David McCallum Communication b/w My Carousel 45 (Capitol, 1966)
Nineteen sixty-six was a good year for David McCallum. The Scottish actor was right in the middle of a four year run at a role that brought him to the height of his popularity. As the Russian secret agent Illya Kuryakin on the hit television show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. he dwarfed series star Robert Vaughn and became a sex symbol, inspiring Alma Cogan to release as song about him ("Love Ya, Illya" by Angela & the Fans). As was norm with television stars at the time, the record labels went sniffing about looking for a hit.
While McCallum's single doesn't quite hit the heights of Yaphet Kotto's Have You Dug His Scene, nor does it induce the chuckle factor of Sebastian Cabot's Dylan album, it has one thing both of those don't: production by David Axelrod. At the time, Axelrod was on his own streak. He'd hit with Lou Rawls and was at the start of his relationship with Cannonball Adderley. He had a great group of session musicians, who he used to make this McCallum single (and later the classic Axelrod produced Electric Prunes albums).
A couple years after this records release, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was canceled and McCallum's star faded a bit. Though he made a couple more records with Axelrod and was a co-star in The Great Escape with Charles Bronson, he never hit the popularity he had achieved with U.N.C.L.E work. Nowadays he plays a supporting role on the TV series NCIS. In 1970, Axelrod left Capitol records and pretty much disappeared. Though he had some work and made some solo records, few paid attention and his solo work went unreleased. That changed in the 1990s, when DJ Shadow started sampling Axelrod's work. Suddenly Axelrod's sounds were heard on record by Dr Dre and Lauryn Hill. Not only was he back in the studio, but was now considered one of the era's most important record producers.