“Sister Marie”: Not Meant for LP

“Sister Marie” – a great song that slipped between the cracks – found belated release as a bonus instrumental on the CD release of Sagittarius’s Present Tense (1968 Columbia LP, originally).  According to the liner notes:  “Gary Usher recorded this backing track with Sagitarrius in mind but decided to give it to Chad & Jeremy instead.”  Chad & Jeremy’s version of “Sister Marie,” meanwhile, was released as a non-LP single (that didn’t chart), while Nilsson’s version would end up a mere B-side.  I agree with the 45Cat contributor who declares “Sister Marie” to be “one of the great lost Nilsson recordings”:

“Sister Marie” by Harry Nilsson — February, 1968

In a fascinating bit of coincidence, Nilsson would release his B-side in February of 1968 at the same time Columbia would issue for the German market an A-side also entitled, “Sister Marie,” by the artist, Marquis of Kensington.  Not the same tune, as you can hear:

“Sister Marie” by Marquis of Kensington — February, 1968

Says Chad Stuart on the Chad & Jeremy website:

“‘Sister Marie’ was our last single and if it does anything at all, it clearly illustrates the production expertise which comes from a lot of hours in the studio.  Curt Boettcher’s higher-than- high voice is evident on this track, as is the technical wizardry of Keith Olsen.  Jeremy hated all that “ear candy” as it later came to be called, and in retrospect, I can understand how a Moody Blues sort of bloke like I was then would not get along too well with a J. J. Cale kinda guy like Jeremy aspired to be!”

“Cast and Crew”: Cinema Credits as High Art

Highly unlikely that anyone will be able to top Harry Nilsson’s tuneful approach to presenting the end credits of Otto Preminger’s long-forgotten 1968 film, Skidoo:

“Cast and Crew” is the first track on Nilsson’s Skidoo soundtrack LP, an album that went largely unnoticed at the time but enjoyed a great critical reception when reissued on CD in 2000 (UK) and 2003 (UK).

Skidoo, sadly, would be Groucho Marx’s swansong.

According to IMDB, the Internet Movie Database, Otto Preminger, in response to the disastrous failure of Skidoo – was quoted as saying, “I don’t think many people adore it. Except my wife, who adores all my pictures, because that’s what you get married for.”

In 2011, Skidoo was finally made available on home video for the first time since its original cinematic release — the DVD version, as the New York Times points out, keeps the “original wide-screen image and strategically garish Technicolor intact.”

Skidoo LP

Otto Preminger Pays to Be on TV’s Batman:  An IMDB Pop History Bite

For his appearance on Batman in 1966, Preminger was paid $2,500, the standard fee for actors who appeared on the series after asking for a role.  The Screen Actors Guild got wind of this, and ordered that none of their members were to work for Preminger unless he paid the SAG dues for his appearance on Batman, and various other monies he owed them dating back to his acting career.  As a result, Preminger ended up $7,600 out of pocket from his turn as Mr. Freeze.