Posts Tagged ‘Deardorff & Joseph’

‘What A Strange World’

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

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.

Saturday Single No. 231

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Thirty-four years ago today, in the Billboard Hot 100 released March 26, 1977, the No. 1 song in the United States was “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates.

Makes you wanna get up and cheer, doesn’t it?

No, not me either. But that’s what I started with this morning as I looked for something to write about. I opened the Hot 100 for that week and saw Hall & Oates perched at the top, followed by Barbra Streisand’s “Love Theme from ‘A Star Is Born’.” Not a good start, I thought.

Okay, well, how about movement, our little game of “Jump”? I did some looking at the Top 40 for that week, gauging what there might be to talk about. There weren’t a lot of big moves – moves of six or more places – which would make for a brief post. And the largest shift of the week in the Top 40 was a climb of thirteen places – a good-sized shift – for the Climax Blues Band’s “Couldn’t Get It Right.”

I sighed. Not that I dislike the record. It’s okay, but I was hoping for a bigger payoff. It seemed a little anticlimactic.

So, beginning to feel a little desperate, I dropped to the bottom of the file, wondering what tune had anchored the Bubbling Under portion of the chart during the first week of spring thirty-four years ago. It was “We’ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again” by Deardorff and Joseph. I knew the song – England Dan & John Ford Coley took it to No. 9 in early 1978. But who the heck were Deardorff and Joseph?

In Top Pop Singles, there’s not much information, just that they were a pop duo: Danny Deardorff and Marcus Joseph, and “We’ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again” was their only single listed. The record spent four week bubbling under and never got higher than No. 109. I found a video at YouTube, and it was an okay version of the tune, which has never been high on my list of my favorite songs, anyway. But I like obscure groups and duos, so I looked to see what All-Music Guide had to say about Deardorff and Joseph.

The main page was pretty empty, but the duo’s only album – the source of their bubbling-under moment – got a full review. Odd, I thought, as I began reading the piece, which was mostly complimentary and which noted that the duo’s self-titled album has become “a cult item for collectors of soft Californian ’70s pop.” I went off to do some looking. Vinyl copies of the album are available at a couple of places I checked – prices ranged from $3 to more than $135 – but the Arista CD is pretty rare. My quick search found just one copy available, priced at more than $102.

Now intrigued, I went back to AMG and took a closer look at the album as I was beginning to think I might have to dig around for it. I checked the track listing, and there, at No. 5, was Bob Welch’s “Sentimental Lady,” recorded first by Fleetwood Mac for its 1972 album Bare Trees and then covered by Welch himself in 1978.

So I made one more run to YouTube. After a couple of listens, I’m finding a lot to like in Deardorff and Joseph’s take on “Sentimental Lady,” and it’s today’s Saturday Single.