Two Lost Souls

The Pink Floyd song ‘Wish You Were Here’ which was written by David Gilmour and Roger Waters is about their original guitarist and vocalist Syd Barrett who had to be replaced because he lost touch with reality.  The group brought in David Gilmore to replace Syd Barrett on guitar.  Wish You Were Here was the title of their ninth studio album, released in 1975 and it followed The Dark Side of the Moon.  This album went to #1 in both the UK and the US and it was their second concept album revolving around the central theme of absence and disenchantment with the music industry, where Roger Waters reflects that the camaraderie that the band once had was by then, largely absent.

The members of Pink Floyd saw Syd Barrett visit them unannounced on June 5, 1975 while they were at Abbey Road Studios recording this album.  He gained a lot of weight which he said was from eating lots of pork chops and they had trouble recognizing him.  He shaved his head and eyebrows, and was clutching a plastic bag that contained his toothbrush.  Wright and Walters were both shocked and in tears when they realized that it was Syd, as they were recording the song ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ which was a tribute to him.  This was the last they ever saw of him, as he dropped off the map.

Syd Barrett died in 2006 at the age of 60 and if he didn’t suffer from mental illness, or taking too much LSD, he could have been so much greater than he ended up being.  In this song Gilmour and Waters were able to create something so incredibly emotional that it would have made Barrett very proud.  Waters and Gilmour were trying to make Syd understand that what he’s doing is wrong. Just because he was addicted to something.  They want him to stop listening to the voices that were stuck inside his head and think about making his life better.  They use contrasting imagery of heaven and hell, blue skies and pain, a green field and a steel rail to see if Syd could relate to any of this.  They blame the music industry for getting Syd to trade his heroes for ghosts.

They wonder if Syd could have replaced hot ashes for trees, hot air for a cool breeze and cold comfort for change.  They knew Syd went too far with drugs and that he was beyond hope at this point, so they ask him, “Did you exchange, A walk on part in the war, For a lead role in a cage?”  They miss Syd and they feel like they are going around in circles aimlessly without him, “Swimming in a fish bowl, Year after year, Running over the same old ground.”

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell
Blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
And how we found
The same old fears
Wish you were here

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge I Know You`re Out There Somewhere.

I Know You`re Out There Somewhere

Mike Pinder was interested in how music changes people’s moods and since the band was playing blues at the time, they took the name Moody Blues. They released 12 albums between 1968 and 1973 which all charted in the Top 20 and four of them reached #1. The Moody Blues formed in 1964 and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. The classic lineup consisted of songwriter, lead singer, and guitarist Justin Hayward who replaced Denny Laine, keyboard player Mike Pinder who was eventually replaced by Patrick Moraz, bassist John Lodge who replaced Clint Warwick, drummer Graeme Edge, and Ray Thomas who sang vocals, played flute, percussion, and harmonica. Today I have a Moody Blues song from their 1988 album Sur la Mer, come check out this fun writing challenge.

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This song was written by Justin Hayward and it was recorded on the Moody Blues thirteenth album Sur la Mer which was released in 1988.  The album got to #21 in the UK, and went to #38 in the US.  Flautist and vocalist Ray Thomas did not appear on the album, although he remained a member of the band at the time during which it was recorded.  The hit single ‘I Know You’re Out There Somewhere’ reached #52 in the UK and got to #30 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Justin Hayward received the 1988 Ivor Novello Award for Composer of the Year for writing this song.  Hayward said this song is about trying to find out what happened to your first love.  Hayward wrote 20 of the group’s 27 post-1967 singles and this was their final Top 40 single in the United States.

This song was a sequel to…

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If I Had a Song to Sing

This Grateful Dead tune, ‘If I Had the World to Give’ was written by Jerome J. Garcia and Robert C. Hunter.  It was first released on their 1978 album Shakedown Street, but it was only performed three times in concert.  Shakedown Street was the tenth studio album by the Grateful Dead, and this was the final album featuring Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux.  This sentimental love song was atypical for their style and according to Hunter, Jerry and him decided to write an obscure surprisingly emotional romantic song, on a lark just for the heck of it.  They were feeling sensitive because someone said “Oh you write songs about guys for guys.”  They tried to write something that would sound good in an old ‘50s cocktail lounge, but they ended up with a song that is difficult to sing and has large scale tempo changes in it, so it never fit in their rotation.

Many people want to give the world to their soulmate when they find one and this song celebrates a lover’s acceptance of their partner, flaws, and all.  This song talks about singing a song, a lullaby or a serenade to someone that you love.  Many Deadheads consider this Grateful Dead rarity suitable to be played at a wedding when two lovers are vowing to be with one another forever.  This song is about being able to express unconditional love and the Grateful Dead achieved what they set out to do with this song.

