by Doyle Tatum
Melody Hill was the Circle Sky Records official magazine while we were open between 2002 and 2010. For issue number 5 we used the namesake of our fanzine, The Archies 45 “Melody Hill”. This was the b-side of their 1969 smash hit “Sugar Sugar”. This great song was released on November 14, 1969, and was written by Ritchie Adams & Mark Barkan. It was recorded at RCA Studio A, New York City with the beautiful vocal stylings of Ron Dante.
“Where skies are always blue and grass is always green on Melody Hill”
No Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins here, sorry. The Genesis in question was a short lived late sixties west coast band. This album is a fairly decent representation of the late 60’s female fronted psychedelic sound common to the Haight-Asbury area…along the lines of Jefferson Airplane.
The band members were only in their mid-teens when they recorded this album in 1968. The dual guitarists were Kent Henry and Jack Ttanna (who had previously played with The Sons Of Adam, when he was known as Joe Kooken). Fred Rivera played bass and Sue Richman was the lead vocalist.
1. Angeline 2:48 (J. Ttanna/B. Metke)
2. Suzanne 3:00 (L. Cohen)
3. Gloomy Sunday 4:05 (S.M. Lewis/R. Seress)
4. What It’s All About 2:45 (J. Ttanna)
5. Mary, Mary 2:40 (B. Bennett)
6. Ten Second Song 2:58 (K. Henry)
1. Girl Who Never Was 4:04 (J. Ttanna)
1. World Without You 16:08 (J. Ttanna).
There were also two 45’s released for this album; Angeline b/w Suzanne (Mercury 72806) and Gloomy Sunday b/w What’s It All About (Mercury 72869) both in 1968. It was also released on CD (Black Rose BR 137) in 2001 (although it must be out of print as I could find nowhere to obtain a copy).1
“In The Beginning” has some excellent Hendrix style licks and long jams, is rocking at times and slows down for some nice psych-pop sounds. Kent Henry went on to play for Charity and later for Steppenwolf. Fred Rivera later played for Delaney Bramlett while Sue Richman would join The Thieves. I recommend it as an album that is worthy of obtaining and giving a listen. Too bad they only had this one effort together!
Bonus Melody Hill 5 Material
- I did a 2022 search for the CD of this album and could not find one for sale. I noticed that Discogs does not allow the sale of this CD on the website so I believe the original was either un-authorized or a needle drop (a bootleg conversion of a vinyl record to CD).
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