"The Path Not Taken, 1958"


In (roughly) 1958, I imagined a singing career. Musical comedy, I thought.
At the time, my roommate* was in a circle of mainly classical musicians in and around West Los Angeles, UCLA, etc.

Sleepwalking is the best way to describe my career intensity. Somewhere in there,
two guys aspiring to careers in the music world -- John Neufeld and Armin Steiner -- asked me if I would come record a couple of songs.

They were both testing their chops. Armin was testing the recording studio he had developed in the bedroom above his parents’ garage.
John wrote arrangements for two songs I liked to sing. John’s dad was a violinist with one of the Hollywood movie studios.
John used his dad’s connections to assemble a group of professional musicians – at least one of them – the cellist-- from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
John says they all performed for the fun of it. I remembered the event fondly.

Recently, in a life review mode typical of those of us in our 70’s, I asked Dan Brodsley* if he was ever in touch with John Neufeld
and if he would inquire about the recordings done that day.

Dan called John, who was cleaning up his garage at the time. On the telephone, John said “...hold on a second...oh yeah, here it is.”

In subsequent conversations with me, John allowed as how—at the time – he knew nothing about what to do with the results and called on Ami Hadani (http://movies.nytimes.com/person/836196/Ami-Hadani), then of TTG, to make it sound right.

I am pleased to have retrieved and can share this event from the path not taken.

“That” Russ Ellis sings:


Composers: Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke

Arranged and conducted by John Neufeld

I’m Glad There Is You

Composers: Jimmy Dorsey/Paul Madeira
Arranged and conducted by John Neufeld