These recordings have
taken on quite a mythical status among Day devotees. In
fact, other than Doris's performances for radio shows,
including her own, these remain the only recordings yet
to be released commercially. Here are some facts to
separate from the fiction that has circulated over the
last twenty years.
During the mid-1980s,
Doris Day returned to a recording studio for the first
time in over a decade to do a project that was driven by
her son Terry Melcher, along with his buddy Bruce
Johnston (Terry's former music partner in the early '60s
and a long-time member of The Beach Boys). The big drive was to create some songs that could
feature on the soundtrack of Doris's 1985-86 CBN cable TV show,
focusing on Doris' devotion to animals of all kinds.
California, Doris laid vocals to a selection of some new
songs written by Terry, as well as several pop classics,
including many with lyrics pertaining to animals, giving
the material a tie-in with the TV series content. Doris
did not actually perform any of these songs on camera
for the show but rather the recordings were played over
a variety of scenes featuring animals and Doris.
At the time, there was
also the expectation that Doris would record further
songs so that a selection of appropriate tunes could be
pulled together for what would have been her first
all-new album release in 20 years (her 1967
Love Album had
yet to be released). Unfortunately, this idea was never
fully executed although some very lovely, worthwhile songs
were committed to tape. One such song, "My Heart",
remained unheard until 1991, when it debuted over the
closing credits of the 1991 PBS documentary, Doris
Day - A Sentimental Journey.
The versions of these
1980s recordings which were aired were produced on a relatively low budget for
television exhibition, a few suffered from the now dated
sounding synthesizers that were commonly used at the
time. Terry Melcher had however mentioned he hoped to go back
and replace some of those make shift backing tracks with richer
sounds from a real and fuller array of real instruments. Sadly, he passed away
before this became a reality. These songs are not
however forgotten and there is still hope that some day they
will emerge from the vaults as Doris' vocals are impeccable
(standout tracks are "Disney Girls", "Everyone's
Gone To The Moon", "My Heart"
and "You Are So Beautiful To Me").