In 1966, two talented teenagers from Canada: Dan Yard and Terry Robotham, walked into my office with some “demo” recordings of songs they had written for their group, The Unforscene. I signed them immediately. I was able to get them a deal with Mike Curb’s new label, Sidewalk Records. Bob Summers and I did a recording session with some of the best original songs I had heard in a long time. The label was really excited about the group but at the last minute Mike asked us to do a new version of Danny Hutton’s hit “Roses and Rainbows” (Danny would go on to be one of the founding members of Three Dog Night). The world, unfortunately, wasn’t ready for the song again. Sidewalk did release a second record of one of their original songs but the initial excitement was gone and I got the rights back.
I still believed in the group and went back in the studio with Larry Brown and we produced several new songs, including “These Are The Words”. I released the single on my own independent label, Momentum Records on the West Coast and in Canada, hoping to generate some excitement and place them with a major label. It wasn’t to be and the record and label moved on to the big record warehouse in the sky…or so I thought.
Five years ago when I started writing my book, I reconnected with Terry Robotham. Recently, I sent him a copy. Just for fun, I went to youtube and found the song. One version has a picture of the group and the other is from a compilation of “timeless U.S pop delights”. I’ve posted the latter because the first sounds a little fast. The whole point of this is that I was floored by this commentary under the picture of the group, “The Mods got a recording contract in LA and changed their name to The Unforscene. They recorded the single “These Are The Words” which made it to #1 on the Canadian charts”….this was news to me.
I know news traveled much slower before the internet…but I didn’t realize it could take 51 years!