On the charts in 1964, Dusty was the song that best captured the female Four Seasons sound of The Rag Dolls. The idea for the group came from Four Seasons producer and a collaborator of Denny’s, Bob Crewe.
As one of the writers and producers of the group’s records, Denny also tapped New York session singer Jeanne Thomas to be The Rag Dolls’ lead singer.
“Dusty” was released as the groups second single, after their debut Amy/Mala Records recording of “Society Girl”.
As Denny recounts: “The group’s first release, which we produced at Bell Sound, broke the ice for the girls with some major station airplay in New York and other cities. But when it didn’t go all the way, Amy Mala dropped the group and for a minute the project was on hold.”
But, Bernie Lowe quickly picked-up the group for his hot Cameo/Parkway label out of Philly and with this new shot, Denny and collaborators penned Dusty and the song soon found its way onto the Billboard Singles Charts.
Denny: “We recorded the session at Atlantic Record’s Columbus Circle Studio on their new 8 track machine, one of two in existence at that time, the other being at Motown. It was such a trip to have that many tracks to work with. The other studios had at most 4- track set-ups and the additional 4 tracks at Atlantic offered a whole new technique for recording and mixing.”
(Several years later Denny would again have an 8-track studio to work in, this time at Clive Davis’ CBS records as an A&R/ producer for Epic Records, and within several years the world of 16 track recording.)
“Oh yeah! From “Dusty” on 8-track to the world of 16 and then 24 track within a short few years”. What a trip!