The Cake

Band members                             Related acts

  line-up 1 (1966-69)

- Eleanore Barooshian (aka Chelsea Lee) (RIP 2016) -- vocals
- Jeanette Jacobs (aka Jeanette Jacobs Woods) (RIP 1982) 

  -- vocals
- Barbara Morillo (aka Ilana Iguana) -- vocals 




- Ginger Baker's Air Force (Eleanore Barooshian and 

  Jeanette Jacobs)

- Eleanore Barooshian (solo efforts)

- Barbara Morillo and the Shrine 

- Tetsu Yamauchi


Genre: pop

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title: The Cake

Company: Decca

Catalog: DL 74927

Year: 1967

Country/State: New York, US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: edge and corner wear; minor soiling on white surfaces

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: $25.00 SOLD



Jeanette Jacobs and Barbara Morillo met while teenagers living in Queens.  Morillo ended up moving in with Jacobs and her father and the two started writing and recording material on a tape recorded Mr. Jacobs owned.  Looking for a third voice to join them, the pair met Eleanore Barooshian (aka Chelsea Lee) at Steve Paul's Manhattan club The Scene.  Only sixteen, Barooshian had befriended Paul who allowed her in the club; even giving her occasional opportunities to perform.  Among those performances was a duet with an act by the name of Tiny Tim.  YouTube has a clip of the two performing Sonny & Cher's 'I Got You Babe.'  Warning, it's an acquired taste, though you can tell the young Barooshian has some chops: I Got You Babe - YouTube   Having seen Barooshian and Tiny Tim duet, the pair asked her to join them in forming a singing trio.  She did; also moving in with the Jacobs.  Young, attractive, and fashionable, club owner Paul gave the trio an opportunity to perform at The Scene where their  quirky acapella repertoire gained a following, eventually including a young Jimi Hendrix and The Animals Hilton Valentine.  They also attracted the attention of managers/producers Charles Greene and Brian Stone.  Having enjoyed considerable success with Sonny & Cher, The Buffalo Springfield and Iron Butterfly, the pair latched on to the girls, recording a couple of demos; signing them  to a contract with Decca Records and relocated them to Los Angeles.


With Greene and Stone producing and Harold Battiste arranging, 1967's "The Cake" was different on a number of levels.  At a time when most bands struggled to get original material on an album, the fact Decca allowed this trio to include several original compositions on their debut album was simply unheard of.  Their sound was also unique.  Green and Stone clearly didn't know what to do with the trio.  The end result was an album that was truly schizophrenic.  The original compositions 'Medieval Love,' 'Fire Fly' and 'Rainbow Wood' reflected a mixture of "medieval" influence (perhaps showcasing their acappella roots) and what folks would term Baroque-pop.  There simply were not a lot of mid-'60s American groups working in this musical niche so it was very unique.  'Baby That's Me,' 'World of Dreams' and 'You Can Have Him' were noteworthy for reflecting the infamous Phil Spector "wall of sound" production approach.  The rest of the album found the producers playing it safe with an unimaginative collection of soul and pop covers. Morillo was featured on all of the soul covered; the performances recorded live in a single six hour session with an assist from Jessie Hill on his 'Ooh Poo Pah Doo.'  Give the situation, Morillo's performances were sterling - easily the best singer of the three. Their young, attractive and hip component went a long way to making up performance shortcomings.  


"A Slice of Cake" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Baby That's Me  (Jack Nitzsche - Jackie DeShannon) - 2:40   rating: *** stars

'Baby That's Me' opened the album with a classic slice of '60s girl group pop.  The Fashions originally recorded 'Baby That's Me' back in 1964, but since most folks have never heard of the group, imagine The Shangris-Las and you'll get a feel for the Spector-ish sound.  And while the performance was nice enough it sounds surprisingly old-fashion.  Amazing how much culture can change over a three year period.




























- 1967's 'Baby That's Me' b/w 'Mockingbird' (Decca catalog number 32179)

2.) World of Dreams   (Malcolm Rebbenack) - 2:15   rating: **** stars

Wow if you want to hear a good example of the Phil Spector-styled "wall of sound" production their cover of Dr. John's 'World of Dreams' would be a good place to start.  One of the album's most commercial tracks, the Green and Stone production and Harold Battiste's arrangements on this one were simply stunning.  You had to wonder how the trio managed to make themselves heard above all the instrumentation.

