Wednesday, January 30, 2008
music memories - the mid 1950's

The following post is about this record that you see above....a 45rpm recording, which was THE Format for single recordings made in the fifties and into the 60's, too. I found the pictures you are about to see while doing that Big "cleaning out" of my house in November/December, just passed. (Remember I said I found some treasures?) I do not remember who gave them to me, but I am absolutely thrilled to have found them once again.....These songs were recorded in 1955-56-maybe '57. I'm sorry to say, I cannot remember what the exact year actually was....."IF" (You Want To Be My Baby) was a really wonderful upbeat song written by this very very talented songwriter named Sid Wyche. The 'flip side' of this record--the "B" side was "Before You Say Goodbye", also written by Sid. Personally, I liked both songs, a whole lot!......They were very much 'of the period'. This was a "posed" picture taken at VAMP Studios, where we actually met, Sid and I.....and that is Sid at the piano.....Notice the cigarette in my hand.....It really was such an addiction, and, another lifetime in a way....Dear dear Sid was a very successful writer at that time, too. One of his most famous songs was, "Alright, Okay, You Win"...recorded by just about everybody....But the two most popular recordings 'back in the day' being Joe Williams singing with The Count Basie Orchestra, and the other was by Miss Peggy Lee! Later...many many years later, Bette Midler recorded this song, too.....

So, I was thrilled that this very talented and successful writer wanted me to record these two songs of his....They were very much in the mainstream of what was being recorded at that time....And I really loved the Ballad a whole lot! So, nothing could have been better! This picture above was another 'posed' picture at VAMP Studios. Sid is way over on the left, standing next to me, Buster Newman, my coach, leaning on the piano, and my accompanist Nat Jones, playing the piano....These were talented men who were a big part of the career we were trying to build....It was really an exciting time...(And by the way.....I have absolutely no memory at all of these pictures being taken, but I am sure glad they were, because just looking at them brings back many memories of that time.....)And there we are in the recording studio....Sid, standing next to me....
Ember Records decided they wanted to record me and I think it was through Sid, who had an on going relationship with them.... Taking a little coffee break during 'the session'....Sid had heard me sing and liked my voice very much and he was looking for someone new to record his work, and these two songs were chosen....And somewhere along the way, the great and amazing Arranger, Sy Oliver, was chosen to do the arrangements for both songs. Above, Sid & Sy.....two giants of the music business at that time....Once again, knowing the great Sy Oliver would be doing these arrangements---well, this was a thrilling thing for me.....Sy really liked my voice a lot, too.....And that meant a great deal to me because I knew who he was and was very aware of what an incredibly talented and special Arranger he was....having done arrangements for some of the Lena Horne.....Here above, Sy and I, listening to a playback....and he is giving me some notes on 'the cut'.....I don't think I can convey how deeply meaningful it was to me that this great musician loved the way I did so much for my fragile ego and the underlying insecurity I felt. In point of fact, all these talented men gave me tremendous confidence because of their belief in my Buster the photo below, sitting with Sid in the booth.... And here below is another shot of Buster, in the booth, listening and giving instructions to the sound guy..... I spent a lot of time with Buster....we would go to a bar on 6th avenue, part of a chain of bars around Manhattan at that time called Martin's. It was up the street from VAMP Studios, which was on 44th street at that time, right next to The China Bowl, which I think may still be there. Martin's was around the corner, on 6th. Buster would order Scotch and Milk....and would talk to me about life and music and the plans for my 'career', and he would call me 'Doll'...(I think he called every woman 'doll'....It was nice and endearing.) And as he drank his Scotch and Milk, I would have Coffee....and we both would eat a little bit of the 'free lunch', that Martin's was kind of famous for....all the while talking about the future.... Here's the wonderful Nat Jones....always there on that piano, backing me up in the most caring manner....These men---Buster Newman, Nat Jones, Sid Wyche, and Sy Oliver-- were my teachers, my mentors, and I looked up to them as many students look up to their teachers....They were serious professionals who taught me the ropes and stood by me when I was pretty frightened----especially in the Nightclub world where one met a lot of guys with crooked noses and scary hatchet faces, and one time an arm missing...(There was no doubt in my mind that it had been shot off.....) .I was really such a baby....but, I wanted to learn and I wanted to do the best I could for them, as well as for myself....Buster was like the good loving caring encouraging Daddy I never had....He was like a life coach, as was Richard Camilucci, my voice teacher....again, he too, was more than my teacher....he was my mentor, too. It was an exciting time and a great time for learning and for doing, too....There is more to this story...But I will save that for another post....when there will be.....

