Sunday, March 26, 2006

Dr. Chilledair, Tracer of Lost Crooners

Mr. Nick Clooney
c/o The Post
Cincinnati, Ohio

March 26, 2006

Dear Mr. Clooney,

I am wondering whether you might have any knowledge of singer Clay Mundey, who was written about in the enclosed 1958 Dale Stevens column in “the Post.” It only recently came to my attention. I have been able to make contact with pianist Billie Walker, mentioned in the article and who has some recollections of Mundey. But she was unable to tell me a lot. In all likelihood you are familiar with her. Very nice lady. (hear Billie Walker)

Inasmuch as Mundey worked at the Beverly Hills for at least six months and also recorded in your city, he might have made some impression on you as a youth, especially because of your known appreciation for his style of singing.

Mundey, who died in 1989, also sang with Gene Krupa for 18 months under the name of Bill Black (his real name) in the late forties. He had a long and curious career to say the least, topped off by the well-received issue in Japan of a previously-unreleased album in October of last year. I am the release producer of the recording. The source was an acetate that Black/Mundey gave me more than forty years ago (I was a friend).

I have had heartening success with this CD, including ongoing airplay by disc jockey Jonathan Schwartz on XM Satellite Radio. I know that there are more unreleased recordings by Black/Mundey out there somewhere, and I would very much like to get my hands on them. I am under the impression that there was some connection between the Lin (Rochester, NY) and King (of Cincinnati) record labels.

Any information or recollections regarding this matter will be greatly appreciated.


Bill Reed

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