Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Carol Douglas - The Carol Douglas Album (1975)

“The Carol Douglas Album” by Carol Douglas (1975)

Release Date: 1975
Produced by Roger Greenaway, Meco Monardo
Genre: Disco, R&B, Soul
Label: Midland International Records
Chart Positions: #177 (US), #49 (Sweden)
Certifications: N/A

Singles: “Doctor’s Orders” #1 (Canada), #2 (Spain), #4 (Ireland, France), #5 (Italy), #6 (New Zealand) #7 (UK), #10 (Belgium), #11 (US), #16 (South Africa), #31 (Australia), #37 (Germany), #80 (Japan), A Hurricane Is Coming Tonite” #81 (US), #79 (Canada), “Will We Make It Tonight” (No chart data)

Carol Douglas was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1948. She is the daughter of Minnie Newsome, a jazz performer who has been cited as the inspiration for the Cab Calloway classic "Minnie the Moocher." The late, great R&B singer, Sam Cooke, was Carol’s cousin.

“The Carol Douglas Album” was her debut album released in early 1975 shortly after the release of her smash hit “Doctor’s Orders.” The album was an impressive pre-disco effort which helped pave the way for many subsequent albums by dance-driven R&B acts.

Carol’s debut album hit the scene with much anticipation of becoming a big hit on the power of the single “Doctor’s Orders,” that did not happen as it only reached #177 in the US and #49 in Sweden. However the lack of commercial success for the album does not take away from the well-produced gem of pleasant listening.

The liner notes on the album list Ed O’Loughlin as the producer of the song (and the album). But it was actually Meco Menardo that produced the hit song (and it’s album). The story is a bit confusing as to the erroneous listing of production credit. Meco had developed a music production company called Disco Corporation of America (DCA), the company took off pretty quick. They produced several disco hits including the cross over hit “Never Can Say Goodbye” by Gloria Gaynor. With all the work DCA was doing it turns out that one of Meco's business associates failed to handle certain business obligations in proper fashion. This caused unnecessary problems with artists and others and although not serious resulted in Meco being barred from producing for one year. This became evident when Meco produced Carol Douglas' hit Doctor's Order's, but was not allowed to be given credit as producer. The only credit he received was for arranging "Baby, Don't Let This Good Love Die." Of course we remember Meco for his 1977 disco rendition of the Star Wars theme, which reached #1 around the world. Famed disco producer, arranger and conductor arranged three songs for the album. John Davis had a few minor disco hits in the late 70s including “Ain’t That Enough For You” and “Love Magic.”

The lead single “Doctor’s Orders” was Carol’s first and only legitimate hit. She had other singles reach the lower regions of the charts but none that were actually hits. Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway and Geoff Stephens wrote the song. Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway are best known for songwriting collaborations on classic hits such as "You've Got Your Troubles", the transatlantic million selling songs, "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" and "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" Geoff Stephens is also a co-writer of the hit “There’s A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World).”

“Doctor’s Orders” was first recorded by a singer named Sunny, whom with her singing partner Sue, was hired to sing with the group Brotherhood of Man in 1969. Brotherhood of Man had a huge hit in 1970 with the song “United We Stand.” Sue and Sunny left the group in early 1973 and they pursued a career as a singing duo and respectively as solo artists. Sunny was the first person to record “Doctor’s Orders” as she had maintained a friendship with the song’s writer Roger Greenaway, who was also a member of Brotherhood of Man. Sunny’s version, was a bit faster and had a country twist to it. The song was a sizeable hit for her in the UK and Ireland, but it was not until seven months later that the song finally became a worldwide smash hit. It was Carol Douglas’ discofied version that sent the song up the charts all around the world. It charted in Canada (#1), US, UK, Japan, South Africa and almost everywhere else in the world. Not only was it a pop hit but Carol Douglas crossed over to other genres taking the song to #2 on the US Disco chart, #9 on the US Hot Soul Songs chart and #42 on the US Easy Listening chart.

"Doctor's Orders"

The second single from Carol Douglas “A Hurricane Is Coming Tonite” charted in the US and Canada but did not make it much higher than #80. The song was written by Allan Kenneth Bernstein and Ed O’Loughlin. Bernstein wrote the songs “This Girl Is a Woman Now” (a hit for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap) and “After The Lovin’” (Made popular by Engelburt Humperdinck. O’Loughlin was listed as the album’s producer but was actually a songwriter and arranger on the album.

The third single “Will We Make It Tonight” did not chart and was written by Mark Barkan (who wrote several hits for Petula Clark, Leslie Gore and Little Peggy Marsh) and Rajah Heyworth (who also co-wrote the song “A Friend In Need” with Mark Barkan for Carol Douglas).

Carol Douglas (1975)


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