[The following is excerpted from “Friday – Skip Birong’s Musical Story”, which may be found in its entirety on the Bookshelf in Days Seven.]
The “Skip Birong” album cover was created in pen and ink by Terry Barckholtz from the publicity photo above. Terry, who is the founder and current president and CEO of the Barckholtz Group in Saginaw, Michigan, was part owner of PDM Design in that same city back in the mid-seventies when I played a really posh restaurant there. He and his partner needed an instrumental soundtrack for a marketing film they were producing, and I needed an album cover. Thus, my first “trade-out.” And the cover ended up being printed in black and white, whereas the original artwork included green and yellow print for the name. Couldn’t afford the color print.
The album was produced by Ray Lynn and me at the Warehouse Studio in Jacksonville, Florida in 1976, and took about two months to complete. All of the songs are registered with BMI and are originals by me except Dammit (Mike Peyton), Sportin’ Life Blues (Sebastian, Yahowski and Butler), and Dreamin‘ (which I co-wrote with Doug Pike). The first cut of each side was fully produced, including strings and brass. Side A was contemporary, pop-oriented, and side B was country-oriented. I had intended to use the album not only to sell off the “back of the truck,” as it was called in those days, in order to earn the money to repay the loan I had to get in order to produce it, but also as a demo album for other opportunities which I hoped might come up from time to time. The songs can be downloaded from the “The Songs” link on the post above.
Scroll down to see some more pics from those days…Oh, by the way, yeah, that’s naturally curly hair.