Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lee Hazen & Rana Leggett on Tropical

 Lee Hazen
Bishop-Way, Alison Music ASCAP

Tropical 108


Lee Hazen : 
My hobby was making sound on sound recordings in a method similar to Les Paul's - two recorders bouncing back and forth adding parts to make up a complete recording.   I started doing that for fun in l958 using a Berlant Concertone series 30 full track recorder and a borrowed Ampex A 112 1/2 track recorder that belonged to Ted Merthe's dad in Daytona Beach.

I made many recordings with Ted our Senior year at Seabreeze High - 58-59 and some of my recordings were heard by Bob Quimby at the National Songwriter's Guild.   Bob offered me a job singing custom demos.   I remember the first one I sang called "LIttle Jenney" and will never forget the melody.   I also played guitar and bass on the demos in an assembly line fashion.   Bob played piano, I played guitar and the vocalist sang the tune.   We would typically cut 15 songs in an afternoon.   Later, we would play back that tape and overdub - Bob playing a snare drum and cymbol and me playing my Fender Bass VI 6 string bass guitar. 

Bob had different names for groups according to the type of song we were demoing.  The Surftones was
Chuck Conlon, Marshall "Chuggy" Letter, and myself.   The vocal sound was pretty tight and the Surftone demos are memorable. But NOT anything I sang as a solo artist. Anything for a buck ! I got $2 per part I played and $2.50 per song I sang, so if I sang lead AND background, I could make up to $9 a song !

Leaving Bob Quimby, he spent one year at the Criteria Studios,   Next, he handled the recording and the mastering department at King Records in 1966 where he recorded Hank Ballard, James Brown, Freddie King, Stanley Brothers, The Casinos, 2 of Clubs and many others.

Next, he was in Nashville, working at Glenn Snoddy's Woodland Sound Studios  in Nashville.   And, finally, Lee opened his own studio, the "Studio by the Pond" at his home by Old Hickory Lake near Hendersonville, TN. 

Rana Leggett

Bishop-Palenske, Alison Music ASCAP

Tropical 108


Rana/Rayna Leggett

Thanks to Lee Hazen who was then working at the King Records studios,  Rana/Rayna Leggett was signed in 1966 to the Cincinnati label.   King issued only one record by her : "Let The Little Girl Love / Now The Shoe Is On The Other Foot ". 

"Carellen recording star" Rayna described as a "Southern Belle, with an extremely great talent in the vocalist department" was featured in "Daytona Bech Weekend", a teen beach party movie from 1966 (starring Del Shannon).

She sings two songs in the movie : "Hopeleslly" and "You're the Boy for Me".

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