Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Music To Read Stan Cornyn's Liner Notes By

(Click on any of the text 'clippings' to ENLARGE on a new page)

The Mary Kaye Trio - 'Jackpot!' (W-1263)↑

'The Hit Sound Of Dean Martin' (R-6213)↓
Nobody wrote liner notes like Stan Cornyn.

For 34 years, Cornyn was a creative executive with Warner Bros. Records and the Reprise label.

Among his many accomplishments and escapades there, he wrote a ton of liner notes for (mostly) pop LPs.

This would be mostly back in the 1960's, when liner notes were more common. (LPs, too)

His notes could run the gamut from dry and flatly descriptive, to expressive and evocative, and to loopy stream-of-conciousness meanderings into the outer regions. There are bits and pieces of a few of those here.

For more examples and further background, please direct your attention to a detailed Stan Cornyn page at Space Age Pop.Com.

(Click on any of the text 'clippings' to ENLARGE on a new page)

The Gateway Singers - 'On The Lot' (W-1295) ↑

'And Now... The Anita Kerr Orchestra' (W-1640) ↓

The Marketts - 'Out Of Limits' (W-1537) ↓

←Trini Lopez- 'Trini' (R-6196)

Lee Hazlewood - 'Friday's Child' (R-6163) ↓

Mel Taylor and The Magics - 'In Action' (W-1624)↓
(See also previous Mel Taylor post)

The Kirby Stone Four - 'Wow!' (W - 1508)↑

Petula Clark - 'These Are My Songs' (W-1698)↓

Sidney Poitier - 'Journeys Inside The Mind (The Dialogues of Plato, The Music of Fred Katz)' (W-1740)↓

Bill Cosby - '200 M.P.H.' (W-1757)↓

Frank Sinatra - 'Strangers In The Night' (R-1017)↓

Irving Taylor - 'Drink Along With Irving' (W-1323)↓
Dick & Dee Dee -
'Songs We've Sung On Shindig'

Petula Clark - 'Color My World/Who Am I'

Frank Sinatra - 'September Of My Years'

The Everly Brothers - 'Gone, Gone, Gone' (W-1585)↓

Sammy Davis Meets Sam Butera and The Witnesses - 'When The Feeling Hits You!' (R-6144)↓

Bob Newhart - 'The Windmills Are Weakening' (W-1588)↓

Peter, Paul, and Mary - 'See What Tomorrow Brings' (W-1615)↓

Nancy Sinatra - 'Boots' (R-6202)↓

Petula Clark - 'The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener' (W-1719)↓

Bill Cosby - 'Why Is There Air?' (W-1606)↓

'Trini Lopez In London' (R-6238)→

It was often the case 'back in the day' for liner notes to carry little or no recording session info or date. Likewise it was common for liner notes to go un-credited. So in fact, a few of the examples here may NOT have been written by Stan Cornyn.

But I'll just betcha they were...

... and finally, here's one of my favorite jewels in the Cornyn crown;

The Anita Kerr Singers - 'Slightly Baroque' (W-1665)↓

(Click on any of the text 'clippings' to ENLARGE on a new page)

...and here's some music, by which one may read Stan Cornyn's liner notes whilst listening...

(click links for audio)

Listen to:
Irving Taylor - Tipsy #3 (vocal by The Chumps)
Petula Clark - England Swings
Anita Kerr - Con Te Sulla Spiaggia
The Everly Brothers - Radio And TV
The Kirby Stone Four (w/ orch. conducted by Dick Hyman) - The Blacksmith Blues
Trini Lopez - If You Were Me
Peter, Paul and Mary - Tryin' To Win
Nancy Sinatra - I Move Around
Lee Hazlewood - Friday's Child
The Gateway Singers - Don't You Lie, Daddy-O
Dick & Dee Dee - P.S. 1402 (Your Local Charm School)
Trini Lopez - Fever
The Mary Kaye Trio - Day In, Day Out
Petula Clark - Resist
Dean Martin - Terrible, Tangled Web
Frank Sinatra - My Baby Just Cares For Me
Sammy Davis Meets Sam Butera and The Witnesses - There Will Never Be Another You
Sidney Poitier - This I Know - - That I Know Nothing
Irving Taylor - Domestic Wine (vocal by Robie Lester)
The Anita Kerr Singers - One Note Samba
The Marketts - Re-Entry
Dick & Dee Dee - Vini Vini
Mel Taylor And The Magics - Bullseye

(click links for audio)

You can listen to any of these LP tracks individually, or you can click here or also here to download all of them together in a 53MB zip file. (available for a limited time)

† The deep-voiced vocalist on 'Tipsy #3' is of course Thurl Ravenscroft. Among many other credits, Mr. Ravenscroft was known as the voice of Tony The Tiger, one of the voices on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, and the singer of 'You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch'. For more info and examples of his work, head over to All Things Thurl.

ADDENDUM, 11/30/07: I received an especially gratifying e-mail today. It's from Stan Cornyn!

He writes:

Just came across this Blog. Thank you for all the attention. I think, looking WAY back, that I did write all of the ones you cited, though maybe not the PP&M one. But I must have written a thousand of these babies back then.

Pleased you've been so tenacious. I walked out of a Montecito cafe the other evening, where the bartender is a fan. I asked him to tell the couple we were with who I was. He immediately answered, "The guy who wrote the liner notes for The Mexicali Singers."

Makes me feel a bit aged, but I'll take that with the sweetness.

-- Stan

Thanks again, Stan. It was a labor of Love.


Craig D said...

"Baroque" does not rhyme with "barbecue."

Ha! I had to read this a couple of times to figger it out: BAR - O - CUE!

Thanks for the downloads; what a wide-ranging collection of... of...

Anonymous said...

Wow! You got an email from the man himself! What an honour!!

Great blog.


Ernie said...

I know I'm late to the game, but I wanted to congratulate you on a great post! And to hear from the man himself is just icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm coming extremely late, but I too want to thank you for these Cornyn greats. It's only been recently that I've realized that my own writing, and my sense of what is good writing, have been influenced as much by the mini-masterpieces Stan wrote for the back of Petula Clark albums as anything else.

As a kid, I read these little missives on the back of her LPs and was fascinated by them. His playfulness with words, his attention to detail...I only wish you had more examples. Particularly I remember his notes for "My Love" and how he described her sitting on a barstool in the recording studio, wearing fishnets, plucking at them as if they were guitar strings while she sang into the microphone over her head...You know a piece of writing is good when you first ran across it at about age 6 or 7 but the rich images it created in your mind stay with you for years afterward.

How wonderful, too, that he actually got in touch with you as well. THAT is cool.

Freshly-stirred links