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1. STAY WITH ME - LORRAINE ELLISON (1966)
(Jerry Ragovov, George David Weiss) Memory Lane Music Ltd/TRO Essex Music Ltd ,.AS LONG AS I HAVE YOU - GARNET MIMMS (1964)
(Jerry Ragovoy, Bob Elgin) Warner/Chappell North America
J. GOOD LOVIN' - THE OLYMPICS (1965) (Rudy Clark. Arthur Resnick) TM Music I.td
4. TIME IS ON MY SIDE - KAI WINDING (1963) (Norman Meade) TRO Essex: Music LId
5. A WONDERFUL DREAM - THE MAJORS (1962) (Edward Marshall. Jerry Ragovov) Chappell & Co Inc
6. MY GIRL AWAITS ME - THE CASTELLES (195J) (Frank Vance) Slot kin Musk Co
7. CRY BABY - GARNET MIMMS & THE ENCHANTERS (196J)
(Bert Russell. Norman Meade) The lntemational Music Network Ltd/EM! Music Pub Ltd
8. I'M COMIN' HOME - THE FABULOUS FOUR (1961) [Robert Finlaio. Joseph Pirollo) Universal/MeA Music Ltd
9. DISAPPOINTED - CLAUDINE CLARK (1962) (Robert Marcucci. Russ Faith) Univcrsaljr· .. ICA Music Ltd
10. YOU GOT JUST WHAT YOU ASKED FOR - ESTELLE BROWN (196L,) (Ben Raleigh. Norman I .... teade) Copyright Control/Campbell Connelly & Co Ltd
11.1 WANNA THANK YOU - THE ENCHANTERS (196/,)
(Norman Meade. Samuel Bell) Unicbappell Music Inc
121 CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I SEE MY BABY'S FACE - PAT THOMAS "",,,,)
(Jerry Ragovoy, Chip Taylor) Campbell Connelly & Co Ltd
'J. YOU'RE LOOlON' GOOD - HOWARD TATE (1964) (fimmy Bishop, Jerry Regovcv) Copyright Control
ll,. THE HURT'S ALL GONE -IRMA THOMAS (1965) (Roy Alfred. Jerry Ragovoy) Warner/Chappell North America
15. THINION' - GARNET MIMMS (1966) (lerry Ragovov, Chip Taylor) EMI Songs Ltd
,6 PATA PATA - MIRIAM MAKEBA (1967) (Miriam Makeba. Ierrv Ragovoy) Chelsea Music Pub Co Ltd
'7 WHAT'S IT GONNA BE - DUSTY SPRINGFIELD (2000) (Jerry Ragovoy, Mort Shuman) Carlin Music Corp
,8 YOU DON'T KNOW NOTHING ABOUT LOVE - CARL HALL (1967) (Jerry Ragovoy) Warner/Chappell North America
19· WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO? - LOU COURTNEY (1973) (LOll Courtney) Warner/Chappell North America
20 AIN'T GOT NOBODY TO GIVE IT TO - HOWARD TATE (197/1) (Jerry Ragovov) Chappell & Co Inc
21. WHAT ABOUT YOU - CARL HALL (1973) (Jerry Ragovov, Joey Levine) Warner Chappell Music Ltd
22. MOVE ME NO MOUNTAIN - DIONNE WARWICK (1975) (Jerry Ragovov, Aaron Schroeder) Minder Music lJd
'J. PRETTY RED LIPS (KISS MY BLUES AWAY) - MAJOR HARRIS (1978)
(Jerry Ragovoy, Aaron Schroeder) Minder 1\lusic lrd
>t,. GET IT WHILE YOU CAN - HOWARD TATE (2003) (Jerry Ragovoy, Mort Shuman) Carlin Music Corp
licensing credits Tracks I, 3. II, 16, 18, 2::1
® Warner Bros. Records [nco Licensed courtesy of Warner Music UK Ltd
Tracks 2,':;,7.10.1/1.15 (~) liberty Records,
a division of Capitol Records, Inc. licensed courtesy EM[ Commercial Market.
Tracks I., & I2®The Verve Music Group, A Division of UMG Recordings, [nco Licensed from Universal Licensing Division. a division of Universal Music Operations LJ:d Tracks 6, '3 & 2t ® Jerry Rngovov.
Tracks 8 s 9 ® Courtesy of Digital Music Group. bv arrangement with Smith & Co Track 17 ® Mercury International. Licensed from Universal licensing Division. a division of Unb .... ersal Musk Operations Ltd
Tracks 19. 20. 23 & 24 ® Sony BMG Music Entertainment inc. licensed courtesy Sony B.'..tG Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
I can't remember first meeting jerry Ragovoy, but it was surely more than 40 years ago. He was, in his comparative youth, looked upon in awe in the music biz, as was his sometime writing partner, Bert Berns. They were known as white kings of soul music. In my complete youth, I used to hang around his office looking for scraps; ie conversations with the master to answer the myriad questions in my head. To his credit, he answered many of them, and treated me quite nicely. In 1965 he even recorded one of my songs with Lorraine Ellison - what a feather in my 21-yearold cap THAT was!
I have two favourite Rags stories and here's the first one: frank Sinatra had booked a huge 46-piece orchestra session for a Reprise album he was working on. Three days before the session he cancelled, as icons are wont to do every now and then. The record company staff had a coronary - it was too late to cancel by union rules and a 46-piece session is mighty costly. They called all the New York producers who had current artists on Warner Bros/Reprise and offered them the three hour session gratis. It was not a throwaway because arrangements had to be written for 46 musicians and that, my friends, takes time. When they called jerry, he took the session. By then it was Monday and the session was on Wednesday evening. He called his siriekir k. arranger Garry Sherman, and the two of them dived into arrangement-land, eschewing sleep for a few days. The artist jerry was attempting to record was Lorraine Ellison and she was prepped on the song as well. In those days there was no overdubbing and barely four tracks to record on. jerry was lucky to have engineer Phil Ramone at his disposal that night. As they rehearsed the complicated arrangement, replete with rubato bars and high trumpet section notes, Ramone slowly put together a stereo monitor mix which he recorded right to a twotrack recorder as well as to the four-track. "Take one," Jerry intoned from the booth, and with Lorraine singing live with the entire orchestra. They were off and running. At the end of the take, there were tears in a few eyes.
