Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde
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timeline...part two (1964-1966)

Picking up where we left off, C&J were playing at Tina's, a London folk club and coffee bar, and had just been signed to Ember records by John Barry...

 The first recording session, with John Barry at rightThe first sessions, produced by John Barry in July 1963, gave the duo their only real UK hit. "Yesterday's Gone" had been written by Chad during the year before Jeremy's return. He signed the song to United Artists Publishing, for a £15.00 advance. This was a move he would come to regret, but in the early days of rock 'n roll, nobody knew that you could publish your own songs and actually make some money. (Remember Brian Epstein giving away the Beatle's publishing to Dick James?)

      "Yesterday's Gone" has Wendy Kidd listed as a co-writer. There's a story behind this. Wendy was manager of a band in which Chad played keyboards. He wrote the song on her piano in her London flat and this was the justification Wendy used to demand half the royalties! Amazingly, Chad gave in, but it made sense at the time because in return, Wendy got him a job with a music publisher. It was a trade-off. Little did he know that the song would ultimately soar up the American charts!
C&J...a dapper pair, or upper class twits?
     Shortly after its September 27th, 1963 release, the single reached number forty in the charts, no mean feat for a first waxing, and back to the studio they went to record a follow up single, "Like I Love You Today" released in January 1964. At the time, the duo had moved on from Tina's to a residency at Hatchett's, then a West End cabaret landmark. After this record failed to make any real impact on the UK charts, John Barry, disillusioned with Ember's inability to compete with the major labels, bought himself out of his contract, and left C&J to sink or swim. He felt so guilty about leaving the guys in the lurch that he later made a present to Jeremy of a very impressive stereo system! Chad recalls ruefully, "I was living in California at the time and I didn't get anything!" The duo was turned over to Shel Talmy, who would produce the bulk of their first album, called Chad & Jeremy Sing For You, in the UK. This album contained a ballad which everyone ignored at first. It was a called "A Summer Song". Little did they know that it would one day reach the American top ten.

      The album was released and Ember's weaknesses soon became apparent. The English distribution networks, controlled by the major labels, were not about to let Ember come to the party. The album went nowhere in the UK, and is today quite a collectors item. Matters were made worse when The Daily Express published a picture of a young Jeremy Clyde all dressed up in velvet as a page to his grandfather at Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1952. This may seem fascinating and newsworthy to Americans, who have always been somewhat in awe of royalty, but in England it branded Chad & Jeremy as upper class twits who had no right to play in the working class rock n roll playground. The two disagree on exactly how the picture reached the hands of the press. Chad remembers that the paper simply dug it out of their files, but Jeremy has a different recollection - he believes the photo was intentionally sent to the press! "I was very embarrassed about it at the time, but Tony Lewis, our manager, decided that any publicity was good publicity, and I was kind of forced to go along with it. I actually think it was the wrong thing to do."

      Meanwhile, the American market, untouchable when the first single was recorded, opened up like a floodgate in the Spring of 1964. A new label out of Pittsburgh called World Artists heard the first single and bought the US rights to C&J. They quickly released "Yesterday's Gone", and, quite unexpectedly, it began to head up the country charts. But, Jeremy is quick to point out that this success would be short-lived, as "once they discovered that we were English and we had hair, that was the end of that!"

      Fortunately, the record also picked up steam on the pop charts, partially due to the fact that World Artists decided to take on the challenge of making C&J 'the' hit artists on their roster and devoted all their time and financial resources to promoting it. Ironically, as Chad noted years later, had the single ended up in the hands of a major label, they most likely would not have gone to such extremes to get a hit. World Artists, who wanted a hit in the worst way, were willing to do whatever it took to get one. And they did. By May of 1964, it had gone Top Twenty.
C&J play on American Bandstand.
Jeremy remembers his shock in finding out that the record was a hit: "We got this telegram, which said congratulations, boys.  You're sixty-five in the American charts with a bullet...and we didn't even know that we had a record released, much less a hit or anything like that!"

      In August of 1964, to everyone's surprise, "A Summer Song", which had not even been released as a single in Britain, gave C&J their second (and biggest) US hit. World Artists released the Yesterday's Gone album, primarily composed of tracks from their sessions with Shel Talmy, with the two Barry produced a sides, which sold like hot cakes. In November, "Willow Weep For Me" was another big hit. Things were moving so fast that the duo made the decision to move to California. Off to the states Chad & Jeremy went - and Jill too, of course.

      The only cloud on their horizon was continued problems with royalties payments and conflicts between Ember records and World Artists. Dissatisfaction with the situation festered as they went into the studio for a further set of recordings produced by Jimmy Haskell.  Chad remembers Jimmy as "a lovely man", but perhaps too easy-going to deal with the behind the scenes conflicts at the time. Chad and Jeremy, now with their careers completely based in the US market, also had increasing reservations about the label, and during these Haskell sessions, put into motion a plan to leave the Ember/World Artists situation behind.

After a crisis meeting with the top brass at William Morris, one agent suggested that they meet with the infamous Allen Klein who managed just about every British act of any significance. "This guy was basically pimping for Allen," Chad recalls, "And of course we fell for it." Before long, in "a ballet of shady moves", Chad and Jeremy had signed with Columbia Records, ending their contract by paying the label one half of their Columbia advance. They were free of Ember Records, but at great expense. .

