Doris Day’s unreleased 1980s recording sessions produced by her son Terry MelcherDecember 14, 2007 3 Comments
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 cable TV show, “Doris Day’s Best Friends“.
In Monterey (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.
The recordings listed below have taken on quite a mythical status among Doris Day devotees as excluding Doris’s various live performances given for radio (including her own show) these are now the only ones yet to be released commercially. There is still hope that some day they will emerge from the vaults as Doris’ vocals are truly impeccable (standout tracks are “Disney Girls”, “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon”, “My Heart” and “You Are So Beautiful To Me”).
- At The Zoo
- Best Friends
[Theme tune from TV show Doris Day's Best Friends]
(Terry Melcher/Bill House)
- Crocodile Rock
(Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
- Disney Girls
- Everyone’s Gone To The Moon
- Let’s Visit Heaven Tonight
- Make It Big ( Terry Melcher solo)
(Bill House/Mike Love/Terry Melcher)
- My Heart
(Terry Melcher/Bruce Johnston)
- Octopus’s Garden
(Starkey aka Ringo Starr)
- Rescue Me
(Carl Smith/Raynard Miner )
- Ryan’s Roundup
(Bill House/Terry Melcher)
(Traditional/Arranged by Terry Melcher)
- This Way I Dreamed It
(Bruce Johnston/Terry Melcher)
(Michael Martin Murphey/Larry Cansler)
- You Are So Beautiful
(Billy Preston/Bruce Fisher)
Producer: Terry Melcher & Bruce Johnston
Recordings Owned by Doris Day