Liner Note Authors: Mike Edwards ; Ash Wells; Brian Gari.
Photographers: Mike Edwards ; Ash Wells; Brian Gari.
The Early Years 1962-1967 compiles tracks singer/songwriter David Gates wrote, arranged, and produced for other artists prior to his own time in the spotlight as the lead singer of the '70s soft rock band Bread. Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a band director and a piano teacher for parents, Gates got an early start in the record industry, releasing several singles in the late '50s. By the '60s, Gates was living in Los Angeles and finding work writing and producing for a variety of labels. Sticking to songs Gates composed during this period, this anthology brings together tracks Gates wrote for a mix of girl groups, pop singers, rockabilly artists, and soul singers. Included are such songs as the Murmaids' 1963 hit "Popsicles and Icicles," Dorsey Burnette's 1963 recording "Pebbles," Shelley Fabares' campy 1964 song "Football Season's Over," and many others. Also featured are tracks for such artists as the Girlfriends, Frankie Fanelli, Dorothy Berry, and actors Michael Landon and Ann-Margret. While the focus here is primarily on songs Gates wrote for other artists, we do get Gates' own demo version of his song "You'll Be Needin' Me," written for the Lettermen in 1966. Also notable is Jody Miller's 1965 take on "Never Let Him Go," which Gates later revisited for his 1975 solo album as "Never Let Her Go." These are catchy songs in a variety of styles that should appeal to longtime Bread fans interested in Gates' career, as well as anyone with an abiding love of '60s pop music. ~ Matt Collar