The Heads Behind The Garden Club
Clockwise from top left – Ruthanne Freidman, Tom Shipley,
Larry Marks, Tandyn Almer
The track I bring you today is one of those cool, obscure 45s that holds in its grooves not only a groovy little song, but a web of connections that is surprising vast (and interesting).
The Garden Club – as it was – only ever existed for this one 45. The principle members of the group were singers Ruthann Friedman and Tom Shipley.
Friedmann, who recorded a groovy 45 (with Van Dyke Parks) and a very cool album is also known as the composer of ‘Windy’, one of the biggest hits of the 1960s, covered endlessly by a wide variety of artists and no doubt the producer of an endless supply of royalty checks in her mailbox.
Tom Shipley went on to be one half of Brewer and Shipley, who made some excellent folk rock and had a big hit with ‘One Toke Over the Line’.
The composers were Daniel Walsh (who went on to writea bunch of pop stuff in the 70s, like ‘Temptation Eyes’ for the Grass Roots) and none other than Tandyn Almer.
Almer hit the jackpot with ‘Along Comes Mary’ for the Association, as well as ‘Shadows and Reflections’ (with Larry Marks) for the Action, among others.
The record was co-produced by Almer and Larry Marks. Marks had also written for people like Phil Ochs, Sagittarius, the Merry Go Round, Roger Nichols and others and produced a bunch of things, including co-producing ‘Gene Clark and the Gosdin Brothers’ with Gary Usher.
Marks was also the voice on the original ‘Scooby Doo’ theme!
So, with that remarkable provenance, the single is pretty cool, too.
“Little Girl Lost In Found’ is a cool but of early, sing-song popsike, with a lead vocal by Freidmann, that sounds like it was recorded on a merry go round.
‘I Must Love Her’ is pretty drastically different, with lead vocals by Shipley and a darker, folk rock sound akin to the early Jefferson Airplane.
There were a lot of artistic collaborations like this in mid-60s LA, but not many with this many tangents.
I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll see you next week.