Bill LaBounty's brand new CD "Back To Your Star" just hit the Japanese music market. And rest of the world will have it also on June 15th. I am pleased to let you have Bill LaBounty's exclusive interview for my "Adult Contemporary Music in Japan" here. Mr. LaBounty looks back his long career and talks about the latest effort "Back To Your Star".
Here it is;
[ACMJ]: Let me go back to your younger days before asking about your latest album "Back To Your Star". In late 60's and in the beginning of 70's, you traveled with your band and played music at many small club. And then you released an album as the band "Fat Chance" in 1972 with Steve Eaton and others. How did the band get the recording artist deal with RCA?
[Bill LaBounty ( BL)]: This was very long ago, Takeshi san. I remember Steve and I walking the streets of Hollywood with our 7 and 1/2 inch, reel-to-reel tape demos of Fat Chance, looking for a record company that would listen to our offering. Finally, in the process of making more copies, we found a producer, Jay Senter, who was willing to listen to our tapes. He liked them so much that he got us booked to play at the famous Troubador, a showcase club where Elton John had recently performed and shook the music business. We played to a full house of record company executives and press and had a very good night. Every company in town was anxious to sign us. We finally chose RCA.
[ACMJ]: After Fat Chance disbanded, Steve Eaton released his solo album "Hey Mr. Dreamer" in 1974 produced by Jay Senter, the producer of Fat Chance. Then, you also released your first solo albums "Promised Love" also produced by him. And again you released 2nd solo "This Night Won't Last Forever" and 3rd solo "Rain In My Life" with him. Please let me know why you decided to work with him all through the ages, and how he produced and what he brought you musically and/or some other aspects.
[BL]: Jay Senter was an "old school" music businessman, not unusual for that time. He not only owned and controlled my record production but also owned all my publishing, and for all intents and purposes served as an agent and managed my career too. The production of my records never truly began reflecting my taste in music until I got the opportunity to work with Russ Titelman on my self-titled album, Bill LaBounty, for Warner Bros.
[ACMJ]: Speaking of your 2nd solo "This Night Won't Last Forever" (1978), the album featured "Open Your Eyes", "Lie To Me", "Crazy" and "I Hope You'll Be Very Unhappy Without Me", all of which were already released on your 1st solo. (And "This Night Won't Last Forever" were released as the last single for 20th Century Records in 1977.) Why did you re-recorded those songs for your 2nd solo?
[BL]: When I signed a new deal with Warner/Curb records, the executives there believed my first album for 20th Century Records had not received proper exposure. So they offered to purchase the masters of that first record and re-release them as Warner Brothers product. So my first record for Warner/Curb included part of my old, 20th Century Records tracks. Not many in the U.S. knew the difference.
[ACMJ]: Russ Titelman produced your self-titled 4th solo "Bill LaBounty" (1982). Who brought Russ Titelman? Comparing with Jay Senter, how different Russ Titelman produced? And why did it take 3 years to release this album? Did you mainly spend your time to write songs for other artists such as "Don't Ask Me Why", "Leave It Alone" for Michael Johnson, "Hot Rod Hearts" for Robbie Dupree and/or "Where's The Party" for Jimmy Buffet ?
[BL]: After "This Night Won't Last Forever" was released on Warner/Curb it didn't make much noise. A few insiders and recording artists knew about me and my music. Unknown to me, I even had some fans at Warner Brothers Records. Tommy LiPuma was one. He began lobbying for my songs on various artists he was involved with. I'd just had a hit with Robbie Dupree when one day I received a call from Russ Titelman, who said he was interested in producing my next contracted record for Warners. I was quite thrilled with this since I'd always loved artists like Randy Newman, James Taylor, and Rickee Lee Jones, all of whom Russ had produced or co-produced in the past. I learned a great deal from Russ Titelman about the rich history of American popular music. And about having the courage and confidence to assert your heart into the process of recording. Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to exercise any of this knowledge and courage for awhile. In what we used to refer to as "The Great Disco Wars" I was unceremoniously dropped from Warner Bros. along with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, and Christopher Cross.
[ACMJ]: You got married to Beckie Foster and Beckie and you focus your own time and creative efforts on writing hits for pop country artists in Nashville. You made huge success as a songwriter there. Thus we had to wait for 8 years to have your 5th solo album "Right Direction" (1991). Robbie Dupree, your good friend released his 3rd solo "Carried Away" breaking his 8 years silence and you co-wrote "This Is Life" and "In Real Life" for the album. You sent special thanks to Robbie on "Right Direction" as follows; "To Robbie for opening the door and going through it with me". Could you explain a little bit more in details about how you started to create "Right Direction"?
[BL]: Around that time I received a call from a man in Paris named, Philipe LeBrass. He informed me that several of my songs and records had been receiving moderate, steady airplay over the years in France, Italy, and other parts of Europe. I did not know this. Later I met with Philipe in L.A. and we talked about the possibility of another album. But it wasn't until Robbie finished Carried Away and I heard the excellence of his own production that I realized it might be worthwhile for me to try and do something similar and create a record of my own. I naturally gravitated creatively to Robbie when the time came to do so. Robbie had a friend and executive producer named Bob Jenikker, who has since passed away. Bob was also someone who was very motivating and inspirational in those days. He was a very kind person and both Rob and I miss him.
More talk will follow soon.....
Last but not least, click the album jacket image shown below if you would like to pre-order "Back To Your Star" international edition! Otherwise, please click the CDJapan logo if you would like to order the Japanese edition including the exclusive bonus track "Livin' It Up" accoustic version!!