Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dick Noel

Here's a track by Dick Noel from his 1978 album, A Time for Love, that I reissue-produced in 2007. It's quite possible that Noel is---due to his massive amount of Chicago session work-- the most widely audited singing voice of all time. You heard Sinatra, perhaps, a few times a day on the radio and telly, but felt your tympanic membranes tickled by Dick Noel on numerous occasions per diem intoning the joys of sundry soaps and airlines and cleansers and autos and so on and so forth; in other words, the Michael Dees (L.A.) of Chicago.

Maybe Dick should get together and record with the most widely heard sax player of all-time, Plas Johnson. If I had a dollar for every studio session Plas played on, I'd probably be a millionaire by now. . .or something like that.

Dick told me that he and pianist Larry Novak went into the studio at midnight and finished  A Time for Love by the crack of dawn. The songs were mostly chosen by Novak, and Dick wasn't familiar with some of them, but he's such a good sight reader that you'd never know some of these were new to him. A Time for Love was initially recorded for the Grace L. Ferguson Storm Door and Airline label but eventually ended up on the fine, fine superfine SSJ disc operaton in Japan. When Dick was initially mastering the album in '78, Mel Torme was in the next door studio, heard it and inisted on writing the liner notes which were unalloyed raves, ending with with "He's something else." ! [exclamation point mine] Rare for the profoundly self-involved Torme.

A certain NYC dee-jay who shall remain nameless---Jonathan Schwartz---jumped on Dick's album when it came out again in 2007 and hasn't ever stopped playing it since then. . . fairly much every day. I would, too, if I had a radio gig (lord knows I've tried).

And, oh yeah, happy birthday Dick!

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