Sinatra's musicians had been indoctrinated into the Ragovoy Kingdom Of Soul in one take and Lorraine's vocal was a keeper. They took one more take to correct a lyric flub in the second line, but everyone there knew the first take was golden and the vocal track was corrected and spliced into the first take and 70 musicians and friends went home early that night. The stereo monitor mix is the track you hear on this CD and the one folks heard back then on vinyl. I'm sorry, I forgot to say the title· 'Stay With Me' . not a bad night's work.
Here's the second one: In the late 60S, Ragovoy still owned the studio he had built in NYC called The Hit Factory. On a rare week off, he had graciously rented the studio to one jimi Hendrix, who was working on his third album. Jerry was home in bed when the phone rang about one am, interrupting some soulful dream. The studio manager on duty at the time was panicking: "The Hendrix entourage is WRECKING the studio. The expensive carpeting has been stained with red wine and burnt with cigarette butts and the control room is now under siege. I don't know what to do!!!" jerry jumped outa bed and said, '']'11 be right there!l!" He hurriedly dressed, grabbed a cab and was there in 20 minutes. Surveying the damage, he walked into the studio and said, "Nothing personal, [imi, but please leave my studio immediately and take all your crew who have no respect for my property with you right fucking NOW!!" Hendrix attempted to apologise but to no avail. jerry literally Walked him out the door and Iimi's semi-trained dogs quickly followed. The rest of the week was cancelled - by Ragovoy, the master of not being intimidated.
My friendship with jerry has remained unwavering on both sides all this time and of that I am proud. Lately he attends all my live shows in his area and compliments me on my current work. NOTHING means more to me than that. And he still plays KILLER piano!!!
TIME [S ON MY SIDE
1.1·-----·-------- ---I I
AL KOOPER, 2008
CHRONOLOGICAL TRACK COMMENTARY
(See page two for playing sequence)
JERRY RAGOVOY: "Artists usually get the glory, which for the most part they deserve, and producers usually stay in the background." hi
JORDON (JERRY) RAGOVOY was born in Philadelphia on 4 September 1930 to parents of Hungarian·Czechoslovakian·Russian origin. He grew up listening to classical and big band music, and taught himself to play the piano by studying the works of Ravel, Debussy, Puccini and Stravinsky. At the age of eight he wrote his first song. After a stint working for a record distributor, in 1949 he landed a job in the record department of Treegoob's, an electrical appliance store in an allblack Philadelphia neighbourhood. where he extended his musical education via daily exposure to gospel, blues and jazz 78s. It was this diversity of musical influences that
would inspire Ragovoy to write and produce songs like 'TIME IS ON MY SIDE', 'STAY WITH ME', 'GET IT WHILE YOU CAN' and 'CRY BABY' many years later.
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
increase traffic in the hope it would lead to appliance sales. I worked 60 hours a week. After growing up with all that white, white music, now here I was working in a record shop in a black neighbourhood. We had this long counter and on either side were record players. It was customary to play the new releases. So, 60 hours a week I was listening to black records of every kind and discipline' Clara Ward, the Pilgrim Travelers, Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers, Swan Silvertones, Trumpeteers and the Caravans with their fabulous singer. vVhen I heard 'Mary Don't You Weep', I thought I was gonna faint! I couldn't get over this woman's voice. This is when I discovered John Lee Hooker and Lightnin' Hopkins· incredible sounds; all the Chess and Checker stuff, the goldmine of soul! That's what I listened to all day long for four years. And little by little, by osmosis, I absorbed the black musical idiom. I could well have been born black because, ultimately, it became a natural musical expression for me." 1>1
JERRY RAGOVOY: "In those days, it was pretty standard in Philadelphia to have a record department in an appliance store. Typically, they had refrigerators, washing machines, television sets and almost always there was a record department to
MY GIRL AWAITS ME - THE CASTELLES
Recorded 4 August 1953. Produced by Herb Slotkln and Jerry Ragovov,
The first record Jerry Ragovoy produced was 'My Girl Awaits Me' by the Castelles, a Philadelphia doo wop classic released in October 1953 on Grand Records, a label he ran with Herb Slot kin, the owner of Treegoob's. The group at the time comprised
TIME IS ON MY SID_E _
Octavius Anthony, Frank Vance, William Taylor, Ronald Everett and ie-vear-old lead singer George Grant.
recordings with the Castelles. It's so long ago I don't remember which ones I did, because some other guys produced some of the group's
RAGOVOY: HI was working at Treegoob's, the record shop. The neighbourhood was mostly black. At that time, many young kids walked by the record shop singing doo wop. Some were awful, some were OK. I happened to walk outside and heard this group Singing 'My Girl Awaits Me'.
I walked over to them and said, 'Do
me a favour. Could you start that song again? [ would like to hear it again.' They did. I listened to it and said, 'I want you to come in the store.' The guy who owned the place happened to be a good friend of mine as well, His name was Herb Slatkin. To this day we're still good friends. I said, 'Herb, I just heard a group and the song they sang is, I think, a hit song. Why don't we start a label and record it?' He said, 'OK, let's give it a shot.' I booked a studio in Philadelphia called Reco-Art, 'My Girl Awaits Me' by the Caste lies is very special to me to this day. It's the first time J was ever in a professional studio and the first time I ever produced a record. Included in the session was 'This Silver Ring', which I wrote for them - the first time I ever had a song recorded. 'My Girl Awaits Me' sold approximately 100,OOO! In those days, that was pretty good. It was a hit in Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, New York and I believe the other city was Cleveland. I couldn't believe that
it sold that many records. I did a few more
The Caste lies issued seven singles on Grand, including a solo record by Grant using the name George Castelle. The group's career culminated with a release on Atco in 1956, which led to 'My Girl Awaits Me' being reissued by Grand and it became a local hit all over again. Grand Records turned into quite a thriving enterprise, issuing over 60 singles in its lifetime, a number of which Ragovoy produced: an example being 'Get In And Shut The Door', a song he wrote for the Gay Charmers, a female trio
led by Willa Ward, the sister of Philadelphia gospel legend Clara Ward. "I was auditioning groups aU the time in the stock room. I must have made about 15 or 20 records." 1,1
Jerry worked at Treegoob's until 1955, following which he took some time out to study the piano more seriously, before spending a couple of years as a piano teacher, giving lessons to children and teenagers at their homes for $7 an hour. He got married in the late 1950S and secured a position in the A&.R department of Chancellor Records, one of Philadelphia's top labels.
