You’ll stay in my heart
I will love you
We never will part
Oh how I love you”
“I Say A Little Prayer” performed by Nancy
in a counterpoint duet with Glen Campbell
[Music by Burt Bacharach; Lyrics by Hal David]
“Burt [Bacharach] is fantastic although his music is very tough to sing. He pushes a singer to the top and bottom of the register and tests the flexibility of the voice with tricky intervals.
And when he performs his own songs it seems effortless.” ~ Nancy
Undaunted by “tricky intervals,” Nancy has tackled several Bacharach & David compositions: her performances also seem effortless. Nancy’s training with famed voice coach Carlo Menotti and twelve years of classical piano studies (Debussy, Mendelssohn, Liszt) may be factors beyond innate vocal ability in her mastery of their material. But, what is certain is Nancy’s affinity for interpreting the work of Burt Bacharach & Hal David.
The Answer To Everything
Burt Bacharach’s partnership with lyricist Bob Hilliard produced several classic songs, including “The Answer To Everything,” Chuck Jackson’s “Any Day Now” and The Drifters’ “Mexican Divorce.” Prior to Nancy’s interpretation, “The Answer To Everything” appeared as the B-side of Del Shannon’s 1961 So Long Baby single.
Produced by Jimmy Bowen and arranged by Ernie Freeman, Nancy’s version was issued on the flip side of 1965′s True Love 45 (Reprise 0335). Also with Bowen and Freeman, Nancy recorded another Bob Hilliard collaboration, “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning” (written by Bob Hilliard and David Mann). “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning” would remain in the vault for three decades, until its release on 1996′s Sheet Music collection. Nancy’s recording of “The Answer To Everything” would be brought into the digital age through its inclusion on the Bubblegum Girl, Volume 1 download collection in 2006.
Joe Dolan’s Pye label recording of “The Answer To Everything” had been a 1964 chart success in Ireland, just months before Pye released Nancy’s version.
As a result of Reprise’s licensing deal with Pye, which had begun in 1961, Nancy’s recordings were issued by Pye in Ireland. While in London, Nancy met with Pye’s managing director, Louis Benjamin, in May 1966, as reported by Billboard.
During this visit, Nancy “cut” the Nancy In London album at Pye Studios. Nancy recalls the experience of recording in London, later in this post.
Papa Leo’s Place / Juanita’s Place
A Bacharach & David song, “Papa Leo’s Place,” had been intended as a production number for Nancy’s fifth motion picture, The Last Of The Secret Agents? (released in the spring of 1966). Nancy remembers,
“We ran through it, practiced a dance number for it but never actually recorded it for real. ‘Papa Leo’s Place’ was the title and it was a rewrite of an old song written by Bacharach and David. There was another place in the title originally.”
In a Paramount publicity photo, Nancy (as Micheline) is pictured with Lou Jacobi, who played her “Papa Leo,” the owner and proprietor of a cafe in Cannes.
In a 2002 KUCI radio interview conducted by Stacy Davies, Nancy provides additional details:
The song had been recorded by Burt Bacharach as an instrumental titled “Juanita’s Place,” and was released as the B-side of “Nikki” on his 1966 Liberty Records single (55934), pictured below in a trade ad.
With Hal’s lyrics, the composition was employed for Bacharach & David’s score of the ABC-TV broadcast “On The Flip Side,” an episode of ABC Stage 67, starring Rick Nelson and Joanie Sommers.
“Though there’s hardly room to dance
When you are squeezed together
Just a touch can lead you to romance
Down at Juanita’s place
“Every table has a view
A view of someone who’s in search of love
The very same as you
Come to Juanita’s place”
ABC Stage 67 was a weekly one-hour program that featured variety, drama, documentary, science fiction and, in this case, original musicals.
“Rock ‘n’ roller Carlos O’Connor [Rick Nelson] is entering old age (he’s 25 now[*]) and his career is on the decline. Heaven help poor Carlos! It does: A hard-rock quartet called the Celestials drops out of the clear blue sky to help Carlos modernize his sound for the ‘in’ crowd.”
