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Pete Atkin
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Don Paul
« : 14.03.19 at 10:25 »
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I have just learned that my original record producer, Don Paul, died at the end of last year.   My last phone conversation with him must have been not long before that.
 
He had started out as a member of Morton Fraser's Harmonica Gang, which some of you may just about remember seeing on TV in the fifties.   In 1958 he formed a vocal group, the Viscounts, with two other members of the Gang. They had one or two pre-Beatles Top 20 hits, but they didn't survive the tsunami of the coming revolution, and Don went on to become a producer with Essex Music, the successful music publishing company whom Clive and I approached with our songs in 1969.  (One of the other Viscounts was Gordon Mills, who went on to write "It's Not Unusual" and to manage both Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck.)
 
Essex funded some studio time for me to make some demos, and Don produced the sessions.  He played a couple of the finished tracks to his friend Kenny Everett, who then played them several times on his Saturday morning BBC radio show, and as a result the collection of tracks ended up being released as the album "Beware of the Beautiful Stranger".   Don then produced "Driving Through Mythical America" with a bit more of a budget, and things progressed reasonably well, in spite of Philips Records' how shall I say? incompetence.  Essex moved me to RCA, who gave a decent push to "A King At Nightfall", which Don also produced.
 
I didn't work with Don again after that, but I stayed in touch with him.   He always spoke fondly and generously about the records we made together, and it was always a pleasure to hear his slightly bemused, languid Lancashire accent.
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