Cass As Producer

Cass Elliot achieved many "firsts" as a trailblazing woman in Rock music in the 1960's.  She was the first major female rock star to play Las Vegas, she was the first female artist to be the subject of a Rolling Stone "Interview."

One area in which she also struck primacy was that of production.  Cass Elliot produced no less than four different acts' recordings, during the late 1960's. The groups were as different as her own taste in music.  No other woman in rock was working in production in 1967-68 when these endeavors began.

With Chuck Britz at a 3's A Crowd recording sessionIn 1967, Cass produced an album by the group "3's A Crowd" on the Dunhill label called 'Christopher's Movie Matinee', which was a sort of Canadian "Spanky & Our Gang."  That same year she produced a single by "The New Phoenix" which was comprised of the guys who played in "The Hard Times,'" and namely, close Cass associate Lee Kiefer played in this band.  The songs on the single: Give To Me Your Love/Thanks are now available on CD.  Their music was more lite-psychedelia

Shortly thereafter, Cass produced a single for Roberta Sherwood on Dunhill with the songs, "I Taught Him Everything He Knows" and "His Is A World I Can't Live In."  Roberta Sherwood was a tremendous nightclub personality who had begun in Miami and then, after being discovered by Bing Crosby, became a television favorite and acclaimed torch song singer.  This material was country tinged pop and a real pointer to the "middle of the road" music that Cass loved.

Babylon single by the Organ GrindersCass also produced a single by The Organ Grinders on Smash Records in 1969.  Zany and fairly psychedelic, "Babylon" and "Precious Time" are whimsical tunes by this group which hailed from Baltimore and "camped out" at Cass' house, and she landed them a recording deal, while they were making their way.

Cass' final studio album from the summer of 1972, "The Road Is No Place For A Lady," is a recording with much of Cass' influence in the production.  She worked with Lewis Merenstein, the record's producer, and brought a great deal of her own creativity and ideas to those tracks.

The variety of this material, couple with actual accounts of Cass being in the studio and involved with the process, confirms that these production credits were not just in name.

If you know more about any of these records or Cass' involvement, we are constantly compiling further history about this part of her professional life.

Copyright 2004 - Richard Barton Campbell.  All Rights Reserved.

"3's A Crowd" photo courtesy of Richard Patterson.