Nashville Numbers
Nashville Numbers

     Nashville recording is somewhat famous for its numbers system. Some say it's 'cause most Nashville Recording Cats can't read music; some say it's "so's they can transpose more quickly without rewriting." I don't say. Nothing is always.
     In 1991 I was sending out tunes all over the country as if there are producers out there that don't owe someone a favor. I got a few tunes published, and even started a music publishing company of my own. But the coolest thing that happened was an invite to the Country Capital of the World, Nashville. Neal James, a producer, got an ear on one of my tunes, "Look Like That", and liked it. Only mistake he made was insisting on me doing the vocals. He said the music moguls were looking for singer/songwriters. (That way they can make more money if they take control of the publishing.)
     Well, a few good friends and I made an interesting road trip out of the venture. I forget the studio, but it was where The Judds cut all their hits. The place felt good to me because someone carved the name Professor Longhair on the wall of the break room. The cats that played the date each had a "Star" history. Drummer from the first 5 Alabama albums, Heyward somebody. Someone who played keys with Roy Obison. Someone who played with the "Cover of the Rolling Stone/ Sylvia's Mother" band... I don't remember the names, but there was Heyward, Willie, Rod, "Bird" (no relation), Jim and the bass player was Dee Murray who was the first player with The Spencer Davis Group, and later with Elton John for years. Dee was cool, but he died about three months later from cancer, I think. Imagine being Dee and having some songwriter who can't sing for s*&t come out of the vocal booth to tell ya how he wants the bass part. Man, what session players have to endure. Sorry, Dee. Glad you stuck with your line while you made me believe you were tryin' mine.
     The background singers were Dottie & LaVerne, and apparently they do most of all the backup work in town. They looked like cleaning ladies and sounded like angels.
     Below are links to the three tunes that came out of that date. If I have the time & space, I'd like to put the original three versions they listened to to come up with theirs. I remember doing some recording in Scepter Studio in New York in '69 & '70, but the coolest thing there was meeting Dionne Warwick's dad. I also met BJ Thomas. Oh, yeah. I remember the engineer's name in Nashville was Frank Green. Just like nurses are what's happening in medical practice, engineers are it in recording studios.

Look Like That     Lyrics

I Fell In Love     Lyrics

Rainin'    Lyrics

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