On the morning of December 18 th 1999 I awoke to the morning newspaper’s headline “Jazz Great Dead” informing me that my friend Grover Washington Jr. had suddenly passed away in New York City. I sat and wept. Grover was a very special man. He was the kind of man who made it his business to leave his session upstairs in Studio “A” of Sigma Sound Studios, while producing Pieces of a Dream, to come down just to say hello and visit the people working down in studio “B”. At the time I was an assistant staff engineer and impressed to find a star of such magnitude taking the time to be friendly with someone so new and only recently acquainted with him. But that was the kind of person that Grover was. When I stopped weeping that morning all I could think about was how much the world was a lesser place without him. I went into my home studio and picked up my guitar and wrote this song. That summer I approached several of his close friends who had worked with Grover throughout his career and told them that I wanted to record this song. Every one of them simply said, “Where and when should I show up?” Every musician contributed their best, not only with their performance, but also by contributing ideas to the greater good of the record. That was because all of us had had the joyful experience of working with or in some way knowing Grover and that was the way he would have been: giving and caring enough to make the greater good paramount. This recording was created in that spirit. We were and are proud to have honored Grover in this way.
A few years ago my wife Pam asked me to help her find something among the memorabilia from her childhood and teen years. As I searched through some old papers I came upon a single sheet of yellow legal paper and I was stopped cold by what I saw. There, hand written by her late father Anthony "Tony" Mammarella, were what was very obvious to me a set of lyrics to a song he had written or had planned to write. Since there was no recording of the song in existence that I was aware of, (and I had searched every tape and record on previous occasions) I could not resist and almost immediately went to my studio (The Vinyl Room) and began to write. A year later I finally had the guts to play it for some of the members of Pam's family. They loved it. I then planned to bring as many of the musical members of the family into the studio to record as I could. In the fall of 1998, I invited Agnes Mammarella, my wonderful mother-in-law, as a guest to the AIPH studio to watch her children and grandchildren record "I Need You". Like all producers I fiddled and added things but finally was able to present this CD to the family as a Christmas present that year. I am most proud to have co-written a song with the man whose record label, Swan Records, had the quote "Be cool, stay in school!" printed on every disc. Swan Records was also the first record label in America to release a single, from a then new and unknown singing group from England known as the Beatles. This was a full year before they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show (check out the picture of Tony presenting them with their first American Gold record backstage that very night they first appeared on American TV). "Tony" Mammarella was the producer of a local television show on the ABC affiliate from its inception until after it went national and then moved to Los Angles. That show was the culturally ground breaking "American Bandstand" show which changed the face of American music forever!
Ah, a love song inspired by my wonderful wife Pam. So what else is new? What is noteworthy about this track is the pedal steel performance by Russ Lynch! Wow, what can I say about the fantastic job he did! I was lucky enough to meet him through Bob Wagner who talked Russ to come to one of my monthly jam sessions at my home in the Vinyl Room (which btw is where this entire track was recorded). At that point I thought I had already completed the song. I had had Jack Klotz do a twangy Fender lead solo but when I told him about the opportunity to add the steel well he said “Of course you should!” Also Lucy Melia returns to my CD (she sang 3 on the first) to do the lead vocal but on harmony with her making her recording debut is Shanon Kolen her niece. Oh yea, even after 20 wonderful years Pam still does take my breath away.
Well here we are again, another love song I wrote in the back seat of our car as Pam and I made an unplanned escape to Cape May for a Valentine’s Day weekend. Newlyweds April Iorio and Dave Fecca perform it in its entirety. We did it simple, sweet and to the point. Again, it’s a Vinyl Room recording.
I wrote this one way back when I was studio manager and chief engineer at 309 for Gamble and Huff. Bruce Hawes helped with a few chords in the tune and programmed and played most of the track. Bill (The King) Dorman ripped up the guitar tracks and I had done a male and female lead vocal, here is Kathy Howard’s great performance.
