Sunday, March 22, 2015

Kama Sutra Records: Put Your Hand In The Hand

For our fourth week label feature, I’ve decided upon Kama Sutra Records. With the aid of Art Kass, Kama Sutra Productions entered the recording business in 1964. The label was distributed by MGM Records until it joined with Buddah Records in 1969, which was owned by the same principals.

Although founded in 1967, Buddah began handing the distribution of Kama Sutra and a number of other labels in 1969. The last release with the Kama Sutra imprint was issued in 1976. This week, we’ll look at the 11-year run at this classic independent label.


For our first song on Kama Sutra, we head back to 1971 when the Canadian gospel rock band Ocean released their debut single: “Put Your Hand in the Hand.” Written by fellow Canadian Gene MacLellan, “Put Your Hand in the Hand” was first recorded by another Canadian, Anne Murray, who released the song on her third LP for Capitol, “Honey, Wheat, and Laughter.” Her previous hit single “Snowbird” had also been penned by MacLellan.

Initially, “Put Your Hand in the Hand’ was not released as a single by Anne Murray. Capitol saw the potential for this song, and in late 1970, country artist Beth Moore released the first single featuring the tune. Her version failed to make a dent in the country charts with a dismal showing at #61. Thinking that perhaps Murray could do better, Capitol released Murray’s version of the single in the US, but not in her native Canada. Murray’s stab did worse, as it peaked at #67 on the country charts.

With two failures with MacLellan’s tune, Ocean tried their hand (get the pun) at the tune and had a colossal hit. While it peaked in Canada at #10 on the Yorkville label, “Put Your Hand in the Hand” was a Top 5 hit in the US for Kama Sutra. While it topped the charts in Record World (remember this trade publication?), it additionally charted at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and at #4 on the A/C charts. With the exposure of Ocean’s version of the tune, a number of other artists also recorded this now classic.




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