Vintage Arizona Crooner Connie Conway Makes Mad Men
Arizona's rich music history is often forgotten, but luckily local label Fervor Records is doing its part to preserve some of that legacy with their dynamic catalog of vintage recordings.
Coupled with pop culture's continued love affair with period dramas such as AMC's Mad Men, Fervor is helping people everywhere wax nostalgic over the lure of Phoenix's yesteryear.
On Friday, July 20, the recording house hosted its second listening party of a planned monthly series in which the label showcases, "new releases and catalog highlights, and ultimately introduces different branches of the extended Fervor family to one another."
The private event was held at the Fervor Records office hidden away in residential central Phoenix.For this month's installment, Fervor showcased The Very Best Of Connie Conway, Vol. 1, an upcoming never-before-released collection of one of the Valley's early music pioneers. The vintage recording is scheduled for release on Tuesday, August 14.
Conway helped establish MCI Records in Phoenix during the 1950s. The label was responsible for the first top 10 hit that came out of Arizona, Stanford Clark's "The Fool."
To help understand Conway's impact, walking Wikipedia and local radio personality John "Johnny D" Dixon stopped by to provide context for the gathering of musicians, scribes, and culture enthusiasts.
"Connie was a very, very gifted songwriter and arranger," Dixon says. "He and his wife Norma were the "Goffin and King" of Phoenix songwriters. Connie would write the music and his wife would write the lyrics. They wrote a ton of songs -- no hits but they had a couple of almost-made-its.
"He had a real wonderful crooner's voice as you'll hear in these songs," Dixon adds. "He was really able to deliver the song and he really made you feel that he was talking to you as the listener."
The opening track off the "new" album was recently featured in Mad Men during the "Far Away Places" episode.
"We're going to start off with, 'I Should Not Be Seeing You,' which is the song that was featured in Mad Men," Dixon says. "I hope you enjoy it and special thanks to Fervor for keeping the history of Arizona music alive; it's really neat."
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