The booklet notes by Iain Young and Bill Parker for the 2004 Rick’s Rarities 1964-1974 CD (Ace CDCHD 995) offer additional information:
“When develpoing the script, creator Robert Emmett had Tony Bennnett in mind to play Carlos O’Connor – Rick’s role. [...] There was a clear parallel between Rick’s real-life situation and that of the character.”
At the time, Rick was 26 and in search of a musical direction, three years prior to the formation of his Stone Canyon Band.
Airing on December 7, 1966 at 10:00 PM ET, the program was broadcast on the same evening as Nancy’s guest appearance on her dad’s CBS-TV special, Frank Sinatra: A Man And His Music, Part II (9:00 PM ET).
The version of “Juanita’s Place” from “On The Flip Side” was performed by The Celestials in the TV production and on the Decca Records soundtrack LP (DL-4836).
According to the Rick’s Rarities booklet,
“Interestingly, the album versions of the songs are different from the TV show versions, which have different instrumentation. Moreover some parts of the songs have been edited for the soundtrack LP.”
*Contradicting TV Guide’s description and Rick’s a cappella introduction to “They Don’t Give Medals To Yesterday’s Heroes” in the TV production, the Decca soundtrack LP’s liner notes incorrectly refer to Carlos’ age as “twenty-one.”
The production number of “Juanita’s Place” with The Celestials and future Laugh-In cast member Donna Jean Young as “Juanita” provides a glimpse of what “Come To Papa Leo’s Place” could have been.
Wishin’ And Hopin’
Although “Wishin’ And Hopin’” is considered one of Dusty Springfield’s signature recordings, the song was previously recorded by Dionne Warwick for the B-side of 1963′s “This Empty Place” (Scepter 1247). Paul Howes’ booklet notes from the 2000 Simply Dusty CD box set (Mercury 546 730-2) recount how the song became a 1964 U.S. chart hit for Dusty Springfield:
“In the states the song was picked up by a New York disc jockey whose daily programming of the track created such a public demand that Dusty’s American record company released it as a single.”
Nancy’s beloved 1966 interpretation of “Wishin’ And Hopin” was first released on her Nancy In London LP. The recording subsequently appeared on international releases, such as the Japanese single Wishin’ And Hopin’ / Goodtime Gal [Good Time Girl] (Reprise JET-1887 [displayed at the top of this post]), and the Mexican EP Vol. 2 (Reprise GX-07-323 [below, right]), which lists it as “Deseando Y Esperando.”
Regarding the Nancy In London sessions, which included “Wishin’ And Hopin’,” Nancy recalls (in the Nancy In London CD booklet) the contrast with her previous U.S. sessions:
“Recording in London was definitely a different experience than recording in America. First of all, because the guys in America were my age and younger. [...] It was just a youthful kind of a look. And when you walked into the studio in London, there were guys with grey beards and white hair, and…you know, it was a little scary, a little intimidating just to be recording in London, let alone with these wonderful, experienced, London Philharmonic-type musicians.
And me with my little bitty voice.”
In its “Hotline London” column, the June 4, 1966 issue of KRLA Beat teen newspaper reported on Nancy’s sessions.
In addition to “Wishin’ And Hopin’,” Nancy would cover Dusty’s classic “Son Of A Preacher Man,” on her 1969 Nancy [Twelve Ways] album. And Nancy has coupled “Son Of A Preacher Man” with Eurythmics’ “Missionary Man” for a medley in her live performances.
This Guy’s In Love With You /
This Girl’s In Love With You
Herb Alpert topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks in June and July of 1968 with his vocal version of “This Guy’s In Love With You.” According to The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits,
“‘This Guy’s In Love With You’ was the first number one single for the artist, Herb Alpert;
the label, A&M Records; and the writers, Burt Bacharach and Hal David.’”
The picture sleeve photo (above) is reminiscent of the “This Guy’s In Love With You” segment of Herb Alpert’s second TV special with the Tijuana Brass, The Beat Of The Brass (April 22, 1968, CBS). The program’s producer-director, Jack Haley, Jr.; writer, Tom Mankiwiecz; and director of photography, Vilis Lapenieks, had been the same team behind Nancy’s first special, Movin’ With Nancy (December 11, 1967, NBC). Both specials were filmed on location in Jack Haley’s documentary style.
