Gold (aka Richard Goldman)

Band members                             Related acts

- Richard Goldman -- vocals




- none known





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Sweethearts

Company: Granya

Catalog: AW 14087

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 6217

Price: SOLD $50.00


Another obscurity on the mysterious Album World family of labels ...  Gold was actually singer/songwriter Richard Goldman (makes you wonder why they just didn't release it under his name - not like anyone looking at the album cover was thinking 'oh wonder who's in this band ...')


Produced by Sam Weatherly, 1977's "Sweethearts" featured a collection of eleven Goldman originals.  Musically about two thirds of this was country-rock tinged singer/songwriter material, though Goldman occasionally livened things up by revealed a sly sense of humor that his contemporaries would never even dream of ('Sweethearts').  Imagine Dan Fogelberg hanging around with The Flying Burrito Brothers and Harry Nilsson (adding the humor).  Goldman had a pleasant, if unexceptional voice, which actually served as a pretty good description for most of these songs - pleasant, but at least initially unexceptional.  Exemplified by tracks like 'Don't Cry Christine', 'Natasha' and 'Virgin Girl' many of these songs were pretty good on their own, though the sensitive singer/songwriter feel quickly became irritating, and when piled up one after the other they quickly began to blend together giving much of the album an undistinguished, background music sheen.  That said, there were a couple of exceptions to the rule.  Simply because they sported full band arrangements 'All Dressed Up To Go', '004 Dog', and the blissful slice of top-40 pop Blow Windy Blow'' stood out from the rest of the album and made you wonder what Goldman might have done surrounded by a real band.  I'll also admit that this was one of those rare albums that got better the more time you spent with it.  Add to that, he probably didn't have a great deal of say about the album - geez, given the collection came out on the Album World imprint, there's a good chance he didn't even know if was released.


"Sweethearts" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Don't Cry Christine   (Richard Goldman) - 2:48   rating: ** stars

'Don't Cry Christine' was a pretty good indicator of what to expect from this set.  A pretty acoustic ballad, the song showcased Goldman's decent voice and knack for a catchy refrain.  Still, it probably sounded way more impressive in small folk club after a couple of beers.

2.) Saturday Nighttime   (Richard Goldman) - 2:35   rating: ** stars

Sporting a breezy honky tonk flavor complete with loads of barrelhouse piano, and 'lonely artist 101' lyrics, 'Saturday Nighttime' was harmless fun.    

3.) All Dressed Up To Go   (Richard Goldman) - 2:30   rating: ** stars

The closest Goldman came to an outright rock song, 'All Dressed Up To Go' was also one of the album highlights.  With a full band arrangement, a catchy melody, and some surprisingly funny lyrics, I have to admit to humming along with this one.    

4.) Memory Lane   (Richard Goldman) - 2:44   rating: ** stars

'Memory Lane' found Goldman diving into straightforward pop - imagine something Andrew Gold might have released in the mid-1970s and you'll have a good basis for comparison.  Very top-40 oriented.    rating: ** stars

5.) Sweethearts   (Richard Goldman) - 3:55    rating: *** stars

Another pretty country-tinged pop number, 'Sweethearts' also benefited from a cute and clever lyric.  Call this one a guilty pleasure.   

6.) Natasha   (Richard Goldman) - 3:13    rating: *** stars

A spare acoustic ballad, 'Natasha'  actually served to show how good Goldman could be.  Super pretty melody that climbed into your head and wouldn't leave.     

(side 2)
1.) 004 Dog   (Richard Goldman) - 2:26    rating: *** stars

Another atypical rocker, '004 Dog' (no idea what the song was about), sported an Emitt Rhodes-styled second generation Beatles vibe.  I'm simply a sucker for this kind of stuff.     

2.) Everyone was Dancing with You   (Richard Goldman) - 4:50    rating: *** stars

Based on the title I was expecting to hear a country hoe-down, but 'Everyone was Dancing with You' was actually a smooth, adult contemporary pop ballad that included the album's best electric guitar solo.       

3.) Blow Windy Blow   (Richard Goldman) - 2:44      rating: **** stars

Easily the album's most commercial track, 'Blow Windy Blow' has everything you needed for a mid-1970s radio hit - great melody; smooth vocal, and enthusiastic performance.  The only downside was the song faced out way too earlier.       

4.) Virgin Girl   (Richard Goldman) - 3:05    rating: *** stars

It took awhile for the song to kick into gear, but once it actually got going, 'Virgin Girl' was another catchy country-rocker. 

