Mellow Christian Disco Country — I’ll Play Anything

Hal Blaine has always been an inspiration to me. He calls himself the most recorded drummer of all time, and the evidence seems to support him. And his quality matches his quantity. In addition to pounding the definitive Phil Spector beat on “Be My Baby,” the skins man provided precise stick- and footwork on “Return to Sender,” “Good Vibrations,” and even Dino’s “Everybody Loves Somebody,” as well as hundreds of chart-toppers through the late ’70s.

All of which is to say I’m no Hal Blaine. But these tracks display a certain versatility, if nothing else. First up is a disco song. I think disco was already dead when we recorded this at Omega Studios in Kensington. I am unashamed to say that the beat is fun to play and if asked, I would play it again. So there.

“Another Eight Hours”

My only entry into the world of Christian Rock came via an intense young man named David Coggeshall. Producer Caltrick Simone (ne Stein) was unafraid to put his money into a work of unabashed Godliness. And, miracle of miracles, the tune was pick-hit-of-the-week on WINX-AM radio in Rockville. (Or WPGC. I’ll fact-check this later.) Not sure what happened to Mr. Coggeshall. Hope he’s not in Hell.

“Give Your Life to Him”

I remember this session, but not the names of anybody involved. It was the ’70s, make your own joke. I recall that a couple Georgetown or GW students, or grad students, had a bunch of songs they wanted recorded and I got the call. One guy’s tunes were wacky folky things that he presented with more enthusiasm than authority. But the other guy was more serious and his song has an Andy Williams vibe that I kinda dig. If Andy Williams has any vibe.

“Carrie’s Plane Is Leaving”

Another Dan Pasley session. I think this was supposed to be part of a musical, or something. Dan’s commercial work was always trying to be theatrical, and his theatrical work hoped to be commercial. Recorded this in the basement of a tract house in PG County. Again, can’t recall the singer, a spunky little gal with a big voice.

“Nashville Women”

A sports writer, TV writer, music writer, and a drummer walk into a recording studio. Here’s music recorded in this century, recorded at the fabtabulous Scary Clown Studios, in fact, by the equally splenderiffic Philip Stevenson.

The first session, we got right down to recording the theme song for the music writer’s radio show. Which had been canceled some weeks previous. Still, there was a need for closure. I’m sure the three people who listened to the program are retroactively delighted to finally have a tune to hum along to while not waiting to dial in.

“The Theme From the (Canceled) Music Show”

The second tune was inspired by an interview with Don Kirshner, he of the fabled ABC show In Concert, the show that introduced Alice Cooper to much of America. Don also introduced us to the music of the Monkees, a fact the Monkees themselves are still not too happy about.

Anyway, we did the song, then stuck in real and imagined quotes from the interview. It’s not Don, of course, saying these things. But it’s certainly the spirit of Don. And the spirit of Don is what’s kept this country free.

“Plump Little Fingers, “The Chocolate Thing”