Vicki Lawrence Discography
Vicki Lawrence Discography
Vicki Lawrence has had a much bigger singing career than most people realize. Vicki started recording in mid 1969. Her first single was "And I'll Go" b/w "The Whole State of Alabama" on Elf Records, which was marketed by BELL Records. The single was issued in summer of 1969 and it received moderate air-play. The "A" side made it to the charts, but not for long and unfortunately was not able to reach a very high position. What it did do, was prove that Vicki Lawrence could sing and could chart a single. Vicki was not just a television performer any longer, she had established herself as a singer. With Vicki's next single she had moved to United Artists Records and released the single "No, No" b/w "Lincoln Street Chapel" and it also made the charts for a brief time in June 1970. This single is extremely hard to find and usually brings in good money for a decent used copy. Vicki was also featured on the original soundtrack LP "The Grasshopper." Which was was released by National General Records (NG 1001) in 1970. The song she sings is called "Used to Be." But Vicki's break-out song was yet to come.
Though a 1973 hit, Vicki's "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" single was actually first issued on Friday, November 4, 1972- just a week and a half after being recorded. Subsequent copies were pressed in 1973 as well to keep up with sales demand. So you can find two different copyright years on the single - 1972 and 1973. By Monday, April 3, 1973 it earned gold status for sales of over 1 million copies. It went to # 1 for 2 weeks starting the week of April 7, 1973 and the song stayed on the charts a total of 20 weeks. Vicki's LP of "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" was then issued on Friday, April 21, 1973. The LP rose to # 51 on the best selling LP charts in 1973. Vicki's next single off the LP was "He Did With Me" (BELL-45362) which also entered the charts in mid 1973 in the US and went to # 1 on the Australian Charts.
All the instrumental tracks for the album were recorded in one day long session at United Western Studios, studio B located at 6050 Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, California. The sessions were recorded using an Ampex MM-1000 16 track machine recording the 2" wide tape at 15 inches per second on Monday, October 24, 1972 with 21 musicians and a backvocal group. Vicki went to the same studio two days later, on Wednesday, October 26, 1972 and over-dubbed all her lead vocal and harmony vocal tracks for the album. Vicki's voice was so good that she only needed one or two takes for each song to get the take her producer wanted. Vicki's entire vocal over-dub session took around 4 hours and the instrumental track session took about 7 hours of studio time according to BELL Records archive notes. The single eventually sold more than 3 million+ copies in the US and probably close to 7 million world wide. The sessions were produced by Snuff Garrett.
Vicki's next LP "Ships in the Night" was issued in Australia, Europe and Asia on Stateside/EMI Records and enjoyed a very limited pressing. The LP was recorded as the follow up to Vicki's smash 1973 hit LP. It was also recorded at United Western Studios. This project was also produced by Snuff Garrett and arranged by Al Capps. The album was going to be issued by BELL Records in the US on the 3rd of June 1974, but was held back due to BELL Records being phased out and sold to another label (ARISTA). The album was then shelved and was never pressed on vinyl for a US release. The single "Ships in the Night" was the last record ever issued on Stateside Records in mid 1974 before the company went out of business. The same single was issued in the US on May 5, 1974 on BELL Records (# 45409) and backed with "Sensual Man" from Vicki's first LP just before the final sale of BELL to ARISTA records.
Most of the material for the "Ships in the Night" album was recorded over two months time, mostly in March through April of 1974 according to ARISTA master tape archives, unlike Vicki's first LP which was put together over the course of two days in October of 1972. Some songs on the Ships LP were recorded during the "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" album session, such as the title cut- "Ships in the Night."
It's common for singers to "over record" songs during the recording of an album. Those extra songs are usually issued on the flip side of a single, as was the case for Vicki's 1974 EMI UK single. It contained "Old Home Movies" on side "A" backed with "The Light On The Back Porch Door." The "B" side came from the Ships album while the "A" side was a song recorded during the album sessions, yet it was not issued on the LP. Then the rest of the extra songs can be issued on the singers next LP or simply left in the master tape vault, never to be heard except by those present at the sessions. The "Ships in the Night" LP would be the most difficult to find of Vicki's 3 LPs.
After the "Ships in the Night" LP was shelved by BELL Vicki continued to scout other labels. She signed with Private Stock Records (who also had David Soul as an artist with the hit "Don't Give Up On Us Baby.") and began recording for them with Snuff Garrett again acting as producer on all but one of the singles. The single "There's A Gun Still Smokin' In Nashville" had been produced by Al Capps. During 1975 and 1976 Vicki released a number of singles for Private Stock. There is a rumor that Vicki cut an album for Private Stock, but the company went out of business before it could be packaged for sale in any country. Yet another blow to fans of Vicki's recorded work. Also when the owner of Private Stock Records passed away in 1983, all the master tapes produced for the label were simply tossed out!
Not one to be discouraged, Vicki tried her hand at disco in 1979 with her third LP "Newborn Woman." The album was issued on Windmill Records and produced by Al Capps who had previously produced Vicki as well as write "Mama's Gonna Make It All Better" in 1974. Unfortunately for fans of Vicki, the LP did not get much promotion since it was issued about a year after The Carol Burnett Show ended. I feel the effort was a valid one. The sessions produced a very good album that should have been pushed harder to the radio stations and dance clubs. I had no idea Vicki had even released an LP back in 1979, or I would have gone out of my way to find it! The good news is that the LP appears on ebay from time to time for those looking for it. I did see Vicki perform the song "Your Lies" from the Newborn Woman album on a TV show back in 1979. It may have been from "Paul Lynde Goes Mad" which Vicki taped in Utah at Osmond Studios with Marie Osmond and Charo as the other two guests on Paul's TV special.