If I had the world to give, I’d give it to you
Long as you live, would you let it fall, or hold it all in your arms?

If I had a song to sing, I’d sing it to you
As long as you live, lullaby or maybe a plain serenade
Wouldn’t you laugh, dance, and cry or be afraid at the change you made

I may not have the world to give to you
But maybe I have a tune or two
Only if you let me be your world
Could I ever give this world to you

But I will give what love I have to give,
I will give what love I have to give,
I will give what love I have to give, long as I live.

If I had a star to give, I’d give it to you
Long as you live, would you have the time
To watch it shine, watch it shine
Or ask for the moon and heaven too? I’d give it to you.

Well maybe I’ve got no star to spare, or anything fine or even rare,
Only if you let me be your world, could I ever give this world to you.
Could I ever give this world to you.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge The Breakup Song.

The Breakup Song

They broke the mold when they made those old love songs and they don’t write them like that anymore. They were absolutely unique and nothing written today is comparable. What happened to all of those talented song writers in the Brill Building? In the early days of the record industry, when music was released on black vinyl records, songwriting was very much a job in the more traditional 9-to-5 sense, where they all punched a clock. These legendary songwriters created iconic songs that made pop and rhythm and blues, which had the power to get stuck in your head and they were written by the artists who were able to perform them.

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In 1981, the Greg Kihn Band which was started by frontman Greg Kihn and bassist Steve Wright had a huge pop hit with ‘The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write Em)’ which reached #15 on the charts and was released on their album Rockihnroll.  The song was written by Greg Kihn and Steve Wright and the Greg Kihn Band, consisted of Kihn, Wright, Robbie Dunbar playing guitar and Larry Lynch on drums.  Dunbar was replaced by Dave Carpender and the group became a quintet in 1981 when they added keyboardist Gary Phillips.  At one time this band was huge, they were on the edge of breaking into the big time, having had a #1 Dance record with their song ‘Jeopardy’ which also went to #2 on the pop charts and they opened for the Rolling Stones, toured with Journey, and played a lot of Grateful Dead gigs, but after 1985, there were no more Top 10 entries from them.

Greg wrote…

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Sunday Driving

‘Two Of Us’ is the opening song on The Beatles’ final album Let It Be from 1970, and it was written by Paul McCartney about his fondness for getting deliberately lost in the country with his future wife Linda.  The lyrics in this song also summarize Paul’s friendship and creative partnership that he had with John Lennon.  They were both aware that their time as members of The Beatles was drawing to a close.  ‘Two Of Us’ is also thought to contain a reference to The Beatles’ business troubles with Apple, in the line “You and me chasing paper, getting nowhere”.  The song displays the relief felt by McCartney at being able to leave these troubles behind and enjoy uncomplicated moments with Linda who he had married on March 12, 1969 six weeks after the song was recorded.

Linda said that she loved getting lost when she went out for rides with her father and when she moved to England to be with Paul, they would put their dog Martha an Old English sheepdog in the back of the car and drive out of London.  As soon as they were on the open road she would say, “Let’s get lost” and they would keep driving without looking at any signs.  It was during one of those adventures that McCartney composed what he originally titled ‘On Our Way Home’.  They both enjoyed sitting out in nature, and this song was about that, doing nothing, while trying to get lost, hence the line in the song, “Two of us going nowhere.”

The tune Lennon whistles at the end of this song always reminds me of the Woody Guthrie song ‘This Land Is Your Land’.  McCartney initially offered this to the group Mortimer, a New York trio being considered for Apple Records, but they were rejected by the Apple label and their eponymous album remained unreleased until 2017.  ‘Two Of Us’ was not released as a single and Rolling Stone magazine ranked this at #54 of the top 100 Greatest Beatles songs.

Two of us riding nowhere
Spending someone’s
Hard earned pay
Two of us Sunday driving
Not arriving
On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home
Two of us sending postcards
Writing letters
On my wall
You and me burning matches
Lifting latches
On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home
You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead
Two of us wearing raincoats
Standing so low
In the sun
You and me chasing paper
Getting nowhere
On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Just the Two of Us.


