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07 April 2010

Jimmy Scott, Falling In Love Is Wonderful (Ray Charles On Piano) (1962)

Front: the photo by Howard Morehead probably wasn't especially produced for this album; watch the Ray Charles albums on the floor. (Jimmy Scott later recalled that the male model was a tapdancer [i.c. Foster Johnson, who briefly was part of the 1963 Ray Charles show - BS]). Was the photo from the same shoot as used in 1969 for the cover of  I'm All Yours
Back: Jimmy Scott with Marty Paich and Ray Charles (L) and Gerald Wilson (R). 
  1. They Say It's Wonderful 
  2. I Wish I Didn't Love You So 
  3. There Is No Greater Love 
  4. If I Should Lose You 
  5. Why Try To Change Me Now 
  6. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You 
  7. Someone To Watch Over Me
  8. How Deep Is The Ocean
  9. I Didn't Know What Time It Was 
  10. Sunday, Monday Or Always
Jimmy Scott - vocals; Ray Charles - piano, a.o.
A-1, 5, B-4 arranged by Marty Paich; A-2-4, B-1-3, 5 arranged by Gerald Wilson.
Produced by Joe Adams; supervised by Ray Charles.
Recorded at United Recordings Studios, Hollywood, California in 1962, released in 1963 (on 22 June).

Vinyl: Tangerine, TRC 1501 (Monaural)/TRCS 1501 (Stereo), 1963.
CD (Limited release): Rhino Handmade, RHM2 7814, 2 September 2002.
CD (Europe): Rhino/Warner Music, 8122-736-43-2, 13 January 2003.

Based on liner notes by David Ritz:
Backside cover, detail.
Falling In Love Is Wonderful. A long-lost classic, this unabashedly romantic long-player was conceived by a Jimmy Scott fan known as Ray Charles.The year was 1962. Ray Charles was America's favorite singer. He'd recently released such career-defining albums as Genius Hits The Road, Genius + Soul = Jazz, and Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music. He'd even started his own record label, Tangerine. With the world at his fingertips, what Brother Ray really wanted to do was produce and play on an album of ballads by one of his favorite singers, Jimmy Scott.
This photo was clearly shot at the same session.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Scott was free as a bird -- or so he thought. Having sung with Lionel Hampton and Charlie Parker in the '50s, he was already a profound influence on artists like Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, and Nancy Wilson (you see, Jimmy had Kallman's Syndrome, which meant that he looked like a somewhat androgynous teenager and sang in a mostly female range). 
Tangerine promoted the album at least once,
in a souvenir brochure for a 1963 USA tour.
So Ray signed Jimmy to his new Tangerine label and assembled a project in the vein of Sinatra's sublime '50s work with Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins. In fact, four of the songs on Falling In Love Is Wonderful were closely identified with The Chairman: Why Try To Change Me Now, Someone To Watch Over Me, How Deep Is The Ocean, and Sunday, Monday, And Always. Gerald Wilson and Marty Paich arranged the tunes, Joe Adams produced, and Ray Charles "supervised". As Wilson tells it in the liner notes to this reissue, "Ray supervised, but he did so from the piano. He played on every track. And he made sure we wrote charts that gave his piano space. If you listen to the record carefully, it's really a long and intimate conversation between Ray's sensitive piano and Jimmy's sensitive voice."
Unfortunately, Falling In Love Is Wonderful disappeared virtually as soon as it was released. A contract dispute arose with Jimmy's previous label, and Tangerine pulled the new record from stores. The collectors' market has valued existing copies in the hundreds of dollars, meaning that most fans have never been able to own this jewel of Jimmy's catalog. I guess we'll all just have to fall in love for the first time.
From the PBS documentary Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew (2002; directed by Matthew Buzzell; with Dwayne Cook Broadnax, Michael Kanan, David Ritz; more here):
   [Video was removed from YouTube]

Through remarks from Joël Dufour, I learned that for this album two more songs were produced, which were never released: Just Friends and I'll Never Smile Again.
The orchestra tracks of these songs, plus 8 orchestra tracks from Scott's album were recycled in the production of organist Wild Bill Davis' album Wonderful World Of Love (Tangerine 1 509, 1972).