RAGOVOY: "I married an Italian girl, who knew someone who was connected with Chancellor, an all-Italian company. At Chancellor was Bob Marcucci, Pete DeAngelis, Frankie Avalon, Fabian Forte - all
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
these Italians. And they were chauvinistically Italian. It was a miracle I got the job. Bob was the business brain and Pete was the music man. Pete DeAngelis was very talented, an excellent arranger and an excellent musician."!"
I'M COM IN' HOME - THE FABULOUS FOUR
Recorded August 1961. Arranged and conducted by [errv Ragovoy, A Marcucci-Faith Production.
Between 1959 and 1962 Jerry Ragovoy was the arranger on numerous Chancellor recordings, including some by Frankie Avalon, fabian, the fabulous Four, Carlo Gerace, Kerry Adams, Claudine Clark and Jimmy Wisner, not quite all of whom were Italian. The Fabulous Four, whose 1961 recording 'I'm Comin' Home' Ragovoy arranged and conducted, were formed in 1957 as the four J's, by which name they recorded tor United Artists and toured with Buddy Greco as his backing vocalists. In 1960 the group was enlisted by Bob Marcucci to perform a similar vital role behind fabian, and adjusted their moniker accordingly. 'I'm Comin' Home' was written by the group's lead singer Joseph Pirollo and bass voice Robert Finizio, who as Bob Finiz went on to become a successful record producer. But of all the records Jerry Ragovoy arranged at Chancellor, it's a particular one by Frankie Avalon that he best remembers.
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
RAGOVOY: "As Chancellor's A&.R man, I was the one who had to listen to all the song demos sent from all over the country. Most of them were so bad it became comical. In addition to sending demos via mail, many major publishers from New York would come to see me and submit their songs. One song that was submitted to me was 'Gatta Gel A Girl'. I said, 'That's a pretty good song, very interesting chord changes.' I asked who the writers were and it was two guys I'd never heard of, Burt Bacharach and Hal David. I played it for Pete DeAngelis. He said, 'I think this is a good one for Frankie. We'll do it.' About a week or two before going to Bell Sound in NYC - that's where we did
all our recording - Pete said to me, 'You do the chart.' I thought I was going to pass out. I used to make a living doing little arrangements for people in Philadelphia - little groups and so forth. I charged my 50 bucks and I was happy. It paid the rent. I said to Pete, 'What'S the instrumentation?' He said, 'About twenty-five guys.' I thought to myself, 'Oh my God! I never did anything that big.' Before I went to the studio for the session, I hardly was able to sleep for about a week, double and triple checking every single note in my arrangement. At the studio, I was the last one up. The first three songs were arranged by Pete. I stood in front of the musicians and thought I was going to die. There were strings, horns, a rhythm section and background Singers. I counted four, the band starts up, I'm wearing headphones. I listened for about a minute and said to myself, 'It sounds OK. Jesus, it sounds pretty good!' J don't believe Pete knew I was dying inside. After the session was over Pete said, 'Jerry, you did a great job. This sounds
good.' That was the song that was released out of the session. That was my entrance into doing an arrangement for more than five musicians." 1'1
A WONDERFUL DREAM - THE MAJORS
Recorded 20 January 1962. Produced and arranged by Jerry Ragovoy.
1961 marked the release of 'Second Chance' by Teddy Daryll, the inaugural single on Utopia Records, a label founded by Jerry Ragovoy with Bill Fox, the manager of several local groups, including
the Silhouettes and the Versatiles. It was the MajorsRonald Gathers, Eugene Glass, his wife ldella
Morris, Frank Troutt and lead singer Ricky Cordo, the Versatiles as was - who would provide Ragovoy with his first big hit record, 'A Wonderful Dream', a song he penned using the pseudonym Norman Margolies with co-writer Edward Marshall.
RAGOVOY: "I met a lot of people from New York when I was living in Philadelphia. I said to myself,
'I think I need to say goodbye to Philadelphia.' I told Chancellor I was moving to New York. It was a very amiable departure. Prior to moving to New York, somebody brought me this group of singers called the Majors. After I listened to them, I had this idea for a song, 'A Wonderful Dream'. I went into a studio in
Philadelphia with just a rhythm section. I couldn't afford a NYC studio. I rehearsed the group and produced the record. I remember it cost me $1,200 to record the session - I did three or four songs. I started peddling the record after I moved to New York. I had my dubs, my acetates. I played it for different record companies. I played it for one company and had an experience I'll never forget. The guy said, 'I don't know, lerry, it doesn't sound like anything out there.' [said, 'You got that right. It's not supposed to sound like anything out there.' At least I learned about record company executives. I was turned down by everybody, about six or eight companies. Then 1 played 'A Wonderful Dream' for Imperial Records at their New York office. Allen Stanton was in charge.
He said, 'It's a very interesting record.' He called up his boss, Lew Chudd, in California. Lew said he'd give me $500 for the record. It had cost me $1,200, but I thought, '1 don't give a damn. I'll just take it. I want the record out there.' So I got my $500 and the record came out. A few weeks went by and I called up Allen. He said nothing was happening. It hadn't had any real bites yet.I went to Philadelphia, where I knew some of the R&B DJs. They always came to Treegoob's to check what records were selling well to help with their programming. That's how I knew them. They said they'd play the record. My Treegoob's boss that I used to work for called me a few weeks later to tell me he was getting a lot of calls on 'A Wonderful Dream'. Like all record companies, they release a record and if nothing happens, they just drop it. If there's any response in a given market, that's when they put their machinery into action to promote it. And that's what happened. It turns out the record went to #22 in the country. So I got my $1,200 back."!"
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
By the lime of the Majors' second single, Jerry was using the songwriting alias Norman Meade. The record, 'She's A Troublemaker' b/w'A Little Bit Now (A Little Bit Later)', would undoubtedly have been as big a success as 'A Wonderful Dream' had each side not charted in its own right, splitting airplay and sales. The group recorded a further five 45S with Ragovoy, plus an album, "Meet The Majors". They disbanded in 1966 after a final single as the Performers.
