Thursday, February 5, 2015

Calendar Clarification: Donovan

Many websites report that Donovan signed his first recording contract with Pye Records on February 12, 1965. 

While we are still trying to obtain the correct date, February 12 cannot be accurate, but we cannot find a credible source that states when Donovan actually signed a contract with Pye, although we believe it occurred in late 1964.  Well before February 12 of 1965, Donovan had already recorded a demo that Geoff Stevens and Peter Eden had arranged for him at Southern Music Studios in London much earlier.  Stevens and Eden then booked Donovan for a February 6 performance on the television program Ready!  Steady!  Go!, an appearance which solidified his popularity and helped launch his career. 

What we have been able to ascertain is that Stevens and Eden were managers for a group called Cops and Robbers.  Donovan was a friend of the group, and at a gig at Studio 64 in Southend, Sussex, England, the group encouraged him to perform during one of their breaks.  Donovan performed five songs and sat down, but by this time, Stevens and Eden were so impressed that they asked him if he wanted to record some songs for them.  He agreed, and the two took him to Southern.  By recording at Southern Music, according to Donovan, he was under contract with Iver Records, which in turn made a deal with Pye.

"Publishing", Donovan said, was at the heart of the business, and once he agreed to write songs for Stevens and Eden, who themselves had a deal with Southern Studios and Iver Records, Donovan essentially had a contract with Iver. 

Thus, Donovan had to have signed his contract much earlier than February 12.  Various accounts have different months for his gig at Studio 64, but we do know it was in the winter of 1964.  Obtaining a specific date has been difficult, even from Donovan himself, but we will continue to work on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.