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  1. #1

    Harold Allen May be on the way

    A friend of mine got asked if they would have any pictures that they could include for the Harold Allen Album they were from Universal records so hopefully this album will see the light of day they say it is incredible

  2. #2
    Great news. When Diana Ross sings The Great American Songbook, I am very happy!

  3. #3
    That would be wonderful. I sure hope to hear this album one day. Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
    Diana owns these masters right? I hope if this is released, that the timing is right. I would hate for this to interfere with her “new” release.

  5. #5
    Did you mean Harold Arlen...?

  6. #6
    Cool but I prefer to get Ross or reflections first

  7. #7
    Yay but not holding my breath lol.

  8. #8
    Can someone brief me on this project?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    Can someone brief me on this project?
    Diana recorded a full LP of Harold Arlen tunes that was ultimately shelved. I’ve heard two theories on the timeframe; some say it was recorded during the RCA years, between Eaten Alive and RHR&B and produced by Daryl Hall. I’ve also heard it was recorded in the nineties around the time of TFBTP.

    I don’t remember the songs that were speculated to be included, although I believe Over The Rainbow was recorded...

  10. #10
    I can hear diana in my head singing " the man that got away " .. her pitch is perfect for that Arlen song

  11. #11
    Is there any way for a moderator to go in and correct/edit the title of this thread so it says "Arlen" instead of Allen?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyB View Post
    Diana recorded a full LP of Harold Arlen tunes that was ultimately shelved. I’ve heard two theories on the timeframe; some say it was recorded during the RCA years, between Eaten Alive and RHR&B and produced by Daryl Hall. I’ve also heard it was recorded in the nineties around the time of TFBTP.

    I don’t remember the songs that were speculated to be included, although I believe Over The Rainbow was recorded...
    According to the liner notes by Alex Henderson of the 2014 expanded edition of Red Hot Rhythm & Blues, the first theory is correct [[though does not mention Daryl Hall as producer):

    << [Joseph] Joubert, during an August 2014 interview, had an interesting anecdote about Ross. in 1986, Ross recorded an album paying tribute to the iconic Tin Pan Alley songwriter Harold Arlen -- and arranger Paul Riser hired Joubert to help with the arranging. That album, for whatever reason, was never released. But Ross like Joubert's work on the Arlen tribute enough to hire him for Red Hot Rhythm & Blues the following year. Joubert recalls: "Paul Riser was the orchestrator, but he got backed up and hired me to do an arrangement of Harold Arlen's 'Over the Rainbow'. Diana recorded with a big orchestra, and it was a whole album of Harold Arlen songs -- she also recorded 'It's Only a Paper Moon', 'Come Rain or Come Shine', 'Out of This World', and 'I've Got the World on a String'. To this day, I don't know why they never released that album. But because of that album, I wound up doing Red Hot Rhythm & Blues." >>

  13. #13
    Here is another interview with Joseph Joubert in which he talks about the project.

    What was your reaction when you got a call to work with Diana Ross?
    [laughs] That was 1986. I knew Sephra Herman [[contractor) from Nick and Val. She was looking for a pianist to find keys for this Harold Arlen project. We met at Clinton Studios, which isn’t there anymore, on 46th Street and 10th Avenue. Just me, Diana, and this concert grand piano. I was reading the songs with Diana. I really hadn’t done my homework. I had to read it in the key and then find her key. I was fudging it a bit, but she liked me and we got it done. I went home and made a cassette of the songs in the right key so she could practice. Fast forward — we finally got
    the keys. During the recording, I was just the piano player who would go to the sessions to make
    sure that things were okay with the keys and the melodies. One day Frank Owens [[pianist) had to be out. Diana said, “Well Joe, you can do it.” I played on one or two tracks. Paul Riser [[arranger) was backed up. He had done ten or eleven tracks and they needed one more done for “Over the Rainbow”. Again, Diana said, “Joe you can do it.” This is in the afternoon for the next day. She said just do what you did on the track, but that was all synth. I had to make a score of it with all of the instruments! I was in the studio with Nick and Val that night working on a song that was on The Golden Child [[1986) soundtrack, “Love Goes On”. I had to go home and write this score for Diana Ross. Here I am at home, two or three in the morning, to start writing this manuscript and get it to her for that afternoon. I didn’t sleep. I did this [holds score] in a couple of hours. “Over the Rainbow” sounded great, but the Harold Arlen project never came out! They gave me a cassette of it. That’s all I have. It’s some beautiful stuff. I don’t know what happened. I keep thinking the producer was Jay Landers, but I’m not sure. There’s no record of it.

