Out on Optimistic Kitty Records, Christmas 2017
Listen to “Got My Eye On You, Santa” at https://soundcloud.com/leightonmedia/got-my-eye-on-you-santa-mp3-320-kpbs
GOT MY EYE ON YOU, SANTA
Performed by Jody Quine & the Big Mr. C.
Happy Christmas from Anne Leighton, Priscilla Harriett, Roberta Piket.
GOT MY EYE ON YOU, SANTA is the collaboration of a lot of people. Written in the summer of 1993 by Anne Leighton and Dirty Blonde singer Priscilla Hairriett, SANTA was sent out to different showbiz friends by Anne, in the hopes that one of them would record the song.
Finally Christmas 2015, Anne decided to make producing SANTA her New Year’s resolution for 2016. It was easier for her because she co-owned masters for Gary Lucas & Jann Klose’s STEREOPTICON, plus realized how much she had assimilated about the production and marketing process through her involvement in the music world since the 1970s. “It’s all homework and collaboration.”
Anne collaborated with a dozen people, especially with her piano/keyboardist/arranger/singing/writing/productive and joyful friend Roberta Piket to make the recording happen.
The instrumental work on SANTA features just seven instruments—three keyboards (a Steinway, Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes), drums, sleigh bells, and two singers: Canadian pop singer Jody Quine and Adirondack folk artist Dan Berggren. A versatile bass singer who can do impressions of anyone from Bob Dylan to Barry White, Dan is also a great listener, including being sensitive to the needs of audio production. He was Anne’s radio teacher in college, which is important as he taught his students to make every aspect of their work captivating, and to think about audio elements that move the listener along as he or she listens to a radio spot or a song!
Anne noticed Jody Quine’s joyful Internet presence on Facebook. At one point she responded favorably to Jody’s optimistic and simple take on Pat Benatar’s hit “We Belong To the Night.” “I heard a combination of Shirley Alston Reeves’s relaxed flirt from the Shirelles (“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”) and the tone of singer from the We Five (Beverly Bivens, hit: “You Were On My Mind”) in her voice,” Anne says. “It was a relaxed and engaging alto. Seductive and loving.”
As the work progressed, Roberta offered some sound compositional ideas to the bridge, so Anne gave her co-credit in the writing. Besides that, “Roberta is Jewish, and all the big, modern Christmas songs were written by Jewish people. She suggested we include a Hammond B3 (something on lots of my all-time favorite records) before we even started recording; she’s a blessing!”
Other industry conspirators that rolled up their sleeves to hep the recording along were producer David Bendeth (who mixed the single, and gave it significant depth). SANTA was mastered by Fred Kevorkian who did Willie Nile’s pogo rock & roll song, HOUSE OF A THOUSAND GUITARS, which inspired SANTA.
Anne is marketing the song to military radio stations and for syncs in film/tv/radio/advertising/Internet.