Janssen provided narrations for the following LPs:
THE HIDDEN ISLAND- A Compelling Story of Love's Secret Moments and Tender Emotions
Released: Fall 1965
Label: Epic Records BN 26150
An album of narration by Janssen accompanied by romantic music by the Tradewinds Orchestra and Chorus. Produced by Manny Kellem.
Songwriter Sunny Skylar, co-writer of such hits as "Love Me With All Your Heart" and "You're Breaking My Heart," had conceived this project. He went to Epic Records with it, where Vice President-in-Charge Leonard Levy said yes and first funded the musical tracks. A group of New York session musicians were hired and recorded the themes under the moniker "The Tradewinds Orchestra."
Now came time for the narration. Levy was looking for a distinct voice and found one in TV actor Paul Richards, star of the 63-64 season ABC medical drama "Breaking Point." However, the resulting recording was a disappointment. It lacked the desired emotion he wanted for the album. The project was shelved.
Manny Kellem, who had risen through the sales and promotion ranks at Capitol Records to become head of A & R for the East Coast was recruited by Levy for a similar position at Epic. Interest in the languishing "Hidden Island" was revived. Levy and Kellem brainstormed ideas for another voice for the project. David Janssen, now firmly established in the hit THE FUGITIVE television show, seemed a promising candidate. Ironically, Levy's next-door neighbor in New York was David's friend Paul Burke. Paul and his manager Stanley Kaye helped to make a contact, a modest deal was struck (perhaps $5000), and Manny Kellem was dispatched to California to supervise the recording.
On March 3. 1965 a studio at Columbia Records awaited Janssen who came directly from the a day of FUGITIVE filming. He listened to the set music tracks a few times, read the script, then said to Manny, "let me go." Photographer Leigh Wiener clicked away to achieve the the perfect dust jacket image while Janssen performed. The resulting recording was just the right sentiment and Manny returned to New York with the successful track needed to complete the project.
Listen to the album here (please forgive the old LP scratches):
VOICES OF FREEDOM - THE STORY OF AMERICA'S CITIZEN SOLDIER IN THE NATIONAL GUARD
A promotional LP for the National Guard.
Recorded at Bell Sound, Los Angeles
Producer Jere B. Chamberlin. Written and directed by Sidney Brooks.
Janssen made the following 78 rpm demo recordings for acting test purposes:
Place: Sound Recordings Workshops
Audition recording for part of "Billy" in "CAPTAIN MARVEL" radio show.
Not known to exist.
Place: Hollywood Recordings, 6625 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood
A 14-year old Janssen reads the part of a convict talking to a prison warden having just killed another inmate.
In 1976 and 1977 David Janssen had a brief foray as a lyricist. His musical collaborator (and romantic interest) during this period was Carol Connors.
Perhaps best known for co-writing ROCKY's theme "Gonna Fly Now," Carol's music career actually started in junior high school when the now-infamous producer Phil Spector heard her voice. In 1958, he was just a kid too and was going with Carol's best friend Donna. Spector wrote the song "To Know Him Is To Love Him" for Carol to sing, and as part of a group called "The Teddy Bears" she recorded it on the Dore label. It went on to become a classic. She'd named her group "The Teddy Bears" after Elvis Presley, and Elvis actually sought Carol out after hearing this recording because he loved her voice. Elvis became her first love.
Carol had another hit writing "Hey Little Cobra" (with some participation from her brother) made famous by the Rip Chords in 1964. A hot-rod song written by a woman!
Her good looks led her to some acting parts without her really trying. Howard Hawks put her in RED LINE 7000 as she had already been hired to write songs for the movie.
And she did a bit part on an episode of THE FUGITIVE entitled FUN AND GAMES AND PARTY FAVORS - seen briefly dancing on a table at an out-of-control teen party. This is where she met David Janssen in September 1964. Falling from the table on one of the takes, she passed out for a few moments. She 'awaked' to an indelible image of a concerned Janssen standing over her.