3.) You Can Have Him  (William S. Cook) - 2:50  rating: *** stars

With Morillo handling lead vocals, 'You Can Have Him' was another classic track that had been recorded by the likes of Dinah Shore and Doris Day, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson and countless others.  Those versions provided a high bar for comparison. The trio responded with a folk-rock take that was again cloaked in a Spector styled wall of sound arrangement.   Not bad.  Not great. YouTube has a fascinating clip of the trio lip-synching the song on an October, 1967 appearance on The Smothers Brothers Show.  Barooshian (the blond) and Morillo are the two women actually singing and dancing.  Jacobs is the girl in green velvet.  In Jacob's defense, she appears to hurt her leg when stepping of the rotating stage, or she may have suffered some stage fright, sort of adverse drug reaction,  just mad at the other two members, or it's some strange part of their act.  Regardless, there's something fascinating watching this completely dysfunctional performance.  You Can Have Him - The Cake (1967) - YouTube

4.) Medieval Love    (Barbara Morillo - Jeanette Jacobs) - 2:43   rating: ** stars

The orchestra warm-up intro left me wondering what was happening.  When the actual song kicked after 30 seconds the aptly titled 'Medieval Love' sounded like ...  well a medieval ballad.  Their group vocals actually sounded nice on this one, though the concept was simply too precious for my tastes.

5.) Fire Fly    (Barbara Morillo - Jeanette Jacobs) - 2:05   rating: ** stars

Fans love their harmony vocals and their quirky, Baroque-pop melodies. Judging by 'Fire Fly' I don't get it.  Their vocals don't strike me as blending  very well and when paired with a song as quirky as this ballad and Nitzsche's overwhelming orchestration, the magic is simply lost on me.  

6.) Rainbow Wood    (Barbara Morillo - Jeanette Jacobs) - 2:15  rating: **** stars

'Rainbow Wood' was another original composition reflecting a traditional English folk flavor.  The song had a pretty melody and this was one of the songs where their voices blended well.  It's even odder when you start to wonder how three young girls from Queens managed to conjure up a song that sounded like it could fit on a Fairport Convention, or Steeleye Span set.  It was also an odd choice for the album's third and final single:





- 1968's 'Rainbow Wood' /w 'Fire Fly' (Decca catalog number 32235)








(side 2)

1.)  I Know   (Barbara George) - 2:19   rating: *** stars

I'm guessing the soul covers were included to give the album a more commercial sheen.  Their cover of the Barbara George tune was nice but hardly a radical difference from the original.  Nice horn charts.

- 1967's 'I Know' b/w 'You Can Have Him' (Decca catalog number )

2.) Mockingbird   (Inez Foxx - Charles Foxx) - 2:25  rating: ** stars

Well Charles and Inez Foxx's 'Mockingbird' has been subjected to dozens of covers. Unfortunately these ladies go down as turning in a cover that is completely forgettable, or worse.  Morillo and Barooshian sharing lead vocals.   The video and sound quality are poor, but YouTube has a clip of the trio lip-synching the song during a November 1967 appearance on ABC's Popendipity television special.  Positioned in the center of the group Jacobs was a little more active this time out.   The Cake - Mockingbird (live) - YouTube

3.) Ooh Poo Pah Doo   (Jessie Hill) - 3:57  rating: *** stars

Their slinky cover of Jessie Hill's 'Ooh Poo Pah Doo' was probably the best of the soul remakes on the album.  Interestingly Morillo had never heard the song before.  Hill was in the studio and literally had to help her with the words.  If you listen closely, you can hear his vocals on the backing track.  

4.) Stand by Me   (Ben E. King - Elmo Glick) - 2:33  rating: *** stars

Another classic tune that's been done so often you have to wonder why anyone would bother.  And surprisingly this was one of their best covers.  Not sure which lady was on lead vocals, but her voice was clear and strong - nice delivery.

