Friday, 8 February 2008

Proby's LOST recordings (1964-1972)

During my research into Proby's music career there have been a lot of talk about recordings that for whatever reason just missed out on a release. Let us call them the LOST and forgotten songs...

The most famous of these would have to be the 1968 power-ballad "Delilah" which was penned by Les Reed and Barry Mason. Legend has it that Proby was the first to be given this song but he fell out of love with the tune after recording it. "Delilah" was subsequently dropped by Proby's request from his 1968 album "Believe it or Not". It later found its way to pop star Tom Jones who had a massive hit with it!

Below is a list of other recordings rumoured to exist from Proby's signing to Liberty/EMI. Please do get in touch if you can help confirm any of this.

Fact or fiction?

  • This Flower (Part 1&2) & Polly's Ballad (circa 1965)
    [These songs may have been out-takes from the "P.J. Proby...In Town" album - likely produced by Ron Richards and arranged by Johnny Scott.]

  • Liberty & I’m Going Home (circa 1965)
    [Possibly recorded at a similar time to Proby's Top 20 hit “I Apologise”.]

  • Waiting time (circa 1965)
    [Another song said to have been produced by Ron Richards and arranged by Johnny Scott.]

  • The Chase (circa 1966)
    [It was likely recorded during the sessions for Proby's San Remo single "Quando Tornera" and produced by Ron Richards.]

  • Delilah & Melody of Love (circa 1968)
    [We all know the story behind "Delilah" and in recent years songwriter Les Reed has confirmed he even has an acetate of it - so we know it exists! The other mentioned tune is yet another believed out-take from the "Believe it or Not" sessions.]

  • Run Run Run (circa 1969)
    [Likely produced by Steve Rowland and featuring Amory Kane - possibly an out-take from the "Three Week Hero" sessions??]

  • The Gift of Love (circa 1970)
    [A track cut during the sessions for "It's Goodbye" which was Proby's final single for Liberty Records.]

  • Ju Ju Man, You You You & I'll Be A Head If I Can Quit While I'm Behind (likely "I’m Ahead if I Can Quit...") (circa 1971)
    [From what I understand these songs were written by the late songwriter Jim Ford who penned Proby's biggest American hit "Niki Hoeky". These recordings were produced during the singer's final sessions for the Liberty label and were intended for single release (this was not to be). The press of the time also reported that the sessions featured Brinsley Schwarz. ]

  • One Life, Now I Live Again & Birth Life Death (circa 1971)
    [Proby switched to the Columbia label in 1971/2. Only two songs were ever released by them which appeared on the 1972 single "We'll Meet Again". The Texan is however rumoured to have cut these three additional songs at the same time as the single.]

  • I Believe / Jezabel (date unknown)
    [These are two 1950s songs that were made popular by American singer Frankie Laine. Proby is believed to have been cut these tunes during his years at Liberty Records. For now, you can enjoy a mighty fine 1960s performance of "I Believe" on youtube and a new re-recording of it on his 2002 album "His Hand In Mine".]

  • Misty Roses (date unknown)
    [American folk musician/composer Tim Hardin wrote this beautiful song in the mid-1960s. Proby is said to have recorded it.]

  • Les Bicyclettes de Belsize (date unknown)
    [This was the title song from a 1968 short first. Engelbert Humperdinck had a hit with it and Proby is said to have also recorded a version.]

  • Pay the Piper /In Ever Dream A Heartache (date unknown)
    [Two final songs that I know very little about but are rumoured to have been recorded.]

Thanks to the following people who advised me when compiling this listing: Ron Tennant, Mikael Ekström (author), Tommy Barrett and Jenny Lesser.


BearGrove Blog said...

"Hereford football Song" - could that be the same as "The Boom Boom Song" (Santa Fe Records) ??

BearGrove Blog said...

"Run Run Run" (circa 1969)
I can ask Steve Rowland about it.
He use to reply to my e-mails !

joe1945 said...

i remember p j was to have a record released called misty roses,this was to be the follow up to maria i believe,i asked jim about this ,he said he remembered it but had forgotten about it,also ju ju man was recorded with brinsley swarzte

joe1945 said...

there was a song called misty roses which was i believe to be the follow up to maria,i asked jim about it,he did remember it but had forgotten it

Hans Buijze said...

Just as Beargrave I miss "Sweet summer wine". Fine ballad with great reviews. About "I don't want to hear it anymore" the folowing remark. It was first offered to Billy Eckstine while Jim was refused. Later Jim get permission and I think it is wone of his greatest full of emotions ballads. The second version of "Wicked woman" was the B-side of To nmake a big man cry single. There is no 2nd version of Sweet & tender romance. I thought in the dseventies that the dutch version was a little different. Now we know it isn't.

Hans Buijze said...

We all know that the Brinsley Swarzte studio tapes were stolen out a parke car. We all had the hope that someday they will appear somewhere. When I speak for myself I have lost the hope that this will happen

JaSone said...

Hello Hans and Everybody ,
Sweet and Tender Romans is another version on the Dutch release with totally different vocals.
So you heard right in the seventies,Hans.
In my opinion it's a much better version.

Jan Sonesson