Album: Various Artists, The Jerry Ragovoy Story (Ace)

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The Independent Culture

When Sinatra cancelled a recording session and left a 46-piece orchestra going begging, Jerry Ragovoy – like his friend Bert Berns, a white auteur of poppy soul — took the date, stayed up for 72 hours writing arrangements, and the result was Lorraine Ellison's "Stay with Me Baby".

Like that track, this survey of songwriter/ arranger/producer/pianist Ragovoy's career can be shrill or hysterical (Mr R remembers: "I was like Hitler when it came to vocals!"), but choice cuts include the first version of "Time Is on My Side", Miriam Makeba's "Pata Pata", Garnett Mimms, Dusty Springfield and Howard Tate.