    Wow! What an amazing story, Joe. How were you contracted for her Red Hot Rhythm & Blues [[1987) album?
    Diana really liked what I did on “Over the Rainbow” so Sephra asked me to put together a rhythm section when Diana was getting ready to do Red Hot Rhythm & Blues. It was me, Francisco Centeno, Ivan Hampden, maybe Jeff Mironov, all the cats we knew from Ashford & Simpson. It was another great experience. I did rhythm arrangements for five songs. Diana was just recording stuff until she decided what she would pick. Maybe two or three songs made it.

    It’s Diana’s 75th birthday year. What do you think makes her exceptional?
    She has a unique sound. When I heard “The Boss”, it killed me. It’s just amazing. I knew that there was no pitch-bending or tuning back in those days so that was her singing it. She’s a good study.
    She delivered those songs. I remember trying to shop a song to Diana. Me and Benny always had songs! She was looking for material. I said, “Could you take a listen to this?” I was real coy about it. She listened to a few bars. She said, “You should give this to Aretha.” Diana was right. In hindsight, I should have given it to Aretha.
    I had so much one-on-one time with her. One day, Stevie Wonder came in the studio. She said Stevie’s going to come and play me some songs. I had my equipment there with all of my synths in the room. It was the three of us at the Power Station. He came in and sang some songs. She didn’t use any of them, but it was this moment in time that I remember.
    They’d asked me to tour with Diana. At the time, it was either that or doing Five Guys Named Moe on Broadway. I was trying to decide, Do I go on tour with Diana Ross or stay in town?

    Full interview: https://www.popmatters.com/joseph-jo...638582954.html

  14. #14
    I tried to change the name to Harold Arlen But was unsuccessful my apologies

  15. #15
    Thank you for this information it’s incredible Hopefully the album will be coming out sooner than later we need some thing after 14 years something good

  16. #16
    Jaap, Thank you for the Joubert interview! It is very enlightening and so appropriate now, when we fans want to hear more about Diana, how she works and thinks, behind the façade.

  17. #17
    Brilliant to learn of what was going down during that time frame. Ta very much for posting Jaap. They should have released the album in 88. Reading this has made me more eager then ever to hear it. It’s about time this Arlen tribute album was shown the light of day.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Brilliant to learn of what was going down during that time frame. Ta very much for posting Jaap. They should have released the album in 88. Reading this has made me more eager then ever to hear it. It’s about time this Arlen tribute album was shown the light of day.
    One can only speculate, but in the late 80’s the idea of revisiting a full classic songbook may have worked well. Linda Ronstadt was having success with similar projects at the time. I remember Diana’s original RCA deal was a seven year, seven LP deal. I assume this was intended as the 1986 release as there was a two year gap between EA and RHR&B and only six albums were released.

    I hope this is released...

  19. #19
    After reading the interview, damn.i want it.come on universal.plus lost rca gems

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyB View Post
    One can only speculate, but in the late 80’s the idea of revisiting a full classic songbook may have worked well. Linda Ronstadt was having success with similar projects at the time. I remember Diana’s original RCA deal was a seven year, seven LP deal. I assume this was intended as the 1986 release as there was a two year gap between EA and RHR&B and only six albums were released.

    I hope this is released...
    I dont know what happened to the 7th album in the deal but the RCA contract must have expired one way or another by 1988 to allow her to record "If We Hold On" for MCA

  21. #21
    Concur. This is one of the best 'undiscovered' interviews ever. Thanks so much, JAAP!

  22. #22
    What song was Diana say give to Aretha ?

  23. #23
    No one really knows the details of the contract. If it was for 7 albums, perhaps there was an option for a greatest hits album. So the contract was fulfilled, if that’s the case.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by khansperac View Post
    No one really knows the details of the contract. If it was for 7 albums, perhaps there was an option for a greatest hits album. So the contract was fulfilled, if that’s the case.
    At one point she seriously considered realising Central Park as an album..tarroborelli is scathing in chmr at the prospect..

