Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Song of the Day: 'Hollywood Seven' by Vicki Lawrence

I'm not gonna lie, the best thing I've seen so far on my Best of Carol Burnett DVD is this nearly forgotten song by Vicki Lawrence, another "story song" that makes "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" sound like a nursery rhyme!

There's very little information about Vicki's version online (a promo was released by Private Stock, which did Blondie's first album, and a superfan seems to have included it on a (homemade) expanded edition CDR of Vicki's third and final album, "Newborn Woman" -- but Gloria Sklerov, who wrote the song with Harry Lloyd, had this recollection about it, which was also recorded by Jon English:
At the time I was a staff writer for Garrett Music, who had a sub-publishing with the Australian publisher. They had asked me to write an "urban story song" for an artist who had just had a major hit named Terry Jacks. The song was "Seasons in the Sun." I really wanted to get that record. On the way home on the freeway, I passed a motel called "Hollywood Eight" which intrigued me. I started to think about who might be checking in there. When I got together with Harry Lloyd, we discussed it and decided to change the name to "Hollywood Seven' because it "sang" better. We then plotted the story and it all sort of came to be like it was meant to. Ironically, the Terry Jacks deal never happened and so the song was sent out to all the sub-publishers. We were thrilled when we heard Jon's record because they used some of the synth riffs we had used on the demo and his vocal was great... As a writer, I was very proud of Jon's version


macguffin Fifty four said...

Which Carol best-of are you watching? There are like a million different versions, plus the new lost episodes, which are surprisingly good.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

It's the six-disc one called "Carol's Favorites."

Sabrina Steyling said...

I just watched Vicki sing "Hollywood Seven" on that same disc of "Carol's Favorites"! Is it just me or did they cut Vicki off? She ended a sentence and the audience began clapping but it looked like she was still singing more of the song.

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