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Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Friday, October 5, 2012

The Churchill Downs - The Churchill Downs (1967-68 us, marvelous psycedelic rock, 2011 Shadoks issue)

I wonder if there has ever, in history, been another album that took 43 years from completion to release. We want to thank Thomas Hartlage for discovering Churchill Downs (in 2010) and his persistence in making the release of this album possible. 

This album is truly dedicated to and honoring the memory of Clint and Lois Stovall whom without their undying love, support and direction to every member of The Churchill Downs...the making of this album would not have been possible. They were there every step of the way as their son, Gary, grew into a life of music. Along that path came so many young, talented musicians starting in Junior High School in the early 60's in Southern California. 

Two brothers, Al and Don Stigler recently settled in So, Cal from Massachusetts, when Gary and the brothers formed their first band. Skip ahead a few years, while playing an outdoor gig in Palm Springs, CA they met Dirk Acree and Don Adey playing together in another band and not long after they formed Churchill Downs. Deciding to expand on the basic guitar sound the guys brought in Mick Newton (keyboards) from a neighboring town. Now we have a complete group with four singers, two guitars, bass, electronic keyboards and, let's head to Hollywood. 

The band's manager Clint Stovall secured an audtion at Gazzari's on the strip in Hollywood CA which the band more than passed and immediately became one of the house bands. Clint was always looking for opportunities for his band and managed to bring the group to a producer he had met by the name of Gary Paxton. In 1967, this album got underway and by the end of 1968 the recordings were complete. It truly was unfortunate that this band and this album never wound up in the right hands. 

Members of Churchill Downs began to change with Don Adey leaving the group after the first two recordings. Then duty called as Al Stigler was drafted into service in March of 1968. That's when the newest member, Fred Darling, took over the drummer seat. The band continued to record and play the Hollwood circuit for the next five months until duty called again. Both Dirk and Fred were called into service in the Vietnam era. It was the end of the band which had turned heads round and round for almost two years in Hollywood. 

After so much time has elapsed since 1968 the release of this record is a complete treat for all to enjoy almost as much as the memories that have resurfaced from living the "groovey" years of Hollywood in the mid 1960's Peace and Love to everyone who finds their heads plugged into the Churchill Downs in this new millennium.
Groovey Baby !
Gary Dalton Stovall, April 2011

1. Don't Turn The Light Off (Dirk Acree, Don Adey) - 2:27
2. Little By Little (Gordon Mills) - 3:17
3. Rise And Shine (Robert Ogden Mudd) - 2:22
4. It's Only Just A Matter Of Time (Dirk Acree) - 3:02
5. I Can Hear A Sound (Dirk Acree, Gary Stovall) - 2:19
6. The Amazing Three (Dirk Acree, Gary Stovall) - 2:47
7. On My Way (Dirk Acree, Gary Stovall) - 3:14
8. I'm A Man (Jimmy Miller, Steve Winwood) - 2:52
9. Gotta Get Back To My Baby (Mark Traversino, Johnny Apollo) - 2:14
10. You're No Good (Clint Bollard Jr) - 2:32
11. Alfie (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) - 2:57
12. Dreams Do Come True (Dirk Acree, Gary Stovall) - 3:11
13. I'll Try Anything (Mark Barkan, Victor Millrose) - 3:29
14. Ostrich People (Kenneth Johnson, Jerry Ritchey) - 2:25
15. Let Me Make A Tear (Dirk Acree) - 3:28
16. My Mind Ain't Peculiar (Dirk Acree) - 3:12

The Churchill Downs 
1967 through March 1968 
(songs: 1, 2, 4, 7. 8, 10, 13, 15)
*Al Stigler - Drums
*Gary Dalton Stovall - Guitar, Vocals
*Dirk Acree - Bass, Vocals
*Don Adey - Guitar, Vocals
*Mick Newton - Keyboards, Vocals

April 1968 through July 1968
(songs: 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16)
*Fred Darling - Drums
*Gary Dalton Stovall - Guitar, Vocals
*Dirk Acree - Bass, Trumpet, Vocals
*Mick Newton - Keyboards, Vocals

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