I’ve been touring and recording with Bob for many, many years — since the mid 70s, as a matter fact. First in Detroit, where I was living, we used to do a lot of recording at different studios in town and even to this day we still do a lot of tracking on the background vocals at his own private studio.

I moved to LA for about 10 to 12 years and Bob was recording out there at Capital Records all those studios at the Capitol Record plant, and then in 95′ when I moved to Nashville Bob fell in love with Ocean Way here in Nashville, so most of his tracking in the newer albums have been at Oceanway and we’ve been tracking vocals there as well!

First, I want to talk about these two pictures, coincidentally, both of them are shot from Ocean Way Studios the first black-and-white one I want to introduce you to is Miss Leslie Mills, Bob Seger, Miss Laura Creamer and myself, Shaun Murphy.

Bob Seger Backup Singers
Leslie Mills, Bob Seger, Laura Creamer & Shaun Murphy. Oceanway Studios, Nashville, TN, (2003)

Leslie, I think is gone to, she moved out of state, but I think she was working with Barry Manilow for quite a number of years now, lost track of her…

… but I want to talk about my first meeting with Laura Creamer which was probably wasn’t very hysterical for her unless she got a double meaning of hysterical, but she came into the foray about, I don’t know, three months into the ‘78 tour and Bob said, “you know, I really like the sound of a female singer and doing the background, I’m gonna bring in another singer.”

Now Bob had known Laura for a long time, and actually Punch, his manager, Punch Andrews used to manage Laura‘s female singing group The Mama Cats, so coincidentally, she was living in LA and he was out there doing some stuff and he called her in, and said you know, come and join us on the tour…

So she shows up, poor thing, I know she was tired, and she shows up just before sound check, we get a sound check we’re doing a few things, going over a few things, and she had no rehearsal and I was I was terrified for her, so we get up to the show and I said look, I’m gonna try this just to see if it works I’m gonna push you up to the microphone when it’s time to sing, and I’m gonna pull you back when it’s time to stop singing…

… and that’s what we did all night long and she was perfect, she’s got such an ear and she’s she’s so focused that she just did a great, great job and she’s been on the tour, well, she missed the 1980 tour, but she was back in force from 1983 and to the present, so I just love her,

… she’s a great friend and she’s also a Taurus, actually Bob, Laura and myself are all Taurus, it’s like a little known tidbit,

… anyway just kind of the second picture, which is a colorized it to the 10th degree by Mr. Richard A.Stacey, we got Miss Barbara Payton, Miss Laura Creamer, Bob Seger and myself Shaun Murphy and the shot, again, taken at Ocean Way Studios...

Bob Seger Backup Singers
Barbara Payton, Laura Creamer, Bob Seger, Shaun Murphy. Oceanway Studios, Nashville, TN Picture courtesy of Richard A. Stacey (2015)

… and I want to say something about the Barbara induction into the troops here, I think it was 2006 she joined us and she’s a great friend of Punch Andrews and his wife, that’s how they got to know her and they used to go and see her and she had a bands in Detroit at the time, and so when we were looking for a third singer, Punch says yes, let’s bring Barbara in to see how it goes…

… so she came into rehearsal, did a great job, great job, and we rehearsed for the tour,

… she kept saying I don’t know if I’m hired, I don’t know if I’m hired, I said, believe me, you’re hired, you’re doing a great job,

… so we get up to the first show and she, she hadn’t been used to huge audiences, cause, you know, she’d been doing the club circuit in Detroit area and so I first saw the audience I think was, I don’t know, 15 to 20,000, something like that, and she was, poor thing, was terrified, so, as some of you might remember, we did, we used to open with Roll Me Away, so, Laura, I jumped up to do the song because we’re just doing percussion, there are no.backgrounds and Barbara didn’t know quite what was happening and so she jumps on stage and we’re looking at her and she’s looking at us, so just pick up the cowbell,

… I think that was the only mistake she’s ever done believe me she is a work, working bee, we just love her and we’re so glad that she’s in the trio here we have a great time on the road together all three of us,

… so until next time with more postcards from the road, I will be talking to you later!

 


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