DISAPPOINTED - CLAUDINE CLARK
Recorded April 1962. Arranged and conducted by Jerry Ragovoy. A Marcucci-Faith Production.
Four monlhs elapsed between the recording of
'A Wonderful Dream' and its release on Imperial, during which time Jerry Ragovoy arranged and conducted one last track for Chancellor Records before relocating to New York. An intensely performed proto-soul ballad that signalled the direction future Ragovoy productions would lake, 'Disappointed' was released as the A-side of Claudine Clark's debut for the label, but it was the nonRagovoy side, 'Party Lights', which eventually proved the more commercial, reaching the Top 5 later in the year.
In the wake of his success with the Majors, Jerry Ragovoy found himself instantly in demand. During his first year or so in New York he arranged or produced sessions by Solomon Burke, Little Peggy March, Jay & the Americans,
Beverly Warren, Gene Pitney, the Four Gleams, Johnny Thunder and numerous others, and also had songs recorded by Bobby Vinton, Jackie Wilson, Bill Henderson, the Vibrations and Herbie Mann.
GARNET MIMMS & THE ENCHANTERS
Recorded May 1963. Arranged by lerrv Ragovoy. Conducted by Garry Sherman. Produced by Jerry Ragovoy. A Bert Berns Production.
The first awesome outcome of Ragovoy's disparate musical influences manifested itself in May 1963 at Bell Sound Studios on West 54th 51 in the shape of 'Cry Baby' by Garnet Mimms & the Enchanters.
RAGOVOY: "I wrote 'Cry Baby' with Bert Berns. I met Bert when I was working at Chancellor. He worked
for a publishing company, Robert Mellin, and used 10 come to Philadelphia once in a while peddling songs. We became friends. I was writing 'Cry Baby' off and on for about a year. I would start it and get to a certain point. I'd play it and it wasn't right, so I'd put it away. It probably took me a year to write it until I thought it was right. When I first moved to New York I gave Bert a call and we started becoming decent buddies. I told him I had a song that was driving me crazy. J thought it was a hit song, but J couldn't
finish it. I played it for him one day and said, 'This is where it stops. I don't know what it needs. I
can't figure it out.' It was Bert who came up with the recitatif, the talk part, for maybe eight bars. I said to Bert, 'That's it. The song is finished.' I wrote the whole song except that one section, but we split it 50/50. I wrote the charts for that. I wrote the charts for 90 per cent of the records I ever made." ,,'
'Cry Baby' reached #4 on Billboard's Hot 100 and #, on their R&D chart. The Enchanters - Sam Bell, Charles Boyer and Zola Pernell - did indeed sing on jerry Ragovoy's initial four-song session with Garnet Mimms, but although they were billed on the label, the group did not perform behind him on 'Cry Baby'. That role was filled by three session singers Mimms remembers as Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick and Estelle Brown. The same ladies, usually
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alongside Cissy Houston and Sylvia Shemwell, sang on many of the recordings Mimms made with Ragovoy, including 'For Your Precious Love', 'Baby Don't You Weep', 'Tell Me Baby', 'One Girl', 'Look Away', 'A Little Bit Of Soap' and 'I'll Take Good Care Of You', all of which were hits over the next three years. The Ragovoy/Berns team composed many of the songs Garnet Mimms recorded for United Artists, plus others like 'One Way Love' and 'Cry No More' for the Drifters and Ben E King, respectively.
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
KAI WINDING with VOCAL GROUP
Recorded 3 October 1963. Arranged by Jerry Ragovoy. Directed by Garry Sherman. Produced by Creed Taylor.
'Time Is On My Side' is one of jerry Ragovoy's most famous compositions, thanks to recordings by the Rolling Stones and Irma Thomas. The original version of the song, however, was by Danish jazz trombonist Kai Winding.
RAGOVOY: "Garry Sherman called me one day and said, 'Hey, jerry, I'm recording Kai Winding. Guess what we're doing? We got three R&B background singers.' It happened to be Cissy Houston, Dionne Warwick and, I think. her sister Dee Dee. I think it was those three. Well, I know it was Dionne and Cissy and one other girl. He said, 'We need just one more song and I thought you would be good to try.' I said, 'Let me think about it. Maybe I can write one.' So I sat down at the piano, plunked out a riff and wrote 'Time Is On My Side' in maybe an hour. I called him back and said, 'Listen to this. I'm gonna play it for you over the phone.' And I played it for
,_, __ Garry said,
""'+'fr~ ~- ~,+.;1y On the Kai
·.f .. ..r .... ~ (U.Y'(.6CQ, ~ \ ••. .? ... ~.. Winding version,
~l'III'N"/ ... t~~.-'I1""'~" JI' where there were
ultimately lyrics, I wrote vocal choruses and had Kai take a trombone solo. I actually wrote the 'bone solo. When I got there [ said to Kai, 'Please play the solo as written. It's very important to the song.' And he did. That's how 'Time Is On My Side' came about. After it was released Kai called me and said, 'Hey, lerry, I loved what you did on 'Time ls On My Side'. [ have a session [ have to do. [ would like you to do the
charts.' [ said, 'OK.' So I did another
session for him, probably a few months
later. [ felt so complimented because I always liked Kai Winding. He was a wonderful 'bone player and a nice person as well."!'
The Irma Thomas recording of
'Time Is On My Side', recorded in Hollywood with producer Eddie Ray,
was released in the summer of 1964. The Rolling Stones charted with their version of the song later that year.
TIM! IS ON
him. He said, 'It sounds pretty good. Can you dothe
charts?' [ said, 'Sure, [ can do it. When's the
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TIME IS ON MY SIDE
RAGOVOY: "Bob Skaff of Imperial Records called me and said, 'We'd love to do 'Time Is On My Side' with Irma Thomas, but where the trombone solos are, we need some lyrics.' I sent him the additional lyrics. Irma recorded the song in California with the additional lyrics, Afterwards, a guy named Jimmy Norman starts telling everyone he wrote 'Time Is On My Side'. I never even met him. He happened to be at the session with Bob Skaff. Later on, the Stones covered the Irma Thomas version."!"
