February 27, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 48: David Clayton-Thomas

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes in addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email please, not by a comment.

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 reel-to-reel tape album cover
cover photo by Ivan Nagy
photo of album cover by Styrous®

Hernando's Hideaway

So, right to the point. My favorite song on this album is Hernandos Hideaway; don't expect to hear the standard version you've heard before. This is a delightful romp down the street with a bouncy, jazz-funky, rocky rendition backed up by a bunch a horns, plenty of guitars and, of course, the unmistakable voice of Clayton-Thomas that is just plain FUN! All the traditional elements of the song are present; just spiced up a little with a subtle samba beat.  It's brassy, loud, bold and a whole lotta fun.

His rendition of Midnight Train To Georgia has nothing to do with this album but I just had to mention as it is one of my favorite versions of this song. Links to both songs on YouTube below.

David Clayton-Thomas
 reel-to-reel tape album cover back
photos by Ivan Nagy
photo of album cover back by Styrous®

David Clayton-Thomas was born David Henry Thomsett on September 13, 1941, in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England. When he was fourteen, he left home, sleeping in parked cars and abandoned buildings, stealing food and clothing to survive. He was arrested several times for vagrancy, petty theft and street brawls and spent his teen years bouncing in and out of various jails and reformatories.

During 1966,  Clayton-Thomas survived by playing “basket houses” - performers were given a few minutes of stage time and then passed the basket. Folk singer Judy Collins heard David one night at a club uptown and told her friend, drummer Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz about him. Al Kooper, singer for Blood, Sweat & Tears, had just left the group; Colomby and Katz were looking for a replacement.

David Clayton-Thomas
 reel-to-reel tape album cover back detail
photos by Ivan Nagy
detail photo by Styrous®

Clayton-Thomas is a Grammy Award-winning Canadian musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist for the American band Blood, Sweat & Tears. He has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and in 2007 his jazz/rock composition Spinning Wheel was enshrined in the Canadian Songwriter's Hall Of Fame. In 2010 He received his star on Canada's Walk Of Fame.

David Clayton-Thomas
 reel-to-reel tape album cover back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Apparently, it was not a happy situation and some of the members had many issues that hindered the health of the group. Links to interviews with David Clayton-Thomas below.

David Clayton-Thomas
 reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®
Track list:

Side 1:
  1. Harmony Junction (3:13) (Clayton-Thomas/Smith)

  2. Workin’ on the Railroad (2:34) (Trad. Adapt. Clayton-Thomas)

  3. Alimony (3:25) (Tommy Tucker)

  4. Harbour Lady (3:25) (Martin – Meskell)

  5. When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (4:26) (Isaac Hayes – David Porter)

Side 2:
  1. Hernandos Hideaway (3:49) (Alder – Ross)

  2. Sweet Fantasty (3:22) (Hoyt Axton)

  3. Small Family (2:37) (Clayton-Thomas – Smith)
  4. Can’t Buy Me Love (2:33) (Lennon – McCartney)

  5. Professor Longhair (2:47) (Clayton-Thomas – Smith)


Producer – Gabriel Mekler
Engineer – Steve Waldman
Engineer [Assistant] – John Arrias
Arranged By – David Clayton-Thomas
Horns Arranged By Trevor Lawrence
Strings Arranged By Gabriel Mekler

Released in 1973 on RCA records

EPP1 0173-C  -  7½ ips

 reel-to-reel tape album label
photo by Styrous®

Internet links:

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 47: Blood, Sweat & Tears

Hernandos Hideaway on YouTube
Midnight Train To Georgia on YouTube  

McCleans ~ by Kate Fillion on Monday, August 30, 2010
Toronto Star ~ by Richard Ouzounian Theatre Critic, Published on Sat Feb 06 2010

reel-to-reel listings on eBay

Styrous® ~ Thursday, February 27, 2014

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