Mitchel Delevie called me to do a session back in 1984. I did a lot of background work for Mitchel, so I told him I'd be glad to do it. I asked what the project was. He told me it was the new Smokey album. He said to come over at once, as they were in the middle of the recording. I dropped everything and drove over to Smokey's home in Beverly Hills. It was a beautiful pad. He had a studio in the back. I knocked on the door, and Smokey's wife asked me to come in. She told me they were recording at the studio in back of the house. I walked around to the door where the studio was and entered.
Any nervousness I might have felt was lifted when Smokey introduced himself. He was about as nice as anyone could be. He asked if I needed anything, coffee or tea. He was everything you would imagine he would be, but more so.
Mitchel was behind the board mixing. He said "Hey man, did you meet Smokey?" I nodded, and we proceeded to get right into the project. Sonny Burke was producing. The two other singers were already there. Mindy Stewart and another fellow. I knew Mindy from having worked with her on some casual gigs.
The three of us went into Smokey's living room to go over the parts at the grand piano. One, two, three, simple as could be. We went back in the studio, did a couple of takes, and that was it. Later Mitchel would had me demo a song for Smokey called "Say, That You'll Be Mine". It turned out great. Wish I had a copy of it. Maybe Mitchel has one. Smokey heard it and like it a lot. His manager also heard it, and actually signed me to a management deal. We were close to getting a deal with Motown. That would have been really cool, but for some reason (I can't remember why now), the deal fell through. Typical music business stuff. No big deal.
I only saw Smokey a few more times since then, but he was always very friendly. He's a classy guy. It was a great thrill to get the chance to meet him and work with him.
Still more stuff...
- Being taken seriously.
- How my father became a star.
- So, you wanna' be a country star?
- Who do you like better, Garth or Gershwin?
- You'll eat what you're served...
- The Media: Out with the old, in with the new.
- It's great exposure.
Thoughts on some of the people I've played with or known.
- Charlie Rich
- Freddy Fender
- Smokey Robinson
- Jo-El Sonnier
- Randy Meisner
- Billy Swan
- Flaco Jimenez
- Augie Meyers
- Doug Sahm
- Jerry Lee Lewis
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