The ¡°HAPPY BIRTHDAY¡± album was written in1966 with my friend Tom Campbell (today one of the leading political activists and concert promoters in the country). Yes, it was nominated for a Grammy (something I didn¡¯t find out until years later!) but, alas, was beaten in the Grammy race by Dr. Seuss and his marvelous Grinch.

 

¡°PORTRAIT OF THE YOUNG ARTIST¡± was produced in 1967 by Sonny Burke for Reprise Records. Sonny had done much work with and produced records for Frank Sinatra and that was (for better or worse) the approach that was taken with this batch of material. Looking back I know I had something else in mind -  at least in part, a number of the pieces were quite close to how I had envisioned them -  but I didn¡¯t even play the guitar on the album and at my first meeting with the orchestrator Pete King  (¡°Wives and Lovers¡±; the movie ¡°Camelot¡±) we got in a rather heated discussion on the musical worth of the Beatles - ¡°They have no schooling, no foundation to build on¡±, And I thought, (although I didn¡¯t say it) ¡°I¡¯m sure someone once said the same thing about Irving Berlin¡± ¨C And yet Pete went all out for the album and did a very thorough (and in his context, original) job. I was not pleased with the sequencing (the running order) on the record but I had nothing to say about that although I did have quite a bit of say in the musical aspects (I remember I stopped this huge orchestra Pete was conducting and told him sweetly but in no uncertain terms, ¡°That¡¯s the wrong chord, please change it back¡± ¨C Pete had indeed changed one of my harmonies ¨C and, after a little discussion, he happily obliged. And Sonny Burke took this all smilingly in stride, somewhat bemused by the audacity of the upstart seventeen year-old (but I had worked very hard on those chords)

  

One of the glories of the experience (and this too was Pete King going out of his way to grant my wishes) was to work with several of my musical heroes at the time, flutist Bud Shank and guitarist Barney Kessel.. In fact while all the other musicians had gone home Barney stayed behind and listened with great intent all the way to the last note of the last playback. I was quite flattered (although too

 

shy to say word one to him)

 

WHEN I WAS SIX I GOT A UKELELE  (Beachtown Records 1977)

 

This record conversely was exactly what I wanted - my great gang of buddies holed up for a week in a recording studio having a ball ¨C sort of ¡°The Little Rascals make a record¡±. It is still, to me, a great joy to listen to, an aural snapshot of a very fertile and happy time and place. I hope this shall be available on C.D soon.

 

FATHER¡¯S DAY (simplicity Himself)

 

This is me now, recorded by my son Calvin in his own studio (Stylee Coyote) and at Bill Bottrell¡¯s studio (William¡¯s Place) doing material that, because the concepts are timeless, is hopefully quite timely. The many different styles are handled with just my guitar, something I have always done in performance but never before on record. The time (there¡¯s that word again) was right.

 

 

Copyright 2003-2007 Mark Turnbull

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