YOU GOT JUST WHAT YOU ASKED FOR ESTELLE BROWN
Recorded April '96". Arranged by Jerry Ragovov. Conducted by Garry Sherman. A Jerry Ragavoy Production.
Estelle Brown was a member of a coterie of busy studio singers referred to affectionately on the New York recording scene as "The Girls" or "The Group". At one time or other the group also included Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick, Cissy
Houston, Carol Slade, Sylvia Shemwell, judy Clay, Doris Troy and Myrna Smith, each of
whom also enjoyed solo recording careers of varying lengths. Estelle's solo output was small but perfectly formed, comprising just one Single: 'You Got just Whal You Asked For', co-written and produced by Jerry Ragovoy in 1964. Cissy, Sylvia, Myrna and Estelle eventually evolved into Atlantic Records' Sweet Inspirations.
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TIME IS ON MY SIDE
I WANNA THANK YOU - THE ENCHANTERS
Recorded II May 196". Arranged by Jerry Ragovoy. Conducted by Garry Sherman. A Jerry Ragovoy Production.
After just one session together, the Enchanters and Garnet Mimms separated, he having achieved solo fame. But the group was rewarded the following year when Jerry Ragovoy helped land them a deal with Warner Bros, for whom they scored a hit of their own with their debut, 'I Wanna Thank You'. With lead singer William Gilmore as the only constant member, the Enchanters went on to release three more excellent singles for Lorna, all Ragovoy-produced.
RAGOVOY: "I wrote 'I Wanna Thank You' for the Enchanters when Garnet went off on his own. The lead singer of that group was so great. The guy had so much going for him. Man! To this day I would say that 'I Wanna Thank You' is in the lap 20 of all the records I have ever made."!
I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I SEE MY BABY'S FACE PAT THOMAS
Recorded 9 September 1964. Arranged by Jerry Ragovoy. Conducted by Garry Sherman, Produced by Creed Taylor.
The first recording of 'I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face' . one of several terrific songs written by Jerry Ragovoy with Chip Taylor - was a hit for Justine "Baby" Washington early in 1964. That didn't deter Ragovoy from conducting an even more sophisticated version by jazz chanteuse Pat Thomas for Verve Records later in the year. Jerry also revisited the song with Dionne Warwick ten years later on her "Then Came You" album.
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
AS lONG AS I HAVE YOU ~=::.~~
AS LONG AS I HAVE YOU - GARNET MIMMS
Recorded 22 September 1964, Arranged and conducted by Jerry Ragovoy. A Jerry Ragovoy Production,
For three years Garnet Mimms was the king of wailing church-infused ballads, but he was also very adept at up-tempo numbers, as evidenced by the urgent 'As Long As I Have You', the title track of his second album, Jerry Ragovoy's next great discovery was Garnet Mimms' former colleague Howard Tate, to whom he was turned on by Sam Bell of the Enchanters, Tate had known Mimms since the mid- 1950S when they were both members of the Belairs, the group that evolved into the Gainors and eventually the Enchanters,
YOU'RE LOOKIN' GOOD - HOWARD TATE
Recorded November 1964. A Jerry Ragovoy Production.
Howard Tate left the Gainors in 1960 and went on the road as the featured vocalist in Bill Doggett's band, Having tracked him down, Jerry Ragovoy began his lengthy partnership with Tate with 'Half A Man' blw 'You're Lookin' Good', released as the second and final single on Utopia late in 1964.
HOWARD TATE: "Atlantic Records was trying to find me while I was with Bill Doggett, but I don't know what the problem was. Bill could never reach an agreement with them or something, But they had heard me and they wanted to record me back then, Atlantic wanted Bill Doggett's band to record behind me. So I made up my mind and left him. Jerry must have had some recordings or tapes where he heard my voice, He liked it so he sent for me through
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
Georgie Woods, who was a disc jockey in Philadelphia. Woods went on the radio and said, 'If anyone knows where Howard Tate is, tell him to call the radio station.' Somebody heard it and they told me, so I called the station. Georgie's partner, Bill Fox, told me to get in touch with Jerry. I got in touch and Jerry got me to come out to New York. He had a song called 'Half A Man'. He wanted me to learn that and I did. Jerry had a one room apartment in New York and his wife used to have to wait untill'd leave rehearsal so she could go to bed. I went in the studio and recorded it for Utopia. That was the label they had at the time."
THE HURT'S ALL GONE - IRMA THOMAS
Recorded 20 January 1965. Arranged by Jerry Ragovoy. Conducted by Garry Sherman. A Jerry Ragovoy Production.
In addition to those by the Majors, Jerry Ragovoy produced some tremendous recordings for Imperial Records by the Silhouettes, the Tran-Sisters and the Pandoras, but his best work for the label came when, not long after the Rolling Stones had taken 'Time
Is On My Side' into the US Top 10, the almost
inevitable happened and Irma Thomas flew in from New Orleans to record with him. 'I'm Gonna Cry Till My Tears Run Dry', 'The Hurt's All Gone', 'Live Again', 'You Don't Miss A Good Thing (Until It's Gone)', 'Nobody Wants To Hear Nobody's Troubles'. 'Some Things You Never Get Used To' and 'It's Starting To Get To Me Now' were committed to tape at a memorable two-day session held at Mirasound Studios on West 47th St in January 1965.
GOOD LOVIN' - THE OLYMPICS
Recorded 17 February 1965. Arranged by Jerry Ragovov, Conducted by Garry Sherman. Produced by Jerry Ragovoy. A Karnn-Surrn Production.
Jerry Ragovoy began his fruitful relationship with the Lorna label, Warner Bros' new R&B subsidiary, in t965 by producing 'Good Lovin" by the Olympics, an established group from California comprising Walter Ward, Eddie Lewis, Charles Fizer and Melvin
King. The record was a modest chart success for t he former 'Western Movies' hitrnakers, but the song will forever be associated with the Young Rascals, who look their version to #1 the following year. In addition to those
mentioned elsewhere, over the next few years Ragovoy produced memorable singles at Loma by Ben Aiken, Bobby Freeman, Roy Redmond and Lonnie Youngblood.
