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Old 02.01.2011, 01:43
Arisin Wind Arisin Wind is offline
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Default Russ Gary - Part 2

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In March, CCR booked time for a test recording in Studio C. I was nervous about recording such a big act and was wondering how I would set up the band in the studio to achieve optimal results. On recording day, the roadies began setting up the band’s equipment without discussing it with me. I asked about it and was told, “This is the way we did at RCA.” The band bounded in and we quickly recorded two instrumentals. From then on, that set-up for recording rhythm sections has served me well.

In May, CCR returned to Studio C and recorded the single “Green River” B/W “Commotion.” The studio and I had passed the band’s earlier audition. Tracking went smoothly, but when it was time to record vocals, none of the condenser microphones in the locker complimented John Fogerty’s voice. I tried them all, and a Shure SM 56 became the eventual choice. The microphone also befitted the Sun Records mood of the two songs. Following that vocal session, Wally brought in some Neumann U47′s from LA. I used them to record Fogerty’s vocals thereafter.

CCR returned in July and we completed the Green River album in Studio C.

CCR returned to Studio C and we made the album, “Willy And The Poor Boys.”

In January 1970, with Wilbert Harrison and Booker T. And The MGs opening for them, CCR played a homecoming concert in the Oakland Coliseum and asked me to record the performance. Wally provided the remote truck with one 3M eight-track recorder. Henry Saskowski was my assistant. National General Corporation filmed the show for a future TV broadcast.

CCR recorded “45 Revolutions Per Minute,” in Studio A. It was a wacky promo single thanking DJ’s for playing their records. It was the only time CCR recorded in Studio A.

CCR and I reconvened in Studio C to make “Cosmo’s Factory,” possibly the band’s most acclaimed album. I was impressed how prepared the group was in the studio, never taking more than a few weeks to record and mix their albums. We were working days and Fred Catero was recording Santana in the evening.

One of the perks of working for Wally was that he allowed the staff gratis use of the studios if they were not booked. During these periods I produced an album by Redwing, a Sacramento group that was signed by Fantasy, and co-produced two albums with Russell DaShiell for his band, Crowfoot. I also produced recordings for Gideon Daniels and his group, Power.

In November 1970, CCR booked a full month in Studio C to record “Pendulum.” This time, the other band members participated more and attended all of the sessions. While not in the booth for mixing, they would come in for playbacks. After the record was released, Tom Fogerty left the band.

In June of 1971 and now a trio, CCR wanted to record their single, “Sweet Hitch-Hiker b/w “Door To Door.” Studio C was booked and for the first time the band recorded live in Studio D. Tracking and instrument overdubs for both songs went smoothly. Mixes were made and the single was finished in one session. There would be no more live CCR recordings made at Wally’s.

Fantasy was building new offices and studios across the bay in Berkeley and had contracted Frank DeMedio to build the console for their first of two studios. The control room was not unlike Heider control rooms, the biggest difference being the Fantasy console embodied API electronics.

In August 1971, I accepted a position producing and engineering Fantasy artists. Except for a few projects, however, I always returned to Wally’s for mixing. In September, CCR decided to record their European tour and Wally supplied a remote package that performed flawlessly throughout the thirty days of touring.
CCR Drummer Doug Clifford decided to record a solo album at the band’s Berkeley headquarters, “Cosmo’s Factory.” I hired Wally’s remote truck and the resulting sound was excellent. Afterwards, I founded DSR Productions with Doug and CCR bassist Stuart Cook. Frank DeMedio built a wonderful remote recording truck for us that is still in use today.

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