Bobby Sharp- The Fantasy Sessions

by Bobby Sharp

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about

I first heard Bobby Sharp’s work as a songwriter, pianist and vocalist through the rough home-recorded cassette tapes he sent me in small parcels beginning in March 2003. Some would come alone, with just a lyric sheet. Others came in groups of 3 or 4 songs carefully notated on aging onionskin paper. Each one was beautiful with eloquent lyrics, alluring melody and haunting harmonies accompanied by a distinctly unique rhythm. Songs like this are not written any more. These songs were written by Bobby Sharp in the late 1950’s through the early 70’s. They have lay dormant for over 40 years, literally collecting dust in a closet. With a little encouragement and arm-twisting, Bobby agreed to record 13 of his pieces with a band for the first time in 4 decades.

We agreed that Fantasy Studios in Berkeley would be the ultimate spot because of its rich jazz recording history, well-respected engineers and close proximity to Bobby’s home in Alameda. We set up shop in Studio D with engineer Stephen Hart and the musicians. Bobby sat nervously at the piano and ripped through “High Upon a Mountain” in less than a half hour. His only recording experience of analog tape has made him a one-take musician. He knows nothing else.

The result is a time capsule of some of the greatest work of an outstanding and underappreciated American composer. I’m so honored to be a part of bringing these songs to life and catapulting them into the ears of willing listeners. Enjoy every moment, every note.

Natasha Miller, producer

During the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s I wrote the songs on this CD in my Harlem, NY apartment. In 1977 my mother Eva died and I wrote “Eva”. Shortly after that I wrote “Turning Point” and then didn’t write another song for about 28 years.
Natasha Miller sorted through some lead sheets and cassettes of mine and put together this CD.
Thanks Natasha for your making this CD come alive.

-Bobby Sharp

credits

released July 4, 2016

All songs written by Bobby Sharp. © B Sharp Music ASCAP

Recorded and mixed at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA
Stephen Hart- Engineer
Produced by Natasha Miller
Piano, Vocals- Bobby Sharp
Bass- John Shifflett
Drums- Tim Bulkley
Nylon String Guitar- Steve Erquiaga
Violin- Natasha Miller
Viola- Liz Prior
Cello- Marcie Brown
Flugelhorn/Trumpet- Jeff Lewis
Saxophone- Rob Roth
French Horn- Alicia Telford
Bassoon- David Granger

Photography on Cover by Bobby Sharp

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Track Name: High Upon a Mountain
High upon a mountain
long, long ago
I danced with an angel
on the rim of a rainbow

High upon a mountain
I fell in love
And so I brought my angel
back down to earth with me
from heaven above

But I was wrong
to ever think that she could live down here
When she belongs
up there in the atmosphere

So high upon a mountain
I’m on my way
Returning to the angel
I gave my heart to that day
Track Name: I Ain't Got No Business
I ain’t got no business
feelin’ sad and blue
‘Cause you found another
unsuspecting lover
to give your kisses to

I ain’t got no business
dreamin’ the whole day through
Soon you’ll be returning
with a love that’s burning
brighter than stars in the blue

But I’d be a fool if I didn’t believe
miracles can be
And someday that old black magic
will bring back your love to me

So you don’t have to worry
‘bout me finding someone new
‘Cause my life’s endeavor
is loving you forever,
and darling that’s what I’ll do
“Cause I ain’t got no business with no one but you
Track Name: Stolen Love (on Highway 99)
Drove in town this mornin’
To see that gal of mine
But her momma said
she moved ahead down highway 99

Well, I jumped back in my Caddy
Moved on down the line
One hundred per after her down highway 99

Caught up with my baby
At a roadside inn
Found her holding hands and kissin’ my best friend
If I had an atom bomb, I would have blown ‘em up it’s true

But then a voice deep down inside
told me the right thing to do

That’s why I’m headin’ for the courthouse
To report a crime
Stolen love I’m speaking of on highway 99
Track Name: Daddy Romeo
I wear a two-tone Stetson with a four-inch brim
Form fittin’ pants with an English trim
The gals follow me everywhere I go
They call me Daddy Romeo

I don’t wear nothin’ but the finest shoes
Alligator leather dyed powder blue
The gals go crazy when I show
They call me Daddy Romeo

I’m as busy as a bumblebee
Makin’ honey all day
‘Cause all the gals around little ole’ me
Seem to like it that way

I got a crazy Thunderbird that I drive
Big bad Cadillac for after five
And up and down the highway
All the ladies know
Daddy Romeo
Track Name: Bobby's Bounce
Instrumental
Track Name: Who Amoung You
Who among you has worked a miracle
Who among you has touched a star
Who has stood on the rim of a rainbow
Sprinkling happiness
Who has something wonderful to confess

Who among you feels that special glow
That only comes when you’re walking on clouds up above
Who can truthfully say
I’ve made someone happy today
By unselfishly giving my love.
Track Name: Sweet Lenore
If I could fly like birds on high
I’d spread my wings and take to the sky
And over mountains and oceans I’d soar
To be near you Sweet Lenore

If I could sing like angels do
I’d spend my life singing love songs to you
Each word would echo how much I adore
And love you Sweet Lenore

I’d gather roses fresh with dew
And with my heart give them to you
A million rainbows I’d paint in the skies
To match the light that shines in your eyes

But to do these things I must confess
Without your love I’d be just powerless
So leave me never and ever more
Let me love you Sweet Lenore
Track Name: Lonesome Traveler
I’m just a lonesome traveler
Far away from home
Hopin’ to find somebody
To call my own

I visit every major city
‘Stop in every populated town
But when you’re a lonesome traveler
There’s no one around

I’ve walked a million miles
Without a friendly smile
To even say hello to me
Sometimes I feel so sad
I wish I had the nerve to
jump into the deep blue sea

But what’s the use of me complainin’
‘Bout my misery
I may be a lonesome traveler
But I’ve still got the blues
To keep me company
Track Name: Infinity
instrumental
Track Name: North Wind
North Wind you go
over hills and meadows
Have you seen my love

North Wind you blow
Through rose covered byways
Have you seen my love

She’s the one with those dreamy eyes
Staring out into space
She’s the one with that golden smile
Mirrored on her face

North Wind let’s go to that paradise land
And find my love
Track Name: Turning Point
Instrumental
Track Name: Eva
Instrumental
Track Name: This is the End (of a Beautiful Beginning)
This is the end of a beautiful beginning
This is the end of a lovely how do you do
This is the final curtain of a play that has just begun
Although I know for certain, it should have had a longer run

This is the end of a moment of springtime
Oh how I wish it had lasted all through the years
But someday I may be lucky, and fall in love again
And then I can say this is the end of my tears