THINION' - GARNET MIMMS
Recorded 12 October 196~. Arranged by Jerry Ragovoy. Conducted by Garry Sherman. Produced by jerry Ragovoy.
Garnet Mimms and Jerry Ragovoy's last United Artists 45 together was 'I'll Take Good Care OF You'
in 1966. The tremendous 'Thinkin" was first released as the Final track on Mimms' 'I'll Take Good Care Of You' album that April, before being issued as a B· side on UA's Veep subsidiary a couple of months later. The label switch had a negative effect on his career, despite three exceptional singles written by Ragovoy with Mort Shuman.
Meanwhile, Jerry Ragovov shifted his attention to Howard Tate, having secured him a contract with Verve. Together they created a body of work at the label that would become among the most fabled and admired in all souldom, including the classic singles 'Ain't Nobody Home', 'Look At Granny Run, Run', 'Baby, I Love You', 'Stop' and 'Get It While You Can'.
RAGOVOY: "The reason that Howard Tate's first hit, 'Ain't Nobody Home', was a hit is because I did the promotion myself. I was travelling to Detroit and seeing the disc jockeys that I knew. They all played it for me. I spent my own money, since I never trusted record labels to promote my records. I knew all the black jockeys in the major cities. I dealt with them all the time.""
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STAY WITH ME - LORRAINE ELLISON
Recorded julv r966. Arranged by jerry Ragovoy. Conducted by Garry Sherman. Produced by jerry Ragovoy.
RAGOVOY: "The President of Warner Bros Records, Mike Maitland, called and asked if I had an artist who would be using a large orchestra. He knew I liked large orchestras. I asked, 'Why?' He told me Frank Sinatra cancelled a session and in accordance with the Musicians Union rules, the orchestra would have to be paid without three days' notice. I asked about the size of the orchestra.
It was 46 musicians, not uncommon for Sinatra. I replied, 'No problem. I'll do it.' I immediately went
to work to finish the songs and do the arrangements to meet the deadline. When I arrived at A&R Studios on West 48th St, I had been up for three nights. Phil Ramone was the engineer. The first song was 'Stay With Me'. Phil ran a stereo as he was recording to eight-track as well. The vocal was one take recorded
live with the entire orchestra. What you hear is the original stereo. I didn't even have to mix it. Phil Ramone is a great engineer. I'm lucky to have had him."!"
Ask for her latest LP ViS 1821
HAL HALVERSTADT: "This
is Lorraine Ellison, who was singing gospel and playing piano in church when she was six. The girl from Philadelphia who formed a gospel group named the Ellison Singers with two sisters and a cousin while in high school. The same Lorraine Ellison who conquered the local small time as a single, then
packed up and lived in Europe for a while, cracking the sienna stucco of Spoletto at the rest ivai of Two Worlds and short circuiting the cables of Italian radio and television with the Ellison sound. The same sweet
Lorraine who recently shook her name right off the marquee of Harlem's famed Apollo Theater while wailing in a baby pink spotlight onstage. And now, here she is, shut up on the private world of a four-by-Iour recording booth, peering out through the dusty glass, listening to her arrangement through a pair of oversize earphones, and singing up
a veritable tidal wave of music on her first take. In the control room, her manager is beaming. 'That Lorraine is crazy. Jesus Christ, she's crazy.' Someone else murmurs, 'Fifty thousand souls'."
Ierrv Ragovoy and Lorraine Ellison went on to make other magnificent recordings together for Warner tlros and Lorna, including 'I Want To Be Loved', 'Heart Be Still', 'Try (just A Little Bit Harder)' and 'Only Your Love', but behind the scenes their working relationship wasn't all roses. Lorraine was afraid to fly and refused to perform outside of Philadelphia or New York to promote her records, which led to some friction. She and Ragovoy went their separate ways in 1970 after some differences over material.
PATA PATA - MIRIAM MAKEBA
Recorded May 1967. Arranged by Jerry Ragovoy. Produced by Jerry Ragovoy,
RAGOVOY: "I wrote 'Pata Pata' with Miriam. That's a whole story in itself. I used to do a lot of work with Warner Bros. Mo Ostin or Mike Maitland called me and said, 'We have this artist, her name is Miriam Makeba, and we owe her an album. We need four more songs. Do you think you can meet with her and maybe do something to finish up the album?' I'd never heard her. I had an office at Warner Bros at that time and made an
appointment with her. Miriam came in with her friend Mumsy. Miriam said, 'What I wanna do, Jerry, is American ballads.' I thought, 'That's terrific. I don't have to knock my brains out. I'll just call up the publishers and get some ballads.'
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I received ten or twelve demos from the publishers. I called Miriam and told her I have American ballads for her to listen to. The evening before our appointment she was appearing at a club in the Village and I went to see her. All Miriam did was African folk songs for the entire show. She was so great as an entertainer I almost fell off my chair. I couldn't believe it. It's not that I knew African music. That was my first taste of really hearing anything like that. The way she presented those songs, the whole joint was rocking, myself included. Miriam came over the next day and I said, 'Miriam, I have all these demos here, but before we go any further, I want to ask you a favour. Let me turn on the tape recorder and would
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
you sing a whole bunch of African songs? I just want to hear them. I want to take the tape home and listen to them:
She enjoyed my saying that. Mumsy was doing harmony and they put down about a dozen songs, all a cappella, of course. I took the tape home and listened and listened. I met with Miriam a day or two later and asked her what 'Para Pata' meant. She described in English what the song was about. I told her that I would love to record it. Afterwards, I went home and wrote English lyric definitions - not all of it, maybe half. I needed Miriam's help on certain language definitions I didn't understand. 'Pata Pata' turned out to be a worldwide hit. To this day I'm still amazed by the success of 'Pata Para'."!'
WHAT'S IT GONNA BE DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
Recorded 27 Iuly 1967. Arranged by Jerry Ragovoy. Conducted by Garry Shennan. Produced by jerry Ragovov.
Five months before the 'Pata Pata' session, Ragovoy had produced Dusty Springfield's recording of 'The Corrupt Ones',
the theme song of the movie of the same title. He and Dusty got together again in New York the following summer to cut 'What's It Gonna Be' at a fabled session that featured Carole King, Madeline Bell, Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford helping out on background vocals. Obviously a fan of Ragovoy's songs, Dusty had previously recorded 'It Was Easier To Hurt Him (Her)' and in the coming months would also tackle '1 Can't Wait Until 1 See My Baby's Face' and 'Piece Of My Heart'. The version of 'What's It Gonna Be' contained here is a stereo mix first released in 2000.