From an article by Ritz (published in The Guardian of David Ritz, in The Guardian of 9 January 2003):
"Charles thought Scott's problem was that he didn't have the right material. That was when he came up with the idea for Falling in Love Is Wonderful. 'My concept was romance,' said Charles. 'Make a romantic record you could listen to late at night with your lady. I wanted the kind of record you could play over and over again, where you wouldn't be bored and the mood stayed steady.'
Even now, Scott has clear memories of recording with Charles. 'We started off by going over to Ray's house every morning. Those were the hallelujah days for Ray, when he was still getting his daily high. Sometimes we'd have to wait for the man to arrive with the goods before Ray would be ready. Once he got fixed up and came downstairs, though, Ray was roaring. Not roaring to party, but roaring to work.
'The record was completed in just a few sessions. I don't think we did more than two takes on any one tune. There wasn't any overdubbing either. It was all-the-way live. The fiddlers were fiddling. Ray was playing, and I was singing, all at the same time. When we were through, everyone was thrilled - me, Ray and the arrangers. We knew we had a hit.' [...]
'When I saw Jimmy after so many years,' Charles told me, 'I remembered what a wonderful guy he is - and what beautiful music we made together. It was time to put out our record - and it sounds better than it did when we cut it 40 years ago.'"
Many more interesting details in this unpublished 2008 interview [transcript, not or hardly edited! BS] by David Ritz:
Ritz: Just kind of moving on a little bit here: tell us how we get into this next period of your music, that you meet Ray Charles. Did you meet him through Mary Ann?
Scott: No.
Ritz: Or had you known him before?
Scott: No, no. What it was, I had...
Ritz: This was like 1958, 1959-ish, end of the ’50s.
Scott: Yeah. You see, we all traveled. They were travelling too. We’d meet up in different towns, and I got to know Ray. Then he got Adams – Joe Adams...
Ritz: Yeah, became his manager.
Scott: ...became – he gave him a job as his manager.
Ritz: Right, early 1960s now.
Scott: Uh-huh. Anyway, then he told Joe to have me come to California. He wanted to record me.
Ritz: Before that, did you know that Ray was a Jimmy Scott enthusiast, a fan of yours?
Scott: No, I didn’t.
Ritz: So all the times you’re hanging out, the times that you had met him on...
Scott: Right.
Ritz: ...the road, he never told you, “Man, I love the way you sing.” You just didn’t have any idea.
Scott: Oh. He respected me, and I always found him to be a very generous person. With all the artists that he dealt with, he was a generous person.
Ritz: So you get a call from Joe Adams that says, Ray wants you to come to California.
Scott: That I – that Ray wants to record me.
Ritz: So you go to California.
Scott: I go to California. We started rehearsing at his house.
Ritz: Were you instrumental – a bad pun – did you help pick out the tunes?
Scott: Oh yeah. He was glad that I wanted to do those tunes. He had intended that we would continue. He passed before we could get together.
Ritz: But, just keep it on this little time zone, for a while. So this is really, if we look at the big recording career of Jimmy Scott, beginning with Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool and Roost and Savoy...
Scott: Yeah, I finally get...
Ritz: This is the first time...
Scott: Yeah.
Ritz: got – someone was telling you, you tell me what you want to sing.
Scott: That’s right.
Ritz: You bring me some songs.
Scott: And allowed me to pick tunes.
Ritz: That were close to your heart.
Scott: Yes.
Ritz: And where you liked the stories.
Scott: And we were beginning to make a list, he and I. I picked tunes. He said, “I know that.” He said, “That’s beautiful, man.” “Okay, we’re going to do that.” Write it down.