More To Come......

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Wow Naomi! You really did come across some treasures!! All those pictures of special time in your life! It makes one think that everyone should have a photographer following them capturing the times of their lives so that they won't be pushed to the back of our failing memories!

These are fantastic!!! Now, I hope you have a player to be able to listen to the original record!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 4:25:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wow Naomi, you are sporting some big names there. It must have been wonderful having such great teachers.

I remember when I was a little girl, around 8 or 9. when my mom and dad bought me a record player for Christmas. It was a portable player and it came in a white box with a fastener on it. The 45 rpm record that he gave to me was Winter Wonderland. I can't remember what was on the flip side but I listened to that record over and over again. I can hear it going thru my mind right now. Wait a minute, I think the song on the flip side was something called Last Date? Oh well, you have really brought back some memories here. Thanks for the post, it's great.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 5:17:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What a treasure trove of stuff to find! Amazing...I remember 45s - as a matter of fact still have quite a few of them around here somewhere.

How fascinating and scary life must have been for you! The opportunities that you had were just incredible!

Thanks for sharing...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 6:20:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

WOW! What a fabulous trip down memory lane! I really REALLY enjoyed reading this. Isn't it fun to find treasures like this in the attic or basement or what have you? You really should (if you haven't already) write your would be a fascninating read!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 6:26:00 AM PST 

Blogger Bud
had this to say:

Naomi, I would love to hear your voice. Is there anything out there? Why not play one and tape it with your new camera?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 6:53:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

There is no one else like you Naomi, that is why we love you so much. You've lived such an interesting and exciting life. I couldn't imagine how proud I would be if I had my name on a 45! That is so cool. All the pictures were just awesome, it takes us back there with you. And didn't you guys dress so nice! So professional and respectful. Not like now...most female performers have everything cut down to their belly button!

You were so pretty, well you still are a beautiful women. Thank you for another fabulous adventure from your life.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 7:32:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Oh Naomi, what a wonderful life you have had so far!!

Wonderful pictures and wonderful memories. Thank you so much for sharing them.

I am looking forward to more treasures. You are truly a burgeoning fount of memorabilia.

Thank you so much.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hey "Doll"! This has been the best ride Naomi.. and Donn got the 45 I sent him yesterday; so he's probably listening to "If" as I write you!! Once I've "lifted" the sides onto CD or other digital medium I will be adding them into my up-coming "Doo Wop Diner" shows on "Rockit-Radio"s internet broadcast!! ( ) I'll let you know when you'll be "on" as you asked!

I can relate to those "broke noses" joints sis... in my own 36 yrs. playing blues venues- I've brushed shoulders and sat knee-to-knee with some pretty rough looking cats!... and me- the "Stay-Puffed Marshmellow Man" amidst mostly, if not entirely all black faces! It could be discomfitting on that first entrance- but once I got to blow blues-harp ( harmonica ) I was made to know I belonged, just as you did I am sure!

I'll bet we share that strong sense of indebtedness too!.. for the only true genres of "American" music endowed to us from black American masters... of gospel, folk-blues, blues and jazz! The term "American music" is meaningless without them!!!

Are you fortunate to still be in touch with Sid, Sy, Buster or others at Vamp? You were, and bet you remain a "Doll" Naomi!... tho Donn used the term "Kitten" when he saw you onstage in Connecticut!!

Lord hug you tight... - Butchie

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 10:51:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Oh my gosh, Naomi! Those photos are indeed treasures. I think this is my favorite post. I absolutely adore your stories. I'm so glad you're blogging them so they won't be lost!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 10:57:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

You really need to put all of your memories in a book. I'd buy it!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 12:20:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Just a sort'a PS for now sis. You got me "blogging" already!... me!! Still getting the "knack" tho... like how to offer my blog joint & pic etc??? In any case, for now- my blog joint is at:

You are a wonder Ms Caryl!!!

Lord hug you tight... - Butchie

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 1:42:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

So, post the MP3! LOL I made a children's record back in high school with other kid in my high school concert choir. It was a blast and I have it somewhere in my basement. I still sing some of those songs!