For her ninth of ten episodes of The Ed Sullivan Show (not including Ed Sullivan Presents Movin’ With Nancy, On Stage), Nancy appeared on the May 26, 1968 broadcast to perform “This Girl’s In Love With You” and The Curtain Calls’ “Sock It To Me Sunshine” (written by Mac Davis, Bob Lind and Freddy Weller).
The performance of “This Girl’s In Love With You” is not among Nancy’s favorites.
Dionne Warwick would record the song and have a hit (peaking at #7 on Billboard’s Hot 100).
I Say A Little Prayer /
[Jimmy Webb's] By The Time I Get To Phoenix
In her 2010 autobiography, My Life, As I See It, Dionne Warwick provides some insight into one of her biggest hits, “I Say A Little Prayer”:
“‘I Say A Little Prayer’ was written during the Vietnam War and seemed to resonate with listeners touched by the war. General Colin Powell and many others who fought in Vietnam have thanked me for ‘I Say A Little Prayer,’ letting me know how it got them through many difficult times.”
Originally a chart hit by Dionne (1967) and covered by Aretha Franklin (1968), “I Say A Little Prayer” has as an especially interesting history in terms of Nancy’s career and Burt Bacharach’s view of the original recording. David Nathan’s booklet notes for the Rhino Handmade limited edition reissue of The Windows Of The World / Valley Of The Dolls (RHM2 7859) offers this account of Burt’s opinion of Dionne’s version:
“”Bacharach was reportedly less than happy with the recording, noting in Platts’ Bacharach & David: What The World Needs Now tome, ‘I didn’t like Dionne’s version. I didn’t like the record we made. I thought the tempo was too rushed, too nervous.
I even tried not to have the record come out.’
“Fortunately, the power of radio DJs of the day forced the track’s release as the second single from The Windows Of The World, and it sold a remarkable 700,000 copies [...]“
The tempo of Nancy’s ballad approach to “I Say A Little Prayer” is much less-”rushed” than Dionne’s version. On the June 23, 1968 premiere of CBS’s The Summer Brothers Smothers Show, Nancy and Glen Campbell presented an inventive and trendsetting counterpoint duet, which combined “I Say A Little Prayer” with Glen’s then-recent hit, the Jimmy Webb-penned
“By The Time I Get To Phoenix.”
This summer replacement series for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was hosted by Glen, and eventually led to his regular series, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, the following January. In his 1994 autobiography, Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen credits the Smothers Brothers for the opportunity to host his own series:
“I would not have gotten The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in 1969 except for a guest appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. After that guest shot, Tommy asked me to become host of their summer replacement series, called
The Summer Brothers Smothers Show.”
The June 23, 1968 issue of The Pittsburgh Press, in its “Television Scout” column, promoted the debut of The Summer Brothers Smothers Show, with a reference to Nancy and Glen’s duet.
The counterpoint duet approach would also be invoked less than a year later for their “Memories / I’ll Remember You,” when Nancy would guest on the April 16, 1969 episode of The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
Nancy’s cover of “I Say A Little Prayer,” which is arguably her least-known interpretation of Bacharach & David material, may be the most influential. For more than a decade, Nancy and Glen’s “Prayer/Phoenix” archetype would be followed for several records and TV performances: Big Dee Irwin & Mamie Galore; Glen Campbell & Anne Murray; Dionne Warwick & Glen Campbell; Isaac Hayes & Dionne Warwick…
In late 1968, Big Dee Irwin and Mamie Galore released their own counterpoint duet of “Phoenix/Prayer” (Imperial 66334). Their version reached #114 on Billboard’s “Bubbling Under The Hot 100″ chart (December 14, 1968).
