My First Lonely Night

Jessie Paul in Studio C

Jessie Paul in Studio C

No, it isn’t a love story post. It is the name of the B-side of my first, recording at age 12. I was signed to Capitol/World Pacific Jazz label when I was in Van Nuys Junior High School in Van Nuys, California.

My father, the great drummer, Irv Kluger was a staple on Frank Sinatra and Harry Belafonte sessions in the 50’s and early 60’s. So, he asked the CEO to meet with me, and let me sing for him.  I knew from the time I could talk, this was what I was born to do. I had no nerves or insecurity about singing. i thought I was more comfortable singing than being in a room with people talking.

The meeting was easy. I brought my acoustic guitar, and I sang for him. he went out of the office for a few minutes, came back with a producer , and a contract. I was to record 6 songs, 3 records, this was the days of 45’s not tapes!. They would be written by either the Everly Brothers or people who were on staff at Capitol.

The A-side, the one they thought had the most commercial potential, was Johnny Let Me Go. The B-side was an English cover of the Japanese hit, Sukiyaki.  It was called My First Lonely Night.

The songs did well. They placed on Billboard with 70 with a bullet. The bullet meant it had sped up from over a hundred and was moving fast in breakout areas.  It was all so wonderful until The Beatles came out. Guess what label they were on in America? That’s right, Capitol!!     OK, OK…  I survived them not spending too much money on ME, and my next two records were done in a smaller studio, not Studio A where I had recorded , with a huge orchestra and strings and back up singers. It was a smaller rock band and a smaller studio, but they had to give me the what was due on my  contract and record me, even though we all knew it was over. I was a has been at 13 and a half.   It’s all ok, I survived, and I  reinvented myself, took my name back, because they named me Jessie Paul???

I had a great career and I still have one, I am coaching fantastic singers, have  many recording, Marine Goujon, Siana, Claudia, and Maria, and Chelsea, some touring, like Nick Hissom. Ohers working the Las Vegas Strip, such as Frank Salerno and Paul Magsig, 

Then it got better, I looked in the garage, and saw a box from the storage unit, it had a lot of music in it. I went through it and shut my mouth!  I found the original scores for Johnny Let Me Go and Popcorn and Candy. I have uploaded the recordings on Soundcloud.com if you want to take a listen

I also found some of the chart of  My First Lonely Night. And to my surprise, I found a chart of an original song, composed by me! It is called, I Wonder What He Meant By That? I have asked my friend and producer Tom Marolda to take a look at it, and he said “Let’s record it!”  Tom is working on a new Stallone  movie right now, ‘The Tomb’. So, when he has a minute , we are going to do that.

So,  I was looking at the chart of Johnny Let Me Go and see the arranger has signed it. OMG  the arranger was George TiptonNow you may not know who George Tipton is , but let me tell you, While he was writing my charts and shortly after while I was down the street doing the Broadway show’ HAIR, he was composing the theme songs for TV shows, such as Benson, Golden Girls, Love Boat, Empty Nest, It’s a Living,  The Courtship of Eddies Father, and recording every one of Harry Nilsson’s albums, and writing songs  ‘Cotton Comes to Harlem’, for  films Badlands, and ‘The Gift’  theme for ‘Soap’. To top it off, he wrote the arrangement for Jose Feliciano’s rendition of Light My Fire.

Now, I was blown away by something that I never knew about my record. No wonder when you listen to it, it holds up, and the lush strings and arrangement, makes you still swoon, after all this time. It is still beautiful! I love listening to it.

There is something very different about Johnny Let Me Go and My First Lonely Night and then my next four recordings…. A  major change in production and arranging. But now I know why. I had a giant do my first record. I was proud of the songs before, but now, I am reliving the glory days of being a little recording artist in the San Fernando Valley.

You never know what treasures you will find when you look in your basement, attic, or storage unit. I found a true treasure, more than one, I found a song that I wrote, was never recorded and I forgot about it!.  I found my past, my youth, and my fond memories of my early years in this business. I wish all of you one day, that you find something of value to your heart in an old box. It sure feels good!

Jessica Marciel
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