Nordhoff Gold’n’Blue Singers – Take I (Two:Dot)
If you’re not familiar with Ojai’s venerable studio / “private press” label Two:Dot, you should quickly become familiar. Some of the most sought-after private press LP from the West Coast were recorded at Two:Dot, including Arthur’s one-sided downer-folk grail The End Is The Beginning, the Hendrickson Road House record, the Mystic Zephyrs 4 album Maybe, the Jimmy Callahan record Songs To H.E.A.R., the wildly overrated (and overpriced) Milton Kelley’s Home Brew, and many more. I’ve watched through the years as the Discography for Two:Dot has been modernized online, and it’s STILL missing a bunch of recordings. Like this one, for example.
The liner notes on the back cover state:
The Gold’N’Blue Singers are all members of the Nordhoff High School Student Body of Ojai, California with 1969-1970 being the second year the organization has been together. In their two years of existence, the group has performed for nearly all the service clubs in the beautiful Ojai Valley, done full concert performances and participated in all the Nordhoff Band Department’s formal concerts. The singers have rehearsed daily after school hours, in order to achieve their blend and maintain their “performance-readiness.”
The group is composed of three sopranos: Cathy Ellison, Jody Smith, and Chris Tempske; two altos: Susie Hall and Candy Mckenna; one tenor: Dave Clark; and two basses: Steve Stanley and Ken Vadnais. Chris Tempske is the soloist on “Tiny Sparrow” and “Old Coat”; Jody Smith sings “Jet Plane” and in the middle of “Sunny” and Cathy Ellison does the flute work on “Witchita Lineman.”
Accompaniment for the group is done by Bob Nichols, percussion; Chris German on string bass, and Don Wade playing guitar.
The Nordhoff Band Department proudly presents the Gold’N’Blue Singers Volume I.
This album wandered into the store one day a couple years ago, and lo-and-behold it turned out I knew someone who played on this recording! When informed that the album had surfaced, I was treated to a little show-and-tell that included a mini treasure trove of Two:Dot ephemera. “You realize this is Volume One, right?” I was asked. “I bet you never expected they made a Volume Two!”
I’m not gonna lie. It was more than a little bit shocking. In the span of a few months, I’d learned about two new undocumented Two:Dot albums! But the former Nordhoff High School student wasn’t done yet. Check this one out:
And the Ojai native wasn’t done yet. There was a third undocumented record tucked into an LP mailer along with the above two. It included recordings by the Nordhoff High School’s Gold’N’Blue Singers and others, although the album was attributed to the Altrusa Club Of Ojai, California’s “1969 Altrusa Youth Players.”
Lastly, perhaps the coolest bit of Two:Dot ephemera shared with me that day was a reel of 7-1/2″ analog tape with three songs that didn’t sync-up with any of these newly discovered LPs. More Gold’N’Blue Singers material? Something entirely different? Who knows?!
I thought showing a former Nordhoff High School student a copy of their own record might make for a fun little surprise. As it turned out, I was the one who ended up being surprised. There are more Two:Dot records out there than I knew! And as far as I can tell all three of these are absent from the multiple label discographies one can find online. It’s crazy to think that for all the sleuths and diggers out there hunting for collectible vinyl like the rare Two:Dot records, these three albums (plus one tape) were previously undocumented! As shocking as that is, it’s also super exciting. If three albums from a record label many collectors are hunting for can slip through the cracks for four or five decades…who the hell knows what else is out there waiting to be discovered?
Nordhoff Gold’n’Blue Singers
Two:Dot HRH-72670 (1972)
MediaFire DL Link
01. World I Used To Know
02. Sounds Of Silence [MP3]
04. Wichita Lineman
05. Tiny Sparrow
06. There’s A Meetin’ Here Tonight
07. Leavin’ On A Jet Plane
09. A Soalin’
10. Old Coat
11. Wagoner’s Lad
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