5.) Don't Spoil It Now   (Richard Goldman) - 5:20      rating: **** stars

'Don't Spoil It Now' was a perfect example of how Goldman's work became better the more time you spent with it. The first couple of times I heard the track, it struck me as little more than a throwaway country-tinged effort.  Slowly the song's charms including a beautiful, laidback lyric, a pretty melody, a great bass line, and some nifty keyboards revealed themselves, making this another standout performance.  


A modest pleasure.  I'd love to know more about this guy.





I've never heard it and can't be sure it's the same person, but there's a mid-1990s album credited to a Richard Goldman - 1997's "Girls n' Cows" (Gadfly Records catalog number #225 )



And lo and behold the internet comes up with some answers:


Hi I'm Richard Goldman.  I am very curious about BadCatRecords, AW 14087 - Gold - "Sweethearts" Indeed that is a picture of me underneath the Santa Monica pier taken circa 1972 .  Sweethearts is in fact a song I wrote and recorded a demo of in 1971.  That's about all I know of this...   Very curious to know; how you came upon this?  If you know who produced this LP?  What label this is on?  What are the titles of the other tunes on the record?   You mentioned a review?  I would love to see that! Honestly I am quite agog... stunned... so please any info about this would be great... 


Thanks for your time can't wait to hear from you best 

Richard Goldman

November 2012


I'm sorry but I am still agog... possibly even more agog than I was before... First off; I do know a lot about the tax shelter record thing. This same thing happened to me once before... the shorthand on that; I live in LA and have since 1971 - between '71 and around '78 I actively pursued a career as a recording artist... that meant taking around my demos and leaving reel to reel 1/4 inch copies with A&R guys, publishers and music attorneys... Flash forward to 1981/82 - a very good friend of mine (she would be the best man at my wedding in '86) was in a used record store in LA and saw a record being sold for 10 cents and liked the cover and dropped a dime - It was called "Almost Famous" and was on Baby Grand Records - after bringing it home to listen to it she called me and said there's this guy who sounds like you - In fact it was me... someone had pressed one of my drop off tapes from 1977... 7 or 8 songs in all - the only problem was that the songs were credited to other people... I had some connection to the LA Times and got someone to write a story about it... it took about 6 months of leg work by the writer but he found out about the folks involved with Baby Grand Records. By the time the article had been vetted by the LA Times lawyers it almost ended up looking like a hit piece on the idiot songwriter who didn't properly "protect" his songs. But the writers original research into the story had dug up a name of someone involved with Baby Grand that I had known and liked back in '77 - by '82 he had become a well respected record executive at RCA... his name is Ron Fair. I called Ron and here's the gist of what he told me back then in '82; (from your writings... this will not come as a surprise to you and nor is it a MYTH). Okay the US tax loophole was such that (say for instance) a doctor in Texas making 150Gs a year could pay a company (Baby Grand Records) based in Atlanta $20,000 to make an album. Baby Grand would send some of that $20,000 to their LA producer guy (In many cases Ron Fair). He would spend the money in a real studio paying his musician and songwriting friends to make an album and send it back to Atlanta. In Atlanta BG Records would press about 10,000 copies and send them all back to the doctor in Texas who would keep the albums in his garage to prove to the IRS that he had backed this music project that had failed to sell. The tax loophole was that you could write off 5 times your losses. So by putting up $20,000 you could write off $100,000 in taxes. Ron Fair said he made a number of records that everyone was paid and it for the most part no one was getting screwed. However - Baby Grand had other producers in LA who were not as honest as Ron. They would obtain a tape from a music attorney for a pittance - maybe 1$,500. Change the names of artists and musicians and then just send it off to Atlanta, pocketing most of the $20,000 themselves. It's been a while so the numbers are a bit hazy but I seem to remember something like 50 or so Baby Grand records were produced and about half of them were legitimately put together (many by Ron) and the others were pure thievery ... by the likes of a fellow named Joe Long and another partner... Okay - so I have to look around my house for that article in the calendar section of the LA Times from 1982... I will pass it along to you if and when I find it... 