In 1991 my friend Ronnie Baker, who was the original bass player for MFSB and who was also a great writer and producer in his own right, passed away from brain cancer. I sat in church at his funeral with my heart broken; listening to the songs played that day. I went later that day to a session and then home late that night with all those wonderful old traditional Gospel songs swimming in my head. I could not sleep. I found myself with my guitar in my hands at 2 or 3 in the morning writing this song. It seemed to flow through me, not come from in me. I recorded it to a cassette after I had fashioned the whole song. I rewound the tape and listened back only to suddenly realize that I had sung the song in a falsetto, which I had never done before. What so struck me was the fact that in every session I ever worked with Ronnie I never ever heard him sing anything that he needed to get across to anyone with anything BUT a falsetto. It so freaked me out I did not go back and even listen to the demo I made that night for a YEAR! At some point later, after his dear friend Norman Harris and sadly Bruce Hawes’ sister Debbie Hawes both passed away very young, did I go back and listen to that tape. I heard it and said I have to cut this for all 3 of them… So I went ahead and programmed a few versions of the song working with Ray Williams who changed an A minor chord to a C and ended up as a co-writer. In fairness he insisted that we record it in G (“the Gospel key” he said) and added the key changes that are in the recording. He is also the drummer on the track. I was involved with a project for Billy Paul at the time and played an early version to him and he said, “I love it and I want it on this project”. So we cut it but unfortunately the project was never completed. All I was ever going to add beyond what you hear here is a choir and to replace Bruce’s organ with an organ performance by Leon Huff. This is a last rough mix I did before the plug was pulled. Thanks to Billy and Blanche for permission to use it as is here. One note on that session was that Ray who is sightless had to be cued for the ending, well I as the producer had to “conduct” it with out him being able to see me. So as the tape was rolling, I when out into the studio and touched his back to cue him on the finish. So I had to edit the long tag out so everyone could hear how well he, Bruce and Tyrone played that ending. There is also a weird recording flaw I the 1 st verse which I fixed up as best possible with out access to the original multi-track tapes. I regret it can not be perfected, but this release may yet lead to other productions of the song that would honor Ronnie, Norman and Debbie’s memory.
This song was written by my son Rustin at Thanksgiving gathering in my living room with his 3 month old daughter Katie sleeping next to us on the couch. I kept playing along with him (we both always grab acoustic guitars at every gathering we can) following his left hand, as I have since he started playing when he was 8, and I thought, “This is cool, what is this?” So I asked is this a Pink Floyd song or what and he said “No I am just making this up right now”, so I suggested a structure to the changes he was playing and this song was worked out while Katie napped. When we had it all worked out and played it one last time all the way through and smiled when we stopped. Katie woke up and looked around asking with her eyes, what happened, why did you stop? I wrote the lyrics later. Rustin played every part on every instrument but the 1 st guitar solo (Chuck McCrory) the percussion track (Liz Bressi-Stoppe) and the drums (which Rusty Crowe so well performed replacing the Lynn Drum loop we used to start with) ALL IN ONE NIGHT! Every time I hear it I think if he lived nearer to me just think how much we could do in the Vinyl Room! Get back more often son!
When I played a demo of this to Bobby Emmons he said “Whoa, Jim Gallagher the dark side!” I think we all know about the other side of life that everyone has fantasized about at least. I kept thinking that this song should get to Chris Isaac. Anyone know how I might do that? If so please give me a call! Another Vinyl Room Production that features Jam band regulars Royce (Wow are you great!) Martin on bass and Bob (I’m sorry I missed another jam, I’m e-mail challenged) Wagner. This guitar solo by Chuck McCrory is worth the listen for alone!
The Stunt Men are a band from center city Philly that recorded in my night class at the U Arts. I asked them to cut this straight up rock track for me and they did. Thanks guys! I love the slide guitar!
Joe Fry and I demoed this tune in my old Vinyl Room a few years ago on my old 4 track cassette machine. After we had Joe asked if I minded if he took a shot at it at home on his computer based system. Well, a few weeks later he played me this track and I was very excited. All I asked for him to do over was the guitar solo. Next we turned to the vocals. The backgrounds were done in the V-Room with the Mammarella gals in full force. The lead was done back then but I later decided that I wanted April to do it. After about 8 weeks of scheduling madness we finally got in the new V-Room (this is 4 or 5 years later) and she did her vocal. I wrote the song about the horrible emptiness one feels when your good thing is threatened.
One day Rob Crites came to my house and played the 4 chords of the verse of this song to me and I said. “Wow that is very cool may I run with that and write some more?” He said sure, and that night I wrote the rest of the music and all the words. I played it for him the next day and he was blown away. That night I demoed it. So within 48 hours I had written and recorded this song. I went back into the V-Room and re-recorded it later programming drums with my Lynn Drum and playing 2 guitars and bass. Later I asked Sue Mammarella to sing it and play electric piano on it. I later added the string pad myself. A unique opportunity presented itself many years later when my cousin Barbara’s son Kyle Manchester came to a family reunion at our home and without having any time to really study the song was asked to add the “Spanish flavored” guitar track. He nailed it! I replaced the drum machine at my son’s insistence with drums by Robert “The Pounder” Emmons. A last answer background vocal track I always heard in my head as I sang and played the song was the last and finishing touch that Sue added.
