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Don Julian And The Meadowlarks "Untrue" Dootone 359 A 1957
Here is Don Julian & his Meadowlarks with "Untrue." This was never released as a single, & there is no Dootone catalog number, but it sure sounds great. Enjoy!
Not exactly a one-hit wonder, the Meadowlarks will still always (and always) be remembered for "Heaven And Paradise." A tremendous hit on both coasts (although never a national charter), it assured the Meadowlarks a place in our pantheon of R&B gods. Originally the trio of Don Julian (tenor),
Ronald Barrett (tenor), and Earl Jones (baritone/bass), the Meadowlarks began their career around 1953, at Fremont High in Los Angeles. For a hot minute, they were known as the Soulinaires, but that quickly fell by the wayside, since it seemed to suggest that they were a gospel group. Instead, they turned to a more mundane (but recognizable) "bird-group" name. Each member was tasked with coming up with a name to be voted on.
It was Ron Barrett (the brother of Fanita Barrett James, a member of the Dreamers, the Blossoms, and Bob B. Soxx & Blue Jeans) who hit the dictionary and found "meadowlarks." (Note: they were not the Meadowlarks on Imperial, who recorded "Brother Bill" in 1951.) To improve their harmony, they worked closely with Cornell Gunter (of Flairs fame). They also made judicious use of the relatively cheap record-your-voice machines that were around in those days. Don Julian said "I used to get to school early so I could sing in the hall and hear it echo." As well as being singers,
Don and Ron were also musicians. Don had taken a few months' worth of piano lessons from Joe Liggins and was then "coerced" by the Cadets' Pete Fox into taking up the guitar. Ron Barrett played the drums. After a while, the Meadowlarks added bass Randall "Randy" Jones. Then, there was a guy that Randy hung around with named Billy Pruitt. Billy, a second tenor, was older than the others and somewhat wilder (he actually smoked!) He attended rehearsals and considered himself part of the group, although the others weren't happy with him.
In early 1956, Glenn Reagan was drafted, and the Meadowlarks recalled Benny Patrick. This time, Dootone didn't bother with fixing the photos.
The next Meadowlarks' session produced "Always And Always" and "I Got Tore Up" (another one of those drinking songs). They also featured Don's piano playing. These were released in June 1955 and reviewed on July 2. Other reviews that week went to the Cardinals' "Two Things I Love," the Tenderfoots' "Sindy," the Jacks' "Since My Baby's Been Gone," the Chromatics' "Don't Know Why I Cry," the Larks' "Honey From The Bee," and the Smoothtones' "Bring Back Your Love (To Me)."
Soon after that, Ronald Barrett left the Meadowlarks for the Dootones. Ron was friendly with H.B. Barnum, who suggested (along with Dootsie Williams) that Ron join his new group. Ron had become uncomfortable with the Meadowlarks because Dootsie got it into his head that he didn't want to deal with the whole group, just one member. That one member was, of course, Don Julian. While they still shared all money (what little there was of it) equally, it just seemed wrong for the group to have a leader.
Two other Meadowlarks cuts ("Untrue" and "Thrill Me Night And Day") wound up on Dooto EPs and LPs. Unfortunately, Dootone didn't use meaningful master numbers, so it's impossible to know when any of these songs was actually recorded. However, Ron Barrett wasn't on "Untrue," so it was done relatively late in the group's Dootone career.
Freeman Broughton graduated Fremont High in 1957, but by that time the popularity of the Meadowlarks had waned. Since his taste in music began shifting to jazz (hitting its peak with the Peter Gunn craze in 1959), he quit the group sometime in early 1958. He doesn't know if he was replaced or if the group just wandered apart at that time.
Turntable used: Audio Technica AT-LP120 USB Direct Drive inputted straight into the sound card using the built-in pre-amp from the turntable.
Cartridge used: Audio Technica AT440 MLa Dual moving coil cartridge
using a ATN 440MLa microfine nude shank Stylus Needle for
33's & 45's. 0.4 X 0.7 Mil.micro-fine tordorial.