Listen/Download – The Phaetons – Leave It To Me
The tune I bring you today is another one of those things that I discovered in an auction, dug the sound and grabbed the record despite knowing nothing about it.
Naturally, the sound is the main thing that matters, i.e. I love when a record has an interesting story behind it, but if the song is groovy, none of that matters.
Fortunately, when I started doing a little digging, I turned up a couple of interesting facts.
The Phaetons (or at least these Phaetons) hailed from Long Island, NY.
They recorded three 45s for Warner Brothers records, all in 1967/68, and all, interestingly enough, produced by the great Jerry Ragavoy, better known as one of the finest soul music producers and songwriters of the classic era.
The 45 you see before you today was released in 1968, and by catalog numbers appears to the the Phaetons last for Warner Brothers.
Both sides of the disc are cool, melodic pop rock, with the flipside ‘You Better Come Back’ sounding like something the Left Banke might have put together in one of their more upbeat moods.
The side we feature today is the groovy ‘Leave It To Me’.
Interestingly, the song – written by legends Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman – was first recorded by the UK group A Band of Angels in 1965. That group, which featured future Manfred Mann singer Mike D’Abo took the song at a plodding, almost ballad pace (you can pick it up on iTunes as part of a Picadilly Records comp).
The Phaetons version of ‘Leave It To Me’ cranks up the tempo a notch or two, which really brings the melody to life. The group had excellent harmonies, and the guitar is especially nice.
Lead singer Gerard Kenny went to to some success as a pop singer in the UK (also writing ‘I Made It Through the Rain’ for Barry Manilow) and some of the other members of the band recorded an LP in the 70s as Roland Jade.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you all next week.