Hey, check me out today. I left you a present. :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 1:57:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Lyn
had this to say:

Every experience you write about is full of your wonderful personality but I have never enjoyed one more than this great memorable time in your life. A true serendipitous era for you with those great musicians and song writers who loved your voice and took you on that fabulous Sentimental Journey. How I'd love to hear the record if ever it becomes possible.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 2:34:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi!!! You never cease to amaze me!!! How utterly, utterly fabulous all this is - working with such talents, and being in the midst of just - everything!!!

I too, would love to hear your singing voice. You have the most magnificent speaking voice, and I would love to hear you sing.

Thanks for sharing your treasures with us. The photographs are amazing.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 3:02:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

That is so awesome! I wanna hear the song!

p.s. you look gorgeous in those pics!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 4:06:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

These are wonderful memories, Naomi. Thank you for sharing them with your readers. I always remembered your singing from early 60's. I never dreamed I'd have the opportunity to read your memories written directly by your hand.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 4:46:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

what a wonderful set of experiences you have lived. Working with such talented musicians must have been very enriching. Thanks for sharing the story and photos. I often feel about my own life that it couldn't have been me back in early photos. Seems like another lifetime-- like we reincarnate through one lifetime several times-- at the least

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 4:48:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What a beautiful shining light you are! Those photos are terrific! Your life story is fascinating Naomi. I'm intrigued and very interested in learning more about your journey.

My Mom has photos of herself that are similar. She worked in Radio, writing and hosting at a local nightclub where they used to record bands live every Friday night.
All of the big bands and groups played at this place. It was in Burlington Ontario.....and the radio show started with "Live from the Brant Inn.....on the shores of Lake Ontario....." She has a few studio type shots that have the same look as yours. I love them.....

I can't wait to read more of your wonderful stories.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 5:22:00 PM PST 

Blogger VV
had this to say:

Oh drat! I was hoping to be able to click on the record and hear you sing. Do you have an audio clip of this song?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 5:40:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

That was such an interesting post, and what marvelous photos.

My mother and father used to have all the popular 45 records, and I grew up listening to them. We had a turntable stereo that looked like a piece of furniture and I listened to my parents' records on it all the time growing up. Most of the records my mom had were from her college days in the 50s. She quit buying records during the 60s because the kids kept her too busy.

You have led such an interesting life. I love reading everything about it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 6:27:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Randy - Las Vegas
had this to say:

Naomi, All I can say is "FUN" reading this -- you know me and my records - I love it that you found these and hope we all get to hear it someday. Wonderful pictures -- You mentioned Joe Williams - he and wife Jillian belonged to my church and he was a very tall, warm, gentle man . Jillian is still a dear friend - Thanks for sharing these treasures of your life - I always love hearing your show biz stories!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 8:06:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Very cool to see you "in action"!

I remember 45s ... a lifetime ago!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 9:14:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

As always wow - Naomi you truly have had an incredible life!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 10:34:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

How fabulous that you have photos of that special time!! Amazing. And you have the recording too? You must try and get someone to put it onto disc for you so that you'll always have it (and so we can have a listen to it at the same time!)

Thank you for sharing part of your fabulous life yet again Naomi.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 10:58:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Kendall
had this to say:

Naomi, I am dying to hear you sing those songs. Can you post the audio on your blog? What great pictures too... I felt like I was right there with you. Wow. I want to stay.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 1:24:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi! These records are before my time but I enjoy following that you wrote. It must be wonderful time of your life!

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 4:28:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

You really DID uncover some treasures when you did your super cleaning. You look so happy in those photos. It's obvious you were doing what you loved and basking in the glow of the talent around you, supporting you.
I bet you can sing both of those songs by heart even now.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:05:00 AM PST 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

It must have boosted your confidence working with such giants. I too hope we can hear you. At least I have heard your lovely voice.
BTW Scotch and MILK????

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 8:25:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I want to hear you singing those songs !!! Do yopu have tapes of them, Naomi ? It'd be cool if you could make them a you-tube video or something so we could hear the lyrics and your voice --

Teachers like that are wonderful. The talented just inspire you, and you learn so much and grow by leaps and bounds....