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
RAGOVOY: "I'm not sure I remember how that all happened, but I know that Dusty wanted to work with me because I was sort of an R&B icon. She had good innards for music. She was a pleasure to work with and a very nice chick. Morty Shuman and I wrote 'What's It Gonna Be'."!'
YOU DON'T KNOW NOTHING ABOUT LOVE CARL HALL
Recorded October 1967. Arranged by Jerry Ragovoy. Conducted by Garry Sherman. Produced by Jerry Ragovoy, A Barr-Costa Production.
RAGOVOY: '''You Don't Know Nothing About Love' is one of my favourite songs I ever did with Carl Hall. Brooks Arthur, a most talented engineer, opened his own studio in New York, Century Sound, and that's where I recorded it. There were the usual musicians I almost always used. I would cancel sessions if the great Paul Griffin couldn't show up. I would never record without him. If he wasn't available, I'd postpone the session. Eric Gale was my favourite guitar player. If I didn't get my usual musicians, I'd wait until they were available."!
By popular request, 'You Don't Know Nothing About Love' is heard here in its original full length single incarnation with the final verse intact, rather than the drastic edit released elsewhere. Jerry also recorded versions of Ihe song on Lorraine Ellison and Howard Tate, but to Ragovoy buffs the Carl Hall original remains untouchable, as does his second Lorna single, 'The Dam Busted'.
In the latter half of the 1960s Jerry Ragovoy took a crack at producing some white rock bands - the
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
Butterfield Blues Band, the Phaetons, the Spike Drivers and the McGowan Boys among them - all without much success, "It's not a question of not understanding the idiom," Ragovoy told Melody Maker. "It's a question of I don't know that I have an affinity, I don't care to deal with groups, I would prefer to always deal with a single artist."
jerry Ragovoy came close to joining Bert Berns at his new Shout label, but the arrangement fell through, although the pair did co-write in 1967 'No One Could Ever Love You' for Freddie Scott, 'Heart Be Still' for Lorraine Ellison and Erma Franklin's 'Piece Of My Heart', three of their finest ever joint efforts, But when Bert Berns was felled by a weak heart on December 30 that year, all hope of future collaborations died with him,
Instead, Ragovoy embarked on a new venture, the foundation of the original Hit Factory studio, Located at tl7th & Seventh Ave in NYC in an empty space, Ragovoy built it from the ground up, Later he added two more studios at West 48th St, also created from scratch,
LOU GONZALEZ: "I was offered a job at Vanguard and The Hit Factory at the same time, Vanguard was paying twice as
much money, but something told me to go with The Hit Factory, mostly because of the music and the stature I'd have there, And Ragovoy, t helped build
jerry's second studio over on 48th St,
but that first room was something else, B.B.King, the Band, the Rolling Stones all came through there, It literally was a hit factory - just one after another."
Some of jerry Ragovoy's songs were given a new tease of life in the late 1960s by Janis joplin, Her "Cheap Thrills" album of 1968 contained her version of 'Piece Of My Heart' and the following year's "I Got Dern 01' Kosrnic Blues Again Mama!" featured 'Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)'. The two became acquainted and Ragovoy even wrote a song for her, prophetically titled 'I'm Genna Rock My Way To Heaven', but joplin died before she could record it- Her LP "Pearl", recorded a month before her death in 1970, contained versions of 'Cry Baby', 'My Baby' and 'Get It While You Can', In the 1990S jerry acted as musical director of "Love, janis",
the stage musical based on the book by joplin's sister Laura,
WHAT ABOUT YOU - CARL HALL
Recorded February 1973. Orchestral arrangements: Jerry Ragovov, Produced by Jerry Ragovov.
In all, jerry Ragovoy produced four singles on Carl Hall between 1967 and 1973. the last of which was 'What About You' for
Columbia, One of the most mind-
blowing vocalists who ever lived, Hall's career spanned everything from gospel (the Raymond Rasberry Singers), soul and Broadway (Ihe Wiz, Langston Hughes' Tambourines To Glory) to classical (Leonard Bernstein's Mass) and disco (Alley & the Soul Sneekers), He was also among the backing vocalists used
by Ragovoy on Bonnie Raitt's "Streetlights" and Lou Courtney's "I'm In Need Of Love" albums.
WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO? LOU COURTNEY
Recorded 12 June 1973. Arranged by Jerry Ragavoy. Produced by Lou Courtney and Jerry Ragovoy,
RAGOVOY: "I thought Lou Courtney was a great talent, a good writer. I
didn't write 'What Do You Want Me To Do?'· that's Lou's song. When I heard it, I loved it. That's
'""!,,,AT DO ~,~Uc!~! ME TO D~l
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o~ ... ",;~,rnof ~vf,JcrlJ- u.t:!I""c, ..
my own label, Rags Records. I was so sick of record companies and spending my own money for promotion. I thought, 'Why don't I just start my own label?' That was the first record I did. I had independent distributors at that time, but you
learn something very quick: they don't pay you very quickly. I then made the "I'm In Need Of Love" album with Lou for Epic. Lou was really great and I enjoyed him."!'
LOU COURTNEY: "'What Do You Want Me To Do?' came out in 1973 and to begin with it was on the Rags label· jerry's own set-up, because we
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
couldn't get a deal, But when the record began to pick up airplay and sales, Epic walked in and took over distribution. What we did then was complete half an album and invited most of CBS's A&R staff to listen to it. Naturally, when they heard it they wanted the other half, but we held off until we got the right deal from them. I was really disappointed at the way the album was ignored, because I felt that it definitely had something to say. Plus it was really me . the album was the first music that I literally prayed over!"
AIN'T GOT NOBODY TO GIVE IT TO HOWARD TATE
Recorded 197LI. Arranged by Larry Wilcox and Jerry Ragovoy. Produced by Jerry Ragovoy.
