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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Dave Guard & The Whiskey Hill Singers


Nobody Knows You When Your Down And Out

Dave Guard 
And The Whiskeyhill Singers
Cover Photo by Ian Samson
Production Supervised by Henry Jacobs
Capitol Records T 1728

From the back cover: The group idea began long ago – it had to. Everyone I asked to join said yes right away, so there must have been a lot of stored-up energy there. There are four of us: Judy Henske, originally of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and lately of the East; Cyrus Faryar, formerly of Teheran, London, Honolulu, Paris, and now Sausalito, California; another  Sausalito dweller is David "Buck" Wheat, although born in Texas, and myself, Dave Guard, ex-Honoluluan turned Californian in Palo Alto.

In getting the group together, I was looking for three other people who were at least as interested in music as I, and so much better than I as far as performing the material that I would have to hustle every minute of every day just to keep my job. Also tops in requisites were both the ability to talk beautifully believable nonsense when it was called for, and the ability to cut a problem down to its essentials in a hurry and come out with answers that were both logical and sincere. At this point, I think I've gotten pretty close to the middle of the target.

Cyrus was the first to join. We were high school friends in Hawaii and it was many years since we had seen each other, but he had sone lots of singing and dramatic work in school and I heard he had become a folksinger, and had in fact owned a coffeehouse in Honolulu for a time. A few phone calls and some outlandish promise brought him up from San Diego, where he had been singing on the same bill with Judy Henske. As soon as Cyrus got here, he started praising Judy' work, so I flew to Oklahoman City, where she was then appearing. When a performer moves me I laugh – whether the performance be funny or serious. I spent the whole of her show grinning from ear to ear. and Ada Moore is the only other lady singer who can affect me that way. So I told her that if she did good, she could be famous and have a ranch in Oregon with wild horse on it. O.K., said Judy. Then we had to wait for my long-time friend, Buckwheat, to finish a job which had taken him touring around the East, and that got us all together by December of '61.

The whole group reads music well enough so that we are able to kick around ideas in a fashion that makes rehearsing a joy, which is especially necessary when you have to get a blend out of four throughly individualistic voices. When we start learning a tune we're likely to be miles apart in viewpoint – but by the time we finally put it into our program we hope to be pretty monolithic about it. Of course, that isn't the end of the song, for our musical background becomes larger with time. So don't be surprised if you ever see us in person to find that we've made changes in our approach since this recording was made.

We've tried to make our marcia l base as braid as possible and I don't think we're kidding ourselves into expecting that we will be equally communicative in all areas we attempt. But there is such a wealth of material from every inhabited spot on this earth, and from any time in history, that we've just got to try everything we think we can do justice to. – Dave Guard

The Banks Of The Ohio
Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (Deportees)
The Bonnie Ship, The Diamond
Shine The Light On Me (Salomila)
The Wild Rippling Water
Brady And Duncan
Ride On Railroad Bill
We're The World's Last Authentic Playboys
Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
Isa Lei
When The War Breaks Out In Mexico

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