I have a few Trini Lopez album entries on this blog. Check them out for biographical details of the vastly underrated Trini Lopez.
In 1962 Trini hit it big doing occasional originals and many covers all transformed to fit his sound, to which I have said before:
"Trini's go-go guitar sound which was part rock n roll, part pop, and all California… His audience wanted to dance to songs they knew but with a beat that didn't require them to change their dance moves".
For a Mexican-American (a "Spanish-Americano" on the albums back sleeve) from Dallas, Trini had done good.
And, in 1966 there was no reason to change.
The 60s were a fertile and inventive time for music with dominant styles changing every couple of years (sometimes every year). Middle America however, then as now, once comfortable didn't budge as easily.
Trini's hip new sound (and he was at the front of the good time go go beat) was, by now, firmly entrenched in middle America's musical psyche.
With bankable sales, then, he wasn't about to change.
And, more power to him …listening to this music some 50 years later you can still hear the excitement in the voice of the poor kid who has done well.
The back sleeve under a banner of "The Excitement of Trini" refers succinctly and sharply on his rags to riches career and to his electrifying live show. And these two factor sum up Trini. This is the kid who escaped Dallas Saturday nights "throwing rocks at tractors" (according to the sleeve) for the fame and fortune of being a pop star.
Pop can be disposable and maybe this album is but in Trini I can hear the music of someone who has escaped his background and sings and plays guitar knowing that unless he gives100% he may return to a lifetime of Dallas Saturday nights where "Spanish-Americanos" are excluded from the fun.
Don Costa, arranged and produced the album and he, having worked with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett etc brings a more rounded trad pop sound. The guitar keeps the rhythm but the beat is punctuated by horns which are everywhere.
Costa has to make sure that the "older crowd" are hooked also.
Costa, also, probably, influences the song selection. There are the usual pop hits of the day ("Yesterday", Baby the Rain Must Fall" ) but there is also the MOR standards ,both recent standards and new songs destined to become future MOR standards ("Fly Me to the Moon", "The Shadow of Your Smile", "One of those Songs" etc).
The sound isn't Trini doing go-go music fro the 20 somethings or even the 30 somethings but rather go-go for the over 40s …and by that I mean over 40s in 1966.
Tracks (best in italics)
- Fly Me To The Moon – (Bart Howard) – I love this song in all it's incarnations but I'm particularly fond of Bobby Darin's 1963 version or Sinatra's 1964 version. . Here Trini has given it beat and changed it's meaning. The ethereal romantic quality of the song is no longer there but the rhythm and lyric still make it catchy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_Me_to_the_Moon
- I Will Wait For You – (Legrand – Gimbel) – from the film "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (1964) which was a popular French film that had art house come popular success in the United States. The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song at the 38th Academy Awards held in 1966. Again, this has been done by everyone including Sinatra and Darin, again. Trini does well on the this ballad. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Will_Wait_for_You
- Baby, The Rain Must Fall – (Bernstein-Sheldon) – from the great Robert Mulligan film starring Steve McQueen, Don Murray and Lee Remick, "Baby the Rain Must Fall" (1965), Glenn Yarbrough provided the vocal for the song in the film and it went to #12 on the Charts in the US (1965). Trini's version is suitably energetic and the song is a good one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_the_Rain_Must_Fall_(song)
- If You Were Me – (Marcellno – Greenbach) – I don't know much about this song's pedigree but drummer Jack Greenbach, wrote this with Jerry Marcellino, who later wrote and produced records for Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five. There is some nice guitar in the break.
- Call Me – (Tony Hatch) – English pop singer Petula Clark recorded this in early 1965. Trini's fellow American Latin Chris Montez released a cover in late 1965 which peaked on the Easy Listening chart at #2 and on the Hot 100 at #22 in the US in early 1966. There have been many other versions. Trini's version is suitably brezzy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_Me_(Petula_Clark_song)
- I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Someday – (Bartholomew-Hayes) – a rock n roll standard written by Fats Domino and Bartholomew and Hayes. The song was first recorded by Bobby Mitchell & The Toppers (1957) but subsequently recorded by Fats and everyone else. This doesnt fit in with the other songs on the album and was, I would think, a song Trini would have been playing in the late 50s around Texas.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_Gonna_Be_a_Wheel_Someday
- I'm Comin' Home, Cindy (Lopez – Zeller) – I don't know much about Phil Zeller (though, clearly, he's not the metal musician that comes up when you google.). He seems to have been a songwriter who worked with Sinatra. He did quit a few co-writes with Trini over a number of albums. The song seems to be a variation on the traditional country folk "Cindy Cindy" songs. In melody it's a throwback to rock n roll (which seems to be the style Lopez most often writes in) with horns added over the top. Not entirely successful but not bad either.
- The Shadow Of Your Smile – (Mandel – Webster) from the film "The Sandpiper" (1965). The song won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year and the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 2004 the song finished at #77 in AFI's "100 Years…100 Songs" poll of the top tunes from American cinema. Again, it was recorded by everyone and, yet again, I'm most familiar with the Bobby Darin (1965) and Frank Sinatra versions (1966). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow_of_Your_Smile
Trini's Tune – (Lopez – Kusik) – Larry Kusick was another 60s songwriter and Trini has teamed up with him on this novelty tune. Trini extols the virtues of Trini's music! This is naff but it's catchy in a totally
MORprime time TV special way.
The 32nd Of May – (Ahlert – Snyder ) – June Ahlert and Eddie Snyder were more
MORtrad pop writers in the 60s and that's what this song is.
- Yesterday – (Lennon McCartney) – is this the most covered Lennon – McCartney tune? The Beatles had a #1 with it in 1965. Everyone has done it. I'm partial to the Elvis cover (1969) but this version is quite good in a bompy, slick way, though the song itself is pure tin pan alley. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yesterday_(Beatles_song)
- One Of Those Songs Holt – (Calvi – Holt) – One of those songs aka "Le bal de Madame de Mortemouille" was a song by French composer Gerard Calvi (English lyric by Will Holt). It dates back to 1958 and perhaps a show or film score Calvi was working on. I don't know who did the first English version but Jimmy Durante recorded it in 1966 as did Brenda Lee and Max Bygraves (in England). This is music hall which doesnt work with trini's style.
Pass me a fruit cocktail with an extra big umbrella and get me my slippers … I'm keeping it.
1966 I'm Comin' Home, Cindy Adult Contemporary #2
1966 I'm Comin' Home, Cindy The Billboard Hot 100 #39
1966 I'm Comin' Home, Cindy Cindy #28
Baby, The Rain Must Fall
Trini live in the 60s
Live in 2014
- Guitar wankers look here ….. Such was Trini's 60s popularity that Gibson put out a signature guitar.http://www.vintageguitar.com/3400/gibson-trini-lopez/