Allright Folks, here is a short story about the Band The Eight Day and the making of her record:
The Story of the 8th Day as told by Sons of Liberty band leader, Frank DeFede. (written by John Fluharty)
I heard that a man from Cadiz, Ohio, Joe Gorlock, who had a club called Club 22 had music connections in New York City and that he was involved in helping Bobby Vinton getting his start. I called Mr. Gorlock to set up an audition at his club for The Sons of Liberty, and told him that we were interested in recording and making the big time. Another band, the Opus 4, were regulars at Club 22 and had a single at the time called "5 Minutes To Train Time".
So we went to Cadiz to the Club 22 for an audition. Mr. Gorlock really seemed impressed, especially with the vocals, and later on while we were jamming around on some originals, he called someone on the phone. I asked him what that was all about and he just said; "Oh nothing! I was just letting someone hear you!"
The Sons of Liberty became regulars at Club 22 and over a period of a few months heard about some people from New York that were pretty big in the music business. The company was called Fireplace Productions and the producer was Bob Feldman of Hang on Sloppy, and I Want Candy, fame. The song writers were Gene Allen, who wrote many of Bobby Vinton's songs, and Ron Donte, who was the voice behind the Archies hit Sugar Sugar, and then went on to produce Barry Manilow.
The next day, while the group was all together at a practice at Glenn Reasner's house, the phone rang and it was Mr. Gorlock asking for me. I'll never forget that day, how excited we were. He said, "Do you remember when I was holding up the phone?" One of his contacts in New York City liked the vocals he was hearing and he said that we needed to rent a u-haul and drive up to New York City as soon as possible for a live audition.
Within a few days we were on our way to New York City. John Rasz borrowed his dad's car and we hitched up the trailer. When we got there, we were directed to an audition hall that must have been like eight stories up a narrow flight of steps. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Gene Allen and Ronnie Donte were there to audition us. We sang our hearts out doing a lot of originals. When we were done, they came up to us and said that they absolutely loved our voices and that they were going to sign us. It was that quick.
The producer's added two terrific female singers, Melanie Ross, and Nancy Petite, both from Cadiz, Ohio. The girls were also associates of Joe Gorlock. They wanted to put together an act to compete with The Mama's and Papa's, and felt they could sell the act to a major label. They changed our name to The 8th Day.
We then spent several months in New York. At first our parents paid for the hotel. We stayed at the President Hotel, right across from Mama Leone's famous Italian Restaurant. It was located at 48th west Broadway, just a half a block off of Broadway. We were only a few blocks away from the famous Brill Building where we would go to rehearse everyday. Fireplace productions, owned by Bob Feldman was located right next door to Liber Stollerman, the famous writers and producers of major hits. We used to go in there often and look at the awards etc. on the walls. Jay of Jay and the Americans would come into Fireplace productions and listen to us. One time he was kind of rubbing his arms. I asked him what was wrong and he said, man you guys give me goose bumps. He loved our vocals.
After a short while, perhaps a few weeks, we went into mayfair studio and recorded a demo of Brandy and Raining Sunshine with just a guitar and vocals. It sounded unbelievable. Feldman, and the writers were most excited about it. However, they said that we sang so well that they felt it would be best if we auditioned live for the major record companies.
I remember auditioning for Capital, Mercury, Decca, and many others including Kapp. Every one of the companies offered to sign us and they were actually trying to outbid each other. Finally Kapp records gave the best offer, which included a full color 45. This was the deal breaker. This 8th Day was the first group in history to get a full color release on their first record. The contact also included a complete album deal, with full orchestration with one of the up and coming great arrangers, the now legendary, Artie Butler.
They music tracks were recorded at Bell Sound, which was and may still be one of the famous studios in the World. We added the vocals later at Mayfair Studios. We spent the entire summer in New York City . Things started to sour as we couldn't understand why it was taking so darn long to complete this album. It was just ridiculous. Glenn Reasner was only 16, and he needed to get back into school. The other thing that was frustrating was that we wanted to do our own songs. Davy didn't get to sing any of his raw rock songs that he was so good at. We were young and impatient. They did tell us to just take it slow and that all of that would happen for us in time.
It was the end of summer and we had driven all night to get back up to New York City after a labor day weekend at home. We got in late and missed rehearsal, and showed up at the studio just in time. Our voices were rough as we just woke up. Feldman was not happy. After a some words, the SOL minus Jim Brandilino and the girls, who decided to stay, left Mayfair studios and headed home.
They told us that we would regret this some day. Joe Gorlock got The Opus 4 to replace the Sons Of Liberty. They recorded five more songs to finish the Album. The album was finally released, and the SOL got no credit for any of it. However there are six songs that are on the album that are clearly the SOL, and featured below on this page. Additionally, when the 45 came out, the SOL photo was used. This was taken at Central Park and it was suppose to be the main song for the album called Raining Sunshine. That is why we are holding up the umbrella's.