During the 60's, they'd run into one another at Los Angeles nightspots occasionally; Janssen liked to compliment her on her smile. But the two really didn't reconnect until over a decade later when Janssen used to visit a female houseguest of Carol's at her apartment on North Palm Drive. When the houseguest returned to Florida, Janssen continued visiting Carol. With a baby grand piano prominent in her living room, the conversation soon got around to their mutual love of music. Janssen, in the course of their friendship, had shared some writing he'd done (both prose and poetry). Connors was impressed. The idea of collaborating on songs was born.
Carol Connors as she looked in THE FUGITIVE days
... and at present.
There are 8 known songs. Connors always wrote the music, and Janssen did the lyrics, sometimes co-writing them with Carol. Some songs reflected Janssen's sharp sense of humor, others his sentimental, romantic nature.
A BEAGLE'S PLEA FOR XMAS (aka "SNOOPY'S SONG")
Their first song together. Lyrics by Janssen. Music by Carol Connors. Might have been intended but not used for a Snoopy TV special.
MY SENSITIVE PASSIONATE MAN
In 1977, when he was filming his television film A SENSITIVE PASSIONATE MAN, Janssen got the recent Oscar-nominee (for ROCKY) Connors on board to work on a title song. Carol, in turn, brought in her co-nominee Bill Conti who agreed to underscore the film as well.
The resulting song was sung by Melba Moore. Music by Connors and Bill Conti. Lyrics by Connors and Janssen. The recording session would have been approximately April 1977 at TTG Studios, on McCadden and Highland in Hollywood. Ami Hadani was the engineer.
Did I sing the wrong melody?
Did you play our love off-key?
Was it predictably a slightly diff'rent harmony
That changed my sensitive man?
Did the world simply turn away
From the needs of my passionate man?
Was he lost before he began?
Was there no one to understand
My sensitive, passionate man?
An empty home,
Those wasted years,
The unrhymed poems of children's tears,
All swept away, the yesterdays
Of my sensitive, passionate man.
Am I left standing alone
In a place where no place is home?
Was it me that changed my sensitive, passionate man?
If it was, here I am.
IF I COULD I WOULD
This song's concept was all Janssen and lamented his situation of being married and in love with another. Lyrics by Janssen. Carol did the music. It was later recorded by Barbi Benton on her album released in Sweden. ASCAP ID-390332086.
The song began:
If I could dream you a sunset,
If I could paint you a cloud.
I'd imagine you the colors,
That makes skies proud.
Done for a children's television show called "Freestyle." Connors wrote the music. Lyrics were a collaboration of Connors, Janssen, and Ayn Robbins. ASCAP ID-360155799.
I'D RATHER DO NOTHIN' THAN SOMETHIN' WITH SOMEBODY ELSE
Janssen "inspired" this 1976 song written by Carol and Barry Mason which, from a woman's point of view, describes her contentment to wait for halftime when a male friend, glued to TV football, will throw her "that boyish grin".
(ALL THE TIME) I WAS LOVING YOU
Connors and Janssen made a demo of this 1976 song in January 1977. It told of a couple's failed attempt to convince others they were 'just friends'.
DREAM YOUR DREAMS WITH ME, LITTLE GIRL
Written about Carol's dad (who used to say to her mother, "Dream on little girl, dream on." They performed it at a Beverly Hills restaurant in March 1977.
A THEME FOR DAVID'S MOVIE GOLDEN RENDEZVOUS
May have never finished. The two worked on this song on the phone in April 1977 while he was on location shooting the film in South Africa. Carol played the melody on the piano and David brainstormed the lyrics as she played. They ran up an $800 bill. He quipped, "It's the most expensive song ever written."
THE LADY IS A TRAMP - In early 1959, during his run on RICHARD DIAMOND Janssen allegedly made a recording of this famous Rodgers and Hart song. We are looking for it here at davidjanssen.net