  25. #25
    No doubt the album, if ever released, will be a real treat. Diana has always excelled at this type of material. Wrong idea at the time though and I'm not surprised that it was ultimately shelved. This was the direction she should have gone in the early 90s.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaap View Post
    According to the liner notes by Alex Henderson of the 2014 expanded edition of Red Hot Rhythm & Blues, the first theory is correct [[though does not mention Daryl Hall as producer):

    << [Joseph] Joubert, during an August 2014 interview, had an interesting anecdote about Ross. in 1986, Ross recorded an album paying tribute to the iconic Tin Pan Alley songwriter Harold Arlen -- and arranger Paul Riser hired Joubert to help with the arranging. That album, for whatever reason, was never released. But Ross like Joubert's work on the Arlen tribute enough to hire him for Red Hot Rhythm & Blues the following year. Joubert recalls: "Paul Riser was the orchestrator, but he got backed up and hired me to do an arrangement of Harold Arlen's 'Over the Rainbow'. Diana recorded with a big orchestra, and it was a whole album of Harold Arlen songs -- she also recorded 'It's Only a Paper Moon', 'Come Rain or Come Shine', 'Out of This World', and 'I've Got the World on a String'. To this day, I don't know why they never released that album. But because of that album, I wound up doing Red Hot Rhythm & Blues." >>
    this would make some sense, at least in terms of time line. EA was released in Sept 85 while Red Hot was May 87. and while 86 was busy with her marriage, it is odd that there really wasn't any professional project coming out at that time. previously, when she had a gap in her music releases it was due to movie projects. this Arlen project would at least fill in the time.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    No doubt the album, if ever released, will be a real treat. Diana has always excelled at this type of material. Wrong idea at the time though and I'm not surprised that it was ultimately shelved. This was the direction she should have gone in the early 90s.
    I tend to disagree, Ran; remember, this was the era that Linda Ronstadt successfully reinvented herself with her standards albums. I think it could have garnered Diana some serious laurels.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    No doubt the album, if ever released, will be a real treat. Diana has always excelled at this type of material. Wrong idea at the time though and I'm not surprised that it was ultimately shelved. This was the direction she should have gone in the early 90s.
    i agree. the album will be a delight, if and when we get it. but the timing was all wrong. not so much that the US record-buying public wouldn't accept a songbook album in 86 but more that the RCA/Ross relationship had deteriorated so by this time. RCA had spent a fortune to woo Diana to the label and i doubt they really made back their investment. Sure the first 2 lps sold pretty well, as did Swept Away. but she never had a mega hit during these years - something like Upside Down, Love Child, Mountain nor a mega album. Fools was her best selling lp and it only got to 15.

    so it's now 86, several years after her signing. a handful of decent hits but no mega hits, quite a few flops, some ups and down with publicity and how the public saw her, conflict with the execs at RCA. To release this specialty album you would need a few things working in your favor and i think there was just too much not working well

  29. #29
    There has just has got to be a version of Arlen's "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe" on this album. There just has to be! The joy that would bring me, to have my Goddess of 57 years sing a song with my name in it, would be sheer Ross Heaven!!!

    And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don' t think Miss Ross has ever recorded a song with a persons name in the title. Except maybe "Treat Me Nice John Henry". I would love to hear Diana's take on Billie Holiday's "Jim".

    I just really hope it's the truth this time that this album may soon be available. It's time.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    There has just has got to be a version of Arlen's "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe" on this album. There just has to be! The joy that would bring me, to have my Goddess of 57 years sing a song with my name in it, would be sheer Ross Heaven!!!

    And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don' t think Miss Ross has ever recorded a song with a persons name in the title. Except maybe "Treat Me Nice John Henry". I would love to hear Diana's take on Billie Holiday's "Jim".

    I just really hope it's the truth this time that this album may soon be available. It's time.
    The Supremes sang "Jonny Und Joe"

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    There has just has got to be a version of Arlen's "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe" on this album. There just has to be! The joy that would bring me, to have my Goddess of 57 years sing a song with my name in it, would be sheer Ross Heaven!!!

    And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don' t think Miss Ross has ever recorded a song with a persons name in the title. Except maybe "Treat Me Nice John Henry". I would love to hear Diana's take on Billie Holiday's "Jim".

    I just really hope it's the truth this time that this album may soon be available. It's time.
    Ode to Billie Joe
    Johnny One Note
    Sadie Sadie
    Till Johnny Comes
    Hey Jude
    Big Mable Murphy

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    The Supremes sang "Jonny Und Joe"
    You're right, how did that slip [[what's left of) my mind? As a teen I did really enjoy that song, but I didn't understand the lyrics so it didn't the same personal impact on me. "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe" is a classic done by everyone from Ethel Waters to Bette Midler. I also have it by Eartha Kitt, Judy Garland and Peggy Lee.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Ode to Billie Joe
    Johnny One Note
    Sadie Sadie
    Till Johnny Comes
    Hey Jude
    Big Mable Murphy
    Yikes! Man, I was off that mark by a mile. And "Till Johnny Comes" is one of my all time favorite Diana Ross & The Supremes songs.

