Saturday, February 07, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Sagittarius
Song:You Know I've Found A Way
Here's an odd bit of psychedelia from the 60s that got a second life by being included on the Nuggets garage band comps. Except Sagittarius wasn't a garage band. They weren't even an actual band. The guy behind Sagittarius was producer Gary Usher (born Dec. 14, 1938 in Grafton, MA). He had written songs for The Beach Boys including 409 and In My Room. He didn't get along with Beach Boys dad Murry Wilson. So he graduated to producing groups like The Hondells & The Surfaris. The Hondells were all studio musicians. This led to a staff production job at Columbia Records. In 1967, he was working with British pop duo Chad & Jeremy and he heard a song called My World Fell Down by the British group The Ivy League and decided to create Sagittarius. Usher had worked previously with Curt Boettcher and his group The Ballroom. He got Boettcher to write some songs and also recruited Beach Boys alumni Bruce Johnston as lead singer and Glen Campbell to play guitar. Singer Carol Conners appeared too. My World Fell Down reached #70 on the pop charts. It's very much influenced by British pop music of the late 60s. The album didn't do that well and Usher left Columbia in 1969 to start Together Records. He released another Sagittarius album in 1969. Present Tense is now available on CD on Sundazed Records with several bonus tracks. It's an interesting little curio. The one big thing Usher did when he was at Columbia was he discovered and signed the comedy group The Firesign Theatre. Gary Usher continued to produce occasionally but not all that successfully until his death on May 25, 1990 at age 51. Here's a video for My World Fell Down by Sagittarius.