Saturday, January 28, 2012

Clay Mundey on Lin

Clay Mundey

CP-1613 -I Knew
Bob Miketta-Lee Allman, Merrell Schwarz ASCAP

CP-1614 – Lucky Day
short sample
Henderson-DeSylva-Brown, Harms Inc ASCAP

Arr: Bob Miketta

Lin 1004

October 1958

This is ex-Gene Krupa band singer Bill Black.

The story of the search for Bill Black has been told by Bill Reed :

What I did fight for (...) was to try and understand how a singer---Bill Black---touted by big band poobah George T. Simon as being the next Sinatra could more or less disappear from sight after 1950, essentially never to professionally resurface again.

After two years of searching (...) almost on the point of giving up, I was finally able to make contact with and interview a close friend of Bill's (aka Clay). Soon, I should be able to solve the mystery of the recording. Who plays on it, etc.

The most illuminating (AND SHOCKING) thing he told me explains beyond question why Bill disappears from the "scene" after 1950. In retrospect, I should have guessed. If it had been a snake it would bit me. What Bill's friend said even explains why he "washed up" on the shores of Manhattan a decade later with a new name, Clay Mundey.

"He was attacked by the Mob," Bill's friend said. "He was left on a Los Angeles freeway. And some doctor out in Palm Springs had him stay in his house for about a year. He recuperated. That knocked the stuffing out of him and he changed his name to Clay Mundey at that time because he wanted to get out from under the radar of the Mob. It happened right at the wrong time. Right when the music was changing where it took an extra push for anybody that wanted to make it in the business. You had to have the desire, to have it in your belly, and Clay lost it. He was an exciting guy, one-of-a-kind.
☆ ☆ ☆

According to Billboard (March 14, 1960), a session was scheduled by a subsidiary of King Records in Cincinatti where Clay relocated :

Former Gene Krupa vocalist now making his headquarters here, cuts an album session soon for Bethlehem Records to be titled « The Morning After . » Album title is taken from one of the tunes in package written by Saul Striks, Red Robinson and Major Short, better known as Somethin’ Smith and the Redheads.
But I can't find any evidence that the album was ever released.


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