#704: Johnny Willow by Fred Darian
Fred Darian was born in Detroit in June 1927. After college he began to sing in nightclubs and on TV starting in 1951. “The corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street was the hub of the music industry, a gathering place where hopeful songwriters, music publishers, producers, musicians, singers, disc jockeys and show business executives gathered and congregated daily. Fred Darian entered onto the scene as an ambitious singer, working the graveyard shift, as a fry cook at Coffee Dan’s restaurant. He made the rounds during the days, by performing songs as demonstrations for songwriters to present to record companies and music publishers. His ability to quickly read and perform the songs, without mistakes, made him even more in demand. This was a time when records were cut directly onto acetate, before the advent of tape. More than one take on a song would prove costly to the songwriter. Fred earned a reputation for his ability to interpret a song accurately, with one take.