      The beginning of the Columbia era was ironically almost the end of Chad and Jeremy, as conflicts between Chad the full time musician and Jeremy the actor began to emerge. In fact, one winter morning on New York's 6th Avenue, on the way to sign the Columbia contract, Jeremy had second thoughts about the effect the long term music deal would have on his ability to act. Chad, with visions of dollar signs floating in his eyes, managed to talk Jeremy into signing on the dotted line, but this incident would be a foreshadowing of problems to come.
In Jeremy's defense, their sudden success had given him little time to try to find a balance between his musical hobby and acting, which remained his true love. In the studio during the "Before and After" sessions.

    In January 1965, as the ink was drying on the Columbia contract, World Artists released the second LP, Chad & Jeremy Sing For You (different in content from the UK LP of the same name).  It was released in England as Chad & Jeremy's Second Album, where it quickly disappeared, and would be C&J's last LP in the UK.
     

    On March 1st, the official date of the start of the Columbia deal, C&J were in Columbia's New York studios with Lor Crane, beginning the Before and After sessions. The title song became a big hit, and clearly delineated the "new" C&J from the "old" sound of the World Artists era. Meanwhile their old label released the final records of the "old" sound, releasing "What Do You Want With Me" (later re-recorded for the first Columbia LP), "My Coloring Book", and "September in the Rain" in throughout the first half of 1965.

      C & J's first American TV appearance was on "The Hollywood Palace" variety show in 1964. This marked a turning point in their careers because William Morris agent John Hartman was in the audience. He promptly signed the duo and proceeded to book them on comedy shows and sit-coms. (Hartman, elder brother of Phil Hartman, went on to fame and fortune as the manager of Poco, America and Crosby, Stills & Nash.) C & J were featured on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Patty Duke Show (both in early 1965), and then, as the Columbia material began to appear, they were all over TV with shows such as The Andy Williams Show, the Danny Kaye Show, Shindig and Hullabaloo. Between Columbia's clout and the hit making abilities of the group and their producers, it was now clearer than ever that Chad and Jeremy were big-time artists.

      As they mounted massive tours of the United States, crisscrossing the country, the fatigue began to set in and Chad was struck down with mononucleosis. As he was laid up in bed for several months in the Spring, Jeremy was offered a part in a John Barry musical in London, entitled Passion Flower Hotel, a play which he would later describe as "a gracious, genteel bust"! Because taking this role would force Jeremy to take a nine month leave of absence from the duo, a decision was made to try to fit in an album's worth of recordings as soon as Chad had recovered. And so began the I Don't Wanna Lose You Baby sessions. The LP was finished during April and May without any problems, but Jeremy's internal conflict between musician and actor had only just begun. Things actually got so bad that at one point in early July, Chad and Jeremy's guest shot on the Merv Griffin Show was billed as their final appearance - anywhere. For Jeremy, there was really no reason to not take the part - Chad was still recovering from mono and unable to tour, and with an entire LP in the can, there was no recording to do. One problem did arise when Jeremy, due to his commitment to Passion Flower Hotel, was forced to back out of a July concert at McCormick Place in Chicago at the last second. Left with no alternative because of Jeremy's absence, Chad actually walked out on stage with a cardboard cutout of Jeremy under his arm and proceeded to put on a Chad & Jill concert! Jill says: "I felt sorry for Chad out there all alone, and volunteered to join him...but when I got out there and saw 5,000 pairs of eyes looking at me, I almost went into shock." In the end, overcome by stage fright, she did "I Got You Babe", and made a quick exit.
Chad and Jill
      By the time the "I Don't Want To Lose You Baby" LP was released in the fall of 1965, Jeremy was in London, while Chad (after a brief return to London) stayed in the states, recording with his wife Jill. "The Cruel War" sessions began on October 21st. During Jeremy's stay in London, which lasted until February of 1966, he recorded his own solo single, produced by John Barry, with a 'rocked up' version of his song from Passion Flower Hotel, "I Love My Love", backed with his own composition, "Anytime", which would later be remade as a C&J track (though it would languish in the vaults for a quarter century after its recording!
 
Jill in 1966. By late 1965, Chad and Jeremy were doing interviews on both sides of the Atlantic in order to answer questions about their "temporary separation", and to reassure fans that they would record together again. In a late-October interview for KYA radio in San Francisco, Chad explained: "We're in the middle of a turmoil: this doesn't mean that Chad and Jeremy have gone bust or anything. I think we've got to be very honest with everybody about our problems, and that is this problem of being a musician and an actor, and the actor wanting to act and the musician wanting to 'musish'!" It was clear that some balance would have to be found in the future, and thankfully, several opportunities in 1966 would alleviate some of this tension.


For all practical purposes, C & J were broken up during the Fall of 1965. As to motives behind "The Cruel War", Chad explains that Jill was included because "I thought I needed to go out there with someone", but in hindsight,  "It really wasn't fair to expect her to do that". The song, an elaborate reworking of a previous release by Peter, Paul and Mary, sounded quite excellent, and Columbia had high hopes for it. They took out full page ads in Cashbox and Billboard. This didn't save the single, however, because Peter, Paul and Mary quickly re-released their own version and a battle of the singles ensued. Chad & Jill's first and only outing would stall at number one hundred and ten in early 1966.  A year later, in a mock interview, Jeremy asked Chad if he would ever sing with Jill again. "Only in the shower!" was Chad's quick retort.

I. Prologue (before 1964)   

III. Fame, Part Two (1966-1968)    

IV. Epilogue (1969-1982)       

V. Rebirth (1983-1987)         

VI. The Wilderness Years (1987-2002)

VII. C&J Today (2002-present)



An Electric Paintbox production.
Copyright 2006  Frank Jason Rhoden.
 

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