But now to the fun stuff ... at least for me. was very choked up and actually sobbing while reading the review of "Sweethearts". I am now 62 years old... with a new CD - "Dreadful Sorrow" being pressed as we speak. Yes, "Girls N' Cows" from 1997 is in fact me... I think you'd like it ... but reading the review of songs I wrote and recorded between 1971 and 1974 was an unimaginable treat... I'm assuming you wrote said review. It's lovely and so dead on correct you can't even imagine... Indeed I loved the Burrito's (Gram really) and Harry Nilsson and Emmitt Rhodes... (second generation Beatles) all huge heroes... you nailed my influences amazingly well... had you added Ray Davies and and Randy Newman you would have them all.... Everlys too... You were honest and dead on about my boring voice... by around '78 I could not listen to any of those recordings because of how badly (generically) I had sung in the studio... my home demos had way more personality... FYI: by around '78 the new influence of Elvis Costello got me to start writing less sensitive singer songwriter songs (like Natasha & Virgin Girl) and funnier edgier songs... thank god for Declan! He made it okay to be mean. Very mean ... I was also becoming a comedy writer in LA for film and TV and so my songs were mostly written for myself... and not that bland pop thing which you sniffed out so well... It really was a joy to read your "take" on me at age 21 and I loved that songs like 'Don't Spoil it Now' grew on you. More FYI: that's George Clinton on piano on 'All Dressed Up to Go' - my manager and producer Sam Weatherly knew George. The other funny thing that I remember from that session was that Sam had Freddie Cannon (by then a washed up 60's vocalist) come in and write me some vocal "ad-libs" for the tail section to 'All Dressed Up'. Freddie came up to me as I was laying down the lead vocal and handed me lines like... "Yes, you were..." Keep a-tellin' me..." "Oh, come on..." - It was very surreal. Clinton also played organ on 'Don't Spoil it Now' - recorded at sunset sound studio using the same hammond B-3 that was played on Costello's cover of 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'. Same engineer (Larry Hirsch) as Costello used on "King of America" 15 years later. 


Anyway - you're review was very moving - and as I mentioned ridiculously accurate and very fair... Clearly this theft on Granya Records was in some way perpetrated by the people who were then serving as my managers.  They were the only ones who could have had that picture of me under the pier. They  originally paid for that photo shoot. 


Whatever happened to me? As I mentioned my career has morphed any number of times ... from a sitcom writer in the early 80's - most notable about five Love Boat episodes; to a game show producer - i created a show called Every Second Counts; to a kids TV show writer... to a film feature writer to finally what I do now. I write taglines for movies and tv marketing posters ...they pay me to pun and I am glad to do so. But over the years I have continued to write songs for fun and sanity... and also go through pockets of time where I play out in local LA clubs. I had some music success in the early 80's - the LA times hit piece actually led to me getting a cover by an RCA artist Lisa Hartman - thanks to Ron Fair - that lead to a couple of tunes being used in radio and TV ads. Sadly by the time all that happened I was well over the sleaze ball music industry in LA and ensconced in the only slightly less sleaze-ball TV business. In the 90's through the help of a friend passing along a tape... a small folk label in Vermont found me and we made one record together... "Girls N' Cows:. It got great reviews from stereo review and a few other high visible places. I had a wonderful little tour of radio stations and borders type places where I went with just my acoustic and played for folks who had heard my tunes on tons of folk stations (some college, some larger folk shows... played "Mountain Stage' (a 20 year running weekly public radio program) and generally had a blast at around age 50 doing what I had dreamed of doing back in the Blow Windy Blow days... ( ps: Windy had a like a 2 minute tail of fab acoustic playing that Sam Weatherly cut short to nothing - you also nailed that!) Gosh have i forgotten anything... Really I've had a wonderful life. Thank you. An amazingly beautiful and talented wife ... two fabulous boys... 21 and 15 - both are very talented musicians. About 4 years ago I had a heart attack - and was quite lucky to survive - because of it and because I have about 600 other songs I decided to make a follow up to "Girls n' Cows" 15 years later - A kind of a thank you to the cowboy cardiologist who tried something out of the box to save me and obviously succeeded - I promise to send you a copy of Dreadful Sorrow... PPS: I sing better now... PPPS: (per your review of sweethearts) 004 DOG was a California license plate - very cute girl driving one of those little mercedes - Thanks for listening... Any other q's feel free to ask After seeing your site and discovering Sweethearts, I actually found a copy elsewhere for 12 bucks so I ordered it... I will probably get the one you have (if it's for sale) in the near future... Thanks again and yet again I look forward to hearing back from you Best Richard



Sent Gold my copy of his album.  Never heard back from him.  Hope he enjoys it.