Michael Jackson walked into an oasis where a Bedouin was drinking with his camel and he asks the Bedouin if he can buy the camel to finish his trip across the desert.  The Bedouin told Michael that he could have the camel if he could tell him how a camel hides out in the desert.  Michael said that the camel uses camouflage.  Michael said that he could make a crocodile smile and a kookaburra laugh and he asked the Bedouin, “What do you call a camel with no humps?”  The Bedouin gave up and Michael said, “Humphrey.”  Michael said, “When I bring the camel back, where should I park it?”, and the Bedouin replied, “Put it back in the Camelot.”

My Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Midnight at the Oasis re-blog went to the wrong website, and I guess that you only get one, so this is a bit different, but if you want to read the whole post, then go here.

Get Some Satisfaction

Eric Clapton released ‘After Midnight’ on his 1970 solo eponymous album.  The song charted #18 in the US and it was written by J.J. Cale.  Some sources incorrectly report his given name as Jean Jacques Cale, but he was born John Weldon Cale.  Cale was nicknamed “J.J.” by Elmer Valentine, the co-owner of the Sunset Strip nightclub, the Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy, and The Rainbow, to avoid confusion with the Velvet Underground’s John Cale.  Cale’s stuff didn’t age, it just got better over time, like a fine wine.  Cale followed his friend Leon Russell from Tulsa to California.  The Oklahoma songwriter and guitarist J.J. Cale wrote the first version of ‘After Midnight’ as a single which was an up-tempo rendition that he recorded with his band, the Leathercoated Minds.  The Leathercoated Minds were a Los Angeles studio-only group, formed for the express purpose of exploiting both the sound and image of the L.A. psychedelic scene circa 1966-1967.  ‘After Midnight’ was released in 1966 as the B-side of a song called ‘Slow Motion’.  This was produced by Snuff Garrett, owner of the Viva label, with Cale as staff producer and Bryan Hyland the guy who sang ‘Sealed with a Kiss’ chipping in.

The Leathercoated Minds sole album was A Trip Down the Sunset Strip, which was issued in 1967 and contained popular cover songs.  Collectors have interest in this record, because of the filler instrumentals which were written by a young J.J. Cale, who also produced and played guitar on the album.  J.J. Cale’s original version of ‘After Midnight’ existed as an instrumental for a while before he came up with a lyric for it.  Cale said that he finally got the idea for the words when he was playing a show in Atlanta and someone shouted, “Let it all hang out.”  Garrett hired the little-known musician named J.J. Cale to produce the album and play lead guitar, and no one knows for sure just who Cale’s studio partners were, besides Roger Tillison on vocals, although Cale’s buddy Leon Russell is probably playing keyboards.  Tillison was arguably a leading edge of the music that is now called Americana, and he was another singer and songwriter from Oklahoma, that was part of the Tulsa scene which included J.J. Cale, Leon Russell, Jim Keltner, and Jesse Ed Davis.

Cale recorded ‘After Midnight’ again on his debut studio album Naturally which was released in 1972.  This album featured Carl Radle on bass.  Carl Radle was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and he became friends with other Tulsa musicians including David Gates, later of Bread, Leon Russell and JJ Cale.  When Russell moved to California, Radle followed and played in clubs.  Radle is probably best known for his long association with Eric Clapton, starting in 1969 with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends and continuing in 1970 with Derek and the Dominos. Radle played ‘After Midnight’ for Eric Clapton when he needed another song for his debut album.  Clapton was immediately smitten, and chose to record it.  Clapton went with a more laid-back approach to this song.

Cale was never as well-known as his songs were.  He never sold a lot of records, but his music became much more famous than he did.  Many well-known performers have recorded his songs including Eric Clapton and Nazareth both covering ‘Cocaine’, Waylon Jennings and Dr. Hook both covered ‘Clyde’, Carlos Santana with ‘The Sensitive Kind’, Cissy Houston ‘Cajun Moon’, Captain Beefheart and Bobby Bland both covered ‘I Got the Same Old Blues’, Chet Atkins and Jerry Garcia ‘After Midnight’, Kansas recorded ‘Bringing It Back’, Poco recorded ‘Magnolia’, Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Mayer and Bobby Bare all did ‘Call Me the Breeze’, Tom Petty recorded ‘I’d Like to Love You, Baby’ and Widespread Panic did ‘Ride Me High’ and ‘Travelin’ Light’.  The Allman Brothers, Dan Auerbach, The Band, Beck, Band of Horses, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Johnny Cash, Randy Crawford, Jose Feliciano, Lee Fields, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Hiss Golden Messenger, Kansas, Freddie King, John Mayall, John Mayer, Maria Muldaur, Nazareth, Phish, Johnny Rivers, Spiritualized, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, and many more have covered his timeless music.