Ritz: What about the orchestrators, Gerald Wilson and Marty Paich? Did they come in and work with you before the recording began? Or did Ray just tell them, okay, y’all do the charts of these songs? Do you have any recollection of working with Gerald Wilson or Marty Paich?
Scott: Yeah, but I – it was a very short time.
Ritz: So the charts got written in a hurry.
Scott: Right.
Ritz: You go up to the RPM studio on Washington Boulevard, Ray’s own studio. Did you know he was going to play piano on every track?
Scott: No.
Ritz: So that must have made you happy.
Scott: Oh yes. That was beautiful. I felt like a king.
Ritz: Right. Ray’s on the track.
Scott: Yes. Ray Charles is playing for me.
Ritz: Every track. Let me ask you this...
Scott: That was a big boost...
Ritz: A big boost.
Scott: ...for me.
For additional information contact the Archives Center at 202.633.3270 or
Ritz: Let me ask you this, because Ray is well known as being a controlling guy in the studio: do you feel like he produced your vocals or he kind of left you...
Scott: He left me...
Ritz: develop your own...
Scott: be free...
Ritz: To be free. All right.
Scott: ...and sing.
Ritz: So he wasn’t telling you, “Aw man, you’re too behind the beat. Let’s move it like this”?
Scott: No, he never, never...
Ritz: “Let’s redo this, because I don’t like the way you enunciate.”
Scott: No. He’d say, “Hey man, we will do” such and such a thing today, and we’d sit down and rehearse that song that we were going to do. After we would rehearse two or three songs, he’d go in the studio.
Ritz: Was there much punching in and punching out of those vocals? In other words, were they highly edited? Or did you mainly sing them down one time or two times?
Scott: They weren’t highly edited. Most of them were one time. It was what he wanted.
At least he said he did. And we’ll do such and such a thing tomorrow, he would say to me. I’d say, “Okay,”...
Ritz: So here...
Scott: ...because it was pleasant, the numbers and the songs that he was projecting to me.
Ritz: So here...
Scott: They were close to the ones I wanted to sing.
Ritz: Yeah. So you’re a happy guy. So here comes the first, in your mind...
Scott: Yes.
Ritz: ...great Jimmy Scott album that expresses your heart and your soul and your artistry...
Scott: Yes, right.
Ritz: a way that makes you happy...
Scott: Right.
Ritz: ...not only because you’ve got him playing behind you. You’ve got these beautiful orchestrations.
Scott: Right. And I’ve got to tell you something about that.
Ritz: Please. We want to hear it.
Scott: I got to tell.
Ritz: I want to hear it.
Scott: Listen. What’s his name? Tony or something?
Ritz: Tony Gumina. The cat who lives down the street here? In Vegas?
Scott: Has he been to see you?
Ritz: Yeah. I know Tony well.
Scott: You know the program he’s after.
Ritz: Yeah.
Scott: Good. Okay. I just wanted to make sure...
Ritz: I’m behind it.
Scott: knew, because...
Ritz: No. I talk to him all the time. No, Tony wants to help you, and I want to help Tony help you, and blah blah.
Anyway, getting back to the – right, please God – getting back to the thing about – right – so, the album’s done. Ray let you be need to be and who you are. The orchestrations are beautiful. The tunes are all the songs that are of your heart songs.
Scott: Yes. Of my heart.
Ritz: Now, the first that happens, that a cover of the album comes out, and there’s not your picture on it. There’s a male model on the cover. What was your reaction when the album came out and your picture wasn’t on it. Did that ...?
Scott: Oh that. He...
Ritz: Joe Adams.
Scott: He was a no-time tap dancer.
Ritz: Oh, the model.
Scott: The man that – yeah, that was on that album.
Ritz: That’s interesting.
Scott: And the girl – I don’t know who the girl was.
Ritz: She was probably a model too.
Scott: Probably a model or [?].
Ritz: Did that hurt you?
Scott: Huh?
Ritz: Did that hurt you, when you saw a Jimmy Scott album?
Scott: No.
Ritz: So you didn’t care.
Scott: No. I was so glad that Ray was playing with me. I never thought of those things, about who was who.
