Can-Con 45 Of The Day - May 18

Can-Con 45 Of The Day - May 18

Postby radiofan » Fri May 18, 2018 7:28 am

Today's Can-Con 45 is from 1968 ... The Collectors and "Early Morning" from their "Grass And Wild Strawberries" LP ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTYF1Nx_o08

Image
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
User avatar
radiofan
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 10991
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:24 pm
Location: Pitt Meadows

Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - May 18

Postby Richard Skelly » Fri May 18, 2018 2:08 pm

Life regrets? I’ve had a few. One being that my high school didn’t pony up to bus interested students to a matinee performance of Grass And Wild Strawberries. Sending artsy kids to Vancouver theatrical productions was all the rage at the time. Indeed, I saw Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard in just that manner.

Grass And Wild Strawberries was a rock opera of sorts. Playwright George Ryga, coming off his award winning Ectstasy Of Rita Joe, collaborated with The Collectors who were dividing their time between hometown Vancouver and hip Los Angeles in the late 1960s. Ryga wrote dialogue for stage actors. But he also wrote song lyrics to which The Collectors added underlying music. Performing just off stage, the band became a psychedelic Greek Chorus, moving the (at-times head scratching) plot along.

Early Morning b/w My Love Delights Me was the only single released by Warner Brothers from the Grass And Wild Strawberries album. It cost a bundle to produce in Los Angeles with wunderkind Dave Hassinger overseeing sessions. Perplexingly, Warners then commissioned liner notes and a marketing campaign focusing on the soundtrack angle...even though the Ryga play did not tour beyond BC, let alone the United States.

Methinks, Warners should have dropped virtually all references to the groovy play and simply hyped the disc as an assemblage of great songs. Psych-rocker Early Morning, the Shakespearean “hey-nonny” influenced My Love Delights Me and First Nations-tinged Seventeenth Summer were all sung by Bill Henderson. I find it odd that Warners didn’t release followup singles with band lead vocalist Howie “Vickers” Vickberg at the helm. The bluesy Rainbow Of Fire had a kind of spooky Hendrix sophisticated simplicity. Sheep On The Hillside had an epic sweep. Even an edit of the album’s swirling instrumental intro patched onto the title track could’ve been a contender for attracting AM radio listeners.

Alas, the album sank without a trace in the US. Howie left The Collectors later in 1969. The band continued as a quartet for a year, releasing a couple of locally-produced 45s on London Records. They then changed names to Chilliwack and recorded an eponymous album for London’s sister label Parrot. It included a re-recorded version of Seventeenth Summer which remains a staple, decades later, in the set list of the current configuration of Chilliwack.
Richard Skelly
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 5:52 pm

Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - May 18

Postby Richard Skelly » Fri May 18, 2018 2:35 pm

It should be added that with Early Morning and the title track Grass And Wild Strawberries, The Collectors were perfecting a type of vocals where a lead singer would be simultaneously accompanied by co-singers. But not in a conventionally harmonic way. More of a strong unison approach. Pity there wasn’t a third album to carry that experiment further.

In addition to Howie and guitarist Bill, the band had an excellent support vocalist in Claire Lawrence (reeds, keyboards). Although not a strong singer, bassist Glenn Miller could also add some quirky low-end notes when needed. Drummer Ross Turney was the only non-vocalist in The Collectors. Both Glenn and Ross passed away in the last decade.
Richard Skelly
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 5:52 pm


Return to Can-Con 45 Of The Day

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests