|the desert island classics story #5:|
It's 1974 and J.P. Whitecloud lives in San Diego, CA. He has just decided to focus on songwriting and arranging instead of a singing career. He has also just finished writing a number of songs with his wife Susan and wants to record this material. His first L.A. contacts lead him to former "Cricket" and songwriter J.I. Allison ("That'll Be The Day", "Peggy Sue") who quickly agrees to take part in recording sessions, bringing along his old pals Curtis and Hardin. J.P. Whitecloud is doing the singing for the time being. Warren Wolf, a friend and producer in London, likes the takes and encourages Whitecloud to record some more cuts in order to have something more substantial. Whitecloud's mind is blown severely by the fact that for the second session Hardin brings along none other than Telecaster legend James Burton, a personal hero of his. Since Burton's innovative playing had graced the early hits of Ricky Nelson, every second Tele player is trying to copy Burton's licks. At this point he's mainly working for Elvis besides doing session work. Whitecloud is impressed by Burton's humble ways and the sessions go very well.
Polydor is expressing interest, asking for more material. J.P. Whitecloud is dreaming a dream of being able to present this one-of-a-kind band as a regular working unit with the name of Jango. He is encouraged to do so because Glen D. Hardin has just left the Presley band and is only working for Emmylous Harris. But it turns out that things don't fall into place. The Crickets are moving their base to Nashville and James Burton is still doing well with Elvis. Polydor agrees to put out the album if this band agrees to tour Europe – which is impossible. So J.P. Whitecloud has some brillant backing tracks in the can but no band and no real singer to finish these songs convincingly.
Whitecloud starts looking for a proper singer who is right for the material – to no avail. Then someone mentions to him the fact that Bob Mosley is around in San Diego and he starts looking for him. Finally, he finds him singing and playing in a bowling alley. J.P. remembers: "His singing was so good that I walked up to him after the set and told him that I wanted to record him the next day. And he did. In fact, he sang all nine songs on this album in one day, seven of the nine in one take. That was amazing since he had never heard of any of them before. Joe B. ... said Bob was one of the best singers he had ever heard." And so the album is ready to be shopped around. But by this time it's been known throughout the industry that Bob Mosley has personal problems. Record companies shy away, just like Bill Graham, who comes close of signing a deal at one point. NEVER DREAMED is shelved for more than 20 years.
And here it is on TAXIM, finally. The songs belong to the house of American roots music with elements of rock, blues and country blended in various shapes, sizes and moods. The one-of-a-kind singing and playing styles of Bob Mosley, James Burton and Glen D. Hardin are unmistakable. NEVER DREAMED is the small gem that time forgot. Today, Bob Mosley is back on track. He had hit the hard times in the early nineties, culminating in four years of being homeless. But amazingly, he has pulled himself back and is now a member of Moby Grape again, whenever the band chooses to appear on stage every once in a while. His singing and playing is strong as ever.
J.P. Whitecloud has become a successful producer and is glad to be still friends with Mosley. NEVER DREAMED is a wonderful document of a special musical encounter. Nothing more and nothing less.
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