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Author Topic: Terry Manning The Record  (Read 2500 times)

gtoledo3

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Terry Manning The Record
« on: February 21, 2005, 07:22:05 pm »

I googled your discography and noticed you had a solo record that is out of print. What's the story behind that, and is there any way of gettting a copy?
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compasspnt

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Re: Terry Manning The Record
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2005, 06:09:09 pm »

Hi,

Well, I wondered if this would come up...

Yes, I had a solo album called "Home Sweet Home" released by Stax's Enterprise label (same label as Isaac Hayes).

I am somewhat ambivalent about this recording, because of the way it came to be in the first place.

This recording was done primarily as a joke; not to say that I tried to make something wierd or bad, but that it was a good natured poking of fun at, first one person in particular, and then at a whole city and it's musical heritage.  But, I guess that leads inevitably to another "story..."

Long ago, I was working on an album (primarily as an engineer, and secondarily as a musician) by The Boxtops.  They had just come off of their amazing success with the songs "The Letter," which had been the biggest selling single of whatever year that was, "Neon Rainbow," and "Cry Like A Baby."  They were now recording their third album.  A good friend of mine, Eddie Hinton, had written a song for them, which had been accepted, and was expected to be the next single.  This song was "Choo Choo Train," which did eventually become the first single released from that album.

Eddie was very excited about all of this, and was already "spending his money," so to speak, even if just in his mind.  He expected to make millions from this song, and he had all of it spent.  I thought it was going to his head a little bit, and decided to play a joke on him.  I also thought the words "choo choo" sounded kind of funny.  So I stayed late after the sessions a couple of nights, and recorded my own version of the song; only, instead of the r&b based version they were doing, I did it very thrashy rock, with silly stops full of slide guitar and harmonica, long Bonham-like drum fills, etc.  Then I sang the song in a way-over-the-top Alex Chilton-as-Boxtops gruffy voice.  Once I had this mixed, and Eddie came in the next day to hear what they had done the night before, I played my version instead of theirs.  Of course, he was shocked, and furious, but also he couldn't help but laugh.  After a while, we all had a big guffaw over the whole thing, and went back to work on The Boxtops.

BUT, a funny thing happened on the way to the...wherever we were going to then...

Al Bell, co-owner and Vice President of Stax, and the man with whom I was working on all of The Staple Singers' recordings, amongst many others, heard a copy of the song, and he liked it.  He didn't hear it as a joke, but as a serious rock recording.  He played it for several other people at Stax, and they all liked it, too.  So they made me an offer to record a whole album like this one song, and they would pay an advance.  The advance sounded like a good idea to me, so I said OK.

I knew I couldn't do a whole album making fun of Eddie Hinton, so I looked for other things to make fun of.  I decided to lampoon the whole Memphis Music scene, which, as great as it was (and I do mean really great!), I also saw as backwards when it came to understanding music from other places.  So I did several songs in what I thought were outlandish ways; extravagant arrangments in a rock band style, fake Steve Cropper guitar licks put onto a fake Sam & Dave type track, then the vocal being a spoken word, slowed-down, fake country-blues accent, punctuated by fake "Sweet Inspirations girl group" chorus,  and then the solo becoming fake Jeff Beck, then leading into a bass harmonica solo terribly overdriven....and that's all just on one song.  I did a fake Booker T & MG's organ instrumental, with fake Cropper lead, almost all on one note (I worked very closely with Steve, and Booker, and the other MG's, engineering and playing on their records...all of this was not meant in a mean way, just having fun with my friends).  I did a couple of Beatles songs, too, all in a crazy power-blues-rock-overdrive way.  One was Harrison's "Savoy Truffle" done very over-seriously, as if the sweet tooth were having a massive ache!  All just having fun.  I was being paid to be silly, and I took advantage of it.

Of course, no one at the label ever got this; they thought it was great rock & roll!  So they released it, and it did "just OK' in a few places (of course!)  The one place it had more success was in France...go figure!  I guess they understood REAL rock & roll, huh?

It seems few really got the jokes.  They were obvious to me, but I guess if you release an album, people naturally expect you to have been serious in the making of it.  Otherwise, it would be classified a comedy album, which this was not.

The bad side of all this is that many consider this album to be what I actually do, musically.  Then I got so busy working on everybody else's records, that I never really did a serious new one for myself.  In fact however, I still plan to do this, and actually have made more progress recently on it than in many years.  I found you just have to force yourself to make the time somehow.

I worked with Eddie Hinton back then for awhile, and then lost touch with him.  Unfortunately, he turned out to have a kind of mental disease, and actually went "different" on the world, however.  Another friend of mine, also a producer, Johnny Sandlin, took Eddie under his wing, and took care of him; he let Eddie live above his garage, and take care of his grounds, when no one else would help Eddie.

Eddie did get the chance to do more music, however.  About 1991 or so I co-produced another album for him, called "Very Blue Highway," released on Rounder.  The songs are fantastic.  Eddie had become known as the "white Otis Redding," a pretty silly thing to say, but he was fantastic, and very bluesy.  By this time, Eddie wasn't singing quite as well, but the album still has a lot of great moments.  We just had to fight away a few space aliens...Unfortunately, Eddie didn't make it too much longer past that, and he died way too young in 1995.

http://www.mp3.com/eddie-hinton/artists/69390/summary.html



As for my "Home Sweet Home" album, it was re-released a couple of times on CD in Japan, in France, and in several other countries.  I don't know how or where to get those reissues.  The original vinyl album has become a rare collector's item, and is available at several places, for around a $100 or so.  Here's a link to one site (and also a very astute review, I might add):

http://www.geocities.com/badcatrecords/MANNINGterry.htm

So that's the whole silly album story...maybe that will teach you better than to ask!

Terry
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Brian Kehew

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Re: Terry Manning The Record
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2005, 10:12:36 pm »

Wow - it sounds like I might like it, actually. Creative mutilation of music is one of my hobbies, and it takes a skill and creativity all its own.

Speaking of which - have your heard "The American Blues" from 1969? Dusty and Frank's original band - before Billy joined them. I found a copy ( I hear it's rare) on vinyl - what a TERRIBLE band! It's so bad it's funny. Dusty's brother is the singer/guitarist...

Gibbons once found it (on CD!!) in France and called Dusty up saying, "Buddy - you're worst nightmare has just come true!"
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Relax and float downstream...

compasspnt

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Re: Terry Manning The Record
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2005, 11:34:15 pm »

I engineered an album once for Rocky Hill, Dusty's brother.  He was actually a good blues player and singer.  That album never came out in it's original form, however.

I have heard that the American Blues were "not so good," however.
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