After a four-year break, jerry
Ragovoyand Howard Tate reunited in 1972 to record "Howard Tate", an excellent
album that reached a small audience. After one final single together- 'Ain't Got Nobody To Give It To', released on Epic two years later- the pair lost contact for 27 years.
MOVE ME NO MOUNTAIN DIONNE WARWICK
Recorded 30 November 1974. Arranged and produced by Jerry Ragovoy.
RAGOVOY: "I sometimes think of the Dionne Warwick album I produced. Every time I hear it, I want to cry. It's the worst group of charts I ever did in my whole life. My arrangements were good but overorchestrated. I think I was pretending to be Burt Bacharach, who does not overorchestrate. I don't know what got into me for that album. If I could see Dionne, I'd apologize for it. I think it's one of the worst albums I ever made in my whole life. [am still angry with myself."!
With Burt Bacharach anrl Hill David at loggerheads and unavailable. who else were Warner Bros gonna call? Besides, it was only right, considering the vital role (the high notes) she had played on Garnet Mimms'
'Cry Baby', that Jerry Ragovoy should produce Dionne Warwick. Ragovoy's negative hindsight norwithstanding, the "Then Came You" album is regarded by many as one of Warwick's best, and 'Move Me No Mountain' is one of its prime tracks. Love Unlimited cut a memorable version of the song too.
DIONNE WARWICKE Then
PRETTY RED LIPS (KISS MY BLUES AWAY) MAJOR HARRIS
Recorded 1978. Arranged by David Matthews and Jerry Ragovoy. Produced by Jerry Ragovov.
Although he was still a young man, Major Harris was no newcomer when he shot to fame in 1976 with 'Love Won't Let Me Wait', having previously served five years as a Delfonic. Before that he was a member of numerous groups going right back to the Iarrnels, the Teenagers and beyond. After a successful couple of years on Atlantic he linked up
with jerry Ragovoy, who produced and arranged his "How Do You Take Your Love" LP, released on RCA in 1978, on which 'Pretty Red Lips (Kiss My Blues Away)' was a key track. While jerry Ragovoy grew less prolific over the ensuing years, he did keep his hand in as a songwriter, supplying material for the Manhattans, Barry White, Diana Ross, Peggie Blue, Marva King, Bette Midler and others.
GET IT WHILE YOU CAN - HOWARD TATE
Recorded 2001. Produced and arranged by Jerry Ragovoy.
By the time Howard Tate's legendary "Get It While You Can" album was reissued on CD in 1995, nearly two decades had passed since his last recordings
were released. In that time, unbeknownst to him, he had developed a cult following and many assumed he was dead. But old soul soldiers don't die, they merely return from whence they invariably came, the Church, and that was precisely the case with the Reverend Howard Tate. When he was eventually rediscovered in New jersey in 2001, few were more delighted than his old producer, jerry Ragovoy.
RAGOVOY: "I was receiving many phone calls from Booking Agents asking for the whereabouts of Tate. In [act, some calls were from London. I decided to locate Tate [or the purpose of helping him to earn extra money. After finally speaking with him we decided to record another album."
There had been few albums on which Ragovoy had ever been as hands-on as "Rediscovered". He wrote or co-wrote every song but one and played on, arranged, produced and engineered every single cut. The final track on the album - and on this CD - was a stripped down revival of 'Get It While You Can' comprising Tate's voice, Ragovoy's piano and nothing else. It was even more stunning than the 1967 original. Amen.
MICK PATRICK, 2008
JERRY RAGOVOY: "With every singer I've ever worked with, I was like Hitler when it came to vocals. Every time I produce something, it's as if I'm still trying to prove myself. Every note, every song, every project that I immerse myself in, whether it's an arrangement or whatever, all of it is a unique chalienge." 1'1
"Rediscovered" repackaged for its second. issue.
JERRY RAGOVOY quotes courtesy of AL KOOPER
11/ From Rags To Riches (Goldmine #l,09. 29 March 1996)
12/ Interview conducted specifically for this booklet (February 2008)
Other quotation sources
Lou Courtney - Interview by David Nathan (Blues & Soul #194,25 May 1976)
LOll Gonzalez- Interview by David Simons in Studio Stories (Backbeat Books. 20041
Hal Halverstadt "Heart & Soul" LP liner notes (Warner Bros WS 1674. 1966)
Howard Tale - Interview by Jason Gross (Perfect Sound Forever webzine. September 2001)
Discographical research by Rob Hughes.
Other reference sources
David Cole - Gamet Mimms: Warm and Soulful (In The Basement #14, May/July 1999)
Marv Goldberg - The Castelles (Discoveries #104, January )997)
Paul Howes - The Complete Dusty Springfield (Reynolds & Hearn, 2001)
Wayne Jancik - The Majors (Goldmine #272. December )990) Michael Watts - The Boss Of The Hit Factory (Melody Maker. 26 October 1974)
[errv Ragovoy photos courtesy the Jerry Ragovoy Archives. Labels. steeves and memorabilia courtesy Mick Patrick. Tony Rounce. Malcolm Baumgart. Rob Hughes. Rob Pinnis and Dean Rudland. Billboard ads and reviews courtesy Ace Records Ltd.
OTHER TITLES IN THE •• mmm. PRODUCERS AND SONGWRITERS SERIES
THE BRIAN WILSON PRODUCTIONS CDCHD 851
THE JAC[( NITZSCHE STORY Vol 2 HARD WOR[(IN' MAN CDCHD 1130
THE LEIBER & STOLLER STORY Vall HARD TIMES
THE LOS ANGELES YEARS 1951-1956 CDCHD lUlU
GOFFIN & KlNG
A GERRY GOFFIN & CAROLE [(ING SONG COLLECTION 1961-1967 CDCHD 1170
THE LEIBER & STOLLER STORY Vol 2 ON THE HORIZON 1956-1962 CDCHD 1116
THE POMUS & SHUMAN STORY DOUBLE TROUBLE 1956-1967 CDCHD 1152
THE LEIBER & STOLLER STORY Vol 3 SHAI<E 'EM UP & LET 'EM ROLL 1962-1969 CDCHD 1156
THE BERT BERNS STORY TWIST AND SHOUT V011196o-1964 CDCHD 1178
THE JAC[( NITZSCHE STORY Vol 1 HEARING IS BELIEVING CDCHD 1030
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