MP3 Gerald Nelson - Dream Date
14 MP3 Songs
EASY LISTENING: Mood Music, POP: Delicate
(Gerald Nelson & the G 5 Orchestra)
Excerpts from an interview of Gerald during the making of the “Dream Date” album. The interview was for an up-coming book about Elvis Presley.
Q. Now who is the G5 Orchestra?
Well not a who but a What.
Specifically, the What is a Mac G5 computer with a Galaxy of memory, loaded up with the LOGIC Pro 7.2.1 program, assisted by a Triton rack, Ensoniq (Mr. Rack), Korg Wave Station, Korg M1 keyboard controller, some others and an Elesis D 4 Drum Machine. Also a very good 32 track board with … umm …16 or so out-board processors, in tandem with a Sony CD RW 5000, a Tascam D30 MKII dat recorder and most importantly a High Speed analog tape deck for mix-downs to alter the impersonal sound of digital recording.
Q. This is an environmentally pleasant recording studio built into your home. Why did you do that? Do you use all this stuff?
It’s on call 24 hours a day.
No musicians with issues, except the few whom I consider to be very, very talented and fun to be around: Chesley Stephens, a great Guitar player and an exceptional writer and singer. Kathy Hill (Katiah) a singer-songwriter with so much talent she’s scary. Kenny Cook, guitarist. Kennny is scary too. When Kenny walks in turn on the record button and leave it on. Sometimes Alfreda Gerald comes by and helps out with vocal back-ups. She’s one of the great voices that tours with Yanni. What a marvelous talent and a sweet lady. Then there’s Thom Jenkins and Robin Osborn who keep the very good, but quirky Logic Pro Program performing up to par, and the computers running.
Q. Some of what I’m hearing sounds like the London Philharmonic. How can you make these machines do that?
I’m not a proficient musician on any instrument. Just an arranger and songwriter. A number of hit songs to the credit and I stopped counting the number of record sessions on which I have done the arrangements. So I know what instruments can and can’t do. What complements what in an arrangement, and how to write it down on a score. In the old days you write the arrangement, take it into a recordings session, the musicians play it and go home. I’ve always been able to hear a complete production in my head. Now I hear it and I’m able to make it come to life with the computers. Cost a lot less and you know what – the computer doesn’t make mistakes once I program it correctly, and the computer doesn’t get up on the wrong side of the bed and have a bad ‘play the part’ day. If one decides to change something, booking a studio and re-hiring musicians is not a concern. Just turn on the computer and change it, repair it, fix it. Done – next song.
Q. Why so many synthesizers?
Most of the sounds programmed into a synthesizer, any synthesizer, at the factory are junk. Your lucky if you can get 10 out of the hundreds programmed into them that you would want to use. There are differing thoughts on this problem. Take drum kits for example. In my opinion no synthesizer yet made has really good drum sounds, except the Alesis D4, (which for shame isn’t even made anymore) and even there most of the cymbals are worthless. Guitar sounds – FORGET IT! Most don’t even come close to real guitar sounds, and even if they did programming a computer to do the magic a player like Grady Martin (perhaps the greatest session guitarist ever, a good friend and I truly miss him) had at his disposal is impossible.
Q. Any particular reason to do this album? Now?
A lot of good friends, musicians and others kept bugging me to do something instrumentally. I thought it would be a good way to get used to using the Logic Pro program. A word about Logic Pro 7. You see you have to go way back to the Notator/Creator music program that first came to be in Germany and could only be run on of all things an Atari Computer. I had one of the first ones in the Atlanta area. Later Notator/Creator was sold to E-Magic, who unfortunately began to tinker with it. Then E-Magic sold out to Mac. Now Mac has some pretty bright but https://www.tradebit.com..inept people. They would have been better served to have kept the basics of the Notator/Creator program and to have added the really good things they did in Logic Pro 7 to the original work. But No! Well it is by far the best available today, so I guess we’ll have to use it for a while. Boy, you get a musician to rambling and there’s a problem! Talk about opinionated!
