an album with me—just the two of us?" I said I’d love to.

JW: Who else was in the room?
RB: Don Genson and her rehearsal pianist. Doris says, “I’ve got a book of sheet music from different Broadway shows. I'd like you to pick a selection of songs from these shows and arrange them in my keys." Doris is a beautiful singer, and I was honored. She said, “If you can come back in a week’s time, we’ll meet and try them out.”

JW: What did you think?
RB: I had just finished staying up night and day writing music for the movie job that was taken away. Now I had to do more homework. But that was fine. I arranged about half the music in her key by the time we met the next time.

JW: How did it go?
RB: Back at her office, her rehearsal pianist was there again. He was throwing me dirty looks the entire time. He didn’t appreciate my being there, and I could understand completely how he felt. And I felt bad for him. Doris and I worked for about an hour. Then I took a break in the hall. I felt awful and couldn't really concentrate with the guy hovering around me.

JW: Did Genson get the picture?
RB: When Don Genson came out, I said, “Don, I appreciate this opportunity. But why is her piano player here? He’s shooting me dirty looks and coming up to the piano and checking out my hands. I can’t work like that. I have to be free. Is there any way to tell Doris not to bring him next time? I want to check out her singing and phrasing on these songs. I also want to communicate with her musically. But this guy is making me nervous.”

JW: So Don took care of it with Doris?
RB: About 15 minutes later, Doris came out with a powder puff, took it out and started powdering her face. “Alright Ronnell, you played for Sarah and Carmen but you don’t want to play for me?” Just as I opened my mouth to explain, she turned and left with Don.

JW: What do you think happened?
RB: I have no idea what Genson said to her. He must have gone inside and said “Well, Ronnell's all steamed up and doesn’t want to play with you under these conditions” or something like that. Whatever he said must have hurt her feelings to produce that kind of reaction.

JW: Why didn't Doris ask you directly for an explanation?
RB: In those days, I think Doris was insulated by the people around her. Maybe there was an insecurity. I have no idea why she didn't jump in and find out the truth for herself.

JW: If you could tell Doris Day something right now, what would it be?
RB: I'd tell her what I didn't have a chance to say that day. To me, Doris was on the same level as Sarah, Carmen, Ella and Nancy. When she sang, she had the love coming right through her. I so enjoyed her singing, and it was a joy to play behind her on The Love Album. I think had we been able to record an album with just the two of us, it would still be considered a jazz and pop classic. But you know how things go—they often happen or don't happen for a reason. If she wanted to record an album with me today, I'd be only too glad to do it.
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by Musiclover » 24 Sep 2018, 20:57

Major thanks to you, Howard, for posting this. Makes me wonder who her rehearsal pianist was.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by jmichael » 25 Sep 2018, 07:25

Ronnell Bright was a Julliard graduate and many rank him among the best jazz pianists of his generation.

What a shame that second album never came to fruition. This story illustrates the way Marty operated. I bet he didn't want to pay Ronnell a separate fee for the title song and that was the deciding factor in walking back the offer. I wonder if Doris knew that part of the story.

Howard, thanks for posting the entire interview.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by Musiclover » 25 Sep 2018, 11:00

Michael, I bet you're right.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by jmichael » 25 Sep 2018, 13:18

It's very sad when egos, miscommunication, and money undermine art. I wish Doris had spoken privately with Ronnell and removed the middle men from the situation. The two of them might have formed a professional bond and made a memorable album. What a shame that didn't happen.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by Jas1 » 26 Sep 2018, 05:25

Utterly fascinating Howard, thanks for sharing.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by howard » 26 Sep 2018, 10:57

I wonder why her rehearsal pianist was in attendance when Ronnell was there. I can understand Ronnell's discomfort.
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by Peter Flapper » 26 Sep 2018, 12:48

Hi Howard,

Thanks for sharing this story. But not an nice way to behave…

P

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Re: The Love Album

Unread post by Jas1 » 27 Sep 2018, 05:15

I got the impression from the book that Doris was sometimes very insecure about her recordings - and had to be literally pushed by Marty and the pianist- [in cahoots] to get her into the recording studio- maybe this is why her usual pianist was there?

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