Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nature has beauty, nature has its place

7 years before the Velvet Underground started, Lou Reed’s teenage doo-wop group recorded a 45 that influenced absolutely nobody. High school seniors Phil Harris and Lou Reed got together with a bass singer named Al Walters to play a Little Richard style act in the school talent show. A neighbor of Harris’ girlfriend arranged an audition for Bob Shad, an A&R man at Mercury Records that was looking to start his own label. Shad agreed to record the group and set up a studio date.

To help fill in the sound of the high school trio Shad bought in a backup singer whose name is forgotten but Reed remembers that he was a big black man with ‘a giant mound of snot hanging out of his nose.’ Shad also hired the mighty King Curtis to play saxophone on both songs. Reed is playing guitar. Harris wrote “So Blue” by himself and helped Reed write “Leave Her For Me”.

The record was released on Shad’s Time label in 1958. It didn’t get much airplay although Reed says that the record got played on Murray The K’s show once earning the band 78 cents in royalties. Harris remembers seeing the record in jukeboxes. The group got some sunglasses, string ties and glitter jackets and played a few bars and shopping center openings. Nothing came of that so Shad recorded Harris performing solo. This record was more popular but I’ve never heard it or seen a copy.


Blogger Dgrador said...

This is pretty funny stuff!

28/9/07 12:57 PM  

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