‘What A Strange World’

The WordPress software that powers this blog is supposed to send me emails when anyone leaves a comment on the posts here. I’ve noticed over the couple of years since I’ve had my own website that sometimes it doesn’t quite work that way.

On occasion in the past few months, I’ve checked on a post and have been surprised to see a comment to which I had not been alerted. So I’ve taken on slow evenings to dipping into the pool of older posts here to see if any comments have been left without my knowing about them. There have been a few, and the other week, I found one that was most interesting.

In late March of last year, I wrote about the fairly obscure late Seventies duo Deardorff & Joseph, digging a little bit into their 1976 self-titled album and noting that the CD release of the album has become a collector’s item, being regularly priced at more than a hundred dollars. I found and embedded a video of the duo’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Sentimental Lady” to go with the post.

Shortly after I published the post, I got a bit more information from friend and regular reader Yah Shure. He noted in a comment that Deardorff & Joseph might have avoided obscurity had Arista promoted them and their music with a bit more energy. He wrote, “The third single from the D&J album was ‘Nighttime Love’ (Arista 0263) and listening to it again made me wonder how Arista Records managed to mishandle some of the sublime ‘West Coast Pop’ product it had issued in 1976-77.”

That all happened, as I said, in late March of 2011, and about two weeks ago, during one of my night-time bits of wandering through old posts in search of lost comments, I came across a comment that Marcus Joseph of Deardorff & Joseph left last June, about three months after the post went up.

He said he’d “stumbled across” the blog and thanked me for my comments. Then he wrote:

“The main reason our album received very little promotion was because I quit the duo and Arista just as our version of ‘Never Have To Say Goodbye’ was climbing up the charts. [The record bubbled under the Billboard chart in March and April of 1977, peaking at No. 109.] No fault of Clive Davis [of Arista]. He is a wonderful man and deserving of his reputation as a master in the business. Just weeks after our LP’s release, I met with Clive and told him I wanted out, mainly because I had become a father and my priorities had changed. He understood my situation and kindly wished me well.”

Joseph went on to say that in 1978, he released a solo album, Things I Meant To Say (on the Big Tree label), “and wouldn’t you know, just upon its release, I quit again, only this time for good. The record was basically shelved and never promoted at all, though it got some FM airplay for a while.”

He added, “Amazingly, in 2002 it was re-packaged and re-released as a CD in Japan, and even more amazing, it seems I have a small cult following there and elsewhere in the East and also parts of Europe. What a strange world.”

(I checked this morning, and CD copies of Things I Meant To Say are going for upwards of $120.)

Lastly, Joseph noted Yah Shure’s mention of “Nighttime Love,” and he said: “[A]s a lark, I wrote ‘Nighttime Love’ as my rebuttal to ‘Afternoon Delight’,” the 1976 hit by the Starland Vocal Band. “Afternoon Delight,” Joseph noted, was a record “I didn’t much care for.”

I was tickled to hear from Marcus, of course, and I wish that I’d known about his comment much, much earlier. Anyway, here’s Deardorff & Joseph’s “Nighttime Love,” from 1976.

(Next week, I’ll write about a couple of comments I got in response to another post, comments from relatives who are working to keep alive the memory of a singer who has passed on.)

Edited slightly since first posting.

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2 Responses to “‘What A Strange World’”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    So THAT’S what happened! Thanks for the full story, Marcus!

    And thanks for revisiting the original post, whiteray.

  2. James Wilkinson says:

    I have the vinyl I bought when I was a much younger man surviving in a tent in Homer, Alaska. I haven’t listened to it in decades, so I just plugged my ancient turntable system in and have come to one conclusion: the record is much too short. The LA music-scene stalwarts behind the two principals on the record made it what is. I’m glad Danny is still making music in the Pacific Northwest.

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