THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
583) Susan Christie — “Rainy Day”
Scandalously unissued in its day, “Rainy Day” is one of an album’s-worth “exquisitely beautiful examples of what could only be called acid folk.” (Bruce Eder, https://www.allmusic.com/artist/susan-christie-mn0001215020/biography). Jeanette Leech calls the album that never was (until 2006!) “one of the heaviest and most haunting acid-folk albums to date” and “one of the most intense of all acid-folk records.” (Jeanette Leech, Seasons They Change: The Story of Acid and Psychedelic Folk). Will Hermes says the songs are “[b]rilliantly original” and “[f]unky freak folk?” and that Christie’s “dark, strange songbird flights stoke a fluid groove.” (https://books.google.com/books?id=dhpEiwR_cZAC&dq=%22susan+christie%22+singer+-ecosystem%22+-meteorological&pg=PA96#v=onepage&q=%22susan%20christie%22%20singer%20-ecosystem%22%20-meteorological&f=false) Richie Unterberger calls them “nicely dreamy and varied folk-rock for the most part that shows a lot of sadly unfulfilled potential” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/paint-a-lady-mw0000473999) and the heroes at Finders Keepers Records call them “hand crafted tales of inner-city solitude backed by a break heavy folk funk rhythm section”. (http://www.finderskeepersrecords.com/shop/susan-christie-paint-a-lady/)
Who is Susan Christie? Bruce Eder explains:
Susan Christie was a Philadelphia-based folksinger . . . [who] attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and took easily to the new requirements of the booming folk-rock field in the mid-’60s. She was cheerful and sufficiently accessible as a singer to lend her voice to the song “I Love Onions” (popularized on the Captain Kangaroo show) in 1966. That was enough to get her a chance to cut a brace of demos . . . . Her prospective record label was unimpressed with (or, more likely, unprepared for) Christie’s melodic yet thoroughly downbeat creations, mostly her unique takes on traditional country and folk material . . . .https://www.allmusic.com/artist/susan-christie-mn0001215020/biography
Jeanette Leech gives us more history:
Christie’s musical and romantic partner was John Hill, whom she had met in high school. “I always swear that he only dated me because we had a piano in our house. . . . We were in the junior play; we met, and we’ve been hanging out ever since.” . . . “And then this wonderful opportunity came for us to do things the ways we would like to do them”: an album offer from ABC-Paramount. The pair handpicked songs that they admired, mainly in a country-folk vein . . . . Hill created innovative new arrangements of songs . . . Christie sang with her crystal-tipped voice. . . . Hill and Christie were convinced they had done something unique with the album, and were very proud of it. ABC- Paramount was not so pleased. “We’re still not entirely sure why it wasn’t released,” Hill says with a sigh. “I guess the label didn’t like it.” An acetate was pressed up, and Hill retained the master tapes . . . . Christie buried her disappointment and largely gave up on front-line singing. “I think I just dismissed it and said, that’s it, I’ll go back to making rhubarb pie[.]”Jeanette Leech, Seasons They Change: The Story of Acid and Psychedelic Folk
Christie says that:
I’d always been proud of it – it was a new sound, sort of “folky-funk”. [Afterwards,] I had decided against being a normal singer because jingle work was easier to fit around the children. I sang about bladder control, detergents, diet Pepsi and Maxwell House coffee.https://www.theguardian.com/music/2008/jan/02/folk.features11
I guess no antacid commercials! Then came the 21st Century. Christie explains:
I was working as a jingle singer when Keith D’Arcy, a record company executive and avid collector of the weird and unusual, asked if I had anything in my basement. . . . [O]nly three copies had been pressed [but] I gave one to him, and he contacted [English DJ Andy] Votel [owner and founder of Finders Keepers Records].https://www.theguardian.com/music/2008/jan/02/folk.features11
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