Clapton’s cover was a very big deal for Cale, who seemed to have an aversion to fame and was going through serious financial difficulties.  Cale recalled to Mojo magazine in September 2009 that when he heard Clapton’s version playing on his radio, “I was dirt poor, not making enough to eat and I wasn’t a young man.  I was in my thirties, so I was very happy.  It was nice to make some money.”  The song, made the Billboard Top 20 and was Clapton’s first major hit as a solo artist.  It also secured Cale’s musical and financial future.  Clapton covering this song helped Cale stay in the music business, as he was about ready to get out at the time and was only playing Friday and Saturday nights while looking for a day job.

J.J. Cale died on July 26, 2013 in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack at the age of 74.  J.J. was married to Christine Lakeland his long-time guitarist, and muse, who was his companion for 36 years.  She met J.J. a couple of years after she graduated high school while she was working road gigs, in Nashville, where they were both living.  Her first recorded appearance with Cale came on his 1979 album, 5, although she had been a member of the touring band for three years prior to that.  Being a rather cloistered artist like J.J., no confirmation was ever made of their actual relationship until the printing of his obituary.  Cale won a Grammy Award for best contemporary blues album for The Road to Escondido, a recording he made in 2006 with Clapton.

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down
After midnight, we’re gonna chug-a-lug and shout
We’re gonna stimulate some action
We’re gonna get some satisfaction
We’re gonna find out what it is all about
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna shake your tambourine
After midnight, it’s all gonna be peaches and cream
We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion
We’re gonna give an exhibition
We’re gonna find out what it is all about
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna shake your tambourine
After midnight, it’s all gonna be peaches and cream
We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion
We’re gonna give an exhibition
We’re gonna find out what it is all about
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Midnight at the Oasis.

Dear Mr. Fantasy

Take a gander and get to know thyself, a saying that was chiseled into the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Let’s say that you decide to plant some Black-eyed Susan just to try something new in your garden, but at the same time you have a fairly stable idea about what type of person you are, so you open up a can of worms and add them to the soil in order to increase the amount of air and water that gets to your flowers. While you are shopping, you come across a display case of Lazy Susans, those rotating tray turntables that are placed on a table or countertop to aid in distribution of food, or other items. Then the clerk comes along and asks you if you need any help and her nametag says Susan and suddenly there are Susans everywhere. Then you realize that the Black-eyed Susans don’t actually have eyes that are black, as they are more of a purplish-brown and they used to be called the Brown Betty, which is your name. Then just as you thought that things could not get any more confusing, over the intercom you hear the Ram Jam song ‘Black Betty’ playing.

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‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’ is the final track on Side 1 of Traffic’s 1967 debut album of the same name Dear Mr. Fantasy and even though it was never released as a single, it became Traffic’s defining song.  Jim Capaldi wrote the lyrics while Steve Windwood and Chris Wood wrote the music.  Traffic was made up of Jim Capaldi on drums, Steve Winwood on electric guitar and vocals, Chris Wood on organ and multi-instrumentalist Dave Mason on bass.  Jimmy Miller played maracas on this song.  The song appears to be about a tortured artist who sacrifices his own happiness to make the audience happy.  The audience tells the performer, “Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy” suggesting that the entertainer listen to their demands.

For some unknown reason this audience is gloomy and they feel that the artist is the only one who can make them laugh again.  They begin…

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From Primal Gold Fantasy Petals That Fall

‘What’s Become of The Baby’ was recorded by the Grateful Dead while they were all hooked up to nitrous oxide masks, which made it somewhat unlistenable.  It was written by Hunter and Garcia and the Dead never played this song live in concert, as the band couldn’t quite capture this sound when they were not in the studio.  The only performance of this song took place on April 26, 1969, at the Electric Theater in Chicago where the Dead played a tape recording of this song in an extended encore jam, while they induced feedback and noise through their live instruments.  Jerry Garcia said that he was trying to do something here that they didn’t have the technology to accomplish at the time, as he wanted to open his mouth, and have the collective sound of the entire Grateful Dead emerge with every note he sang.  It is surprising that the Division of Family Services (DFS) did not try to arrest the Grateful Dead after they recorded this song on their 1969 Aoxomoxoa album for not knowing the where abouts of the baby.  However, this song is not about a missing baby and after years of listening to it, I still have no clue what it is about, but it is out there in space somewhere.

Aoxomoxoa is the first album where Robert Hunter contributed as a full-time partner with Jerry and it’s the only album where Jerry sings lead on every song.  ‘What’s Become of The Baby’ is filled with weirdness including random electronic sounds and choppy effects swarming on Garcia’s isolated vocal tracks.  There is no instrumentation here at all.  Garcia’s vocals are put through the effect’s ringer with various echo, delay and reverb to create an outer worldly, acid-laced sound.  The band was very stoned from the nitrous oxide tanks that they brought into the studio and this almost a cappella thing with no discernible beat as the product of this recording session.

