Don & The Good Times


Originally written for the Toys and released after their nationally charted recording “Attack”, “May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone” was recorded again by Don and the Goodtimes in 1967.

The original Toys recording (of which Denny was a producer) was done in New York for Dyn-o-voice Records. The Goodtimes version was done for CBS’s Epic Records division where Denny, in addition to his songwriting activities, was an A&R/Producer at that time.

Although at the time Denny was based in New York City at the legendary “Black Rock” (CBS’s former 6th Avenue black skyscraper), Don and the Goodtimes were the featured band appearing weekly on the hit TV show “Shindig” out of L.A. and The Goodtimes recordings were produced at the CBS Hollywood Studios.

The sessions also included the songs “Bambi” and an off the wall, party down cut called “Sally, Studio At 6 O’clock In The Morning”. The latter was a wild, bar room version of a song actually titled “I Didn’t Know You Had It In Ya’ Sally, You’re A Real Ball Of Fire” that was written for the Monkees, but instead originally recorded by Denny and his collaborator on the song, Sandy Linzer, for Columbia Records.

Denny: “The Don and The Goodtimes session was the motivation for my later move to California. The week spent before the session laying out the songs and working on the vocal arrangements for The Goodtimes also provided me some time off to check out L.A. It was during the hippie scene and every night the clubs and coffeehouses on the Sunset Strip were overflowing with action. But it was the current and fresh sounds coming from the red-hot session players of the L.A. recording scene that left the greatest impression on me.

The studio musicians used on The Goodtimes sessions were graciously lined up in advance by Terry Melcher, A&R producer for CBS Records in L.A. Terry, producer of the then red-hot band “The Byrds” (and Doris Day’s son) was kind enough to assemble some outrageous players for the sessions and was a great host during the 10 days spent in L.A.

After a number of great and successful years recording in and with the New York Studios and players, I had begun to feel that things were starting to sound a little stale and I was ready for a fresh sound, which I found in California at that time. Although, I didn’t relocate right away, the Don and The Goodtimes trip definitely got me into the L.A. sound and vibe and before long I moved out there.”

CBS offered Denny a continuing A & R and producer role in L.A. but he was looking forward to getting back to his independent production activities, the opportunity to produce for many labels and the creative freedom he enjoyed the most.

As Denny explains: “I loved the CBS operation, the studios, and the people and felt complimented that the president of CBS had asked me to ‘pick out an office in Hollywood and stay with the company’. I had a great time at CBS but it was time to move on. Always a Native New Yorker, the change nevertheless felt good.”

Read More