Goldmine spoke with singer-songwriter Jack Tempchin, known as the writer or co-writer of hit singles for the Eagles, Glenn Frey, and Johnny Rivers, about his new 10-song CD, spanning his career, with his versions of the hits and rarities.
By Warren Kurtz
Win an autographed copy of the CD – see below for details.
GOLDMINE: Nine out of 10 songs on the album have a connection to the Eagles or Glenn Frey, but on the one that isn’t, you are joined by a classy singer who will be making her Blue Elan label debut early next year, Rita Coolidge.
JACK TEMPCHIN: I’ve always admired Rita and read her autobiography recently. It is tough to make an album of your hits, as people know and love a song one way and you don’t want to deviate too much from that. Johnny Rivers reached the Top 10 with “Slow Dancing” in 1977, delivered in his relaxed style. I honored that feeling but turned it into a duet. In order to figure out how to do that I listened to the Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes duet, “Up Where We Belong,” and then it clicked for me. I re-recorded it to get us in the same key. Rita has a huge, fabulous voice, and she is so nice too.
GM: In keeping songs true to the original version, I love Jerry Peterson’s sax on “The One You Love” and on the bonus track “I Found Somebody.” I first became aware of him on Olivia Newton-John’s “Totally Hot” album in 1978, a year after her “Making a Good Thing Better” album contained her version of “Slow Dancing.”
JT: I had used Jerry before. He has his own studio and has done a lot of work with Delbert McClinton. His nickname is “Double Sax” because he can play two saxophones at once and make it sound great too.
GM: Another guest who caught my ear was Janiva Magness on one of my favorite Glenn Frey flip sides, “Soul Searchin’,” and on the bonus track “I Found Somebody.”
JT: We met due to being on the same label. Blue Elan’s president, Kirk Pasich, suggested her. I watched her perform at the Belly Up and was so impressed. Her vocal delivery captures an authentic blues style.
GM: After hearing the Eagles and Wilson Phillips perform “Already Gone” for years, your “woo hoo” sounds so authentic. I finally understand what you were trying to convey.
JT: I’ve always done it that way. The trick was trying to come up with something a bit different for the song. I was fortunate to be able to bring in my friends Herb Pederson on guitar and dobro and Chris Hillman on mandolin and bass for both that song and the album closer “It’s Your World Now.” That last song was also the final number on the Eagles last album, “Long Road Out of Eden,” which also contains my song “Somebody.” I have redone that one too as one of the four bonus tracks on the new album. Hearing Chris on bass was great. I have to credit David Crosby indirectly for that. Chris wasn’t a bass player until he became a founding member in the Byrds. David wanted Chris in the group. “We’re starting a rock and roll band,” David told Chris. Then he asked him, “Do you play bass?” Chris said that he didn’t and then David said, “Well, you do now.”
GM: In May, at the Country 500 music festival here in Daytona Beach, one of the acts on the main stage was Hank Williams, Jr. You certainly captured his power, spirit and humor on “Privacy” with the couplet “They store it on a chip. It don’t cost ‘em zip” and with Joel Piper’s electric guitar.
JT: Hank Jr. Thanks. Well, I’m in good company. There are two songs on the album that I wrote with Glenn which never got recorded by him, “Privacy” and “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody Tonight.” That one is an alternative to “Heartache Tonight,” I guess, a real tribute to the audience and having a good crowd to feed off each other’s energy. The guitars are more rock on these songs and on “Party Town,” a bit more ZZ Top-like. Although “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody” was never an Eagles or a Glenn Frey recording, a person who was a close friend and neighbor of mine recorded it, Candye Kane. She was like a musicologist. She knew so much. She was an activist and toured the world. She died a from cancer last year, just a few months after Glenn passed.
GM: Last year you gave Goldmine the photo of you and Glenn in your “No Fun Aloud” t-shirts for our memorial on Glenn. On your new album, the two of you were all dressed up in the photo.
JT: Now you have seen both photos of Glenn and me. I knew him for 46 years and there are only two photos of us. We didn’t carry cellphones with cameras back then like everyone does now. This one is from the USC Thornton School of Music’s Charles Dickens Dinner. Glenn was active in the music department there. Glenn spoke and I was his guest.
GM: Your album contains a slowed down version of one of Glenn’s final singles, “Part of Me, Part of You,” immediately after the opening number, “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” with Joel amazingly providing all the background vocals in harmony. Congratulations on the big “45” anniversary. In December, when we do the contest winners drawing, it will be the 45th anniversary of the release of the “Peaceful Easy Feeling” 45.
JT: Thank you and Goldmine again for all your help in promoting my music. What a way to celebrate!
To win an autographed copy of the “Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin” CD, all you have to do is put your email address in the box below by December 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. You will immediately be entered in the Giveaway and as a bonus you will receive Goldmine’s informative weekly eNewsletter (collecting news/tips and exclusive articles and interviews with your favorite classic artists). We will randomly draw a winner from the entrants. We have two (2) autographed CDs to give away, so your chances are doubled.
For more information go to: www.jacktempchin.com