Every Bit A Lady [The Making of Look My Way]
by Scott Turner,
Producer of the album
I received a call from Bill Loeb, Rosie's manager, asking if I
would be interested in producing a Nashville session on Rosemary. Since I had
just become independent production-wise, I jumped at the chance.
I met Rosemary when I was Guy Mitchell's musical director and guitarist, and
she was most pleasant to both of us. I called Ray Warren, the U.S. label head
for the sessions, and asked him what direction they wanted me to take
material-wise, and Ray stated that she would like to do some country-oriented
material. Then it hit me - Rosemary had done some country crossover songs
earlier in her career, one of them being the Acuff-Rose song "Half As Much". I
then talked to Rosemary to see how she felt about doing some pure country songs
and she said, "I'd love it!" Little did I know that she was raised in [Maysville],
Kentucky and she grew up listening to country radio.
When she came into Nashville with Bill Loeb and her then boyfriend Dante
(they married years later), I had a stack of songs chosen for her to go
through and she seemed to love them all. So we had to narrow it down to ten. The
first two she chose were songs written by Waylon Jennings' wife Jesse Colter -
"I'm Not Lisa" and "Storms Never Last". Another song she wanted to do was Paul
Simon's "Twas A Sunny Day" which fit the concept perfectly.
When we went in the studio, Rosemary was very cordial towards the musicians
and vice-versa. In fact, they actually talked her into recutting "Half As Much"
and she obliged to a standing ovation after the playback.
Dante, her boyfriend, was the lead dancer in a motion picture titled "Seven
Brides For Seven Brothers" so I suggested that he do a soft-shoe during the
instrumental break on a song titled "Look My Way". It took some urging, but he
finally conceded so I sprinkled some salt on the studio floor and he danced in
tempo, to Rosie's delight.
The sessions were among the easiest I had ever done all due to Rosie's
radiant personality and preparation. The project came out on United Artists/U.K.
and Billboard gave it a great review. I still have the thank you note Rosemary
sent to me and she also wrote letters to every musician. She was "every bit a lady".
[Scott Turner, was born Graham Morrison Turnbull in Sydney, Nova Scotia
and died at the age of 77 in 2009]