5.) What'd I Say  (Ray Charles) - 4:03  rating: *** stars

Another Morillo lead.  Not sure what her association is with the group, but YouTube also has a June 2017 performance of the song by Morillo at the Stonewall Veterans Association Annual Conference.  She sounded pretty good: The Cake - What'd I Say - Live at SVA 2017 Conference - YouTube






Genre: pop

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title: A Slice of Cake

Company: Decca

Catalog: DL 75039

Year: 1968

Country/State: New York, US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: edge and corner wear; minor soiling on white surfaces

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: $25.00 SOLD


I probably should have started exploring their recording catalog chronologically, rather than listing to the second album before hearing the 1967 debut "The Cake."  Oh well ...


I'll admit to having picked this one up at a yard sale for the dated '60s cover (courtesy of artist Jonanna Laine). The drawing of three mod '60s women left me hoping this might be something along the lines of The Feminine Complex.   An even bigger source of surprise and hope was the unprecedented fact the three women were responsible for writing much of the material.  How often did you see that in an industry where female singers were typically views as little more than tools for producers.

In view of those expectations, 1968's "A Slice of Cake" was a disappointment.  With Charles Greene and Brian Stone continuing on as co-producers, the sophomore album gave the women additional leeway to record original material.  Seven of the ten tracks were originals returning to the
mixture of "medieval" folk and Baroque-pop that provided the debut album highlights.  This time out their material wasn't as stunning with tracks  such as 'Have You Heard the News 'Bout Miss Molly,' 'Sadie' and 'Tides of Time' approaching sensitive singer/songwriter pap. Comparisons to Mary Hopkins and Melanie readily came to mind while listening to the set. The trio's occasional stabs at more up tempo material like the Caribbean-flavored 'Extroverted Introvert' and their cover of Rufus Thomas' 'Walking the Dog' weren't much better. Of the three, Morillo remained the strongest singer, but she was not in the spotlight as often as on the debut. Adding to the problem, they were not great harmonizers.  One of the rare exceptions and an album highlight was the acapella ballad 'Under the Tree of Love and Laughter.'  Simply 'cause it rocked a little, 'P.T. 280' was probably one of the few tracks worth hearing more than once.  Personal issues also cropped up.  Unhappy with the musical direction they felt Greene and  Stone were forcing on them, Barooshian and Morillo quit the sessions, returning to New York.  That left Jacobs to continue recording with sessions singers.   Threatened with a breach of contract lawsuit the pair ultimately returned to California and completed the album, but the group was dynamic was effectively quashed.  (Wonder what the were smokin' in the Turkish water pipe shown on the back cover ...)

"A Slice of Cake" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Have You Heard the News 'Bout Miss Molly   (Carol Connors - M. McGinnis) - 2:44  rating: *** stars

One of the songs recorded by Jacobs and sessions backup singers, the album opened up with a weird mash-up of folk and Baroque pop styles.  I remember thinking this is what Fairport Convention would sound like if they ever wanted to record a Toytown styled pop number.   I'm guessing the lyrics (girl getting pregnant out of wedlock) were pretty cutting edge for 1968.  Today it just sounds kind of fey.   It made for an odd choice as a single:





- 1968's 'Have You Heard the News 'Bout Miss Molly' b/w 'P.T. 280' (Decca catalog number 32347)








2.) P.T. 280   (Eleanore Barooshian - Barbara Morillo) - 2:15  rating: *** stars

Opening up with some Mantovani-styled piano, 'P.T. 280' revealed itself as a quirky pop tune.  It took me years to find out what the track was about.  Reportedly the title reflected the cost of taxi fare for the trio to drive to a Beverly Hills hotel where they were to have met The Who.  The Who apparently didn't answer the door.  Judging by the lyrics, they experience left the women  less than impressed by Townshend and company.
3.) Sadie   (Jeanette Jacobs - Barbara Morillo) - 2:26
    rating: *** stars

With Jacobs on lead vocals, 'Sadie' was a pretty, if lyrically depressing folk flavored ballad.  The tune was actually written by Morillo after attending the Monterey Pop Festival.  She planned on singing the lead, but returned to the recording sessions to discover the track had been completed with Jacobs on lead.  The resulting confrontation saw Morillo and Greene get into a physical confrontation with Morillo leabing the recording sessions and returning to New York.
4.) Tides of Time   (Jeanette Jacobs - Diana Di Rose) - 2:09
    rating: *** stars

