Happy In Hollywood - The Productions Of Gary Usher Various Artists (Producer Series)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP 1621

This month sees the great Gary Usher become the latest maestro to be honoured in our series of collections devoted to record producers.

Usher grew up as an avid radio listener and record collector, and soon realised that he wanted to forge a career in music. After a handful of stabs as a recording artist, he settled into writing and arranging for various West Coast companies. Early in the 60s, as he was given more responsibility in recording studios, he built up a crack team of talented musical buddies who he used on many of his sessions. This culminated in the string of singles and albums that rode the surf, drag and hot rod craze. As well as producing, he wrote, arranged and sang on many of these releases.

However, as this collection proves, there were a growing number of other strings to Usher’s bow. Working as a staff producer for US Decca and later Columbia Records, his keen ear for new musical genres meant that he was always in the forefront of popular music, often venturing into the world of folk rock, sunshine pop, psychedelia and country rock. He worked with luminaries such as the Byrds, Gene Clark, Glen Campbell, Curt Boettcher and Brian Wilson, as well as releasing “phantom” group records cut by his regular behind-the-scenes colleagues.

This compilation, the first to cover the real width and variety of Usher’s career, takes us from the mid-60s through to the 80s and quite rightly places him alongside the better-known West Coast record producers such as Lou Adler, Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and Jack Nitzsche.


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Lady Friend - The Byrds

  • 02 Preview My World Fell Down - Sagittarius

  • 03 Preview So You Say You Lost Your Baby - Gene Clark

  • 04 Preview Just One More Chance - The Hondells

  • 05 Preview A Go-Go Getter - Keith Green

  • 06 Preview Louise - Keith Allison

  • 07 Preview School Is A/Gas - The Wheel Men

  • 08 Preview Baby What I Mean - The Spiral Starecase

  • 09 Preview Sunstroke - Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde

  • 10 Preview I Wish You Didn't Treat Me So Well - Chuck & Joe

  • 11 Preview Shame Girl - The Neptunes

  • 12 Preview I Don't Wanna Say Goodnight - The Forte Four

  • 13 Preview An Angel Cried - The Castells

  • 14 Preview Catch A Little Ride With Me - The Surfaris

  • 15 Preview Cod'ine - Sean & The Brandywines

  • 16 Preview You Ain't Going Nowhere - The Byrds

  • 17 Preview Body Go Round - The Wackers

  • 18 Preview Take My Hand - The Sons Of Adam

  • 19 Preview Show Me, Girl - The Hondells

  • 20 Preview What Am I Gonna Do - The Guild

  • 21 Preview Let's Go To Heaven In My Car - Brian Wilson

  • 22 Preview Shame, Shame - Keith Colley

  • 23 Preview It's A Happening Thing - The Peanut Butter Conspiracy

  • 24 Preview Happy In Hollywood - California

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