The Opus 4 were saying that they re-recorded all of our songs, but that is not true. You can clearly hear Davey, Glenn, and me especially on Brandy, and Raining Sunshine. Also, I spoke with Nancy and Melanie about this during our 40-year reunion concertn, and they said that they definitely did not re-record anything. In fact, she said that the group was never the same after we left. Feldman was always upset with the Opus 4 vocals, he especially did not like Rob Parrisi's voice. Which is something as he went on to write and produce one of the biggest hits ever at that point in time, "Play That Funky Music White Boy" when in the group Wild Cherry.
We stopped on our way home to get gas and John asked me, what the heck did we just do. I said we quit. We just looked at each other, shook our heads and got back in the car. The SOL was pretty much shot then for a while. I finally got us back together and booked us time at Gateway Records in Pittsburgh and we recorded three of my songs, (Love Babe, There's A Little Girls, I Should Go to The Doctor) and one of Davey Buhl's songs (Do You Need Someonel).
Sometimes I regret that we left New York City, but we came back and went on to do our own material. We did very well for a local group with no backing to be able to get Love Babe played and number one on many charts in the valley, and even in Huntington, WV, Arkon, OH. etc. I had even heard of it getting Air Play in Florida and California. The record died though as I didn't know how to get distribution at the time.
According to Melanie and Nancy, they never made a dime. They actually got to be number one in some cities, but as I remember the Bill Board Charts only showed the Hey Boy as getting into the top 100 or maybe it was the top 50. It never went any higher. (Note: None of the songs made the top 100 at least in Cash Box). The SOL was pretty much stuck as we tried to get out of the contract, but they held us up for six years.
Dave Buhl and I went to Nashville. I went on and had a few songs published by Screen Gems Music, and I was about to get a recording contract with Screen Gems, but then gave up on the music business. I headed home to get married to Linda Shaffer, and to get a real job at Weirton Steel and then later at Sears. Davey Buhl stayed a little longer than me as he was able to get a recording contract and an album deal with a producer name Bob Tubert. Davey even cut one of my songs on his album called "You Don't Need To Make Me Happy."
I am happy to say the SOL was one of the only groups in the valley to have such an interesting story to tell. We were only like 16 - 20 years old and got further than really anyone else I know of around here. Who knowz, if we would have stayed, I think the rest of the album would have been better. The girls told me that they never got along with the Opus 4, as they did with us. If we would of stayed things may have turned out differently. Raining Sunshine would have been the single, and then followed up with Brandy. They also recently told me that we were scheduled to go on the Ed Sullivan show, but when the new group didn't do that well that was cancelled.
What happned next! (By John Fluharty from a conversation with Nancy Petit and Melanie Ross and emails from Jim Brandolino)
After the beakup, the Opus 4 and the three remaining original members of The 8th Day (Jim, Melanie and Nancy) completed the album. Six of the songs were done by the original group and five by the replacements. Melanie and Nancy said that Ronnie Dante did a lot of singing on the final five cuts. He was the main writer of all the songs recorded by The 8th Day (Teamed with George Allen)
Ron Dante was lead singer for The Archies, whose recording of Sugar, Sugar was the #1 hit of 1969. But he was also lead singer (actually, all the singers!) on The Cufflinks' Tracy, which was in the Top Ten at the same time that "Sugar" was in the top spot. Enough about Ronnie now back to the 8th Day.
We can deduce that the first single was supposed to be Raining Sunshine. Note the umbrella's in the full color photo taken in New Yorks Central Park. The actual first release, Hey Boy! (The Girl's In Love With You!) did quite well in several eastern and mid-western markets. The magazine Record World gave it a bullet predicting The 8th Day as a group to watch. The 8th Day played concerts in Ohio, New York, Tennessee and Illinois. They headlined a show with Billy Joe Royal and Bobby Goldsboro at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. They were featured on shows with Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Vogues, and others.
The 8th Day possibly would have gone much further if Dave Kapp had not sold his record label to MCA. Kapp was committed to making The 8th Day one of America's top groups. But then he sold the label. After the sale, MCA stopped all promotions and things fell apart. Before the year was over both Nancy and Melanie were married and had started families. If the original group with the SOL had stuck with The 8th Day, the first release may have been earlier and a bigger success before MCA took over. We will never know.
The 8th Day Resurgance (Research by John Fluharty)
There seems to be a world wide nostalgia movement for songs of the 60's. The 8th Day song "Brandy" was re-released in Germany in 2003 as part of a 3 CD collection entitled "The Get Easy Sunshine Collection" that featured popular folk rock songs from 60's. The album is part of what is called 60's Pop Sunshine Nostalgia, which is popular in Germany. Beside the 8th day the album features artists Spanky and Our Gang, the Cowsills, Leslie Gore, Mama's and Papa's, Doc Severinsen and many more. It is one of five volumes that have been released by one German label.
The entire “8th Day” album was re-released in 2006 in Japan, which has a current nostalgia craze for music of the sixties and seventies. The Japanese “8th Day” CD is a complete digital re-mastering of the original album.
I took this from the band's page ''The 8th Day Home Page - Technimedia Studio's.
I love this album and it's an important part to the history of the sixties folk pop sunshine music.