|LABEL:||Folk Era Records|
|LP||4-Trk||8-Trk||R to R||Cass.||CD|
|DATE OF FIRST RELEASE / THIS RELEASE:||1966 (LP) / 1996 (CD)|
|The following page is a recreation of the
liner notes and album art as was packaged with Folk Era
Records Third CD reissue of Decca years album material.
* CHILDREN OF THE MORNING was originally released on LP by Decca Record Co. This CD release includes four songs from the SOMETHING ELSE album also by Decca Records.
The color of dusk greeted We Five as they pushed their amplifiers, and the things thet amplify, from the ekevator within the Columbus Tower. They tiredly grunted "hello" (or a reasonable facsimile) as I squeezed by their maze of equipment and pushed the elevator button marked B, to be transported downward to that small, incredibly expensive room where records are born.
The paper cups from the We Five session decorated the chairs and ashtrays of the Columbus Recording Studio (this is the only operation I know of that's so busy that the janitor has to book studio time) as we, one by one, discarded our jackets and friends and settled into the first hours of recording another album.
Bob drifted out of the elevator followed by his Samoan friend and alter ego, Peter Kalua. Peter is 6'3", weighs around 230 lbs. and looks like a 5th degree Black Belt Karate expert. Peter was in turn followed by Dean Reilly, Our diminutive bass blayer and most lenient musical advisor, who was wearing his sport cap and "Dress-me-ups." Standing side by side, they seemed like a capsulized tableau on the history of man.
Nick was busy changing strings on his eight-string tenor guitar, thumping each one as he turned it down to the depth of it's possable tone quality.
Our Engineer, who as usual came to the session dressed in an enormous wash cloth, was beginning to set up the microphones. "Greetings, Senor," Hank related (he has a bilingual fetish), as he managed to put his foot in a half-filled cup hidden by an instrument mike,
Bus stations and recording studios are usually in competition for the coldest places in the world. In this regard, we are fortunate, The studio is ours, built piece by piecr with infinite care. It seems more like a living room without furniture than a mechanical monster. (We were thinking of putting in a couch but we just couldn't find one with the right sound.) The studio walls are all natural redwood, generously con tributed by Simpson Timber Company. Baffle panels which swivel from the wall conceal a series of mood lights that can conjure up the most mind-bending illusions, with the turn of a knob. This was all carefully planned by Frank Werber, our manager, producer and severist critic. Frank, who performs the same functions for We Five as he does for us, had retreated during "the changing of the groups" to his pentouse hideaway to return phone calls, and take a shower, and wade through a quarter-ton of papers on his desk.
There was a feeling of excitement in the air. Even though this was our twenty-fifth album, the thrill and anguish of recording were getting into all of us, especially for this session. None of us wanted this to be just another album. We are all aware that popular music taking off in many different directions, and with it -- because it is part of it -- has gone folk music. Folk music has always been our main bag, even though I don't think we ever took ourselves seriously enough to think that we belong to folk music. Now, however, as Dylan said, "The times, they are a-changin' . . ." and to hide behind the "cop out" of being above the times -- and thus maintaining archaic individuality -- is the quickest way we know to a dusty shelf in America's musical attic. We are constantly searching for new roads, sounds and writers. As it happened, I had been devoting most of my time during the last six months to writing and, to my amazement, Nick and Bob had agreed to do eight of my tunes on this album. For a writer, this is a rare privilege.
The songs seemed to fall into place immediately. The rehersal time went quickly. Ideas and unity fell together effortlessly, all pointing toward tonight and the moment of truth. A re-energized Frank bounded into the studio. Now it is time for the test: those three big speakers that play back note for note, mistake for mistake, the sounds of your ideas. An artist has his canvas; to a nusician, it's a half-inch of tape that never lies.
The hours passed quickly. There were no real hang-ups. Nothing seemed forced or un-natural. Even Frank Werber nodded a frequent "not bad," wich is as close to a gold star as we ever get. One night, very late, Nick and I stayed to do a song that we both flipped for since the first time we heard it. We each got another cup of that terrible instant coffee that every studio is heir to. We laughed at how brash we were, for the song had already been recorded and sold over a million copies. Even at that, it was not a single. We discussed the writers with a mixtureof awe and envy. Frank pushed his red "talk" button in the control booth and suggested, "Let's make it." We dismissed all possible puns and huddled around the microphone. Frank adjusted several knobs on the wall behind him, turning the redwood studio into a bath of reds and shadows. The tape was rolling and lyrics of the song filtered about the walls as though they were part of the illusion: "She showed me her room. Isn't it good Norwegian wood?"
-- John Stewart (1966)
CHILDREN OF THE MORNING
We left the assumed safty of the Capitol Tower recording studio and established our new situation of the Columbus Tower in San Francisco. (A tall circular building in North Beach that the Kingston Trio owned, across the street from the Hungry . . . i). It was a great little studio, close to home and available to us when ever we want it.
The Beatles Rubber Soul album was now on our turn table constantly and the evolution of pop music and the effect of the British invasion was closing around us like a wall of hot molasses.
I was writing songs all day every day and the majority of the songs on this project of mine. In hindsight I would have asked Bobby to sing them, as he was and is one of the best singers around in the pop/rock/folk world.
It was always fun working with the Trio.
If I had only known how much fun it really was I might have enjoyed it more.
I was anxious to leave and be a "Singer Song Writer" which I did soon after this album was completed.
I have had some un-believably rewarding experiences since that time. I have never had more fun.
-- John Stewart (1996)
Click here for more background information the Columbus Tower.