So there was this woman, name of Lucretia McEvil. A regular back-seat Delilah. Tail shakin’, home breakin’, truckin through town. Never done a thing worthwhile. You know the type. Anyway, one day Lucretia says, “Don’t crush that dwarf, hand me the pliers.” Well, strictly speaking that’s not true. I made that part up. Let me explain. See, there was this guy, David Wolinski, a keyboard player, songwriter, and producer, nickname of Hawk. He worked with everybody from Quincy Jones and Rufus to The Guess Who and Chicago. Now, Chicago was on the Columbia label and they were produced in their early years by in-house producer, James Guercio, who was from Chicago, and who also produced the second album for Blood, Sweat, and Tears, also under contract to Columbia. Another group that came out of Chicago was Madura, featuring the keyboardist David Wolinski and a vocalist by the name of Lucretia McEvil..
Well, OK, that last part’s not true. But it is true that Madura once opened for Chicago and they were also produced by James Guercio, who also produced a couple of records for Firesign Theater, including the famous single “Station Break” one of the few 45’s they released for, that’s right, Columbia records. Which raises the question: How can you be two places at once when you’re not anywhere at all? The answer: more sugar! Then, around 1970 a group called Ballinjack came out of Seattle. Like Chicago and Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Ballinjack had a big fat horn section. Ballinjack was also on Columbia, so guess who produced them… If you said Nick Danger or James Guercio, you’re wrong and I don’t know why, but they all refused to have anything to do with that tramp, Lucretia McEvil. Jethro Tull, on the other hand, uses a nifty flute segue to sneak into today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl, despite having nothing to do with any of these people or Columbia Records. So, having said all that, here’s a horny little batch from the Way Back Studios. But first, a station break…
|Blood, Sweat & Tears
|Festival (part 1)
|Johnny B. Goode
|Festival (part 2)
|With you there to help me
|Blood, Sweat & Tears
|Lucretia McEvil (reprise)
From their third album, simply called Blood, Sweat, and Tears. “Lucretia McEvil” peaked at #29 on the Billboard charts, which qualifies as a lesser hit for a group used to reaching #2 on a regular basis. But what we just heard never charted at all. That was the reprise to the song which is on their third album but which was edited from the single version Columbia released, which we heard near the top of the set. But at the TIP top of the set we heard another group that recorded for Columbia. Firesign Theatre. We heard “Station Break,” a single released in 1969 that was produced by James William Guercio, who at the time was an in-house producer for Columbia and who had produced the second album by Blood, Sweat, and Tears, along with the first several albums by Chicago. A city that also produced a group called Madura who we heard in the middle of the set, doing a version of “Johnny B. Goode” which was also produced by James Guercio for Columbia records. Also in that set, and also on Columbia, and also a horn band like Chicago and Blood, Sweat, and Tears, we heard Ballinjack, a group out of Seattle that wasn’t produced by Guercio. We took Ballinjack’s song “Festival” from their debut album in 1970 and we broke it into two parts, inserting the Madura into the middle.
Near the end of the set, the only group in there not on Columbia Records, a band named after an 18th Century agriculturalist, Jethro Tull, inventor of the seed drill. From the album Benefit we heard, “With You There To Help Me,” also from 1970. The song starts with Ian Anderson’s flute, some of which I believe was recorded and then played backwards which made for a nice segue out of the flute part at the end of the Ballinjack. Well, as David Clayton Thomas said, Hard luck and trouble bound to be your claim to fame here in the Way Back Studios. Thanks for listening. I’m Bill Fitzhugh and someday soon, I’ll be back with another batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl, right here in the Deep Tracks.