Friday, August 9, 2013

The Raiders: Terry's Tune

It’s Friday and it’s time for our weekly flipside feature. Today we feature an instrumental from The Raiders that appeared as the “B” side to their only #1 record: "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)." “Terry’s Tune” was composed by the band’s lead vocalist Mark Lindsey, and although I cannot find any definitive reference for the inspiration for the title, I believe it was named in honor of Terry Melcher.

Melcher, a Columbia record producer (and the son of Doris Day), helped redefine the sound of Paul Revere and The Raiders and produced most of their records. He was not, however, the producer of either “Indian Reservation” or “Terry’s Tune.” That honor fell to Mark Lindsey. The single was certified gold in 1971 and later was upgraded to platinum status in 1996.

“Terry’s Tune” liberally uses as organ with a Leslie rotating speaker and a guitar that appears to be equipped with a Parsons/White B-Bender. Invented by Gene Parsons for fellow Byrd Clarence White, the B-Bender was installed in a Fender Telecaster guitar and allowed the picker the opportunity to mimic a pedal steel guitar.

To accomplish this, two channels were routed into the body of the guitar. One in the instrument’s back housed the spring loaded mechanism. The other channel was routed on the top side of the guitar so the mechanism could be manipulated by pulling on the guitar’s strap. When the guitarist pulled the guitar down, the strap button connected to the mechanism changed the pitch of the B string up a semitone – perfect for suspended 4th chords – a neat invention to say the least.

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