None of Vicki's 3 LP's have been legitimately issued on CD as of 2005. The song "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" has been reissued on various compilation LPs in the 1970s and on CDs of hit '70's music in the 80s and 90s. BELL Records is now owned by ARISTA Records. Windmill Records was a small indie label in Los Angeles that is no longer in business. Vicki's first and second LP's were produced by Snuff Garrett who also produced Cher's early to mid 1970s LPs and at least one LP by singers Carol Chase, Liza Minnelli and Greek singer Nana Mouskouri. Snuff Garrett produced most of his recordings at United Western Studios, Studio "B" in Hollywood, California.
"The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia"
(BELL-1120) ©1973 BELL Records.
Produced By Snuff Garrett
(Released: 4-21-73 / Chart Position #51)
The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia / Mr. Allison / Killing Me Softly With His Song / Sensual Man / Little Green Apples / He Did With Me / (For A While) We Helped Each Other Out / It Could Have Been Me / Dime A Dance / Gypsies Tramps And Thieves / How You Gonna Stand It
"Ships In The Night"
(SOSL-10106) ©1974 EMI/Stateside Records.
Produced By Snuff Garrett
(Released: 1974 / Chart Position: ?)
Mama's Gonna Make it all Better / Who Broke Your Heart and Made You Write That Song / In Another Woman's Arms / Take Me to Heaven / Cameo / Ships in the Night / Funny Girl / Makin' Love in my Mind / Who Do I Call When I Need You / The Light on the Back Porch Door / You Are The Sunshine of my Life
Below: World Record Club Edition of the "Ships in the Night" LP. Mail Order Only.
See photo gallery for scans of the record label.
(WMR-L26) ©1979 Windmill Records.
Produced By Al Capps
(Released: 1979 / Chart Position: ?)
Don't Stop The Music / It's Always Been You / Midnight Robbery / Never Gonna Let You Go / Star Love / Your Lies / Baby When You're Near Me / Just One Time / Newborn Woman
Autographed by Vicki on November 30, 2002 in Las Vegas, NV.
United Western - Studio B ©1974
This is the studio Vicki cut her 1973 & 1974 albums in.
Below: Tracking Room
The 16 Track Recorder (below left)
used on Vicki's 1973 & 1974 LP's
Below: Control Room
Larrabee Sound Studios ©1979
This is the studio Vicki cut her 1979 Disco album in.
The control room window is to the right.
Though Vicki only had one major hit in her career, she continued to chart with each single release, but none, unfortunately, were able to chart as high as her 1972/1973 single.
"And I'll Go" (b/w) "The Whole State of Alabama"
(BELL-9307) ©1969 Elf/BELL Records.
"No, No," (b/w) "Lincoln Street Chapel"
(UA-50748) ©1970 United Artists Records.
"The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" (b/w) "Dime A Dance"
(BELL-45303) ©1972 BELL Records.
"He Did With Me" (b/w) "Mr. Allison"
(BELL-45362) ©1973 BELL Records.
"Ships in the Night" (b/w) "Sensual Man"
(BELL-45409) ©1974 BELL Records.
"Mama's Gonna Make It All Better" (b/w) "Cameo"
(BELL-45437) ©1974 BELL Records.
"Old Home Movies" (b/w) "The Light On The Back Porch Door"
(EMI INT 504) ©1974 EMI Records.
"The Other Woman" (b/w) "Cameo"
(PS-45036) ©1975 Private Stock Records.
The song Cameo here was the same track issued on BELL in 1974.
"There's A Gun Still Smokin' In Nashville" (b/w) Same title
(PS-45067) ©1976 Private Stock Records.
"The Other Man I've Been Slipping Around With" (b/w) "Love in the Hot Afternoon"
(PS-45121) ©1976 Private Stock Records.
"Hollywood Seven" (b/w) Same Title
(PS-1288) ©1976 Private Stock Records.
"Don't Stop The Music" (b/w) "Newborn Woman"
(WMR:LJ24) ©1979 Windmill Records.
"Your Lies" (b/w) "Star Love"
(WMR:LJ30) ©1979 Windmill Records.
Other artists who recored in the same studio Vicki made her 1973 & 1974 LP's in include Ray Charles' "I Can't Stop Loving You," The Beach Boy's "Good Vibrations," Frank Sinatra's "It Was A Very Good Year," The Mama's and Papas' "California Dreamin'," Lesley Gore's "California Nights" and "Magic Colors" LP's, Nancy Sinatra's "Boots" LP, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Rick Nelson, Johnny Mathis, Johnny Rivers, Herb Alpert, Barbra Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr. and numerous classics from Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton have been cut in United Western Studio B as well. Pop music from Tony Defranco was also cut there in 1973 & 1974. Olivia Newton-John recorded part of her "Making A Good Thing Better" LP live with the band in studio B. She cut the title track, "Ring of Fire" and "I Think I'll Say Goodbye" there on April 17, 1977. The recording studios scenes in the 1977 film You Light Up My Life were all filmed at United Western too. Quite a history in that recording studio!
This discography is not complete. Other titles will be added as they become known to the author of this page. You can help. If you have any single or album information, please send an email with the song titles of the single, record label, catalog # and year of release. I cannot place titles up without all this information. Thanks!
This entire web site and all contents copyright © 2002-2012 Daniel J. Selby.