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 3:48:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You find some treasures, and they bring up treasured memories. You were some punkins, kid. It's good to know you, you celebrity you.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 4:42:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Thank you so very much for sharing your intereting life with us. The pictures and writing are fantastic and like everyone else... we want to hear you sing.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 4:55:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Looks like I picked a great time to come and visit Naomi. What wonderful pictures of a time in your life you must treasure. It sounds as though you have lived a very rich and beautiful life. I must make time to come back and read some of your older posts. Lovely trip back in time.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:10:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh dear,
I'm to young to recall all of these wondeful artists. But I never forget the day my father had bought a brand new 78rpm "Island in the Sun" , but he went almost crazy and the B-side: Coconut Woman. What fun we had when my father "was in Jamaica" - He danced an was a very lucky man.

i still have 45 and 33 and 78 rpm records. But my player id kaput

btw. My daughter should have arrived here on Thursday. She did not. That is a sad story. I've have only written a teaser to day. Her full story she will write on my blog. It's a shame.For the Airline company in matter.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:30:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Look at you posing with those wonderful, talented men, and the way Sid's looking at you, there's no doubt you held your own with the best of them.

You tend to downplay your talents, but you can't hide the truth. Even though you didn't get all the exposure, you contributed quite a bit to the world of show business. Looking forward to seeing more of those treasures!

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:35:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What fun treasures Naomi!!! A record!! Woohoo!! I'd love to hear it too. I had lots of 45's when I was younger but I got rid of almost all of them. My how things have changed!!

Love the pictures of you. You look like you are having the time of your life!!

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:46:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I couldn't not make a special effort to come by and se this adn I am so glad that I did! How wonderful to have a record with your name on it and all those wonderful experiences and memories!

I love all the photos of you with these talented men who took you under their wing - how lucky you were to have their guidance and support (especially in those clubs - they sound quite daunting!). I only wish you could post a recording of your songs on your blog?

Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 1:57:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love it when you post this stuff!!! How cool that you cut a 45. I still have a whole pile of 45s and it's so much fun to look through them from time to time.

And happy anniversary of your move from NY to CA... we miss you. ;)

Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 3:50:00 PM PST 

Blogger rpm
had this to say:

I love hearing and seeing about these things you were blessed with doing in your life! I'm so glad you are sharing these times with us. You are so interesting!

Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 8:33:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Oh, Naomi, you were right...I enjoyed this post tremendously! I love when you share those days with us both with your photos and commentary.
What a special time that was and as you described it all, momentarily I felt like I was right there with you.
Having heard your voice, OH, what I wouldn't give to be able to hear you sing those two songs on the 45. Is there any way you could record the audio and maybe put it up here for us to hear? I loved the music of that time and your voice would sure bring back memories.
Thanks so much for sharing this.

Sunday, February 3, 2008 at 6:57:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Oh how I now WISH I were on speaking terms with my older sisters! I bet ONE of them would be familiar with your song! What a truly amazing life you have had! You NEVER fail to astound me!

Monday, February 4, 2008 at 9:52:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

That's just priceless, Naomi. Your own 45. :)

I love the last photo of you especially. :) What magic you've been part of! You seem to have done it all, Broadway and Hollywood and your own 45. I'd love to hear it sometime.


Monday, February 4, 2008 at 9:56:00 AM PST 

had this to say:



Friday, February 8, 2008 at 11:35:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

ULPH!!! TEASE indeed Naomi!!! Will you be possibly transcribing Donn's letter into the on-going saga? Jeepers... how long since you've recieved a hand-written letter? Then again- it could be differant for you; as I'm certain your numbers of friends, loved-ones, fans & aquaintances are surely more vast than mine... hence hand-written fan-mail more abundant!! Christmas cards are probably my last-outpost for real honest-to-God mail!! It's all pretty much email now. Cool... but also sad in a strange way. I remember my Mom & Mom-mom taking care to buy nice paper... with names like "Irish Linen", and fountain pens. Jeepers!

Well... sure do hope that "Lowe Letter" might emerge along the way!

Lord hug you tight... - Butchie

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 3:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

NAOMI! Your many friends want to "hear" you sing!... I want your many friends to hear you sing!! I spent most of Thursday morning & afternoon figuring out how to embed your songs into your blog- by first installing them into my own... where your friends are most welcome to come by for a listen to your BEAUTIFUL voice!! I touched base with your friend and blog-designer "girliebits" who said she will be most delighted to install your audio into your blog for you. I gave her the html code to do so. Do NOT be spooked by the mere mention of 'myspace'! This has nothing to do with myspace and is called "Hypster". They only mention 'myspace' as one of many sites this audio can be installed to. Hypster is free... has nada to do with myspace and awaits your nod to be installed by "girliebits" or yourself! ( it turned out to be simple actually! Even for a trousered-ape like me!! )

I am betting everyone here is champing-at-the-bits to hear you!!!

- Butchie

Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 12:32:00 PM PST 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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