Lost Treasures: Nilsson – “Coconut”

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Our Lost Treasure this week was released in 1972 on RCA Records.  Singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson recorded “Coconut” using 4 different voices & only one chord throughout the record.  He got his start successfully writing songs recorded by The Monkees, the Yardbirds, Randy Newman & Ringo Starr among others.  A few of his early songwriting collaborations were with Phil Spector. After the success of his first single “Everybody’s Talkin” Nilsson continued to have a number of hits through to the mid-70’s.  In 1971, he wrote & recorded the children’s album “The Point”  in conjunction with an accompanying animated film which aired as an ABC-TV ‘Movie Of The Week’.  “Coconut” was one of the singles from his most successful albums “Nilsson Schmillson”. Harry befriend John Lennon in the mid-70’s who promised to produce an album for the artist.  However, this period was noted more for the heavy drinking & partying the two musicians participated in.  He damaged his vocal chords during this time & the injury lowly healed returning his voice to normal. The resulting album was called “Pussy Cats”. Nilsson’s albums became increasingly more eclectic & non-commercial in nature & thus made little impression on the music buying public.  He was profoundly affected by his friend John Lennon’s death in 1980 & became involved in fundraising for the gun control movement. After attempts at album success in the late 1980’s he had pretty much retired from the music business by the early 90’s.  He also got involved in film & video production but this came to a halt when all of his money was embezzled by his financial adviser. Born with a congenital heart defect, he suffered a massive heart attack in 1993.  He attempted to record one more album –  “Losst And Founnd” & it was finally released posthumously. Harry Nilsson died of heart failure in January 1994.  It’s a wet weekend here in the Northwest – enjoy a little taste of the Caribbean Nilsson style!

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Mike Cherry

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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