I can only take so many sensitive ballads before I lose interest.  Admittedly 'Tides of Time' was probably the album's prettiest composition, but it was just sooooo  sensitive ...  This was apparently one of the songs recorded as a Jacobs solo effort.  The song was co-written by former Rose Garden singer Diana Di Rose.  She may also be singing on the track.
5.) Medley - 4:08  
  rating: ** stars

Medleys are seldom a good thing and this one's not an exception.  Desperate to pad the album, the medley was  the first demo the girls had recorded for Greene and Stone prior to being signed to Decca.  It shows.
     Walking the Dog (Rufus Thomas) - 

     Interestingly their slowed down, slinky cover of 'Walking the Dog' sounded a bit like Dusty Springfield and was surprisingly enjoyable - I even liked the backing vocals..
     Something Got a Hold of Me (Leroy Kirkland - Etta James - Pearl Woods) - 

     If you weren't paying attention you wouldn't even realize they'd sequed into Etta James' 'Something Got a Hold of Me.'  The melody and vocal delivery didn't really seem to change.
     Big Boy Pete (Dewey Terry - D.F. Bowman - Don Harris) - 

     At least you could tell when they switched into 'Big Boy Pete' though the vocal was a bit on the raw side.

(side 2)

1.) Extroverted Introvert   (Eleanore Barooshian - Barbara Morillo) - 2:26  rating: ** stars

Another track that suffered from group lead vocals and a week melody. I guess steel drums were exotic in 1968, but they didn't do anything to improve this Carribean-tinged tune.  The heavy instrumentation drown them out towards the end of the song.  
2.) Under the Tree of Love and Laughter   (Jeanette Jacobs - Barbara Morillo) - 1:15  
rating: **** stars

The pretty acapella ballad 'Under the Tree of Love and Laughter' was the prettiest performance and quite different given their harmonizing actually sounded sweet.   Shame it was such a short song. 
3.) Annabelle Clark   (Barbara Morillo) - 3:10 
rating: ** stars

Written by Morillo, 'Annabelle Clark' also featured her on lead vocals.  Perhaps it's my old man ears, but Morillo's delivery has always reminded me a bit of Nico - stiff and not particularly melodic, she even sounded like she had a Caribbean accent.
4.) Who Will Wear the Crown   (Mac Rebbenack - Jessie Hill) - 2:00  
rating: *** stars

Short on material, 'Who Will Wear the Crown' was a track left over from the first album.  While Barooshian's voice wasn't great, hearing her take lead vocals was certainly better than the group signing harmonies.  It also helped to give her a strong, funky song (Rebbenack provided the Hammond B-3 organ), though the horn arrangement threatened to drown her.
5.) Island of Plenty   (Eleanore Barooshian - Charles Greene) - 2:45 
rating: ** stars

As much I've tried to like 'Island of Plenty' I just can't get there.  The song's folk-ish melody was totally forgettable and their harmonizing was  just plain irritating.



Following the release of their second album the trio called it quits.






Baroosian and Jacobs signed up to tour with Dr. John.  After the tour they moved to the UK where they ended up recording and touring as members of Ginger Baker's Air Force.








Barooshian moved to Japan where she recorded an album with former Free bassist Tetsu Yamauchi - 1972's "Tetsu"  (Propeller Records catalog JDX 7044).  The liner notes only listed her by first name and managed to misspell her name as "Eleanor".  








I've only heard a couple of the songs on YouTube, but in  2006 Morillo reappear with a self-financed album credited to Barbara Morillo & Shrine.








38 years after their breakup Barooshian and Morillo reformed Cake for a one-off 2006 Jimi Hendrix tribute concert at the BB King Blues Club in New York).  The performance was dedicated to Jacobs.


Only 32, Jacobs died in January, 1982.

Barooshian died in August,  2016



For anyone interested in the group, RIchard Metger posted an amazinglu detailed overview of their career on the Dangerous Minds webste  You can find the article at: The Cake: A real life ‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls’ | Dangerous Minds