In 1971, Nancy and Glen’s counterpoint duet was reproduced as a collaboration by Glen and Anne Murray for a charted single (Capitol 3200), reaching #40 on Billboard’s Country chart and #81 on the Hot 100 in November 1971. The recording was included on their album of duets, Anne Murray / Glen Campbell (Capitol SW-869). Anne and Glen also performed their version on the October 19, 1971 episode of The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. In her 2009 memoir, All Of Me, Anne Murray notes that this duet “was not easy to pull off because of the conflicting time signatures the songs were written in.”
On the February 7, 1971 episode of The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, as with Nancy & Glen and Anne & Glen, Dionne and Glen performed “By The Time I Get To Phoenix / I Say A Little Prayer” as a duet. Nearly nine years later, hosts Dionne and Glen revisited their collaboration on Solid Gold ’79, the January 1980 pilot for the Solid Gold TV series.
In 1977, Dionne Warwick once again reinterpreted her classic in the mold of “Nancy & Glen” – this time with Isaac Hayes as “By The Time I Get To Phoenix / I Say A Little Prayer” on their live duet single (Hot Buttered Soul/ABC AB-12253), a #65 R&B chart hit, and their live album, A Man And A Woman (Hot Buttered Soul/ABC AB-996), recorded at the Fabulous Fox in Altanta, Georgia. In 1969, Isaac Hayes’ solo version of “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” had been released as a single with Bacharach & David’s “Walk On By” on the flip side (Enterprise 9003). The writer’s credit for “I Say A Little Prayer,” on both the 45 (pictured, below) and LP labels, is attributed to “J. Mason.”
Side note and parallel: A Man And A Woman’s photographs were shot by Ron Slenzak, who would also provide the images of Nancy and Mel Tillis for their 1981 Elektra LP of duets, Mel & Nancy. The front cover of Isaac & Dionne’s album and the back cover of Mel & Nancy’s are pictured.
Do You Know The Way To San Jose
As Dionne Warwick’s follow-up single to “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” provided her with another huge international hit. In My Life, As I See It, Dionne reveals,
“People are often surprised to hear that I didn’t accept every song Burt and Hal wrote for me to record. ‘Do You Know The Way To San Jose’ was one such song. I hated it. I just could not believe Hal could or would ever write a lyric ‘whoa, whoa, whoa’ and expect me to sing it. But I recorded it because of Hal. The song–and San Jose–meant something to him. And I cried all the way to the bank. I soon realized that I didn’t know all the criteria needed to choose a hit.”
The history of Nancy’s recording of “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” had begun more than forty years ago, as part of the California Girl project, which was issued on CD in 2002. From “The Nancy Sound” blog post:
This Golden State-themed project, which Nancy had conceived in the late 1960s, remained unreleased for more than thirty years. Based on the encouragement of her daughter Amanda, who had been inspired by a visit to Disney California Adventure Park, Nancy decided to complete the existing tracks and supplement the album with new recordings.
“Do You Know The Way To San Jose” was one of the existing tracks which required additional work, as Nancy explains in this radio interview:
For her interpretation, Nancy replaces the “whoa, whoa, whoa’s” of Dionne’s original version, with some multitracked “la, la, la’s.”
99 Miles From L.A.
Following a decade-and-a-half of collaborations, Bacharach & David parted ways in the early 1970s and Hal David teamed up with writer and recording artist Albert Hammond. Among their collaborations are “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” (recorded by Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias) and “99 Miles From L.A.”
Interpretations of “99 Miles From L.A.” were released by Johnny Mathis, Art Garfunkel…
…and Albert Hammond, all in 1975. Hammond’s version was a number one hit on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart and reached Billboard’s Hot 100.
The song provided the title track for his 1975 U.K. LP (Epic EPC-80961).
Nancy’s rendition of “99 Miles From L.A.” was one of the newly recorded additions to the aforementioned California Girl project.
“Actually 99 Miles is one of my favorites of my recordings. It got better as we performed it on the road with stronger guitarists like Gilby Clarke and John DePatie, and better vocals as time went on. It helps when one can perform songs live. It’s a great workout for the voice.”
In 2011, Hal received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and, in 2012, Burt & Hal were honored with The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at a White House event, which was broadcast by PBS as part of its In Performance At The White House series.
On the day of Hal David’s passing, September 1, 2012, Nancy paid tribute to her old friend: