First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

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pljms
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First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by pljms »

I've just discovered that the first recording to be released of the much covered 'Knowing When To Leave' was by someone called Bambi McCormick. No, I've never heard of her either but her version was issued on her self-titled album in late 1968, preceding the opening night of 'Promises, Promises' by several weeks and the original cast album by a few months. It's interesting that the arrangement owes nothing to the Broadway version of the song and is also taken at a much more relaxed tempo. She undoubtably had a beautiful voice and judging by the album cover was an attractive woman, so it begs the question what ever happened to Bambi McCormick?

Paul

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

While I agree that she has a pleasant voice and she certainly was attractive, I can`t say that I like this version any better then Karen Carpenter`s.
But that`s just a matter of taste.
The real question is how she got to record it when she did.

pljms
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by pljms »

Blair N. Cummings wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 4:55 pm
The real question is how she got to record it when she did.
That's something probably only Bambi McCormick would now remember. However, I think the reason why she, Michele Lee and even Hugo Montenegro got their hands on 'Knowing When To Leave' so early and were able to record their versions before 'Promises, Promises' had even opened was that Bacharach and David's publishers must have felt it was the hit song of the show. It's worth remembering that the song that did eventually become the show's big hit, 'I'll Never Fall In Love Again', was added so late to the score that there was no musical reference to it in the show's overture.
Paul

blueonblue
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by blueonblue »

Paul, an interesting "find".....great vocal !
Thanks for posting.

'blue'

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

Paul, thanks for reminding me of Michele Lee. I always thought that she was beautiful and recall her singing this on The Ed Sullivan Show. (Too bad there`s no video clip).
Although the opening bars of this arrangement scared me into thinking that I was about to hear Neil Diamond`s "Cracklin` Rosie", this is pretty good. At least Michele hints at the desperation in the lyric during the chorus.



But Jill still owns this song.

pljms
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by pljms »

Michele Lee sings well but every time I hear her recording of this song I wonder if it was bad musical judgment or just plain incompetence that caused the arranger Ernie Freeman to ignore the crucial chord change that's supposed to occur in the middle of the song's long chorus, an interval acknowledged by every other recording of the song and the sort of subtle harmonic masterstroke that separates Bacharach from the also-rans as a composer?
Paul

harrymcc
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by harrymcc »

Great discovery. Bambi’s version is a bit too leisurely and smooth—I like the hectic quality of most versions that leaves singers challenged to keep up. In general, one of the things I like about the Promises, Promises songs is the human quality, with a bit less of the polish we usually associate with Bacharach/David.

Semi-relatedly, my cousin Frank Perowsky, who still performs in NYC, was in the Promises, Promises orchestra for the original run. I haven’t thought to ask him if he’s on the cast album. But we have talked about the show long enough for me to learn he did NOT like Turkey Lurkey Time.

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

I share your cousin`s opinion.
I`ll never understand why that song was substituted for the melodically superior and lyrically wittier, "Let`s Pretend We`re Grown-Ups."

Sara D
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by Sara D »

I think that if musician Frank P didn't like 'It's Turkey Lurkey Time' it was probably less to do with the quality of the song and more to do with the complexity of the score during the extended dance sequence of that number.

Listening to Bambi McMormick's warm, mellifluous tones immediately made me think of yet another singer who recorded 'Knowing When To Leave', Sue Raney.

harrymcc
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by harrymcc »

I think Frank genuinely dislikes Turkey Lurkey time...but maybe I’ll ask him for more memories of his PROMISES PROMISES experience next time I see him, and share them here.

(Me, I love the song.)

Martin Johnson
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by Martin Johnson »

I remember the first production of Promises, Promises that I saw was on the London fringe in 1996 and perhaps because the short run was scheduled for August the two overtly Christmassy songs in the score were dropped, so instead of witnessing the wonderful incongruity of Turkey Lurkey Time being performed in the middle of a London heatwave we got the delightful Tick-Tock Goes The Clock instead. I fell in love with the show that night, not just the delicious score but Neil Simon's wonderfully witty book.

blueonblue
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by blueonblue »

Martin Johnson wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 8:04 am
I remember the first production of Promises, Promises that I saw was on the London fringe in 1996 and perhaps because the short run was scheduled for August the two overtly Christmassy songs in the score were dropped, so instead of witnessing the wonderful incongruity of Turkey Lurkey Time being performed in the middle of a London heatwave we got the delightful Tick-Tock Goes The Clock instead. I fell in love with the show that night, not just the delicious score but Neil Simon's wonderfully witty book.
Complete with Burt on backing vocals...



'blue'

Martin Johnson
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by Martin Johnson »

I forgot to mention in my post that I really enjoyed listening to the wonderfully named Bambi McCormick and her recording of Knowing When To Leave. She sings bang in the middle of the range I like to hear a woman's voice and I hope that more tracks from her album become available on the net, particularly her version of Jimmy Webb's 'I Keep It Hid'.

pljms
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Re: First released recording of 'Knowing When To Leave'

Post by pljms »

The whole of her album has just been posted on YouTube. Worth hearing for the 2nd track which begins at 3:04, Jimmy Webb's beautiful song 'I Keep It Hid', or as she sings it "I Kept It Hid":
Paul

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