Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cheryl Dilcher - Special Songs (1971)

A little pressed for time this weekend so I'll keep this post short, in spite of the fact that the album deserves a better write up. This was Ms. Dilcher's 1st album (and also the 1st recording by Bette Midler). Suffice it to say this record contains excellent folk-psych songs (all written by the artist) well performed and certain to appeal to fans of Melanie' or Janis Ian's recordings from this period.
I will refer you to the Cheryl Dilcher web site for more information about the artist.
Unfortunately the record quality was a bit poor in places and there's more noise (at least on some of the tracks) that I would like. As I mentioned before, I think my turntable may be adding to the problem.
Here's the complete personnel:
Cheryl Dilcher - Guitar, Piano, Harpsichord, Vocals
Amedeo Borsetti - Organ, Piano (Electric)
Bette Midler - Voices
David Smith - Flute
David Wagner - Guitar (Bass)
Jim Turner - Voices
John Adelson - Organ, Guitar, Harmonica
John Dee - Producer
Lane Emley - Guitar (Bass)
Mario Garcia - Bongos, Drums
And the tracklist:
Side A
1. A Better Day
2. Mercy, Dear Lord, Mercy
3. Three Wishes
4. Richard Never Cries
5. Do I Have To Wait Very Long
6. Song By a Bird
7. Music Box
Side B
8. How I'd Like To Go Home
9. Cotton Joe
10. Little Miss No One
11. Happy Times
Listen here (REPOSTED).


Frisian said...

thx for the downloads Max
the vinyl rips are great....

Anonymous said...

Many thanks. Beautiful cover and fantastic music. Dee.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Max said...

Being spammed with giant lists of women's track & field scores--that's a new one! Enough to have me turn comment moderation on since I don't want to be the vehicle for someone's weird fetish, especially since it takes forever to delete the damn thing.

Anonymous said...

I recently got Butterly and I am really looking forward to hearing this one.


Anonymous said...

man oh man i'm excited to find this. 3 years ago i bought a martin 12 string in a guitar store in LA and it had cheryl dilcher's name and a little flower drawing inside the sound hole. i googled the name and found her website but have never found any actual music by her - maybe my guitar is on this record!

Guldhamstern said...

Thanks for this exellent post.
Your blog is the best. At least the best music-blog.

Man, when i notice an old gem like this I really hope that you can keep up with this.


drew said...

Hi Max,

thank you for the review on this Cheryl Dilcher album, are you able to repost the link? if not, that's ok...maybe i'll find it in an antique/second-hand store one of these days!

take care,

Max said...

I'd be happy to repost it--probably take me a few days before I get to it.

drew said...

max you rock...thank you!

I just discovered Ms. Dilcher, of all places from a Rita Coolidge LP i recently bought and the inside sleeve showed various artists on Ms. Coolidge's label at the time and there was the album Magic by Cheryl Dilcher and the cover was so insane i had to look into her music...very pleasantly surprised...

anyway, thanks again,

Max said...

Hey Drew,
Took me a while, but I finally got around to reposting this.

drew said...

thank you Max!!!


Anonymous said...

Just bought a near mint copy of this album at a record fair for USD 13. Great album!

Unknown said...

10/25/10 Cheryl was my roommate in Allentown, oh, what a time it was ....

Anonymous said...

My name is Peter Helffrich and I have an unpublished fantastic recording of Cheryl's. My father had a recording studio where she recorded her demo between Special Songs on Ampex and her contract with A&M. She did not reprise any of these songs, and hearing her without others is precious. Her brother Michael says that it is the most personal.
I love her and was in contact with her in LA at the end of her life, when the other Peter could no longer deal with her epilepsy.
Her stepmother (not evil) is 90 and still compus mentis.
An original poster from Blue Sailor still hangs in the room where my friends and family gather.

Max said...

Would love to hear the unreleased recordings. If you're in touch with her family, perhaps you could get them issued on CD. If you want any suggestions drop me a line with your email (I won't publish it on the blog).

Anonymous said...

Yes, that is Cheryl's guitar, and was used both on tour and on her albums. It was presented to her by Chris Martin III himself.

Max said...

Posting this for Peter Helffrich

Take Good Care of My Friend
Cheryl Dilcher circa 1970

I got a call the other night
from a friend in some hotel
I tried to find out where she was
she laughed and wouldn't tell

She said she wanted to say goodbye
and then the silence came
Across the miles
I called out her name

Dancing in my mind
there came a silent memory
Every time she fell in love
she always seemed to bleed
searching for the best way
to inflict herself with pain
Can anybody tell me
who's to blame?

Where in this world
can you be?
Please hold on
please hold on
Oh won't you take good care
of my friend?

(guitar riff)

I saw you in your dream world
when you took a step too far
Your hands were tied down to the bed
You couldn't play guitar
From your eyes came spilling out
the words inside your brain
I held your hand
and called out your name

The doctor says he thinks
you're gonna be here for a while
He asked me what my name was
and he put it in your file
There are times when everybody
thinks they are insane
I held your hand and called out
your name.

God in heaven, where are you?
I don't know
I don't know
but won't you take good care of
my friend?
please take good care of my friend.

Anonymous said...

Cheryl's mom died this Friday.
Cheryl was a jewel.
Her mom was gruff and kind.

Rich Grant said...

I would love to get some of Cheryls music on a cd so i can play in my car. can anybody help me? Rich

Max said...

Sorry Rich but I don't believe any of her albums are available on CD. You can find MP3s of almost all her releases on the Web and if you don't mind the sound quality you could have them burned to a CD.

Anonymous said...

Hi,My name is Sherman Silver and I was Cheryl Dilchers Agent for many years. I have 2 cassettes of Cheryl Dilcer song's (some completed and some just her on her guitar singing) and also her film script called Running Champion.Yes,Cheryl wrote a film script. One of the song's on the cassette is Cheryl singing the song, Wind Beneath My Wing's you can't even tell the difference between her and Bette Midler there voice was so similiar.

Sherman Silver Cheryl Dilchers X S.A.G. Agent

Any middle-aged German Witch in Amerika said...

Hi Max and all,

I am so glad to see this fantastic album is still being posted.

I am among the Melanie crowd and trying to raise awareness of Cheryl's first album, as I stronmgly believe every Melanie fan will love this album as well.

I know the other albums also, but this one still stays my favourite since I found it on multiply in 2007. (It might have been taken from this blog, though)

My husband and I live within driving distance to Allentown, and after travelling to her apartment on Aug 15 in 2007 we are celebrating that day every year again.

Yes, Aug 15 is Cheryl Dilcher Day, and whenever Hubby can take the day off, we are travelling to her former partment in Gordon St and also visit the nearby park in which that cover photo was taken (in that brook behind the park).

At that time (in 2007) we had no idea we would never meet her. We had read she was in LA acting, and we imagined we'd meet her one day on a comeback concert. You know, just like we are meeting Melanie at least once a year when she comes to the East Coast for concerts.

What a shock to learn in July 2008 that she had already been dead by the time we had listened to her songs for the first time a year before. So sad!

I am sending a copy of the first album to a friend of Melanie's, hoping she will have time to give it a listen. Maybe Melanie would play a song from this album and tell Cheryl's story.

I mean, in 1969 there was a flood of girls with guitars who played songs they had written themselves, and many of them released albums, but the vast majority never got a real shot at a real career. Melanie was among the lucky ones, Cheryl was not. But she surely was very talented and would have deserved more attention from the audience.

Kelly, great that you spoke up here! Are you still in the area?

Peter, is there any way to get access to that unreleased album? I have no commercial interests, I am only a fan of this kind of music and I would like to hear it.