GOOD GIRL

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OK, I don’t know if the beautiful Gloria Loring was a good girl or not. But I do know that she is Robin Thicke’s Mum. Or ‘Mom’ as he would have called her. And Robin Thicke is the guy who sung that dodgy ‘Blurred Lines’ song about a ‘good girl’ who wanted it, then got sued by Marvin Gaye’s estate along with co-writer Pharrell, and lost to the tune of $7.4 million. So the guy who sung ‘good girl’ was a naughty boy. But enough about all that.

Gloria Loring is far more interesting and deserving of our attention than her offspring. Born Gloria Goff in 1943, she married Canadian actor and songwriter Alan Thicke in 1970 which explains how Robin Thicke came to be. In 1980 she joined the cast of American daytime soap opera ‘Days Of Our Lives’, the role she is most well-known for. Growing up in the UK and not being a daytime soap kinda guy, that doesn’t mean much to me. But this does: Gloria and husband Alan co-wrote and sang the theme to ‘Different Strokes’. Holla.

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Long before all that though, in the late 60s and early 70s, Ms Loring released three LPs: 1968’s ‘Today’ on MGM; 1969’s ‘…and now we come to the distances’ on Evolution; and 1972’s ‘Sing A Song For The Mountain’ also on Evolution. All three LPs are a collection of jazzy renditions of songs by big names (Beatles, John Denver, Leonard Cohen, Bee Gees, Fred Neil, and others of that ilk). They’re fine for what they are, but not really my bag. With one exception: a jazzydelic cover of The Youngblood’s ‘Darkness, Darkness’, the song that kicked off that band’s essential 1969 long player ‘Elephant Mountain’.

In Gloria’s hands the track is less overtly psychedelic but the headiness is still there. Gone is the abrasive guitar break, but instead we get a dense texture of strings, brass and flute supported by a foundation of brushed drums and upright bass that barely seems strong enough to carry the weight. A great late-night track that’s easy to find for a handful of shekels and deserves to be better known.

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