Jerry said that in order to make ‘What’s Become of the Baby’ work, you have to get a tank of nitrous oxide.  Despite Garcia’s optimism, even the most hardcore Deadheads consider this song to be too far out for them to listen to more than once.  Aoxomoxoa is as spaced out lyrically as it is sonically, but it was an experiment that seems to have improved over time.  The band spent almost eight months in the studio working on the album, which didn’t sell very well, leaving them in debt to Warner Bros to the tune of $180,000.  The Dead struggled to capture their psychedelic visions and create elaborate sonic journeys in the studio, but on stage in concert, they were doing this with ease.  Another nitrous-influenced piece ‘Barbed Wire Whipping Party’ that features a bit of madness was also recorded during the Aoxomoxoa sessions, but it was vetoed from the album at the last second.

Robert Hunter explained some of the background about how this recording came about, saying that Jimi Hendrix was going to come over to the studio, so they decided to get it good and weird so he could hear it.  The timeline that Hunter described fits, as the Dead were working on ‘What’s Become of The Baby’ in the studio in early October 68, and Hendrix played five shows in San Francisco at Winterland during this time.  Hendrix may have vaguely mentioned that he’d drop by the studio, but he never did.  Also, at this time the Dead were pissed off at Hendrix, because he arranged through music promoter Chet Helms for them to jam together and the Dead waited all night in Sausalito for Jimi, but he never showed up.  Hendrix blew them off to be with a girl.  Hunter said that this song was a minuet (a slow, stately ballroom dance for two in triple time, popular especially in the 18th century), but they already had one minuet already on the record, which was ‘Mountains Of The Moon’, so they got really ripped instead and decided to screw around with it.

The Baby in this song, may very well be the grateful Dead themselves, as they were young and just starting out at the time this was written.  Hunter writes, “Go to sleep you child, Dream of never ending always”, which is cryptic, although never ending usually deals with something that is unpleasant, mostly because it does not have an end, so it is like he is telling the child to have a nightmare.  There is line in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, where the Duchess flung this baby or some type of creature at Alice, but when it acted up she set it down and watched it trot away.  Alice was getting used to all of these idiotic and queer things happening around her and then the Cheshire Cat asked, “What became of the baby?”, and she replied that the baby turned into a pig and ran away.  Sunbells could be small flowers that are similar to a petunia, or blue jean bell bottom pants.

Waves of violet go crashing and laughing
Rainbow winged singing birds fly round the sun
Sunbells rain down in a liquid profusion
Mermaids on porpoises draw up the dawn
What’s become of the baby
This cold December morning?
frozen in their flight
drifting to the earth
remnants of forgotten dreaming
answer comes there none
Go to sleep you child
Dream of never ending always
Panes of crystal
Eyes sparkle like waterfalls
lighting the polished ice caverns of Khan
But where in the looking-glass fields of illusion
wandered the child who was perfect as dawn?
What’s become of the Baby
this cold December morning?
rhythms of the sun
all the world revolves
captured in the eye of Odin
Pray where are you now?
All Mohammed’s men
blinded by the sparkling water
Sheherazade gathering stories to tell
from primal gold fantasy petals that fall
But where is the child
who played with the sun chimes
and chased the cloud sheep
to the regions of rhyme?
cries the south wind
Lost in the regions of lead
Shackled by chains of illusion
Delusions of living and dead

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Dear Mr. Fantasy.

Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

I hope that I am not incorrectly interpreted, please don’t get me wrong.  If you get a misconceived notion of what I said, because you were mixed up, I sincerely hope that does not give you the wrong impression or idea about me.  Perhaps you are mistaken and you have misjudged me, anyway there is a fun challenge going on today and everyone is welcome to participate.

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This song was recorded by the Animals and it came out on their1965 Animal Tracks album.  It reached #3 in the UK and charted #15 in the US.  This single was ranked by Rolling Stone at #322 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ was written by Horace Ott, Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus. Horace Ott started writing this song while pondering a troublesome time with his girlfriend Gloria Caldwell, as they had just gotten into a heated argument.  Ott sat down at the piano, and he expressed how he was well intentioned, but misunderstood by Gloria, a sentiment that many men can relate to, married or not.  He was unable to finish it, so he took it to his writing partners Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus.  The trio finished it in short order, but because they used different publishing…

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