Jan Mink Mystery Solved!
From time to time I get emails or posts from band members or producers (or their friends and family members). Almost always the emails are warm, full of surprise that their good music is being remembered and written about. Usually bits of a song or record's story are filled in or a history of a band is given. Hell, Troy Shondell sent me a thank you note and a CD! Some day I'll post a bunch of the messages. Today I will post one I got in response to the Jan Mink 45 I wrote about below. This came from Norman Bergen, one of the producers of that terrific single:
What a nice surprise to find your comments about the Jan Mink recording on your blog, in a recent web search.I can answer the mysteries surrounding that recording.
First of all, I made quite a few records in the 60s and 70s, and honestly had forgotten about that one until it turned up on ebay a couple of years ago. Of course I bought it and listened. Actually, Come On In was the a-side but I just listened to both because of your comments.
Shelly (Sheldon) Coburn and I are both from Brooklyn New York and wrote songs together in the 60s. Shelly has since passed away and I don't think he had ever been to L.A. This was his first production and I think he only did one other. Jan Mink was a female singer-sax player who was in the Broadway production of "Cabaret" at the time we recorded her, which I believe was in the summer of 1966. Shelly idolized Phil Spector, as we all did at the time. He was the first producer who let the world know that record producing was an art form in itself, a creative art like a film director. Spector was first to use studio technology in a way that could not be duplicated on stage. This record was Shelly's concept and he saw me as his Jack Nitsche, Spector's arranger. We recorded in Manhattan. I played some keyboards on it, probably piano and organ, and vibes. Shelly sang those backup parts, maybe with Jan doubling. On the other side, she is playing the sax parts. I think that might have been the demo that got Shelly's attention, or maybe we recorded it; probably one take if we did. I have no idea what became of her, and doubt that she had any success in the recording field.
You are right on about Verve. We were well aware of it being a jazz label, and we went with them knowing that and questioning the choice. Of course, it was always great to hear enthusiasm from a record label, especially one with such a classy image.Check out my website - WWW.NORMANBERGEN.COM Yes, that record is mentioned on my discography page.