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Reed and the Destinations on Art Roberts' Swinging Majority Show

The Destinations started to record the songs I had written earlier. These recording sessions occurred at RCA Studios, at Navy Pier in Chicago. The idea was that the guys would lip-synch to the recordings when the group performed on the Art Roberts Swinging Majority show. Among the songs we recorded at that time were Hello Girl, With You, Colleen (written for Colleen Covert, one of my high school girlfriends), It’s All Over, Baby (written at school during study hall), and Remember When (written in collaboration with my mother over a cup of tea, as she reminisced about meeting my father).

Yes, it was during those sessions at Navy Pier that we recorded a demo of Hello Girl. After appearing on Art’s show for the very first time, he really liked the band and asked us to be a regular every week. He mentioned to Con Merton that it would be advisable for the band to come out with a record. We all concurred that Hello Girl would make a strong plug side for a 45.

  

Dee Donaldson, of the Robbs fame–also managed by Con Merton--came on board as producer. The Hello Girl single was recorded at Chess Studios on South Michigan Avenue, the same highly- acclaimed studio where the Rolling Stones recorded their first album. The Guess Who also recorded there. Hence, Hello Girl was as born on the Destination label, owned by Jim Golden and Bob Monaco. Hello Girl became a regional hit.

Back to the Art Roberts ordeal, Art’s Swinging Majority show aired live every Saturday afternoon for one hour, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. on WCIU-TV at the top of the Board of Trade Building on La Salle Street. Art held a unique position as Program Director of WLS Chicago radio. He could attract almost any band that was playing anywhere in the Chicago vicinity because of the power he wielded. I’m reasonably certain that local bands like the American Breed, Buckinghams, Shadows of Knight, New Colony Six, The Exceptions (with Peter Cetera), as well maybe Chicago and Aliota, Haynes, and Jeremiah made guest appearances on Art’s show. Then, there were also such groups as Traffic, Martha and the Vandellas, as well as a little band from Gary, Indiana managed by its father, Joe Jackson. That band was known as the Jackson Five. Interestingly, the Jackson Five and the Ides of March appeared on the same episode, well before either band had achieved national recognition. Another group that performed on Art’s show was the Grass Roots, a group with which I became friendly.

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