Q. I guess it’s time to talk a bit about Elvis.
ABOUT THE SONGS IN THIS RECORDING:
“JACKIE” Chesley Stephens and I wrote this piece for a movie about President Kennedy. The movie tells the story of what happened at the hospital in Dallas. We needed a theme for Jackie in a particular scene.
“TRAGEDY” This song has a life of it’s own. Recorded by so many artists. The Fleetwoods, Thomas Wayne, Floyd Cramer, Boots Randolph, Bette Midler, Amanda McBroom, Danny Gatlin, Brenda Lee, Jerry Garcia just to name a few. Of the thousand or so songs that Fred Burch and I wrote together this is probably the most popular worldwide.
“DREAM DATE” On vacation in Florida with my 13 year old nephew he met a very pretty girl. And he went nuts! So much so the whole family was, to say the least, very amused when he took her on a date to the Water Slide. ( I never took a date to a Water Slide ) Her family and his were hiding in the palm trees watching out! I thought there had to be a song in there. There was.
“MORE THAN THAT” One of my favorites. You got to hear Kathy Hill (Katiah) sing it. Go to Katiah on CD Baby and give a listen. It''s the 3rd song on the "Midnight Madness" album. Kathy and I wrote this in about 20 minutes. The good ones usually come that quick. I made the tracks and she nailed it...In One Take – no kidding! Someday down the road this will be a big hit.
“ILLUSION DREAM REFUGEE” I like music with counter melodies. In this arrangement I didn’t put them together until the last stanza. After the fact I wish I had gone into it sooner.
“I REMEMBER WHEN TIME” This recording shows off Chesley Stephens picking some really good guitar. The boy can play!
“TELL ME A LIE” Laid back – way back. Another effort by Fred Burch and me. I think Fred is one of, if not the best, lyric writer of our times. I wouldn’t tell him that. Talk about difficult. The man would be impossible. Again, listen to Katiah sing it at https://www.tradebit.com. in the "Katiah" album the 12th track. Kenny Cook is on guitar on this track.
“CARRIED AWAY” Something about this music that kind of floats, just moves along and takes you with it. Sandy Flynn and I wrote this for no reason. It just happened. Sandy has this old flat top Gibson Guitar that gets a sound unlike any other and it sure works well in this record. You can hear this one vocally also by Katiah at https://www.tradebit.com on the "Katiah" album, song # 13.
‘MEMORIES OF FLOYD CRAMER AND GRADY MARTIN”
I think most know who Floyd and Grady are. If not, well really the best record session musicians ever. Of course you remember Floyd’s “Last Date” and Grady’s touch on songs like Marty Robbins’s “El Paso”, all the Brenda Lee Records, and frankly just about every record that came out of Nashville in those days were made better by Floyd and Grady. Both are deceased and greatly missed. Truly very good friends and never forgotten. I wanted to do a piece of music that reminds me of them. I sure can’t play the piano like Floyd but Kenny Cook comes very close to Grady on Guitar.
“DON’T SMILE SO MUCH” I don’t know why I like this one. I just do. Fred and I wrote it many years ago. I recorded it on Lori Blackwood. I’ve lost track of Lori. Boy could she sing.
“DO IT” Chuck Taylor and I wrote this for Duane Eddy. It moves pretty good and I though it would be a good change of pace for this album.
“SOMETIMES” A new song, written for Katiah, which we are working on for her next album: “Purple Heart”.
“BIG BIG WORLD” Here’s an interesting story. Johnny Burnette needed a backside for his recording of the theme song for the movie “One Eyed Jacks”. Red West, Fred Burch and I wrote this for him. It turned out to be the A side of the record. Go figure!
“BE SINCERE” Fred and I wrote this for The Little Dippers so many, many years ago. It was the follow up release to their big hit “Forever”.
So there you have it. An album you can put on for background music and go about your business. I hope there is something in here that you like. That would surely make it worth the time.
Regards to all…..Gerald Nelson