Ritz: When did you first learn that there was trouble with the album from a legal point of view?
Scott: Lubinsky interferred.
Ritz: Why?
Scott: He told Ray – he even threatened the boy. He said, “I’ll have you put in jail for life.” He said, “Because that’s my artist that you recorded.” He kept threatening, calling him, threatening him. So of course, I didn’t feel bad when Ray stopped the record. He stopped the record to protect hisself. I can understand that, and I took it like that, that Ray stopped the record and put it on the shelf until he could get a clearance.
Ritz: But the other thing that always blows my mind about this story is that – so you’re in L.A., and it looks like you’ll be in L.A. to stay, because you really like L.A....
Scott: Oh yeah. Loved it.
Ritz: ...and there’s more opportunities there for show business and...
Scott: Yes, but the biggest – the big thing was I had – went home to Cleveland, and my father wanted to come with me back to L.A. So I put him – he got in the car and got his little suitcase, the things he wanted, and we – I drove him back to L.A. with me. We had an apartment already. So there was no problem about a bedroom for him. So he stayed with us, Mary Ann and I. I had met her, and we started going together.
Ritz: Mary Ann, who was one of the original Ray Charles...
Scott: One of the – yes, the vocalists.
Ritz: ...vocalists, before the Raylettes. Mary Ann Fisher.
Scott: The song – he wrote a song about her.
Ritz: Mary Ann.
Scott: Mary Ann. He wrote a song about her.
Ritz: So you and dad and Mary Ann drove out to L.A. Dad wanted to be in L.A., and ten...
Scott: Yeah. So all he wanted – I realized after he got there, what he wanted was to interfere with my affairs, my business. Then when he couldn’t, “I want to go home, boy.” Kept nagging about going home. I said, “Wait a minute, Dad. I’ve got business to take care of out here. Let me take care of my business.” “No, boy. When you taking me home?” Like that. He kept on. I told Mary Ann. I said, “Mary Ann, I’m going to do something you don’t like, but I got to do it for peace, to have a little peace.” I said, “I’m going to take my father home.”
Ritz: This is, to me, one of the most interesting parts of your life – though every part of your life is interesting to me – but one of the most interesting parts of your life is that here you’re out in California under the auspices of Ray Charles, who has become your mentor. You’ve cut an album he loves. Whether it’s released or not is another story. Ray artistically loved the album...
Scott: Yes he did.
Ritz: ...because he told that to me and many other people. And he loved your style of singing. Ray had never produced another vocalist before. This was a big thing. He only produced his own stuff. So, okay, the album’s done. He produced a vocalist he loved. You’re in California, land of opportunity. Dad, who abandoned you as a child and never kept everybody together after mom died, is telling you, “Boy, drive me back home.” So my question to you – it doesn’t have any real answer, but I love hearing you talk, so I’ll be happy to hear you tell me whatever you tell me: why didn’t you tell him, “Dad, I’m in California. Take the bus home.”
Scott: I did. I said, “Look here. I’m out here. This is where my business generates.”
Ritz: Right. So he prevailed upon you.
Scott: He got to go home. I said – kept on, and then I thought, I’m going to take this man home. So the first break I got where I would have the time to drive him home and come back myself, I did. When I came back...
Ritz: To Cleveland.
Scott: When I came back from Cleveland to California, Mary Ann had an attitude about me taking him home. All of a sudden...
Ritz: It turned bad.
Scott: Yeah. She was going to leave. We had adopted a little boy, who is now – Tracy’s now about 46 – something like that, because when came back and I found out he was still. alive – he’s now – he’s got a job being a x-ray technician.

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