Recording the "Coral" Sound?
Q: WAYNE (Joni James Fan Club President, Illinois): I always thought the Coral sound suited you perfectly. The big bands, the use of strings, the interesting figures and punctuation devices in the arrangements and that crisp, vivid sound were distinct, and also markedly different from the sound on Decca, Coral’s mother label. My question is, who was responsible for the sound on those records and where were they recorded? I’m sure you agree all the music and your records have stood the test of time and still sound alive and vibrant.
A: TERESA: “All the Coral material was recorded in their studios on West 57th Street in New York City. Bob (Thiele) used to say that Coral had the best state-of-the-art recording equipment in the industry – better even than the so-called big-three labels. A lot of the credit, of course, goes to the arrangers/orchestra leaders. In my case that would be Jack Pleis for the early Coral songs and Dick Jacobs for the later ones. Jack used a lot of horns and wind instruments while Dick added strings and choral accompaniment. Bob, as artists-and-repertoire man, brought everything together. It was a group effort that made the sound so successful and enduring. (How is Joni doing? She and I both recorded ‘How Important Can It Be?’ Sarah Vaughan did, too, but it was Joni’s beautiful version that was the big, big hit.)”
Additional note: Joni James’ version of the song reached #2 on the Billboard charts and was a certified million-seller. “How Important Can It Be?” by Teresa was coupled with “Pledging My Love” and that record was one of Teresa’s two-sided hits. Others include “Bell Bottom Blues”/“Our Heartbreaking Waltz,” “A Tear Fell”/“Bo Weevil” and “Mutual Admiration Society”/“Crazy with Love.” (Source: Joel Whitburn’s "Billboard Top Pop Singles.")
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