  34. #34

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    Yikes! Man, I was off that mark by a mile. And "Till Johnny Comes" is one of my all time favorite Diana Ross & The Supremes songs.
    I hope you get your wish, Sophisticated! “Till Johnny Comes” and “Johnny One Note” [[and “Sleepin’”) both make me smile for an obvious reason, lol...

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyB View Post
    I hope you get your wish, Sophisticated! “Till Johnny Comes” and “Johnny One Note” [[and “Sleepin’”) both make me smile for an obvious reason, lol...
    Thank you, I hope I do too!

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    You're right, how did that slip [[what's left of) my mind? As a teen I did really enjoy that song, but I didn't understand the lyrics so it didn't the same personal impact on me. "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe" is a classic done by everyone from Ethel Waters to Bette Midler. I also have it by Eartha Kitt, Judy Garland and Peggy Lee.
    I have always associated the song with Peggy Lee And Cleo Laine.I never knew it went as far back as Ethel.
    Not wishing to sound a party pooper, but as Diana owns the masters I’m not expecting the Arlen recordings to drop anytime soon.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by sophisticated_soul View Post
    There has just has got to be a version of Arlen's "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe" on this album. There just has to be! The joy that would bring me, to have my Goddess of 57 years sing a song with my name in it, would be sheer Ross Heaven!!!

    And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don' t think Miss Ross has ever recorded a song with a persons name in the title. Except maybe "Treat Me Nice John Henry". I would love to hear Diana's take on Billie Holiday's "Jim".

    I just really hope it's the truth this time that this album may soon be available. It's time.
    I would be very surprised if she authorised it's release. She held it back because she was not happy with it, yet she was happy enough with fools and silk electric. That should tell you everything you need to know about the quality of these recordings

    Don't hold your breath.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I have always associated the song with Peggy Lee And Cleo Laine.I never knew it went as far back as Ethel.
    Not wishing to sound a party pooper, but as Diana owns the masters I’m not expecting the Arlen recordings to drop anytime soon.
    Ethel introduced the song on Broadway in Cabin in the Sky and performs it in the film. A must watch.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Not wishing to sound a party pooper, but as Diana owns the masters I’m not expecting the Arlen recordings to drop anytime soon.
    True, I've gotten my hopes up a number of times about this over the years and they've always been false alarms. I don't think your party pooping at all.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I would be very surprised if she authorised it's release. She held it back because she was not happy with it, yet she was happy enough with fools and silk electric. That should tell you everything you need to know about the quality of these recordings

    Don't hold your breath.
    Thanks Blue. I won't hold my breath. I'm more of realist than a dreamer [even though it's a nice dream].

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Ethel introduced the song on Broadway in Cabin in the Sky and performs it in the film. A must watch.
    Agree, agree, agree. It really is Ethel's song, her performance in "Cabin In The Sky" is subtle yet powerful. Of the recorded versions of "Joe" I've heard Judy Garland's is my favorite. Peggy Lee recorded the song twice, in 1947 and 1957, both conducted by Frank Sinatra. The 1947 version wasn't released until 1998 [on the Miss Peggy Lee box set].

  43. #43
    It will be a great day when this album is released every body rejoice look out baby here she comes

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Ethel introduced the song on Broadway in Cabin in the Sky and performs it in the film. A must watch.
    I watched it on you tube sans and yes, Ethel is indeed wonderful. It’s a close run thing, but Cleo Laine still remains my favourite version of the song.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    At one point she seriously considered realising Central Park as an album..tarroborelli is scathing in chmr at the prospect..
    Why was he scathing about it?

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by ejluther View Post
    Why was he scathing about it?
    Taraborelli was scathing about pretty much everything in CHMR. So much so that he felt the need to revise the book [[as we all know ...)

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Taraborelli was scathing about pretty much everything in CHMR. So much so that he felt the need to revise the book [[as we all know ...)
    his story in the book is that the concert was ok in person but most definitely NOT strong enough to warrant an lp release. RCA wasn't interested in releasing it and the story goes that Diana was thinking maybe she could release it on the Motown label

  48. #48
    If they could have fixed up the audio, it could have been a great album. All they needed to do was edit it correctly. Leave in the best vocal performances.

  49. #49
    Like many other fans I would love to hear Diana Ross singing Arlen classics. But the date worries me. The 80's was the decade of synthesisers. I recently listened to Streisand's Broadway album again for the first time in years. I was shocked at how dated it sounds. All that synthetic backing. I'll bet Barbara would love to go back and have that redone with a proper orchestra. I have a feeling Diana's Arlen project may sound the same.

  50. #50
    ^^^ In the interview posted, it says that she recorded with a big orchestra.

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