Since his passing, Gene visits me via his music all the time, and usually at a moment where some sort of sign or message is desperately needed.
Today was no exception when I found this staring at me from the shelves of the Goodwill where I frequently dig for records.
Gene was somewhat ambivalent about his younger years and pop output at the beginning of his career. He felt that he was too much of a pawn and not enough of the artist he knew he was. I’d never fault him for feeling this way, especially after his personal experience through the meat grinder of the music industry. However, this belies the genius he exhibited on many of these early recordings. At a very young age, he was considered one of the finer interpreters of Burt Bacharach. That’s no small feat, considering the luminaries who have tried on his songs for themselves.
“Spanish Lace” was first released in 1962 by Liberty Records, Gene’s label through this time in his career. The single features the famed Johnny Mann Singers, and unfortunately failed to move any further up the Billboard charts than #31.
Thanks, as always, Gene… you always pick great moments to visit.