This was the first song I ever asked Lucy Melia of Lefty Lucy to sing for me. I cut the track at the studio at the University of the Arts when I taught there years ago with some musicians that were fellow faculty members and some students at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Originally there was a guitar solo not the fiddle that Dave “Dr. Femur” Edelman so wonderfully added later after I had met him working on the Jaffna project. Please listen to the tracks by Jaffna on my website. Another tune about how much we lose when we lose the one we love
OK, so this is my Bob Dylan tribute song… When I wrote it one night at my son’s home late after everyone had fallen asleep, I thought ,”OK which Dylan song is this that I am ripping off?” So I listened to a few old ones of his and I don’t think it is a direct rip after all. I call the bridge the Enron section. I played it for my son Rustin the next day and he said it was his favorite of all the songs I had ever written to that point. I was originally going to do it with my vocal, my guitar and maybe a harmonica added. After I did that, I started to add more; a bass, then I wanted drums, then an organ etc. Of course that was all added to the original guitar and vocal track played by me without a click track so adding all the instruments one by one to the imperfect time of my guitar made for a sloppy track at best. I liked the feel of it but after playing it at one of my monthly jam sessions with the Jam Band Regulars I realized that it would be far better to redo it with the band altogether at one time, like a band… This version is cut that way with them. I wanted my son to play the bass on it because he liked it so much so I played the bass as a ref as I sang it with the band and added the additional vocals with Jim Imbesi and Chuck McCrory right after we did the track. Rustin replaced my bass the weekend of my family reunion and gave a different feel to the whole thing. I may have a bare original version hidden somewhere on my website if you want to hear it that way… By the way, thank you Mr. Zimmerman for your inspiration as an astoundingly prolific songwriter and as a gritty enough singer to give me the courage to sing this one myself.
This one was going to be a rock anthem but the words never really work for me however. So then I wrote other words which were, let’s say, suggestive, but some might even call them pornographic. Those I never recorded either. So then there I was with this great rock track and no lyrics. So I got to thinking, what’s wrong with some cool screaming guitar tracks on top and leave it like that. First I tried some tracks with a WahWah but they were not quite right. So I tried adding Chuck McCrory and let him wail all over it. Then we turned off that track and did another track of him wailing all over it. Then I played them both back. I liked the double lead guitars (ala Eric Clapton and Duane Allman on Layla) so much that I had Chuck punch in the occasional spot where the 2 tracks did not work together and created this version. I played a cowbell on this one in the “B” sections while Rusty is playing the ride cymbal and I gained a whole new respect for percussionists and drummers. Wow, it ain’t easy staying right on time! The title is borrowed from a never realized film that Harpo Marx and Salvador Dali were going to make in 1939 that I read about at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg Florida which I very highly recommend!
All songs published by Palmina in Paradise Publications, BMI.
Songs produced by Jim Gallagher except track 10 produced by Joe Fry and Jim Gallagher.
Song produced by Joe Fry and Jim Gallagher.
Words and music by Jim Gallagher
TRACK 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 ,14
Words by Anthony “Tony” Mammarella and music by Jim Gallagher
Words by Jim Gallagher and music by Jim Gallagher and Bruce Hawes
Words by Jim Gallagher and music by Jim Gallagher and Ray “C” Williams
Words by Jim Gallagher and Rustin Gallagher and music by Rustin Gallagher
Words by Jim Gallagher and music by Jim Gallagher and Rob Crites
Carla Benson TRACK 1
TRACK 2, 11
TRACK 2, 7, 8, 10 & 11
TRACK 2, 8 & 10
TRACK 2, 8, 10 & 11
Jim Imbesi & Chuck McCrory
TRACK Bass Guitar, 1
TRACK All Keyboards, 1
TRACK Drums and Percussion, 1
Jack Klotz Jr.
TRACK Acoustic Guitar 3, Electric Guitar 1, 12
TRACK Soprano Sax, 1
TRACK Flute Track 1
TRACK 2 Acoustic Guitars, Bass Synthesizer, Drum and percussion programming
TRACK Electric Piano; 2, 11
TRACK Pedal Steel Guitar, 3
TRACK Organ, 3; Piano, 3 and 8; All programming and all instruments, 10
TRACK Drums; 3, 7, 8, & 14
TRACK Acoustic Guitars, 4; Electric Guitar, 14;
Bill “The King” Dorman
TRACK Electric Guitar; 51
TRACK All Keyboards 5, 6; Drum programming 5
Ray “C” Williams
TRACK Drums 6; hihat 5
TRACK Bass Guitar 13
TRACK Acoustic Guitars, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lead Electric & Slide Guitar & Organ 7
TRACK Lead Electric Guitar 7 (1st solo), 8, 13 & 14, Electric Guitar 8