February 15, 1965
My birthday coincides with the U.S. release of ‘The Sensitive Sound Of Dionne Warwick’ LP. I love the LP and Dionne’s wistful look on the cover photo and I can sing along with every song! I have a crush on Bernice, the girlfriend of John, one of the young Greek Cypriot guys who works in my Dad’s fish & chip shop and invite her to listen to this LP. John is not happy and tells my Dad to ‘have a word’ with me!
Some of the album is recorded in London at Pye Records’ studio on Cumberland Place next to Marble Arch and around the corner from Hyde Park. Dionne later comments that she can’t believe that the British musicians stop in the middle of the session to take a ‘tea break’! She’s also not happy with the British female vocal group, The Ladybirds since she’s used to the soulful sound of the group who back her on her New York sessions, including her sister Dee Dee Warwick, her aunt Cissy Houston and two members of the future group, The Sweet Inspirations, Sylvia Shemwell and Estelle Brown.
One of the tracks she records in London is a cover of a song by Roy Hamilton, “You Can Have Him” which she really dislikes and vows never to sing it live although she does perform it on the American TV show “Hullabaloo”.
One of the amazing songs on the album is “How Many Days Of Sadness,” which I absolutely love and decades later, I’m hanging out with the legendary Luther Vandross and his friend Fonzi Thornton and the three of us are walking up 72nd St in Manhattan talking about favourite Dionne album tracks – and Luther begins singing “How Many Days Of Sadness” from this same LP and Fonzi and I join in!!
Dionne’s second LP of 1965, “Here I Am” is another treat and includes her version of “I Loves You Porgy” (popularized by Nina Simone, who I learn is one of Dionne’s personal favourite singers at the time) as well as some wonderful Bacharach-David songs like “Window Wishin'”….